About YWCA Columbus
YWCA Columbus is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
We defy the status quo that puts women, people of color, and the marginalized on unequal footing. By fostering dialogue, providing practical resources, and educating our community, we promote empowerment and inclusion.
Our Mission in Action
We are dedicated to confronting uncomfortable truths about prejudice and poverty—because the only way to rise above our challenges is to go through them.
We are committed to creating a community of safety, support, and stability through emergency shelter and long-term supportive housing.
We are committed to youth development and early childhood education so that with each new generation, we’re all braver, wiser, and kinder.
Our Senior Leadership Team
President & CEO
Elizabeth became president and CEO of YWCA Columbus in January 2023. Previously, she served on Columbus City Council for over seven years and has prior experience in economic development, nonprofit service, and state government.Email Elizabeth
Chief Finance & Operations Officer
Judy has over 20 years’ experience as an administrative leader, holding positions in higher education and non-profit management. A CPA/MBA with operational skills in the areas of accounting, human resources, technology, and facilities management.Email Judy
Chief Program Officer
With 25 years of experience in nonprofit and social work, Regina is a servant leader with core competencies in strategic planning, DE&I, and nonprofit management. She's held positions in grant management, direct service, and senior leadership.Email Regina
Other ways to get involved
YWCA Columbus History
Since 1886, we’ve had a strong history of making incredible strides in eliminating racism and empowering women in our community.
1886 | YWCA Columbus was formed with a society of 5 women leasing a 12-room home for homeless girls.
1910 | Opened first public childcare program for working mothers in Franklin County
1915 | Organized the Girl Reserves to develop “productive and dependable young women”
1918 | Added curriculum to our childcare and became the first Kindergarten in Franklin County
1923 | Organized the Blue Triangle Branch, a center for African American women
1929 | Opened and dedicated the Griswold Memorial Building
1938 | Congratulated by the Columbus Urban League President for serving African Americans in our cafeteria
1943 | Housed relocated Japanese American women in the Griswold Building
1946 | Adopted the Interracial Charter, a landmark policy for racial justice
1952 | Fully integrated our staff, board, swimming pool, and residency
1970 | Adopted “The One Imperative, to thrust our collective power towards eliminating racism”
1974 | Mary Miller, YWCA staff member, led the way to Ohio’s ratification of the ERA from the third floor of the Griswold Building
1986 | Celebrated the first 100 years with the first Women of Achievement Event
1989 | First School Age Childcare program begins in Westerville, started serving homeless families with the Interfaith Hospitality Network, awarded first-ever HUD grant for our Women’s Residency program
1992 | First class of Bright Futures Leadership Program
1994 | Created Racial Justice Dialogues for legal professionals
2005 | YWCA Family Center opens. Started Leadership Luncheon Series, networking for professional women
2007 | Family Center awarded the Audrey Nelson Award, designating it a national model
2008 | Racial Justice Program designated by the National YWCA as a Hallmark Program
2010 | School Age Childcare program wins Educational Council Award
2017 | The grand reopening of the Griswold Building took place, after receiving a $25 million dollar renovation. The new building becomes known as The Center for Women.
2018 | Our Safe and Sound childcare program earns a record 5-star Step-up-to-Quality Rating
We acknowledge the traditional and ancestral territory of the Shawnee, Kaskaskia (kas-kas-kee-uh), Hopewell & Myaamia (My-am-ee) people, the people whose land we are living, learning, and working on today.
We acknowledge the traditional and ancestral territory of the Shawnee, Kaskaskia (kas-kas-kee-uh), Hopewell & Myaamia (My-am-ee) people, the people whose land we are living, learning, and working on today. Despite the intentional genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced displacement of Indigenous nations, as well as the ongoing erasure and inequities endured by tribal communities today, Indigenous people are still here. We want to remind you that colonialism is an ongoing process, and part of our equity journey includes being mindful of our own participation in that process and centering Indigenous voices in our work toward justice. We encourage you to learn more about the traditional territory on which you reside and about Landback, a movement of returning Indigenous land control, as well as donating to organizations that are in support of and led by Indigenous people. We stand in solidarity with the land and water protectors who are working to preserve the planet we all rely on.
We’d like to acknowledge the traditional and ancestral territory of the Shawnee, Kaskaskia, Hopewell & Myaamia people- the people whose land we’re living, learning, and working on today. And despite the intentional acts of genocide from the ongoing Indigenous Holocaust (which has claimed 13 million Indigenous lives so far), forced displacement, forced assimilation, and land theft, indigenous people are still here on this land.
All of us who are non-indigenous peoples that live in what is called the United States is living on land that was stolen, and are settlers. Settlers don’t benefit equally from settler colonialism. Many folks (or their ancestors) were kidnaped and forced into slavery, lived as indentured servants or came here as refugees – so we’d like to explicitly acknowledge that race and class play a large part in which settlers are able to reap the benefit of this stolen land and which settlers continue to be exploited.
We understand that colonialism is an ongoing process, and part of our equity journey includes building mindfulness of our own present participation in that process. We encourage you to take action by:
- Learning about the culture of the Indigenous peoples within your community
- Learning about and supporting the Landback movement
- Donating to and volunteering with organizations that are in support of and led by people of the global majority / POC
- Standing in solidarity with land & water protectors who are working to preserve this planet that we all rely on, and
- Supporting businesses owned by local people of color