The Kathy Duffy Espy Leadership for Social Change Program

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The Kathy Duffy Espy Leadership for Social Change Program

Beginning in 2023, YWCA’s leadership program will be known as “The Kathy Duffy Espy Leadership for Social Change Program.” This program will engage young women at the beginning of their careers, helping them understand how discriminatory practices, policies, and beliefs produce various forms of inequity. The program participants are then better prepared to speak up and act out on behalf of themselves and others – just as Kathy so often did for her community.

Kathy was integral to YWCA’s growth in Columbus through her volunteering, board leadership, and advocacy. Serving as a mentor and celebrating others for their achievements, Kathy lived the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women every day. Known for her gentle wisdom and unwavering support of women, she had a bold vision to bring diversity to every table where she was invited, generating a lasting impact that is still felt at YWCA Columbus and in our community today.

We believe we are responsible for educating and empowering the next generation of women and nonbinary leaders. Through the 11-month learning experience, emerging leaders will engage in workshops with community experts working in organizations that create social change. Experts from grassroots, political, community-based, educational, and nonprofit organizations help participants develop practical and theoretical knowledge about current issues and models for creating change.

We are proud to honor Kathy’s legacy and grateful to our generous donors who have ensured this program will be around for many years to come.

The deadline to apply for this year’s program has been extended to Friday, Dec. 1! Learn more and apply at the links below.



Leadership Program Goals

Recruit, Inform and Empower

Recruit, inform, and empower a diverse group of advocates to become the next generation of leaders in Central Ohio, who can identify needs for social change and effectively develop strategies to address these needs

Learn What Perpetuates Inequalities

Educate participants about the critical factors that create and perpetuate inequalities in our community

Connect Young Leaders

Connect young leaders to a network and resources that will support their leadership endeavors for social change



lsc alumni:

Share Your Spotlight

Across the city and country, in all professional roles and career stages, LSC Alum are change-makers, leaders, and innovators in advancing social change. It is important that we acknowledge and celebrate these efforts. Have you or a fellow LSC alum accomplished something spotlight worthy (i.e. joined a Board, landed a new leadership position, been recognized for your contributions, etc.)? Please share and we’ll highlight an alum each month! And yes! Please feel confident to highlight yourself!


Leadership for Social Change - YWCA Columbus leadership program


Share Your Spotlight


"What I liked best about the program was the open, accepting environment, the time for reflection and growth and the ability to connect with such a wide variety of people from different backgrounds. There was such a diversity of topics covered in the sessions in a supportive, encouraging atmosphere."
Leadership for Social Change Participant