A- A A+


November – December 2020

Hello YWCA family!

We are at the end of 2020; we made it! While this pandemic has taken a heavy toll and asked a lot of each of us, but especially of our front line staff, it has not slowed us down on the advocacy front. In fact, the pandemic and the social unrest around police brutality over this summer—and has hit home hard with the killing of Casey Goodson. Jr most recently in our community–have only amped up our efforts. I am excited to share a few updates with you all on the advocacy front.

First, we are so excited to welcome our first ever policy analyst, Lalitha Pamidigantam. She comes with a background in community organizing, advocacy, and public policy, and has already jumped into the work with eagerness and ideas. Stay tuned—you will be hearing more from her in the coming months!

We also spent time this summer and fall working with our Advocacy Committee to finalize a new advocacy agenda to guide our efforts over these two years. Please visit our updated Advocacy page (thank you Laura!) for all of the updates.  We are ready for 2021 and pushing our community to put words to action, especially around police reform, declaring racism as a public health crisis, regional affordable housing, and increasing Black home-ownership opportunities. Know that your YWCA is at these tables, and we continue to be a sought out partner to ensure equity is a priority in all of these efforts.

And finally, we just launched part 1 of our new trainings program– our racial equity 101 training, a condensed version of A&A that includes companion materials for individuals and small groups to do self-guided learning. We encourage you all to view the video as part of your own development, and will be including it in our onboarding of new staff moving forward. You can access the video page here. Video password is Yonamission65!

Please always feel free to reach out to me if you are interested in learning more about any of the things I have outlined here. Thank you for your commitment to the work and to our community during this challenging year. Be safe and take care of yourselves as we close out the year, and welcome a new one with hope for turning a corner to recovery, and making meaningful progress on the issues that matter for our community.

Be well,



A Quick Note about Staff Celebrations:

Back when we changed the YWConnect schedule to come out every two months (instead of monthly) we ended up behind in birthdays and anniversaries in every edition–not cool! In an effort to move us ahead, so we can better plan for these employee celebrations, we’ve opted to showcase January and February celebrations in this edition and will now be ahead in every edition. If you’d like to see the past November and current December celebrations please go here.

Speaking of celebrations: On Sunday, December 13, we welcomed this little bundle of joy into the YWCA Family:

Kate Manofsky Anderson Had a Baby Boy!

Charles (Charlie) Bradley Anderson was born Sunday at 9:04am. He’s 7lbs 10 oz. Mom says they are happy and doing well! Kate will be home with baby until March 1.


January Birthdays

1   Amina Yerrow
2   Claresha inay Woodard
2   Justis Michael Davis
4   Regina Davidson
15 Abigail Ann Eckman
15 Kristyn Manchester
18 Mandi Buchwald
19 Renee Morrison
19 Alexa Bush
19 William Stevenson
21 Amos Li
23 Fredrick Phells
25 Warapat Long
29 Wayne Deal

February Birthdays

1   Sally Ristucci
1   Sonya Todd
1   Keith Hall
1   Ericka McFarland
3   Nancy Evans-Freed
3   Connie Matheson
3   Kylene Davis
4   Christie Angel
9   Paula Neal
9   Vuanita Hill
10 Ebony Domingo
11 Walter Stevens
12 Fawn Hill
13 Katherine Taylor
17 Linda Cox
21 Stacy McLain
23 Deborah Turner
24 Celine Roulet
24 Naomi Merino
26 Rebecca Meacham
26 Loren Martin
27 Linda Kieffer


January Anniversaries

Kristyn Manchester
Ericka McFarland
Phillip Grissett

Alexa Bush
Jillian Olinger

Lauren James

Deborah Turner

Katherine Taylor

Keith Hall

Valerie Henthorn

Debbie Delzell

February Anniversaries

Bianca Daniels
Dionne Murray
Janice Tunstall
Whitney Garrett

Judy Peterson

Stephanie Bland
Cheryl Glenn

Jerome Burger
Wayne Deal



We are so excited to welcome so many new staff members!



Additionally, please welcome…

The YWCA Education Department would like to welcome our new YKP Gahanna Program Administrator, Justis Davis. Justis comes to us from the YWCA Marion. Justis and his wife live in Powell with their cat and dog. We would also like to take this time to again recognize Mandi Buchwald for her past leadership in this position. Mandi will be assuming the Site Director role at the Westerville United Community Church All Day program. We are fortunate to be able to have her continue with us as a valued member of the education team!

Also welcome to Ebony Domingo, the Family Center’s Academic Support Specialist. Ebony has been working with students who are residing at the family center to make sure that they have the academic resources they need to be successful during remote learning. This is a very trying time for students and families, so we are glad to have Ebony’s support!

Program Assistants

Celine Roulet
Kylene Davis
Chadae Braswell
Emily Brehm

Family Support Specialists

Jerry Valentine
Claresha Woodard

Regina Davidson
Assistant Preschool Teacher


LaShawn Stewart
Engagement Specialist

Devan Adams
Custodial Technician

Renee Morrison
Service Coordinator

James Dumas
Security Assistant

Tessa Blake
Workforce Development Specialist



5 Stars Verified Once Again to a Stupendous Team!

This month under the leadership of Paula Neal, the Safe & Sound Child Care Center completed the monumental task of submitting the required documentation to verify the center’s 5 star Step Up To Quality rating. We are proud to report that she’s been cleared for a 5 star rating for the next 3 years! Go Paula and the Safe & Sound team!




tracyName: Tracy Tart [AKA: Mover & Shaker]
Formal Title: Human Resource Generalist

Q: What do you do?
TT: My main functions are payroll and benefits, occasionally interviewing and onboarding when needed.

Q: What impact do you think your job has on the organization?
TT: Knowing no matter what is currently going on, staff is assured payroll and benefits will not come to a halt

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
TT: To put it simply; helping. Letting staff know, yes, although we are working during different times, my job, my goal is to assure them “we will get through this together”

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
TT: I appreciate every email, text, and phone call from staff checking on me. I have the privilege of working with and supporting AMAZING people!

LisaName: Lisa Skelly
[AKA: Keeper of Useless Trivia]
Formal Title:
Human Resource Generalist

Q: What do you do?
LS: I either search for or assist managers with searching for the best candidates for each of their open positions, aiming to find not only the most qualified people, but those who embrace and exemplify our mission.

Q: What impact do you think your job has on the organization?
LS: Bringing in people that are qualified and have a passion for what we do helps us continue to positively impact the lives of those we serve each and every day.  Every time we make a new hire I get excited to introduce that person everyone behind the scenes, we work with such a dynamic and amazing group of people!

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
LS: My favorite part of my job is actually making an offer.  People are always super excited, and giving good news is the best feeling ever!

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
LS: I miss seeing everyone’s faces!


The generosity of our community has been overwhelming and appreciated!

Thanks to the generosity of the Columbus community, our Center for Women residents had gifts to open this holiday season! All of our women residents were ‘adopted’ by community members, and our staff was able to deliver the donated gifts in a safe way Wednesday evening. Also, thank you to Tremont Goodie Shop for donating the beautiful cupcakes!

The residents also had a door decorating contest!

– 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.