Hear Her Sports Glenville Podcast

glenville half flyer final logo (1)Dear Friends,
Madison Residency Artist Elizabeth Emery, who is locally based here in Cleveland, needs your help reaching young girls and women 10-110 years of age. Her project, Hear Her Glenville, will provide the opportunity for young girls to tell their story about their athletic aspirations, and women that are fit and active to share the experiences about what that has meant or means to them.
Elizabeth, herself a retired professional athlete, knows first hand the struggles women face in spots, an industry dominated by men that receive hire pay and recognition than women. A familiar story in most industries, Elizabeth’s project aims to help young women build confidence and empower them in their pursuits, but more importantly provide them with a platform to speak of their experiences and move forward successfully.
YWCA Greater Cleveland has committed to help Elizabeth and her project as well. As you know the YWCA is leading the empowerment of women and is celebrating 150 years this year in Cleveland. The podcast recordings will be shared throughout Cleveland at various listening stations, as well as at listening parties at the FRONT Porch. Programs and panels will allow these women to discuss their stories in person, and Elizabeth has been working on donations for items like sports bras and health bars for the girls. These are just a few ways to have important dialogues of health through exercise. Elizabeth’s story in focused on the voices in the Glenville community.
Please help Cleveland and the region, Hear Her Sports Glenville stories. Tell neighbors, parents, friends, share with your network, or if you are having a meeting and would like Elizabeth to come share her project, or if you would like distribute the attached flyer. A drop in session will be held to sign up for the recording sessions on May 30, 3-6 pm at the FRONT Porch. Fresh fruit and healthy snacks will be on site. Come after school or work. Attached is a flyer that you can share with others. It provides instructions to also sign up online. You can learn more about Elizabeth’s work on her website.
Thank you in advance for your help on this important work and supporting the artists of FRONT as they are inspired and committed to support the vitality of Cleveland.
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Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge and KeyBank’s Beth Mooney Among Women to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

WOA logo 2017 RGB copy

Cleveland, OH (January 4th, 2018) – (YWCA Greater Cleveland) In commemoration of the YWCA’s 150th year of operation in Greater Cleveland four distinguished women leaders whom have previously been presented with the Woman of Achievement Award, will be elevated to Lifetime Woman of Achievement status at the YWCA’s annual luncheon on April 30th, 2018. They will join a group of only seven others whom have been named Lifetime Woman of Achievement in the 42-year history of the award.

The 2018 Lifetime Woman of Achievement Honorees are:

  • Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, U.S. Representative, Ohio’s 11th Congressional District
  • Beth E. Mooney, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KeyCorp
  • Sandra Pianalto, former President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Mary Verdi-Fletcher, President/Founding Artistic Director, Dancing Wheels Company and School

“This year’s Women of Achievement Lifetime Honorees are not only outstanding leaders in their respective fields and industries, but they have demonstrated a dedication to empowering and uplifting women in every aspect of their lives,” says Margaret Mitchell, YWCA Greater Cleveland President and CEO. “It is a special pleasure to honor this group in 2018, as the YWCA celebrates 150 years of operation in the Greater Cleveland area. All four Lifetime Honorees have embodied the spirit and mission of the YWCA throughout their careers and have made a tremendous effort to help us move the needle forward for all women.”

Each year the YWCA Women of Achievement Award is presented to a select group of Northeast Ohio women who have achieved extraordinary accomplishments through career success, community service, leadership, mentoring, and dedication to YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

The 42nd YWCA Women of Achievement Luncheon will be held on Monday, April 30th, 2018 at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown. The four Lifetime Achievement Honorees will be recognized along with Women of Professional Excellence. KeyBank and University Hospital are the presenting sponsors of the 2018 Women of Achievement Luncheon. Visit www.ywcaofcleveland.org for more information on the Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon.


Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge received the Woman of Achievement Award in 2002, years before she joined the ranks of the U.S. Congress. She has served the people of Ohio for more than two decades, beginning with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. She was the first African American and the first female mayor of Warrensville Heights. Her work has impacted not only her congressional district and Northeast Ohio, but the nation, as she is a past National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, as well as the former Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Most recently, Congresswoman Fudge served the Democratic Party as chair of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Beth Mooney is not only an extraordinary leader in Northeast Ohio, but also a trailblazer in the finance industry across the country and around the world. As the Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp, Beth is the first female to lead a top-20 U.S. bank. She was presented with the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award in 2008. Since that time, Beth has led KeyBank to record-setting levels of performance. She has been recognized by both Forbes and Fortune magazines as one of the World’s Most Powerful Women and was named the #1 Most Powerful Woman in Banking for three years. Mooney and KeyBank have proudly been the recipient of countless awards for her civic commitment and community outreach and she serves on the Board of Trustees for The United Way, the Cleveland Clinic, Catalyst and The Cleveland Orchestra.

Sandra Pianalto was acknowledged as a Woman of Achievement in 2004 when she was just one year into her term as the tenth President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Pianalto served the Federal Reserve System during an extraordinary period in our country’s economic history, seeing the Fourth District through the financial crisis and severe recession of 2008-09. Sandra’s work during this time has given way to the current revitalization of the region. Pianalto is a member of the Board of Directors of Eaton Corporation, J.M Smucker Company, and Prudential Financial, Inc.

Mary Verdi-Fletcher has been a pioneering force in the development and success of physically integrated dance worldwide for nearly four decades and is one of the first and foremost professional wheelchair dancers. She founded Dancing Wheels Company 1980, and went on to create the multi-arts Dancing Wheels School in 1990 for training and career advancement. Also a tireless arts administrator and advocate, Mary has contributed to the development of state and national programs for arts and disability service organizations. She has worked to help pass significant pieces of legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act established in 1990. Mary was a part of the 1999 Women of Achievement cohort.

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Margaret Mitchell Responds to Representative Marcy Kaptur’s Comments About Sexual Harassment.


12/15/17 – Cleveland OH

Yesterday YWCA Greater Cleveland President and CEO Margaret Mitchell responded to controversial remarks made by Ohio Democratic Representative, Marcy Kaptur.

Kaptur said in a private meeting that revealing clothes worn by staffers and some members of Congress are an “invitation” for sexual harassment.

Mitchell believes that Kaptur’s statement represents a common misconception that needs to be corrected.

“A woman’s clothing is not a precursor to her being sexually harassed. That is something that is about power.”


“A woman’s clothing is not a precursor to her being sexually harassed. That is something that is about power.”


Mitchell stated that one of the most important steps we can take to change the prevailing culture of harassment in the workforce is to empower women to take on leadership roles in their organizations. This requires that established leaders mentor and support women as they move throughout their careers.

In 2017 0nly 32 Fortune 500 companies are lead by female CEOs. This represents a significant increase from 2016 when there were only 21 female CEOs and only two women of color.

Women in congress are also significantly underrepresented, holding only 19.4% of U.S. congressional seats. Sexual harassment thrives in male dominated environments, making increasing the number of women in leadership roles a critical step in creating culture change.

Mitchell encouraged women to identify and report harassment in their companies and organizations as well as seek out the support they need.

“It is important to teach young women how to speak up for themselves and identify sexual harassment.”

YWCA Greater Cleveland is dedicated to helping women achieve success in their careers and addressing the unique challenges women face in the workplace. Our Women’s Leadership Institute aims to give women at all stages of their careers detailed tools to help them advance in their careers and break the glass ceiling.

The Women’s Leadership Institute consists of three leadership development programs—Boot Camp, Quest, and Momentum—designed to bring together women from varying backgrounds, organizations and phases of their careers to deepen their self-awareness and self-management to become more effective and productive leaders. The result of each program is empowered women—entry level to senior leaders—able to leverage their capacity, overcome obstacles and take confident strides toward higher levels of organizational leadership.

If you are interested in learning more about YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Women’s Leadership Institute please click HERE.

YWCA Greater Cleveland also provides a Women’s Leadership Workshop series that empowers women to turn challenges into career-building opportunities. Sessions begin in January of 2018 and go through June of 2018. Click HERE to learn more or HERE to register.


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7th Annual White Ribbon Day in Greater Cleveland

The 7th Annual White Ribbon Day in Greater Cleveland and across the State of Ohio will be Friday November 17th, 2017. We invite everyone to join in us in promoting healthy non-violent relationships. White Ribbon Day in Greater Cleveland is sponsored by Cuyahoga County, the Ohio Attorney General, the Healthy Fathering Collaborative, Passages and YWCA Greater Cleveland.

There will be a public rally on the steps of the Domestic Relations Courthouse at 1 Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland at 12:00 PM on November 17th, 2017. White ties will be placed on the statues of two of our nation’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

Young men from the Male Minority Leadership Group at Orange High School will be the featured speakers at the 2017 Rally. We expect over 10,000 men, women, youth and children across the state to participate in the campaign this year.

We are encouraging everyone to wear a white tie or white ribbon to take a strong positive and public stance against violence against women, intimate partners of all genders and children. Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women, men, youth, or children.

The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world working to end violence against women. The Campaign started in Canada in 1991 when a handful of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to speak out about violence against women.

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The Mass Shooting in Las Vegas is Not Normal: Margaret Mitchell

It’s true, if I made a list of 100 cities I wanted too or had to visit Las Vegas would be the last on the list. But this senseless act of gun violence brought terror and tragedy to our communities and our nation and I am grieving. My brain and heart is struggling to make sense of this sickness. It is unacceptable that any American should have to endure the horror and trauma the survivors of this tragedy and their loved ones experienced last night, and will continue to experience for the weeks and months to come.

I am thankful to law enforcement officers, Medics and Firefighters. Las Vegas Police officers acted with great bravery and responded within minutes to move people to safety.

This is not normal. Here in America, we are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence compared to people from other industrialized countries. In fact, no other country like ours comes close. It’s not normal, and it’s not inevitable.

It’s an epidemic that needs to be addressed. I stand against gun violence in our states, cities, and neighborhoods. May we find the courage to change.

Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.
Robert Kennedy

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Our fight against racism, homelessness starts early

23466564-mmmainby Margaret Mitchell, President and CEO of YWCA of Greater Cleveland.

In some ways, it seems that racial tension in our society is more visible than it has been in decades. The recent and regrettable events in Charlottesville demonstrate that blatant hatred and resentment of those who are different still very much exist in our world. Racism is visible on the faces of those who marched on behalf of white supremacy, visible in ways we might like to pretend ended many years ago.

But racism can also be invisible. And in many ways, invisible racism can be more insidious than when we’re staring it in the face.

For those who live in homelessness, or those on the edge of homelessness, every day, we may not see racism as a cause, but the numbers do not lie. A disproportionate number of homeless adults are people of color–nearly 83 percent. These numbers leave little room to doubt that biases against African Americans and other minorities are systemic across different social systems, and these biases have revealed themselves in the make-up of Cleveland’s homeless population. Racism as it affects the homeless population in our city, and our country, is easy to identify, even if it is hard to talk about.

There are, of course, additional factors at play. My work as president and CEO of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland has been driven by a simple, important mission: “Eliminating racism. Empowering women.” Part of our work toward those goals over the past several years has been to target homelessness early, where gaps in our social system have resulted in the abandonment of some of our most vulnerable members the moment they turn legal age.

Homelessness thrives among young men and women who are tossed out of foster care and onto the streets on their 18th birthday. From there, many are left with no other option than homeless shelters, where finding a way out of the vicious cycle of homelessness is near impossible. The YWCA has worked to make an impact. In January 2011, we opened Independence Place in our downtown headquarters at East 40th St. and Prospect Ave. We maintain 23 permanent supportive housing apartments, specifically for people ages 18-24 who are coming from homelessness. It remains one of the few initiatives in the country to focus on homeless youth with a history of foster care.

Here, the numbers don’t lie either. Eighty-eight percent of those who have come through our doors at Independence Place are African American.

There are no simple solutions to ending the disproportionate nature of our homeless population. But the YWCA is committed to making an impact, and we believe it begins at the individual level. We center on youth, one young person at a time. We see individuals who are full of promise and hope. The stories we hear are heartbreaking, but their triumphs are powerful and heartwarming. We don’t have fairy dust. There are no frogs to be kissed or chariots to ride off into the sunset. Life is more complex–and more rewarding–than that.

Once again, we think our impact can be seen in the numbers: In 2016, after five years of operation, 85 percent of Independence Place residents had maintained their positive transitions into the community; 15% had a negative departure, with only 3% returning to homelessness. While any return to homelessness is unacceptable, we’re proud of these figures–and we hope to improve them.

Our efforts continue, and we’re approaching one of our most important fundraising efforts of the year: YWCA’s annual Circle Event. We’re joined this year by Honorary Chair Savannah James and distinguished speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy who will talk further about racism, homelessness…and hope.

This year’s theme for our Circle Event is “Hope Is All Around.” It demonstrates what’s possible when we all help.

Dismantling racism and ending homelessness in our communities is possible when we determine daily to see the potential in all people and not just categorized sad statistics– when you see: It really begins with me. Tickets for The YWCA Circle Event are available at www.ywcaofcleveland.org.

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Congratulations 2017 Women’s Leadership Institute Graduates!

Congratulations to our most recent class of Women’s Leadership Institute Graduates!

The YWCA of Greater Cleveland’s Women’s Leadership Institute is a unique comprehensive leadership development training curriculum designed to build, recognize and empower transformative women leaders at all phases of their careers.

The Institute’s proven programs are based on industry best practices, research, and the personal experiences of our instructors. The WLI has more than 800 alumni from Fortune 500 companies, small- and mid-sized businesses, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions.

Our programs can complement existing in-house leadership development programs, or the Women’s Leadership Institute can serve as an external training arm. New sessions of Boot Camp and Quest will be posted in November of 2017 and begin in March of 2018. A new session of Momentum will be posted in October of 2017 and begin in January 2018. Learn more about what we have to offer HERE.

Graduates can email Heather Steranka-Petit for their graduation photo.

(Below: 2017 Quest Graduates)


(Below: 2017 Boot Camp Graduates)



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