Last week, we attended the 2019 YWCA National Conference: “Dare to be Powerful” in Washington D.C. Over 300 YWCA leaders came together to connect and learn through a series of workshops, panel discussions, and speeches. United in our mission to eliminate racism and empower women, we are able to life one another up, and share best practices to further our ability to provide life-changing services through our programs. This year’s conference theme of “Dare to be Powerful”—derived from Audre Lorde’s commanding words—not only paid homage to YWCA’s rich history, but also issued a call to action for the challenges we continue to face.
We attended workshops about exploring leadership strategies, visualizing the future of women in STEM and media, and our role as individuals and as an organization in racial justice movement. Some key topics of the conference included:
- Strengthening local association governance
- Building national fundraising infrastructure
- Engaging with innovative strategies in philanthropy
- Developing women’s political power and leadership
- Advocating for federal funding streams
On Capitol Hill Day, we advocated forpolicies such as increasing of funding The Child Care and Development Block Grant and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. We also met with representatives from the offices of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Congressman Andy Kim, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez, Representative Tom Malinowski, Representative Albio Sires, and Representative Chris Smith to discuss affordable child care.
The conference affirmed that we are one network, one movement—one YWCA. We are excited to return to YWCA Princeton armed with the knowledge and energy of we gained from interacting with other YWCA’s.
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