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March 2020

This Month’s Birthday Spotlight: Mary rogers

1 Mary Rogers
3 Ryan Kennedy
5 Jason Young
8 Pamela Yates
8 Allyson Pitts
9 Mariah Davis
10 Yvonne McBroom

11 Jacquline Johnson
11 Christina Reed
15 Michelle Chapman
17 Deborah Huth
17 Betty Markel
19 Cynthia Galloway
20 Roselan Williams

21 Anita Rastogi
23 Andrea Wetherell
24 Rebecca Dowling-Fitzpatrick
24 Amanda Doane
27 Nicollette Lambert
30 Ruth Messbarger


Khristopher Ross-Wilcox
Roselan Williams

Michelle Hameed

Debra Garett

Stevi Chiles

Kenneth Yahnke

Krista Faist

Elaine Colna

This month’s anniversary spotlight: Ken Yahnke


Ken has been a valued member of the Family Center team for 6 years. He has held a variety of positions in both the Security and Family Support departments, and is currently a Shift Supervisor on 3rd shift. Ken is a generous, kind person who is held in high regard by his colleagues and is well respected by our residents for his calm, consistent support.

Ken is an avid world traveler and has made trips  with his family to Europe and Canada, combining both hiking adventures with his kids,  and comfortable lodge stays for his mother.   Ken’s next vacation is scheduled for April to beautiful, far away New Zealand!


Goodbye and Good Luck to:

Stephani Reid

Changing Role to a Part-Time Position:

Kate Manofsky Anderson
Senior Communications Specialist

Assistant Teachers

Jatiah Balls
Janice Tunstall
Jasmine Whitney

Program Assistant

Dionne Murray

Women's Residency Engagement Specialist

Whitney Garrett

YKP Site Director

Bianca Daniels


carolineCaroline Joins Commission on Black Girls

Director of Leadership & Social Justice, Caroline Woliver, was recently appointed to the City of Columbus’s Commission on Black Girls. Councilmember Priscilla Tyson established the Commission on Black Girls to study and assess the quality of life of Black Girls in Central Ohio. The Commission is working to develop and implement recommendations to ensure opportunities, successful futures, and the achievement of a high quality of life for Black Girls (11-22) in Columbus. We are thrilled to have YWCA Columbus represented on the Commission and contribute to this important work.

A Message from our Mission Motivator

Jillian Olinger

Ever since I attended the first Primary trauma training back in November, I’ve been reflecting on three words: Time, Power, and Choice. While I’ve attended and learned something new, or gained deeper insights, from all four of the Primary trauma trainings, those three words and concepts have remained.

Time. We always have a few more seconds available to us to choose an empathic response to a situation than we often think we have. Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, used what he later called “the last of the human freedoms” to survive; that is, his freedom to choose how he would respond to his environment, no matter how torturous or circumscribed it was. He summarized this model as “Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space lies our growth and freedom.” My shorthand of it is E+R=O, or Event/Environment + Response= Outcome. How can we implement this “human freedom” into our daily interactions with others? Those few extra seconds could be the difference between de-escalating a situation or re-traumatizing a client (even inadvertently or unconsciously), between acting from a place of compassion or from a place of anger or frustration.

Power. This is a really complicated concept, especially when we are working with trauma survivors. When we are in control, we might feel safer, but do others? I have been giving a lot of thought to that question, and we had some conversation about this at the last Family Center training, the relationship between control and safety.  I love the perspective one of our staff members shared at a training about shared power: “If I’m in a conversation with a client, they don’t have control anywhere else in this building. But they should have control in this conversation.” To move from being trauma-informed to trauma-sensitive (i.e. we change our attitude and behavior towards clients, put into practice the lessons we are learning about how trauma impacts the mind and body and manifests in behavior) requires that we move from a position where we maintain a tight grip on power, to one where we share power, have a looser grip. There is a possibility that if we share power, people may feel safer, and how might that then have a ripple effect on clients and staff? As we learned in the training, complex trauma happens in relationships, it involves another person(s). Therefore, healing can only happen in relationships. And a healthy, supportive relationship by definition cannot be premised on one-sided power.

Choice. Choice is everything– the choices we offer our clients and residents, and the choices we make in our response/decisions. For me, this relates also to how we are creating a physically and psychologically safe environment, and for this type of environment to exist requires the availability of choice. How are we bringing about choice in our interactions with resident and clients, even in tense situations? What does true choice look like? These are questions I hope we ponder as a team. One quote form the training materials that really resonated with me was the following by Judith Herman:

“No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her best interest.”

Excerpt from Trauma and Recovery, 1992

The reframe of that quote: Choice fosters empowerment. Empowerment fosters recovery. And at the YWCA, we are about empowerment. continue >

These themes have relevance not just for our immediate service delivery work, but also for our macro advocacy work, for delivering on our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote dignity for all. I was very pleased to see the new additions to the ACE pyramid—it opens up a whole new understanding of our history as a country and our present day challenges and outcomes as it relates to the intergenerational transfer of trauma. It says that even before an individual may start experiencing those items on the traditional ACE assessment (for example, experience of abuse, divorce, neglect, substance abuse in the house), if you are born into poverty (social conditions/local context), or have historical trauma (a history of slavery, regardless how many generations have passed), then you are already on this pyramid.

Childhood Experiences

In our advocacy work, trauma research calls on us to make time and space: to be self-aware of our responses, to act from a place of compassion, to move toward proactivity and away from reactivity (or those autopilot responses), maybe even to shine a light on and question our implicit biases. It calls on those with power to share power. In a recent talk by dr. john a. powell, an expert in civil rights and liberties, he described how “white supremacy” is in fact a redundancy—whiteness has always been defined as power, and to build a culture of belonging (instead of othering) requires that we rethink whiteness, and understand that racism is a white problem. And finally, choice. We must understand our history of and present day perpetuation of oppressive systems that by definition (severely) limit choice for people of color and other marginalized groups in our country. We see examples of this everywhere: in voter suppression; in affordable housing and “NIMBYism”; in attacks on reproductive rights.

As your Chief Mission Officer, I am committed to helping create a culture of trauma sensitivity, in the programs we offer at the YWCA, in the work we do in advocating for just policies and systems in our community, and in supporting the staff who are on the front lines working with trauma survivors every day. Series 2 trauma trainings will take a closer look at the impact of secondary trauma (also known as burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma). I will be prioritizing this as well this year.

I look forward to working with all of you to make these goals a reality.


YWCA staff members: Did you know you can attend Women of Achievement? How? Sign up as a volunteer! On April 22nd, YWCA Columbus will celebrate our 35th Anniversary and welcome our 35th class of Women of Achievement. Click here to learn more about the event. Sign up to volunteer below.


Celebrate the 2020 Census With Us!

The data collected through the 2020 census impacts so many factors that contribute to our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women such as job creation, housing, childcare and education funding, representation in government and more.

It is time for us to make sure everyone in our community is counted and gets the resources they deserve, including you! We’re asking all YWCA staff to do your part by filling out the census on or before National Census Day on April 1st. For more information on the census click here.


 And that is why we are celebrating staff and resident completion of the 2020 Census with pizza and poetry on April 24th from 2:30-5:30pm.

This year’s Stand Against Racism event #YWomenCount will gather YWCA staff and residents of our supportive housing program and family shelter together to celebrate your completion of the census through a creative writing poetry workshop led by local spoken word artist, Barbara Fant.

Barbara will help us to express our inner value and our value to society through the writing prompt, My Voice Counts. Participants will then have the opportunity to share their poetry during an open mic. Click here for more information.

We would love to see you at this event. You can RSVP by clicking here!


Columbus families struggle to overcome homelessness (Columbus Dispatch, February 8)
An annual count of the nation’s homeless shows a continuing decline in the number of families with children who have no place to go. But in Columbus, the trend is moving in the opposite direction.

Spectrum News
Caroline Woliver, our Director of Leadership and Social Justice programs and Jenny Hauck from Wolf’s Ridge Brewing were interviewed by Orie Givens from Spectrum News 1 about the International Women’s Day Fundraiser taking place on March 8 at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing. This story aired on Monday, and was posted online today. You can view the segment here.

Good Day Columbus
On March 8, Caroline will also participate in an in-studio media opportunity on Good Day Columbus (WTTE FOX28). Jenny from Wolf’s Ridge Brewing and Caroline will share information on our International Women’s Day partnership, shedding light on women in the craft brewing industry and on the work the YWCA is doing to elevate women in Columbus, particularly through our Leadership for Social Change program. Tune in on March 8 around 8:45am.

Kudos to Loren Martin and Debbie Delzell who have worked to get the new EZ Child Track system up and running and ready in time for Summer Registration. They are re-thinking the way we do business and gathering the troops for meeting after meeting after meeting.  Thanks for all that you’re doing….the results will be awesome!

Additional Kids Place Shout outs:

In Westerville, Ontayya Zachary, site director at Hawthorne Elementary Kids Place was the site director of the month in January for her flexibility in moving her storage space with ease and being such a great team player throughout the process. Pamela Yates was chosen as the Program Assistant of the month because of her flexibility in subbing all around Westerville.

In Gahanna, Rebecca Rice, site director at Royal Manor Elementary Kids Place, deserves a shout out for the wonderful Valentine’s party she and her team held for their students and families. Liz Kittner, site director at Mifflin Presbyterian Kids Place, also deserves a shout out for the amazing Talent Show she and her kiddos put on this past month. In addition, Mariah Davis was chosen as Gahanna’s Program Assistant of the month. Way to go, Mariah!


Go Kiva, Go Kiva, Go!

The fitness room is up and running on the 6th floor for the residents because Kiva was on a mission to make it happen!