YWCA USA Honors Sen. Joni Ernst, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Fatima Goss Graves, Brittany Packnett, and Mónica Ramirez at 2019 National Conference Awards
For Immediate Release
June 6, 2019
Washington, DC, June 6, 2019 — YWCA USA honored the achievements of extraordinary women leaders Sen. Joni Ernst, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Fatima Goss Graves, Brittany Packnett, and Mónica Ramirez during YWCA’s 2019 national conference, Dare To Be Powerful, whose theme is derived from a famous Audre Lorde quote.
“These women are fearless leaders whose impact on women and girls in our country is undeniable,” said YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo. “They exemplify the essence of Audre Lorde’s words and the ethos our organization’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Their tireless efforts and dedication to improving and centering the lives of women and girls—particularly women and girls of color—are truly admirable, and we are proud to lift up and recognize these women for their leadership.”
As over 300 YWCA leaders from across the country gathered together in the nation’s capital, the organization presented awards to these six women, honoring them for their work and impact in racial justice, advocacy and civic engagement, and women’s empowerment:
The Dorothy I. Height Racial Justice Award, named in honor of YWCA leader and civil rights icon Dr. Dorothy I. Height, is presented to an individual whose efforts and contributions have been significant in the field of racial justice. Honorees are selected based on criteria that reflect Dr. Height’s contributions: service in a leadership role, commitment to racial justice in their life and work, and a high standard of courage, integrity, and steadfastness in support of YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. This year, the Dorothy I. Height Racial Justice Award was presented to Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, who was honored for her lifetime of service fighting for policy solutions to ensure that women and families can live without fear, harm, or discrimination.
The YWCA Women’s Empowerment Award is presented biennially to an individual or organization who provides leadership to advance women’s empowerment goals and priorities that are central to YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity. This year, this award was presented to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Senator Joni Ernst, and Mónica Ramirez, National Domestic Workers Alliance’s director of Gender Justice Campaigns and the founder of Justice for Migrant Women. These women were honored for their leadership in advocating for women and children and unwavering commitment to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The YWCA Advocacy and Civic Engagement Award is presented biennially to an individual or organization who has taken notable action, either personally or though organizing grassroots efforts, to advance goals and priorities that are central to YWCA’s mission. This year, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center and co-founder of Time’s Up Fatima Goss Graves, was honored with this award for her leadership, vision, and work to empower women, support survivors, and advocate at the intersection of race and gender.
The 21st Century Renaissance Woman Award is an inaugural award presented by YWCA to an individual who embodies the true spirit of a Renaissance woman by embracing and bringing her talents, energy, and passion as a leader at the intersection of justice and culture. This inaugural award was presented to activist, educator, and writer Brittany Packnett for her activism, influence across media platforms, leadership, and commitment to women, girls, and communities of color.
About YWCA USA
YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for over 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.
Media contact: Nancy Yasharoff
Vice President, Communications and Marketing, YWCA USA
P 202.835.2364 | firstname.lastname@example.org