Evanston/North Shore

Press Room

YWCA Evanston/North Shore to host gender violence prevention workshop April 27
 


Evanston, IL, March 17, 2017 - YWCA Evanston/North Shore is partnering with Oakton Community College to host a continuing education workshop on the topic "Taking It Personally: Why Gender Violence is an Issue for All Men," from 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday April 27, at the college’s Des Plaines campus, 1600 E. Golf Road (Rooms 1604-1610). The workshop will provide an opportunity for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, addictions counselors, marriage and family therapists, teachers, occupational therapists and other professionals to learn more about how to engage men as allies in preventing gender violence.

Jackson Katz, Ph.D., a cultural therapist renowned for his activism on issues of gender, race and violence, will present the keynote address. Katz is the co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), a long running and influential violence prevention program in North America. He is the key architect of the “bystander” deterrence approach to sexual assault and relationship abuse used in sports culture and the military.

Participants will be introduced to a host of topics including: MVP’s model for general violence, bullying and gay-bashing prevention; new ways to think, talk and write about gender violence; how to incorporate critical media literacy skills to gender violence prevention efforts; and techniques to approach gender violence in racially and culturally competent methods.

Prior to the workshop, participants can enjoy a continental breakfast and networking opportunities starting at 8:30 a.m. Space is limited. Advanced registration is recommended. Before April 10, cost is $80. After April 10, participants will be charged $90. Upon completion, attendees will be eligible for continuing education credits in cultural competency.

Click here for more information.



YWCA Evanston/North Shore to host second Racial Justice Summit April 6-7

 


Evanston, IL, March 13, 2017 — Building on the success of its inaugural event last year, YWCA Evanston/North Shore is hosting a second racial justice summit April 6-7 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Avenue. The event is open to the public.

Titled “(Re)imagining,” this year’s summit focuses on brainstorming new ways to work toward racial justice. It also includes local artists – poets, rappers, musicians – to help foster creativity and innovative ideas.

“The summit is the only one of its kind on the North Shore,” said Donique McIntosh, YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s director of equity and inclusion. “We are interested in engaging as many people as possible, particularly young people, in coming together to imagine new ways to work for change. There is no more ‘business as usual’ with racial justice work. We need to think about doing things differently.”

She added, “This year also has a local focus. Our speaker and our breakout session leaders are all doing innovative things right here in the Chicago area.”

The summit begins on Thursday, April 6, at with a reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by a showcase of artists at 6:30 p.m. On Friday, April 7, the event begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by a keynote address by Charlene A. Carruthers at 9:00 a.m. Carruthers is the national director of Black Youth Project 100, an activist-based organization of black 18-35-year-olds headquartered in Chicago.

Friday’s schedule also includes breakout sessions on racial justice issues, skill building for equity work, and creating action plans.

To learn more about the racial justice summit and sign up to attend, go to www.ywca.org/rjsummit or call 847-864-8445.

 



YWCA Evanston/North Shore set to open longer-term housing for survivors of domestic violence


Evanston, IL, February 9, 2017 -  With the opening of a 16-unit apartment building in Evanston next month, YWCA Evanston/North Shore will become one of very few programs in the state of Illinois to offer longer-term housing and support for survivors of domestic violence.

For over 30 years, YWCA Evanston/North Shore has operated the only comprehensive domestic violence program in northeastern Cook County. YWCA Evanston/North Shore has extensive expertise serving survivors of domestic violence, providing 24-hour crisis intervention, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, and community counseling.

“One of our frustrations has been that without longer-term housing and support, families that leave an emergency shelter often have nowhere to go,” explains Karen Singer, CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “We have helped survivors address the initial crisis and trauma, and we continue to offer counseling, but without another stable place to live, survivors who leave shelter may cycle through other temporary housing/shelter services and programs or return to their abusers.

“Being able to offer another solution to that problem is the realization of a long-held dream, and it will enable us to deepen our impact by enabling survivors of domestic violence to achieve long term stability.”

Central to this longer-term housing program will be services and support provided by YWCA’s Housing and Employment Specialist, who will serve as advisor and coach, offering resources and training and assisting clients in securing the permanent affordable housing and sustained employment that will enable them to move to independence.

This new program is consistent with best practices in the field – move families into stable housing, then target the skills and resources necessary to build a sustainable future.

The first tenants, who will include clients from YWCA’s domestic violence program as well as clients from other domestic violence service providers, are expected to move into the building in mid-March.

While the building renovations are just about complete, there is a desperate need for household items. YWCA Evanston/North Shore has established a gift registry for the purpose of equipping the units with all the necessities a survivor might need before she moves in. Go to http://bit.ly/survivorgifts to find out exactly what’s needed.



YWCA Evanston/North Shore presents "Be Bold: Let's Move the Needle" on March 8

Evelyn Diaz, president of Heartland Alliance, will deliver keynote address at International Women's Day celebration in Evanston.

Evanston, IL, February 6, 2017 — YWCA Evanston/North Shore, in collaboration with other groups, invites the public to participate in “Be Bold: Let’s Move the Needle,” a dynamic evening that includes conversations with women entrepreneurs, artists and law enforcement on women’s economic progress and the journey ahead. The event will be held Wednesday, March 8, at 6:00 p.m. in the Upstairs Theater at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Avenue. 

The wide-ranging program, which commemorates International Women’s Day, also will feature keynote speaker Evelyn Diaz, president of Heartland Alliance, and performances by poets from “Louder Than a Bomb.”

The event is free but reservations are required. The public can learn more and register at www.ywca.org/IWD or by calling 847-864-8445.

“We encourage everyone – men and women, middle-school age to senior citizens – to participate in this event and engage in conversations about women’s economic progress and what each of us can do to support the empowerment of women and families,” said Shannon Callahan, director of women’s leadership and economic advancement at YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

This event is presented by YWCA Evanston/North Shore in collaboration with founding partners: Northwestern University Women’s Center, The Woman’s Club of Evanston, and Evanston Women’s History Project; and community partners: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Evanston North Shore Alumnae Chapter; Evanston Public Library; Evanston Township High School; Family Focus Evanston; Heartland Alliance; League of Women Voters; North Shore Chapter of Links, Inc.; Northwestern University International Office; and Young Chicago Authors.

International Women’s Day, March 8, is a global day recognizing the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 10,000 people annually in northern Cook County. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.

 



YWCA Evanston/North Shore launches Racial Justice Book Group

Evanston, IL, January 30, 2017 — As part of its ongoing effort to engage more people in racial justice work, YWCA Evanston/North Shore is launching a racial justice book discussion group called “AfterWords.”

Everyone – high school age and older – is encouraged to attend, and the first title to be discussed is “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond” by Marc Lamont Hill. YWCA Evanston/North Shore will have 25 loaner copies available at its front desk.

Facilitated discussion sessions will take place at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, and Thursday, March 2, at YWCA Evanston/North Shore, 1215 Church Street in Evanston. Those interested in attending can register at www.ywca.org/AfterWords or by calling 847-864-8445.

“This is a powerful book,” said Donique McIntosh, YWCA’s director of equity and inclusion. “And it’s an important prelude to our racial justice summit in early April, which is about getting people to think more locally about creating a different world.”

She added, “We are calling the book group ‘AfterWords’ because what we do after reading – after the words – is critical. We hope the book will be inspiring to everyone and spur us on to deeper action.”

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 10,000 people annually in northern Cook County. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.



Oswald Roper Memorial Meet Raises $13,500 for Flying Fish Swimming Scholarships

 

Justin Jennings (left) and Johnny Kellams were among the Flying Fish swimmers who competed in the Oswald Roper Memorial Meet in December.

January 5, 2017 - Evanston, IL, Dec. 29, 2016 – YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s Flying Fish swim team held its fourth annual Oswald “Oz” Roper Memorial Meet this month, generating $13,500 for the organization’s “Oz Fund,” which provides financial assistance to families participating in Flying Fish aquatics programs.

The meet was an intrasquad competition held at YWCA Evanston/North Shore and it raised funds through swimmers’ entry fees and a generous donor.

“We never turn anyone away from swim lessons or swim team because they lack resources,” said Pete Caragher, aquatics director at YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “This is why the “Oz Meet” is so important. It’s not only good competitive experience for our young swimmers, it’s how we live out our mission and ensure that all families have access to swimming. It also is a great way to honor the memory of Oz.”

Oswald Roper, who died in 2013, was a longtime swim coach and instructor for the Flying Fish.

Meet results

Multiple event winners included:

  • Lilia Johnson, 8-under girls 25-yard freestyle (17.33), 25-backstroke (21.78), 50 freestyle (43.58);
  • Harrison Boes, 8-under boys 25-freestyle (19.31), 25-backstroke (22.00), 50-freestyle (44.87);
  • Ana Kimball, 9-10 girls 50-freestyle (35.82), 50-breaststroke (46.41), 100-freestyle (1:23.25);
  • Leif Steele, 9-10 boys 50-freestyle (34.32), 100-freestyle (1:18.08);
  • Karolien Van Mieghem, 11-12 girls 50-backstroke (32.89), 100-individual medley (1:11.57);
  • Aaron Martin, 11-12 boys 50-freestyle (27.44), 50-backstroke (30.94);
  • Marcus Van Mieghem, 11-12 boys 50-breaststroke (35.26), 100-individual medley (1:13.57);
  • Lily Consiglio, 13-over girls 50-freestyle (26.65), 100-backstroke (1:09.83), 100-butterfly (1:07.45);
  • Adrian Stankovic, 13-over boys 50-freestyle (26.08), 100-breastroke (1:13.44); and
  • Matt Gibson, 13-over boys 100-backstroke (1:04.64), 100-butterfly (1:05.02).

Other event winners included:

Malia Schoonyoung, 9-10 girls 50-backstroke (42.27); Cadel Saszik, 9-10 boys 50-backstroke (38.76); Evan Lindner, 9-10 boys 50-breaststroke (50.26); Jenna Wild, 11-12 girls 50-freestyle (27.89); Gabriella Cyrus, 11-12 girls 50 breaststroke (36.31); and Kinsey Tench, 13-over girls 100-breaststroke (1:18.81).

With more than 500 swimmers on the Flying Fish swim team and nearly 1,200 in its learn-to-swim program, Flying Fish Aquatics at YWCA Evanston/North Shore is one of the largest aquatics programs in Illinois. Learn more at www.ywca.org/flyingfish.  

.



Philip Garcia Named Violence Prevention Educator


Evanston, IL, November 7, 2016 —  Phillip Garcia has joined the staff of YWCA Evanston/North Shore as a violence prevention educator. In this role, he will focus on working with children and teens to educate them about healthy relationships and boundaries.


Philip Garcia has joined the staff as Violence Prevention Educator

Garcia will be part of the YWCA team working with Evanston/Skokie District 65 to provide sexual abuse education and training in all District 65 schools – a partnership that fulfills the mandate of Erin’s Law, which requires that public schools in Illinois implement child sexual abuse prevention programs.

He also will be involved in Allied Against Violence, a partnership between YWCA Evanston/North Shore and Y.O.U. (Youth & Opportunity United) that aims to prevent violence against women by educating and empowering young men.

“This is an exciting time to be at YWCA Evanston/North Shore,” said Garcia. “I’m impressed by the proactive approach the YW takes, such as working to stop violence before it happens. The YW also sees the intersectionality of racism and sexism. It’s really cool to work at a nonprofit that gets the bigger picture.”

He added, “I’m also excited to include men and boys in this work because I’m passionate about addressing problematic masculinity and gender justice.”

Prior to YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Garcia was employed by Care Communities in Austin, Texas, which serves people living with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses. Prior to that, he worked for a domestic violence shelter in southern Illinois.

A Chicago native, Garcia earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing and his master’s degree in social work from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 10,000 people annually in northern Cook County. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.



YWCA Evanston/North Shore Wins Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge®, Awarded $100,000 to Support Domestic Violence Survivors

 

Members of the Skokie Fire Department pose with the Purple Purse in support of victims of domestic violence. YWCA Evanston/North Shore partners closely with first responders to link survivors with the services they need as quickly as possible.

November 1, 2016 – Evanston-based nonprofit YWCA Evanston/North Shore recently won a $100,000 grand prize grant from The Allstate Foundation, triumphing over nearly 200 nonprofits nationally to win the Purple Purse Challenge. Funds raised will strengthen the community by providing services such as emergency and longer term housing and support, counseling, legal aid and financial education to help victims break free from abusive situations.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore has participated in the competition for the last three years, winning in 2014 and placing second in 2015.

“This is a feat that we could not have accomplished without the support of so many,” said YWCA Evanston/North Shore president and CEO Karen Singer. “We are so grateful to the community of close to 500 donors who gave in support of our comprehensive domestic violence programming.” 

Throughout the challenge, which took place in October, YWCA Evanston/North Shore staged a giant purple purse at various locations throughout the northern suburbs. Visitors to the giant purse had an opportunity to read survivors’ stories and were encouraged to post photos with the purse in support of domestic violence survivors and ending abuse.

Said Singer, “The Purple Purse campaign, which occurred during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, not only helped us financially, it also raised awareness of domestic violence. Calls to our 24-hour domestic violence crisis line and requests for emergency shelter often increase in October – a sign that when more women can name their situation and feel the support of a community, they often can make a call with the belief that they deserve better.”

The money from the contest will go directly to YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s free domestic violence services, which include staffing a 24-hour crisis line, providing safe rooms in the domestic violence shelter for survivors and their children, and expanding longer term housing and workforce training options. It also will help provide trained counselors, financial education, and legal advocacy so that women don’t have to navigate the intimidating process of filing for a court order of protection alone.

The Purple Purse Challenge is part of Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, which aims to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through economic empowerment. In its 12th year, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has educated the public about how financial abuse traps victims in violent relationships. It has also propelled more than 800,000 victims on the path to safety and security, and invested more than $50 million to empower women to break free from abuse through life-changing financial education, job training and readiness, and small business programs.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s 24-hour crisis line at 877-718-1868, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.




Iris Barrios Named Housing Occupancy and Employment Specialist


Evanston, IL, September 13, 2016 — As part of its ongoing expansion of services for survivors of domestic violence, YWCA Evanston/North Shore has named Iris Barrios housing occupancy and employment specialist.


Iris Barrios has joined the YWCA staff as Housing and Employment Specialist

In this newly created position, Barrios will provide housing and employment services to YWCA’s new longer term housing program for domestic violence survivors and their families, which includes a 16-unit apartment building expected to open in early 2017. Barrios also will help clients secure stable employment, providing support with job readiness skills and securing job training and placement, developing resumes, completing applications and preparing for interviews.

“Lack of resources, particularly housing, is such a big obstacle for women who walk into the doors of YWCA seeking help. There just isn’t much housing available for low income families in northern Cook County,” said Barrios. “I’m excited to be part of this new venture that not only addresses housing, but also gives domestic violence survivors the tools they need to rebuild their lives.”

Prior to joining YWCA, Barrios was a national commercial e-recruiter for Kelly Services. She also has a background in child welfare and domestic violence services, serving as bilingual family advocate at A Safe Place/Lake County Crisis Center in Zion, and in various roles at St. A, which contracts with the city of Milwaukee to provide child welfare services.

A native of Highland Park, Barrios is a graduate of St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 10,000 people annually in northern Cook County. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.



YWCA Evanston/North Shore Announces 2016 YWomen Leadership Award Recipients

 
Evanston, IL, August 30, 2016 — YWCA Evanston/North Shore today announced the recipients of its 2016 YWomen Leadership Awards. The awards, which will be presented at the YWomen benefit dinner in Evanston on October 13, recognize women who have made an impact in women’s empowerment, racial justice and social change.

The 2016 YWomen honorees include:

Julie Smolyansky, president and CEO of Morton Grove-based Lifeway Foods. In 2002, at age 27, Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held company. Since then, Smolyansky has not only presided over a period of expansion and growth at Lifeway, she also has used her leadership position to spotlight issues affecting women and girls, including violence against women, human rights, nutrition, and maternal health. Smolyansky has produced several documentaries addressing these topics and she recently founded Test400k, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the nationwide backlog of untested rape kits and advocating for victims of sexual assault.

Evonda Thomas-Smith, director of the Evanston Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout her more than 25-year career in public health, Thomas-Smith has worked to address the social inequities that impact health and improve access to healthcare for all. Her leadership, advocacy and knack for building relationships led to the opening of the Erie Family Health Center, the first federally qualified health center in Evanston, providing access to medical, behavioral and oral health services for thousands of medically underserved families. Thomas-Smith also is a staunch advocate for women’s health. She launched the “Women Out Walking” program in Evanston to encourage healthier lifestyles and physical activity for women.

Amita Lonial, learning experiences manager at the Skokie Public Library. Lonial is interested in the intersection of public libraries and social justice, and she focuses on creating innovative ways to deliver programs and services that build resilient and equitable communities. Last year, she was part of a team that led a four-month program at the Skokie Public Library called “Voices of Race.” This program centered on the exhibit, “RACE: Are We So Different?,” a partnership between the Illinois Holocaust Museum and YWCA Evanston/North Shore. It included reading, conversations and hands-on activities that not only celebrated diversity but also tackled issues of race and racial equity. Lonial is being honored as a YWomen Young Woman of Promise.

The YWomen Leadership Awards were created by YWCA Evanston/North Shore in 2008 to recognize, support and promote women’s leadership and the impact women have in bringing social change to our local communities. Purchase tickets to the event at www.ywomen.gesture.com.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 10,000 people annually in northern Cook County. Learn more at www.ywca.org/evanston.



YWCA Evanston/North Shore and Illinois Holocaust Museum partner to present "Women Hold Up Half the Sky" Exhibition
Opening Event to Feature Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan


Women enrolled in Women for Women International's programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photograph by Les Stone.

Skokie, IL, August 29, 2016 —Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and YWCA Evanston/North Shore are partnering to present the Midwest premiere of a special exhibition at the Museum titled Women Hold Up Half the Sky, which identifies one of the central moral challenges of the 21st century— full equality for the world’s women.

Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the exhibition challenges visitors to take action to improve the lives of women and girls locally and globally. The exhibition was organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

“We’re honored to present this exhibition and programming, not only because it shines a spotlight on gender inequality, but also because it provides opportunities for our community to come together to enact change – here at home and in developing nations,” said Karen Singer, president and CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “Promoting fairness and equity, challenging injustice and racism, and improving the lives of women and girls is the core of our mission at YWCA.”

Compelling stories told through video, audio, art and photographs are woven throughout the cloudlike exhibition space, offering visitors a personal glimpse of current women’s issues taking place both in Chicago and around the world: maternal health, overcoming violence, and human trafficking. Before leaving the exhibition, visitors can take action by connecting with legislators, sharing their experiences on social media, or learn about giving to an organization.

Women Hold Up Half the Sky is moving and uplifting, both in design and content. It beautifully tells the stories of ordinary women who are accomplishing extraordinary things,” said Museum CEO Susan Abrams. “This exhibition seeks to educate and inspire our visitors and allows them the opportunity to take immediate action.”

The exhibition, open September 25, 2016 through January 22, 2017, will include an array of public programming including an opening event on September 25, featuring Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and leadership from Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, and YWCA Evanston/North Shore. Other exhibition programs include gallery talks, a film series, and expert panel discussions that focus on improving understanding of the issues and discussing ways we can all help women “hold up the sky.” Most events are free to the public and all events require reservations at ilholocaustmuseum.org/standup4women.

Key Statistics

  • Every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Out of the 21 million victims of human trafficking globally, 55% are female, and 26% are girls under the age of 18.
Presenting Sponsors: The Allstate Foundation; Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust
Supporting Sponsors: Lance & Brenda Feis; Women’s Leadership Committee of Illinois Holocaust Museum
Contributing Sponsors: Ann & Brian Balusek/Mammel Foundation; ComEd; ITW; Make It Better; Northern Trust
Additional Funders: Judith L. and Robert D. Appelbaum; Bayer Family Foundation; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois; BMO Harris Bank; Carylon Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; Susan & Richard Kiphart; Lori Komisar & Morrie Silverman; Makena Capital Management; Elyce & Mark Metzner; North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; Northwestern University; Desirée Rogers; The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all special exhibitions.

Media Sponsors: Make It Better, WBEZ Chicago

Exhibition Partners: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.- Delta Chi Omega chapter; Evanston Community Foundation; EverThrive Illinois; Healing Hands of Joy; Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago; Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago; National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore Section; North Shore (IL) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; SHALVA

Women Hold Up Half the Sky is organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center transforms the lessons of the Holocaust into current, relevant, and universal lessons in humanity. The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. For more information visit www.ilholocaustmuseum.org.  

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen local communities. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.



It’s Back to (Swimming) School Time

Flying Fish Learn-to-Swim encourages lessons for safety, promotes morning classes for young children

Evanston, IL, August 8, 2016 —As the days of summer wane and thoughts turn to backpacks, lunchboxes and new schedules, Flying Fish Aquatics at YWCA Evanston/North Shore encourages families to think of incorporating swimming lessons into the mix, particularly for young children.

According to YWCA’s Aquatics Director Pete Caragher, one study showed that participation in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88 percent reduction in the risk of drowning for children ages 1-4.

“Swimming is an important safety issue, especially here along the lakefront,” he said. “We are offering a wide variety of classes throughout the day to give families as many options as possible.”

He added, “We’re encouraging people to take advantage of our morning swim classes. This is a great time for young children to learn because they are well rested and full of energy in the morning.”

Families who sign up for a session of weekday morning classes at the Flying Fish this fall will receive a $20 discount, bringing the cost to less than $100.

In addition to weekday mornings, the fall schedule includes weekday afternoon and Saturday classes.

The YWCA Flying Fish Learn-to-Swim program, which is known for the longevity and experience of its instructors, includes a shallow, warm pool and a deeper, cooler pool for long-term progression. The program emphasizes a child-centered approach and fosters a nurturing, family atmosphere. For more information and to register, go to www.ywca.org/learntoswim.

With more than 500 swimmers on the Flying Fish swim team and nearly 1,200 in its learn-to-swim program, Flying Fish Aquatics at YWCA Evanston/North Shore is one of the largest aquatics programs in Illinois. Learn more at www.ywca.org/aquatics.
 



YWCA Evanston/North Shore receives $5,000 from Chicago Foundation for Women


Evanston, IL, July 15, 2016 —YWCA Evanston/North Shore was awarded $15,000 to support its comprehensive domestic violence services from Chicago Foundation for Women, a grant-making organization based in Chicago. The grant was awarded from Chicago Foundation for Women’s Freedom from Violence portfolio, which supports local organizations and community-centered programs that help women break free from violence and rebuild their lives.

“We are grateful for this much needed support and for Chicago Foundation for Women’s ongoing commitment to investing in women,” said Karen Singer, president and CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “The foundation’s goals align with our mission at YWCA to empower women, eliminate racism and build better communities.”

Chicago Foundation for Women is dedicated to increasing resources and opportunities for women and girls in the greater Chicago area. To support its philanthropy, the foundation promotes increased investment in women and girls, raises awareness about their issues and potential, and develops them as leaders and philanthropists. Learn more at www.cfw.org.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen local communities. It offers comprehensive domestic violence services including a 24-hour crisis line (877-718-1868) and an emergency shelter for women and children. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.



Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate Draws More Than 5,000

 

Orlando murders heighten significance of YWCA’s annual event



June 23, 2016 - More than 5,000 runners and walkers participated in YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s 17th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, which was held on Sunday, June 19 along the lakefront in Evanston.

The Race Against Hate honors the legacy of Ricky Byrdsong, former Northwestern University men's basketball coach, who was murdered in 1999 by a white supremacist.
This year’s race took on added significance because of the recent murders in Orlando, Florida. Participants wrote on giant chalkboards positioned near the race course noting that they were racing to end hate crimes and ongoing violence. Their messages also expressed grief for and solidarity with Orlando.

“This race is so relevant because our nation is really grappling with how to deal with all of these hate crimes,” said Sherilyn Byrdsong, widow of Ricky Byrdsong. She also said that the race is a great way for families to teach their children about love, acceptance and understanding. “Love is the way, not hate,” she said.

“In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando, and on this one-year anniversary of the shootings in Charleston, it is more important than ever to honor and remember the legacy of Ricky Byrdsong,” said Karen Singer, president and CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “To do this, we stand, we walk, we race and we act – in unity, as a community – to create a world free from hate, fear and intolerance.”

Added Singer, “When people participate in the Race Against Hate they are doing something tangible to make a difference. The race is the biggest fundraiser of the year for YWCA Evanston/North Shore and all proceeds go directly toward our work in violence prevention and racial justice.”

Although the event drew thousands from Chicago, Evanston and other North Shore communities, it also included participants from across Illinois, as well as 20 other states and three countries.

Learn more about YWCA’s racial justice and violence prevention work.

RESULTS:

5K

The top overall male finisher in the 5K was WILLIAM HAGUE, who finished with a time of 15:00. MATTHEW BLUME was second in 15:09, and MATT MAROL was third in 15:29. The top three female finishers in the 5K were COLUMBA MONTES, 18:47, MIMI SMITH, 18:55, and JENNIFER PFAFF, 19:13.

The top male masters finisher (over 40) was JEFF HOJNACKI, 16:29. The top female masters finisher was MICHELLE ROGERS, 20:30. The top male finisher, 70 and over, was WILL VAN DYKE, 25:01, and the top female, 70 and over, was PENNY MCCREIGHT, 33:26

10K

The top overall male finisher in the 10K was CHRISTOPHER SCHMIDT, 35:03. Second was JOSEPH DADABO, 36:12, followed by ADDISU DOWLING-BROWN, 36:52. The top three female finishers in the 10K were LAURA BATTERINK, 36:21, COLLEEN BAKER, 39:42, and APRIL LIKHITE, 40:13.

The top male masters finisher (over 40) was MICK BROWN, 37:52, and the top female masters finisher was JULIE SNOW, 46:41. The top male finisher, 70 and over, was ROBERT BULSTER, 56:06, and the top female finisher, 70 and over, was PATRICIA SARAC, 1:16:27.

Complete results can be found at www.mychicagoathlete.com. The 17th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate will take place on June 18, 2017.



Shannon Callahan Named Women’s Leadership and Economic Advancement Director at YWCA Evanston/North Shore

 

Shannon Callahan has joined the YWCA staff as Women's Leadership and Economic Advancement Director. 

Evanston, IL, June 14, 2016 — As it continues to expand its economic empowerment services, YWCA Evanston/North Shore has announced the appointment of Shannon Callahan as women’s leadership and economic advancement director. Her responsibilities will include working with women, including domestic violence survivors, to help them attain housing and economic stability.

“The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay in or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free,” said Karen Singer, CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “With the addition of Shannon to our staff, we are deepening our commitment to tackling this issue. We will be able to work with domestic abuse survivors – and all women in the community – to help them attain the skills and resources needed to build more secure futures.”

Said Callahan, who has a background in adult education and workforce development, “This is an exciting opportunity to work with women and give them the tools they need to make their own choices – to secure stable housing and employment and become self-sufficient for the long term.”

Prior to joining YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Callahan was director of education and employment at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 10,000 people annually in northern Cook County. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.

***************************




YWCA Evanston/North Shore “Relay for Oz” Raises $25,000

 

Oswald "Oz" Roper was an instructor and coach for YWCA Flying Fish Aquatics for almost 20 years.

Funds generated cover swim lessons for 200 children

Evanston, IL, June 14, 2016 — YWCA Evanston/North Shore held its fourth annual “Relay for Oz” on June 4-5, generating $25,000 for the “Oz Fund,” which provides financial assistance to children in YWCA’s Flying Fish aquatics program. The amount raised is enough to cover a full session of swim lessons for 200 children who might otherwise not have access.

The “Oz Fund” is named for beloved swim coach and instructor Oswald Roper, who died in 2013 after serving as an integral part of the Flying Fish aquatics program for nearly 20 years.

More than 150 current Flying Fish swimmers, former swimmers, parents, community members and YWCA staff participated in the event, which was a continuous relay of five lanes of swimmers over a 24-hour period. Swimmers swam in relay “shifts” of 30 minutes or one hour.

“There is no better way to honor Oswald,” said Pete Caragher, YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s aquatics director and head coach of the Flying Fish. “Through the Oz Relay and the Oz Fund, we are able to continually expand our outreach to children who might not otherwise learn to swim or participate in aquatics. Swimming is beneficial in many ways, but in a lakefront community like ours, it’s also an important public health and safety issue.”

Added Karen Singer, CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore, “Oswald touched so many lives. The willingness of so many people from our staff, the team and our community, some of whom are not regular swimmers, to do something difficult and uncomfortable to raise money for children who don’t have those opportunities, reveals both how loved he was and how connected people are to our mission. It’s a great legacy to Oz.”

YWCA Evanston/North Shore is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women, and Flying Fish Aquatics aligns with that mission by providing access and inclusion to all. To learn more about Oswald Roper or donate to the Oz Fund, go to www.ywca.org/Oz.



YWCA Evanston/North Shore Adds to Domestic Violence Staff

 

Sandy T. Williams has joined the YWCA staff as Domestic Violence and Residential Services Director.

Evanston, IL, May 9, 2016 — YWCA Evanston/North Shore has announced that Sandy T. Williams has joined its staff as domestic violence residential and community services director. In this newly created position, she will oversee YWCA’s emergency domestic violence shelter as well as services for women in the community who have not left their abusers. She also will be involved in launching a new program for survivors that will provide longer term housing and support.

“I am excited to build on the great work that has been done at YWCA Evanston/North Shore,” said Williams, a marriage and family therapist with a master’s degree in public administration. “I want to look at new opportunities, strengthen community resources, address the effects of trauma on individuals, and deepen our impact.”

Said CEO Karen Singer, “Sandy has a wealth of experience working with families, the homeless and other vulnerable populations, so we’re thrilled that she’s joining us we expand our programs and services to meet the needs of women and children who experience domestic violence.”

Prior to joining YWCA, Williams was director of development for Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC) in Chicago.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 10,000 people annually in northern Cook County. For more information, go to www.ywca.org/evanston.

***************************



YWCA Flying Fish swimmers take fourth at national invitational



The senior girls 200-yard medley relay team of Ingrid Wefing, Ana Woods, Sophia Girgenti and Mary Claire D’Arrigo finished third with a time of 1:50.71.

April 18, 2016 - The 56 swimmers representing the YWCA Flying Fish finished fourth at the Sun Kissed Invitational Jr/Sr Swimming Championships of the USA, which was held in suburban Charlotte, N.C., April 7-10. This was the largest group to qualify for this national meet since the Evanston-based Flying Fish were launched in 1994.

The top individual finishers for the Flying Fish included Aidan Dillon, who took first place in the senior boys 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:44.94. Dillon also placed second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:44.05, and second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:46.50. Evan Ziolkowski took third place in the senior boys 200 freestyle with a time of 1:44.06, and second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.65.

In the breaststroke events, Ana Woods placed second in both the senior girls 100- and 200-yard races, clocking in at 1:05.11 and 2:26.41, respectively, while Ethan Lim took second in the senior boys 100-yard race with a time of 1:00.18.

Clio Hancock also earned a trip to the podium with a third-place finish in the senior girls 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:37.99.

In the medley relay events, the senior boys 400-yard medley relay team of C.J. Smith, Ethan Lim, Sean McGuire and Evan Ziolkowski placed first with a time of 3:32.98. The same group teamed up for the 200 medley relay and finished second with a time of 1:37.89. The senior girls 200-yard medley relay team of Ingrid Wefing, Ana Woods, Sophia Girgenti and Mary Claire D’Arrigo finished third with a time of 1:50.71.

In the freestyle relays, Ana Woods, Anna Topping, Mary Claire D’Arrigo and Sophia Girgenti finished second in the senior girls 200-yard event with a time of 1:37.99, a new team record. Aidan Dillon, Sean McGuire, Tommy Hackley and Evan Ziolkowski teamed up for third place in the senior boys 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:16.83.

With more than 500 swimmers on the Flying Fish swim team and nearly 1,200 in its learn-to-swim program, Flying Fish Aquatics at YWCA Evanston/North Shore is one of the largest aquatics programs in Illinois. Learn more at www.ywca.org/flyingfish.



Racial Justice Summit Set for May 5-6 in Evanston


Brittney Cooper and Robin DiAngelo are the keynote speakers for the May Racial Justice Summit.

As part of its commitment to engaging as many people as possible in racial justice work, YWCA Evanston/North Shore will host a racial justice summit on May 5 and 6 titled “Mirrors and Methods: Tools for Creating Racial Equity.” The event, which is open to the public, will be held at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road in Evanston.

The summit begins on Thursday, May 5, with a reception at 5:45 p.m. and a keynote address at 7:00 p.m. by Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D. DiAngelo’s area of research is whiteness studies. She is the author of “What Does it Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy,” and serves as a consultant and trainer.

The session on Friday, May 6, begins with a breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and a keynote address by Brittney Cooper, Ph.D., at 8:45 a.m. Cooper is assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers. Also known as “Professor Crunk,” she is considered a next generation black intellectual and is a well-known public speaker and commentator.

Topics include whiteness, black feminism, and building connections and community

On Friday, the summit, which will conclude at 3:30 p.m., will include lunch and breakout sessions with additional speakers and facilitators, including Rev. Velda Love, Patrick Keenan-Devlin, and representatives from Evanston Township High School who will talk about the power of affinity groups.

“Our keynote speakers are unique and exciting,” said Donique McIntosh, co-director of the racial justice program at YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “There aren’t many scholars who focus on whiteness, like Dr. DiAngelo does, and Dr. Cooper is an emerging public intellectual who is reaching a lot of young people with her work.”

According to McIntosh, the goal of the summit is to bring people – of all ages and demographics – together to deepen their understanding of their own racial identities, develop skills to work for change, formulate action plans, and engage with others. 

“Our position at YWCA is that racial justice work is everyone’s work, not just the work of educators or faith communities,” she explained. “We particularly hope to engage more young people because they’ve always been pivotal to civil rights work.”

She added, “We’re hoping people will be inspired by the summit – and I don’t just mean feeling good – I mean moved and challenged to step up their work for racial justice.”

To learn more and sign up to attend, go to ywca.org/rjsummit or call 847-864-8445.



Evanston Swims! Teams Up with Coast Guard for Lakefront Safety Instruction


 


Participating Evanston Swims! second graders will meet “PFD Panda” in April and May.

March 29, 2016 – The U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary will continue their ongoing support of Evanston Swims! by providing water safety instruction at the April 6 and May 4 sessions of this collaborative learn-to-swim program for Evanston second graders.

The water safety instruction, which will be led by the U.S. Coast Guard and their Auxiliary stationed in Wilmette Harbor, will focus on personal flotation devices (PFDs); lake, river and ocean rules; and rescue assists, among other topics. Participants also will meet “PFD Panda,” the Coast Guard’s mascot who helps children learn about PFDs and water safety.

“Summer is coming and we’re a lakefront community, so this component of Evanston Swims! is vital,” said Pete Caragher, director of aquatics at YWCA Evanston/North Shore, which is a main partner in the program. “The goal is to give children increased self-confidence and knowledge of water safety, particularly on the lakefront.”

Caragher also said it will be fun for the children to interact with “PFD Panda,” who generates excitement and communicates valuable information.

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary,” said Lori Siegel, senior director of facilities, swim, sports and play at McGaw YMCA, which also is a main partner in Evanston Swims!. “This is a big commitment on the part of the Coast Guard because they are deploying people to all four Evanston Swims! teaching locations in April and May. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Siegel added that Evanston Swims!, which will conclude its fourth year in May, served 250 children this year who might not otherwise have had the opportunity for swim instruction.

Evanston Swims! is a partnership between McGaw YMCA, YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Evanston/Skokie District 65 and collaborators throughout the community. Through the Evanston Swims! program, District 65 second graders are transported once a month during the school year to four locations in Evanston for swimming lessons. These locations include YWCA Evanston/North Shore, McGaw YMCA, Presbyterian Homes and Three Crowns Park.

Evanston Swims! is dedicated to ensuring that all Evanston children are safe in and around water, and is an outgrowth of the “Evanston 150” community visioning project in 2011. As part of this project, Evanston residents chose swimming lessons for all Evanston children as one of their top ten goals for the future.




YWCA Evanston/North Shore to host gender violence prevention workshop April 27

YWCA Evanston/North Shore to host second Racial Justice Summit April 6-7

YWCA Evanston/North Shore set to open longer-term housing for survivors of domestic violence

YWCA Evanston/North Shore presents "Be Bold: Let's Move the Needle" on March 8

YWCA Evanston/North Shore launches Racial Justice Book Group

Oswald Roper Memorial Meet Raises $13,500 for Flying Fish Swimming Scholarships

Philip Garcia Named Violence Prevention Educator

YWCA Evanston/North Shore Wins Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge®, Awarded $100,000 to Support Domestic Violence Survivors

Iris Barrios Named Housing Occupancy and Employment Specialist

YWCA Evanston/North Shore Announces 2016 YWomen Leadership Award Recipients

YWCA Evanston/North Shore and Illinois Holocaust Museum partner to present "Women Hold Up Half the Sky" Exhibition

It’s Back to (Swimming) School Time

YWCA Evanston/North Shore receives $5,000 from Chicago Foundation for Women

Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate Draws More Than 5,000

Shannon Callahan Named Women’s Leadership and Economic Advancement Director at YWCA Evanston/North Shore

YWCA Evanston/North Shore “Relay for Oz” Raises $25,000

YWCA Evanston/North Shore Adds to Domestic Violence Staff

YWCA Flying Fish swimmers take fourth at national invitational

Racial Justice Summit Set for May 5-6 in Evanston

Evanston Swims! Teams Up with Coast Guard for Lakefront Safety Instruction

 

Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.