Savannah James and Leigh Anne Tuohy Join 2017 YWCA Circle Event

YWCA Greater Cleveland’s annual Circle Event benefiting homeless young adults and families will take place October 3, 2017, at The Cleveland Museum of Art. This year’s theme is, “Hope Is All Around.”

CLEVELAND—August 15, 2017—YWCA Greater Cleveland is excited to announce that Savannah James and Leigh Anne Tuohy have joined this year’s YWCA Circle Event. Savannah joins as honorary chair, and Leigh Anne as keynote speaker.

YWCA Circle, October 3 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, brings together members of the community to help end youth homelessness. This year’s theme is “Hope Is All Around,” and will feature remarks from both Savannah and Leigh Anne.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Savannah and Leigh Anne for this year’s YWCA Circle,” said Margaret Mitchell, YWCA Greater Cleveland President & CEO. “Savannah and Leigh Anne have both shown tremendous passion for bettering their communities through outreach, and Greater Cleveland YWCA is proud to welcome them.”

Savannah JamesSavannah, an Akron native, has a deep-rooted passion for giving back to her local community and empowering young women. Savannah’s annual I PROMise Makeover program uplifts girls from Akron-area high schools by helping them prepare for prom with dresses, accessories, and more importantly, words of encouragement and self-confidence. Earlier this year, James launched her “Women of Our Future” mentorship program at her alma mater, Buchtel High School, that provides research-based interventions and real-time support for young women.


Leigh Anne and her adopted son, NFL player Michael Oher, were the real-life inspiration for the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and the 2009 film The Blindside. Her family’s inspirational journey is proof that when we give a bit of ourselves to other people, we can make the world a better place and perhaps, even save a life.


This year’s YWCA Circle event chairs include Deb Donley, owner/founder of the architectural firm Vocon; and Heidi B. Friedman, partner at Thompson Hine and founder of the firm’s Women’s Initiative, Spotlight on Women.

For more information about the event or to register, visit or call 216-881-6878.

Jan Gusich
p: 330.463.5650
m: 216.509.6862

Christine Kohls
Director of Development
p: 216-881-6878


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Greater Cleveland YWCA Remembers the Life & Legacy of Dolores “Dolly” Minter

photo_20170622_wo0025773_0_20170622CLEVELAND, August 1, 2017 – The Greater Cleveland YWCA is saddened to hear of the passing of Dolores “Dolly” Kreicher Minter, who was featured as one of our Women of Achievement in 1998.

Dolly was born on August 4, 1939, in Lakewood, Ohio shortly after the Great Depression. She was passionate student and pursued a higher education at Baldwin-Wallace College. It was there she met her lifelong companion, Steve Minter, who would inspire her to make the world a better place.

Dolly’s family did not approve of Steve, an African-American. But at a time when interracial marriage was illegal in 22 U.S. states, Dolly was not deterred. Instead she was inspired to commit her life to making a social impact through decades of community leadership and service.

Dolly started her activism at the Fairmount Presbyterian Church, where she helped launch Project Renewal, a program that provided meals and fellowship to seniors and people with disabilities. She continued to serve in leadership roles in many organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, the Board of Trustees of Baldwin-Wallace and the Women’s Committee of the Cleveland Orchestra.

While Steve served as Executive Director and President of the Cleveland Foundation, Dolly was his most trusted adviser. She became a widely respected figure in the philanthropy field and eventually served as the Interim Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County. Beyond Steve and Dolly’s community efforts, the raised three intelligent and independent daughters – Michele, Caroline and Robyn.

Dolly passed away peacefully at her home in Cleveland on June 21 at the age of 77, after a seven year battle with Alzheimer’s. Dolly has a room named after her at the YWCA of Greater Cleveland’s Independence Place, which is a supportive residence for women transitioning out of foster care. She passionately lived her life according to our mission and left an inspiring, long-lasting legacy.

About YWCA Greater Cleveland

YWCA Greater Cleveland is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities. Through advocacy and programming, they create real change for women, families and communities. For more information call 216-881-6878, visit, or join the conversation on social media by using #OnAMission.




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YWCA USA selected as the USA charity of choice from Nordstrom, Ohio (7/31/2017) –YWCA USA along with YWCA Greater Cleveland have been selected as the Charity of Choice by Treasure&Bond, the Nordstrom’s give-back brand that supports nonprofit organizations that empower youth.

YWCA USA, YWCA Greater Cleveland and 35 other local associations across the country will receive 2.5% of net sales earned between February 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. The contribution from Treasure&Bond sales will support the efforts of YWCA USA’s TechGYRLS initiative, which works to raise interest, confidence, and abilities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) among girls aged nine to twelve. Annually, 260,000 girls, children, youth and teens are building their futures at local YWCAs through programs including girls’ empowerment, TechGYRLS and other STEM/STEAM programs.

“Treasure&Bond has been a great way for us to give back to nonprofits in the communities we support and the brand’s purpose, as well as its laid-back, Americana aesthetic has really resonated with our customers,” said Jennifer Jackson Brown, president of Nordstrom Product Group. “Thanks to our customers, Nordstrom has been able to bring Treasure&Bond into more departments throughout the store, which enables us to give even more to organizations that are doing such important work to support young people.”

“We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for 2017 that we believe will help us better connect with our customers and further increase the charitable impact of Treasure&Bond,” continued Jackson Brown.

Currently found in Women’s, Men’s and Girls’ apparel, Women’s and Girls’ shoes, Soft Accessories, Jewelry and Hosiery departments, in 2017 Treasure&Bond will be expanding to include Boys’ apparel later this year. The spring collection will continue to focus on a classic, all-American aesthetic, but with a reworked, lived-in twist. Customers can expect to find lots of easy-to-wear pieces that can be layered for an effortless, casual look – soft tees, worn-in button-downs, cozy sweaters and must-have denim favorites.

YWCA Greater Cleveland was established in 1868. It is the seventh oldest YWCA in the country and one of the oldest continuously operating nonprofits in Cleveland.

YWCA is committed to the empowerment of women, but our organization is not comprised of only women — or serving only women. YWCA has women and men as members, volunteers, supporters and leaders of the organization. Our programs serve women and men, young adults, adolescents and children. We also provide services to other nonprofit organizations and the business community. We are thrilled to have Nordstrom support this effort.

Treasure&Bond is available in Nordstrom stores and online at Product images can be found on the Nordstrom Press Room.

Media Contacts:


Nordstrom Emily Sterken 206.303.3034


YWCA Greater Cleveland

Christine Kohls



YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The organization is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year. Learn more:


About Nordstrom

Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion specialty retailer based in the U.S. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 349 stores in 40 states, including 123 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; 215 Nordstrom Rack stores; two Jeffrey boutiques; and two clearance stores. Additionally, customers are served online through, and HauteLook. The company also owns Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service serving customers online at and its seven clubhouses. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

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Attention Northeast Ohio: It’s Time to Talk 2017

Attention Northeast Ohio: It’s Time to Talk

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YWCA Helping to Uplift Leaders | Enter to Win a Prize Pack

unnamedWhen local business owners Barb Brown and Margie Flynn set out to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their Cleveland-based corporate sustainability and governance consulting firm, they embarked on a book project that’s purpose was to give further voice to women leaders.

Yet, it became so much more.


In their recently published book, Uplifting Leaders* (*Who Happen to be Women), Brown and Flynn capture insights and stories of 25 of the nation’s most accomplished and influential women in business on how they empower and uplift others as they seek to progress in their lives and careers.

The diverse spectrum of leaders who share their candid insights and advice range from newly instated Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman; the Campbell Soup Company President and CEO Denise Morrison; and Cleveland-based KeyCorp Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney.

But, the authors want to do much more than simply tell these stories.

At the heart of the book is a call to action—to “pay it forward” by passing Uplifting Leaders and its insights onto other people in their lives.

For that reason, the authors will donate 100 percent of the book’s net proceeds to support the education of young women transitioning out of foster care through the YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Nurturing Independence and Aspirations (NIA) Program.

And, we’re joining together for a Facebook contest to continue their mission of uplifting current and aspiring leaders. Here’s how:


Enter to win the Uplifting Leaders Prize Package

This unique prize pack includes a signed copy of Uplifting Leaders* (*Who Happen to be Women) and three $25 gift cards to women-owned/founded restaurants and/or retail stores in the Cleveland area.

How to Enter:

  1. Like one of these leadership quote photos on Facebook


  1. Then, comment on the photo telling us about a person who uplifted you in life and/or career


This contest ends Friday, July 21 at 11:59pm, so enter now. No limit on the number of entries.


NOTE: Contest runs June 19—July 21, 2017. Winner is chosen at random and will be contacted via Facebook on Tuesday, July 25. No limit on the number of entries.

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Vice President of A Place 4 Me Speaks at Lakewood Foster Care Forum.

unnamed.jpgKate Lodge, Vice President of the YWCA’s A Place 4 Me, spoke about the foster care system at a forum held at the Lakewood Public Library on Tuesday April 18th.

Lodge discussed the importance of supporting young people who age out of foster care.

“If any of you have young adult children you know they aren’t done growing up yet. They can be one rent check away from being homeless.”

Lodge also discussed the YWCA’s A Place 4 Me program.

“We are a housing first community. We don’t say get it together and then we will help you. If you give someone housing they have the stability they need to get it together.”

A Place 4 Me serves young adults who have recently aged out of the foster care system. 40% of residents are heads of households and 50% are unemployed. A Place 4 Me gives them social support, assistance finding employment, and help finding housing.

The forum was moderated by Philip Morris, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and also featured Professor David Crampton from Case Western Reserve University, Betsie Norris, Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland, and Edward L. Gilbert, an Author, Attorney and Foster Care advocate.

Betsie Norris stated that Ohio ranks 50th in child welfare spending. The panel agreed that the emotional and financial strain that underpaid social workers experience should be addressed with higher wages and a focus teaching students interested in the field self care strategies.

Morris asked the panel several questions regarding the rising number of deaths from heroin overdoses. He posited that this could lead to a dramatic rise in the number of children in Ohio’s already strained foster care system. Professor Crampton disagreed saying that he hadn’t seen a rise in the number children in foster care since the news began reporting on the heroin epidemic. Gilbert also disagreed with Morris saying, “Heroin is a crisis because it has begun to affect suburbia. It has affected the African American community for years.”

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National Crime Victims Rights Week Luncheon

NCVRW17_Twitter_Profile_A-400x400Thank you to Yvonne Pointer, Latundra Henderson, and Renee Jones for sharing your stories with us in honor of National Crime Victims Rights Week.

Ms. Pointer spoke about her own experience with finding and utilizing support services and partnering with the criminal justice system to bring her daughter’s killer to justice.

Ms. Pointer recalled working with offenders in prison and her efforts to raise funds to further the education of children in Ghana. She also spoke about the importance of forgiveness and the need to constructively come to terms with loss.

“You have to forgive in order to keep living.” – Yvonne Pointer

Since 1984, Yvonne Pointer has worked tirelessly to create safer communities in and out of the City of Cleveland. Ms. Pointer is the co-founder P.A.C.K, (Parents Against Child Killing), the founder of Positive Plus Women’s Support Group, an active member of P.O.M.C. (Parents of Murdered Children), and was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1991.

Renee Jones spoke about her experience working with victims of sex trafficking. Social media is increasingly being used as a tool of sex traffickers and parents must be aware of who their children are interacting with online.

Renee Jones is the founder of the Renee Jones Empowerment Center, and began Project Red Cord. Project Red Cord provides social support and resouces to survivors of human trafficking including:

  • educational resources
  • food
  • safe housing
  • job training
  • legal assistance
  • medical and psychological care
  • inter-generational support groups
  • art therapy
  • journaling
  • court advocacy
  • incarceration and re-entry support.

Thanks to our speakers, partners, and attendees for being a part of this event and raising awareness for victims of crime.

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