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may 2020

This Month’s Birthday Spotlight: Flannery Mack

01  Jillian Olinger
02  Patricia Murray
06  Felicia Burney
06 Kanesha Turner
07 Lillian Haddox
07 Adrienne Lee-Garland

08  Elizabeth Kittner
09  Danyel Brown
10  Montavious Cowart
Kathleen Athey
14  Oriana Brenzo
18  Angela Walls
21  Laura Miller

22  Bryan Williams
23  Flannery Mack
27  Collin Combs
28  Lisa Skelly
30  Dan Hook
31  Nakita Wilson

Rolana Kinzer

Jamie Randle
Christina Reed

Loren Martin
Yvonne McBroom

Tamika Brown
Barbara Freeman
Adrienne Lee-Garland
Connie Matheson

Donna Connelly

Mandi Buchwald

This month’s anniversary spotlight: Mandi Buchwald


An Unprecedented Women of Achievement
Online Celebration

Wednesday, April 22 was the day the Women of Achievement Luncheon was supposed to take place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. To commemorate the day, in partnership with Plentiful, the Marketing and Communications and Development teams created an unprecedented online celebration to keep the spirit of Women of Achievement alive. They asked community members to learn more about this year’s honorees, thank the women who’ve changed their lives, and support YWCA Columbus’s mission through a Facebook fundraiser. The team set a goal of $35,000 to align with the 35th year of Women of Achievement, and in total, the team raised $55,565 with over 255 people donating to cause. Laura Carpenter, Mackenzee Burton, Jessica Wichtman-Will, Kate Manofsky Anderson, Naomi Merino and Christie Angel knocked it out of the park! Thank you for all of your hard work on creating an amazing campaign! You can view the full campaign on Facebook and our website.

Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

During the COVID-19 pandemic YWCA Columbus continues to fight for communities of color who are experiencing compounded racialized inequities even more intensely due to the coronavirus. Systemic racism has long impacted the economic, sociopolitical, physical and mental health of communities of color. In an effort to address these disparities, YWCA Columbus is working in partnership with The City of Columbus and Columbus Public Health towards declaring racism as a public health crisis, and the impact of COVID-19 only emphasizes this need. Check out Jillian Olinger’s op-ed that was published in Columbus CEO about this topic.


You Can Help Advocate for the Safety of Ohio Inmates

Systemic racism and mass incarceration has led to disproportionate levels of vulnerability to the coronavirus is in our prison system. Over populated detention centers with little resources have led to our prison system representing 20% of Ohio’s COVID-19 cases, and these prisons are disproportionately occupied by people of color. Join YWCA Columbus and SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) in advocating for the health and safety of all incarcerated people by following this phone banking script asking public officials to take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio prisons.

It’s Not Too Late to Fill Out the Census

If you have not yet filled out the 2020 Census please do so by visiting 2020Census.gov. We still plan to reschedule our civic engagement poetry slam celebration for a later date, and we’d love for all YWCA staff to be able to say that they were counted. For more information on the census click here.


HR Announcements

On behalf of the Capital Area Safety Council and the Ohio BWC, YWCA Columbus has earned the Achievement Award. The Achievement Award is granted to companies that decrease their incident rate by at least 15% from the previous year. Special thanks to Dan Hook and his team for attending the monthly Safety Council meetings.

Open enrollment will be happening in June, but due to social distancing, we will be conducting virtual sessions for employees interested in either adding or deleting benefit options. Look for more information within the next couple of weeks.

HR shared free resources available from OsWell Health Management, our benefits broker, to support our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • “SparkTOGETHER is an initiative to offer a wellness portal with several resources including a challenge, coaching services, recipes and at-home workouts to offer support to those in need as we get through the pandemic together and seek new methods of self-care. The program is currently open and already enrolling and the resources will continue through the pandemic. The current end date is May 15, but this will continue to be reevaluated as we continue through the pandemic. We are enrolling any employee who registers immediately to connect with a coach ASAP if they’d like. The resource is also available for people who would like the resources but don’t need a coach.
  • SparkUNPLUG is an initiative to offer weekly mindfulness and meditation practice on Mondays at 12:00-12:15 PM and any of your employees are welcome to join us in attempt to provide a self-care resource now! “

– YWCA Columbus in the News –

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.

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.

Columbus Business First also covered our Women of Achievement Online Celebration. Read the article here.

Columbus CEO published Jillian Olinger’s op-ed (also referenced above). It’s 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.

Jillian, you rock!

Thank you Jillian Olinger for your fearless leadership and for keeping us all stocked on snacks and cleaning supplies! We love you!

Awesome job, Danyel Brown for being was singled out five times by Family Center residents for her awesome work in the third quarter!

Go Data Team Members!

I want to take a moment to recognize our behind-the-scenes heroes, Christina Phalen and her data team members Betty Rickabaugh and Tednita Little, and her grants supporters, Mackenzee Burton and Flannery Mack.

Christina and her team have not missed a beat when it comes to ensuring data entry and quality assurance, a key piece for tracking the performance of our housing programs, and meeting our performance objectives. They transitioned to working from home–not an easy transition given the number of files they need to go through– and set up a process with the Family Advocates and Service Coordinators to continue the flow of information and communication. While we thought 2019 was the Year of Grants, Christina’s grant load has doubled since the pandemic started over this time last year, thanks to a community of funders who recognize the increased need for support while our doors stay open.

So thank you, Christina and team, for keeping our backbone strong during these difficult times!

– Special Shout Outs from Women Residents –

All Women’s Residency staff give 200% to the resident’s wellbeing. A special shout out to my favorite member Miss Torya. She always has a smile she is willing to share.

Kiva Spear works hard to get the client needs met yet she remains calm through it all. Awesome work, Kiva!

Thank you Kiva and Flannery for time and patience. Thank you Roy for flexibility. Thank you for yoga!!

I am very happy to be here at the YWCA because it gives me the time needed to reorganize myself, I am more confident in what I can do and the YWCA helped me to do this. I am doing fine.