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January – February 2021

March Birthdays

1   Mary Rogers
3   Ryan Kennedy
8   Pamela Yates
8   Allyson Pitts
9   Mariah Davis
10 Yvonne McBroom
11 Jacqueline Johnson
12 Norman Deena
15 Michelle Chapman
17 Deborah Huth
19 Cynthia Galloway
19 Teresa Woods
20 Laura Stover
20 Roselan Williams
21 Anita Rastogi
24 Rebecca Dowling-Fitzpatrick
26 Ashley Li
27 Nicollette Lambert
30 Jacqueline Hall

April Birthdays

1   Michelle Chieffo
1   Desiree Hutson
2   Chadae Braswell
3   Betty Rickabaugh
8   Cheryl Glenn
8   Bianca Daniels
10 Stephanie Bland
11 Jennifer Odiri
23 Rene Call

March Anniversaries

Montavious Cowart
Frederick Mills
Alicia Dickinson
Dajanee Harris

Roselan Williams
Khristopher Ross-Wilcox

Michelle Hameed

Stevi Chiles

Kenneth Yahnke

Elaine Colna


April Anniversaries

Paula Eskridge

Josh Westling

Nancy Conkel

Beverly Gyure





Erin Norris
Service Coordinator

Melanie Henterly
Director of Marketing and Communications

Camille Moultrie
Assistant Teacher

Jose Torres
Custodial Technician

Rosalyn Lasekan
Program Assistant

Joyanna Reese
Lead Teacher


New Staff Highlights

Melanie Henterly joined YWCA Columbus’ Leadership Team as the Director of Marketing and Communications. She oversees all traditional and digital communications, marketing efforts and branding to promote our mission. Melanie has experience planning, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive marketing and communication plans for a variety of industries and is passionate about building connections between an organization and the community. She previously led the Advancement Communications team for the University of Dayton, helping to craft and balance development and engagement messages. She received her B.A. in Strategic Communication (minor in Political Science) from Miami University and her M.A. in Communication from the University of Dayton.


Mindy Meeker will join YWCA Columbus’ Advancement team as Events Project Manager on March 1. Bringing over 20 years of progressive experience specializing in event planning and project management, Mindy will plan and execute YWCA Columbus’ two large event fundraisers: Women of Achievement & Activists and Agitators; as well as other important events and projects related to donor relations and engagement. Her work history includes managing events at Thirty-One Gifts and project management at The Ohio State University. Mindy received her B.A. in Sociology from The Ohio State University, where she was also a member of the Women’s Basketball Team. Welcome, Mindy!


Erin Norris is our new Women’s Residency Service Coordinator. Erin recently graduated from Columbus State and was such a positive force as an intern that we decided to keep her with the team. She’s upbeat, super sweet, and great with the residents!

Olivia Caraccilo is our new intern working on grants. She is studying Strategic Communication at The Ohio State University while completing a minor in Professional Writing. She is passionate about women empowerment, racial justice and building a stronger community. After graduation, she plans to make an impact by working at a nonprofit. Olivia loves to sing and has a fat orange cat named Murphy!

Cierra Hall joined YWCA Columbus as a full time Data Specialist in January. She is a graduate of Ohio University with a degree in Human and Consumer Sciences. Cierra is passionate about furthering the mission of YWCA by advocating for social rights, racial justice and women empowerment. Being the first in her family to attend college, Cierra exudes drive, passion and perseverance. With an educational background in community leadership, she pushes for a stronger, more unified society here in Columbus. Throughout her academic career she volunteered at places such as My Sister’s Place, Athens County Food Pantry, The Survivor Advocacy Center and more. Cierra enjoys cooking, painting, hiking and has a playful cat named Otis!


Join the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge

During 2020 many of us made a deeper commitment to challenge the systems that perpetuate racial inequality in our country and around the world. In 2021 we want to challenge you to continue your anti-racist allyship by joining the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge.

The 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits. Each day of the challenge you will be presented with activities that will help you to discover how racial and social injustice impact our community.

YWCA Columbus will launch the 21 Day Challenge on March 1st 2021 as part of a national movement to engage communities in anti-racist work.

Register now

Use the hashtag #YWCAEquityChallenge to share your reflections on social media. You can also share or donate $21 to the 21 Day Facebook Challenge Fundraiser or donate on our website.

Please Welcome the Leadership for Social Change 2021 Cohort

We are so excited to announce the new Leadership for Social Change 2021 Cohort. The participants gathered virtually for the first time during the February Opening Retreat. They spent time getting to know each other and learning more about the YWCA Columbus mission. We can’t wait to see how this amazing group of women will go on to fight for Social Change in our community.

Bright Futures

We’re excited to announce that our next in person Bright Futures program is coming up on March 24, 2021. Sessions will take place at Barrack Recreation Center on Wednesday evenings. We welcome any 7th and 8th grade girls on the southside to join us for 10 weeks of fun discussions and activities centered on social justice concepts and female leadership.

If you know a middle school girl, that would benefit from this program, please contact Belen de Leon at bdeleon@ywcacolumbus.org or 614.407.6574 for more information.

How to be an Anti-Racist Alumni Book Club

YWCA Columbus is dedicated to anti-racist advocacy work and we want you to join us in our efforts to un-learn the racist ideas that perpetuate inequality. Join YWCA Columbus alumni, staff and friends for a discussion of Ibram x. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist on Thursday, May 27th from 5pm – 6:30pm. Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.

In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Register now


Women’s Residency Update

The Women’s Residency is starting groups back for the residents on a small scale, meaning 5 participants max in larger rooms, masks required. Some of these groups include cooking group, trauma-informed yoga, and AA!

The Education Department hit the ground running in 2021 and already has many exciting things to celebrate and share.

We’re proud to recognize our very own Paula Neal as the St. Vincent Family Center’s 2021 Cocoran Award Honoree, nominated for her profound impact on community families and children.  We invite you to join us in celebrating her at the virtual award ceremony on May 14th.

We also are incredibly proud of Becca Meacham, who has been selected to be a member of the 2021 Leadership for Social Change cohort, which is dedicated to empowering the next generation of advocates. We know Becca’s passion and deep commitment to the mission of the YWCA make her an ideal candidate this program- Good Luck Becca!

Finally, we’re excited to celebrate being awarded a NASA Grant for our 2021 Summer Day Camp which will allow us to provide expanded learning opportunities to summer campers through additional curriculum, technology and resources, such as rocket kits, a computer lending library, and GoPros! A huge shoutout to the members of the Kids Place STEM Committee who put in the hard work to win this grant, including Marjorie Buie-Collard, Jenn Hannah, Nichelle Harris, Chris Hickernell, and Mary Rogers.

Summar preparations are well underway, and we’re excited to open registration this coming Monday, March 1. A huge thank you to the hard work of Laura Carpenter and Melanie Henterly for their amazing work. We’re also looking forward to significant developments in our curriculum project, new Technology Office Hours from Liz Kittner, and our upcoming Lunch & Learn series launching late March to provide additional professional development on staff-selected topics!

The Family Center staff have not missed a beat. Their dedication has never faltered! We had our first all-staff meeting of 2021, where we celebrated the outstanding work being accomplished every day. Clyde Watson shared his 28-year journey with us from double Dutch to maintenance and all the other job titles he has held. His journey is one of dedication, wisdom, hard work, love, compassion, and selflessness. The YWCA is blessed to have Clyde as a part of our team! Thank you, Clyde, for being such an inspiration to us all!


– YWCA Columbus in the News –


Go here to always see the latest YWCA Columbus News.

NEW! 10TV Anchor, Molly Brewer interviewed Michael Corey, executive director of the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County and one of our women residents about the importance of giving this holiday season. Watch the segment here. (November 12)

NEW! Nichelle Harris, managing director of education and Elizabeth Kittner, Mifflin Presbyterian site director were interviewed by ThisWeek Community News about how YWCA Kids Place is complementing learning models in the Gahanna-Jefferson and Westerville school districts as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Read the article here. (October 29)

Christie Angel spoke with The Columbus Dispatch about new legislation that would prohibit landlords from denying housing to potential tenants because of their source of income, such as federal housing vouchers. Read it here. (October 27)

Spectrum News 1 interviewed Nichelle Harris about YWCA Kids Place Programs. The segment titled, “YWCA Kids Place Program Gains Footing To Help Families After Teacher Strike” was posted online and broadcast on TV. You can watch it here. (October 26)

YWCA Columbus submitted an op-ed to The Columbus Dispatch for consideration written by YWCA Columbus Board Alumni Member Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt. Read it here. (October 26)

Columbus Dispatch interviewed Jillian Olinger and Activists and Agitators headliners, Austin Channing Brown and Barbara Fant. Read the article here. (October 13)

Columbus Navigator interviewed Jillian Olinger about Activists and Agitators. Read the article here. (October 7)

Columbus Business First Interviewed Jillian Olinger about the expansion of our leadership and social justice team, new DE&I offerings, and Activists and Agitators. Read the article here. (October 6)

Columbus Parent Magazine interviewed Paula Neal and Jillian Olinger about our work, what they do for YWCA Columbus, and why teaching diversity to children is important (article was featured in the October issue)

Buckeye Lifestyle Magazine mentioned featured to Women of Achievement and published photos from our event mentioning YWCA Columbus. (October Issue)

614 Magazine interviewed Jillian Olinger and Activists and Agitators headliner, Austin Channing Brown. Read the article here. (September 29)

Laura Miller was interviewed by ABC 6 about our distance learning program in Westerville. Watch the segment here. (aired on September 11 and posted online September 14)

Columbus Alive featured Christie Angel as part of The Edge Sisters, a powerful group of women pushing for change. Read the article here. (August 19, 2020)

Columbus Underground featured our voter registration phone banking event here. (August 18, 2020)

Columbus Underground wrote a roundup piece about Olentangy River Brewing’s Black is Beautiful beer collaboration with proceeds benefiting YWCA Columbus. (August 10, 2020)

Spectrum News 1 Ohio interviewed Christie Angel for their Voices for Change series, where activists, leaders, and community members share what has brought them to action and how addressing racial discrimination will create a better world for everyone. Watch the segment here. (July 1, 2020)

Christie Angel pens a piece dedicated to giving voice to the community around the BLM movement, the protests that occurred, and the way forward for the July edition of 614 Magazine.

Christie Angel discusses summer camp for children staying at our Family Center in the Columbus Dispatch. Read it here. (June 30, 2020)

Columbus Navigator interviewed Caroline Woliver on how to fight systemic racism and be anti-racist. Read it here. (June 29, 2020)

Columbus Business First featured YWCA Columbus within an article about Homage. Read it here. (June 16, 2020)

Forbes.com covered that Franklin County declared racism to be a public health crisis, and featured YWCA Columbus and Christie Angel, alongside other community leaders, throughout the article. You can read the full piece here. (June 12, 2020)

FOX28 Good Day Marketplace featured Christie Angel as part of The Big Give. Watch the segment here. (June 8, 2020)

The Columbus Dispatch covered how YWCA Columbus is working on action steps toward racial equity change alongside other organizations in Columbus. Read the full article here. (June 7, 2020)

Columbus Business First covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. Watch as nonprofit and religious leaders announce their initial agenda to reform practices that create and protect a culture of systemic racism in Central Ohio, and read the Columbus Business First coverage here. (June 2, 2020)

FOX28 covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. View their online piece here. (June 2, 2020)

ABC6 covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. Read their news release here. (June 2, 2020)

The Columbus covered the Coalition of African American Leaders’ press conference that unveiled a plan to combat racism in Central Ohio. Read the article here. (June 2, 2020)

Caroline Woliver, our Director of Leadership and Social Justice participated in an interactive conversation on race and solidarity featuring several local community leaders. You can watch it here. (June 2, 2020)

10TV covered the press conference hosted by Columbus City Council to bring together community leaders to share their thoughts on the protests in downtown Columbus. Caroline Woliver, our Director of Leadership and Social Justice participated in the presser. Watch the presser here, and the news coverage here.  (May 29, 2020).

Spectrum News1 Interviewed YWCA Columbus, Chief Mission Officer, Jillian Olinger about declaring racism a public health crisis. Watch the segment here. (May 17, 2020).

Grange Insurance Announces Additional $1 Million Donation to Nonprofits for COVID-19 Pandemic Support. Read the announcement here. (May 19, 2020)

NBC4 Anchor, Colleen Marshall interviewed Paula Johnson Neal, our Safe & Sound Childcare Program Administrator at our Family Center about the struggles homeless children are facing during this pandemic. Watch the segment here. (April 23, 2020)

Christie was featured as a guest on Columbus Business First’s Crisis Management Podcast. She discusses racial disparities in public health among the pandemic. Read and watch the interview here. (April 23, 2020)

Columbus Business First also covered our Women of Achievement Online Celebration. Read the article here. (April 22, 2020)

Columbus CEO published Jillian Olinger’s op-ed titled: “COVID-19: ‘The equalizer’ highlights our inequities and racism should be declared a public health crisis.” The piece highlights how coronavirus is hitting black communities harder, and it includes action items to address the specific needs of communities of color as we fight to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can read it by clicking here. (April 14, 2020)

The Columbus Dispatch included YWCA Columbus in a roundup story for supporting a bond issue that will raise $300 million for capital improvements to Columbus State Community College’s campus. You can read the full article here.