Nearly 100 people came out for YWCA's Action Response Network organizing meeting on February 21, 2017. They shared their ideas and held productive discussions on how to move forward and build a community-driven response network to combat hate and discrimination in Delaware. Those who attended were interested in finding ways to build bridges between the work already being done, expanding our communities to be more inclusive and rapidly responding to any acts of hate with love and support.
If you have an interest in getting involved, come to the next meeting on Wednesday, March 8th from 7-9 PM at Siegel Jewish Community Center or sign-up for the network's mailing list to get the latest information. It is not too late to join us!
To learn more about the network, visit our Action Response Network page. If you have questions, please contact Matt Pillischer, Director of Racial Justice & Social Advocacy, at email@example.com or 302.655.0039 ext. 230.
We Want to Fight Back!
What We Know: Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and homophobia exist when we see subtle and overt actions of intimidation in Delaware and across the country.
We Want to Fight Back! By building solidarity between people of different races, cultures and faiths who share our values of inclusion, compassion and principles of human dignity, and to build an action-oriented response network that is ready to act quickly against hate with compassion and support.
Celebrating A Legacy In 2017, YWCA Delaware celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at events across Wilmington, including our 2nd annual MLK Communication Contest presented in partnership with Christ Church Christiana Hundred held on Sunday, January 15th. This event was an opportunity for our youth to be heard as they reflected on and shared with their community how Dr. King's message of social change through nonviolence speaks to their hopes and dreams. The top 3 presentations were:
1. Tyrek Traylor
Conrad Schools of Science (Grade 12)
2. Nana Ohemaa Asante
Charter School of Wilmington (Grade 12)
3. Madison Washington
Cab Calloway School of Performing Arts (Grade 9)
On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, YWCA Youth Advisors facilitated workshops on self-awareness, embracing diversity and the importance of activism at the “Continuing the Legacy” event hosted by TeenSHARP at the Kingswood Community Center. Over 150 middle and high school students were in attendance learning about the life and times of Dr. King. Students had the opportunity to study and recite one of Dr. King’s speeches/sermons “The Drum Major Instinct” and recognize how it relates to us today.
Nominations have opened for the 2017 Genevieve Gore Young Woman’s Leadership Award, part of YWCA Delaware’s Academy of Women Leaders! Deadline to nominate is February 28th, 2017.
The Academy of Women Leaders’ honorees have historically pursued opportunities to advance women and their families, championed racial justice and embody our vision for peace, justice, freedom, dignity and opportunities for all people. YWCA Delaware has honored community leaders for more than 25 years and more than 70 have been added to the Academy of Women Leaders’ esteemed ranks over that time.
The Genevieve Gore Young Woman’s Leadership Award will honor a woman or girl under the age of 35 who actively pursues opportunities to make a difference in the world. The honoree will:
• Demonstrate a strong commitment to social and racial justice • Strive to empower women and girls within her community and/or career • Use her leadership potential to inspire women and girls in her school, community and/or workplace
The Genevieve Gore Young Woman’s Leadership Award is endowed by W.L. Gore & Associates. The honoree will be the keynote speaker of the YWCA Girl Graduation on May 2nd, 2017, and will be featured in various YWCA publications and social media platforms for her work to advance our shared mission to empower women and eliminate racism.
YWCA’s Director of Racial Justice & Social Advocacy, Matt Pillischer, helped wrap up the Women’s March in Newark on Saturday, January 21st with a call for solidarity. More than 1,000 people came out for the sister march and stayed for the end rally. Overflow marchers were able to watch speakers via Facebook Live, thanks to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark.
YWCA Delaware was one of 17 organizations to receive a grant award from the Gannett Foundation, and was invited to celebrate our collective community impact with The News Journal. Gannett’s $3,500.00 grant award will help Home-Life Management Center’s residents to learn culinary and custodial skills to manage their future, independent homes and to distinguish them during the hiring process in these industries.
Pictured from left: Marcia Wright-Soika, YWCA Delaware; Susan Leath, President and Publisher of The News Journal; and Stephanie Staats, YWCA Delaware.
Lafate, the featured artist at the Canvas, Cocktails and Conversations fundraiser
that will jointly benefit YWCA, United Way of Delaware and Girls Inc., is an accomplished, self-taught artist who has been painting for
more than 20 years. LaFate was a 2014 recipient of the Governor's Award
for the Arts. Her work also appears in the permanent collections of the
William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock,
Arkansas. Locally, the Blue Ball Barn Museum in Wilmington, recently
featured her in a 20-year folk art retrospective exhibition.
YWCA Delaware and Christ Church Christiana Hundred are pleased to present the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Contest! Join us as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. King with a contest designed to challenge New Castle County high school students to reflect on and share with their community how Dr. King's message of social change through nonviolence speaks to their hopes and dreams by using speech, poetry and/or rap.
WHEN & WHERE Sunday, January 15th 2:00 PM baby grand
818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE
Also Don't Miss Out On...
First Unitarian Church's Martin Luther King Jr. Week Celebratory Concert Friday, January 20th 7:30 PM 730 Halstead Road Wilmington, DE 19803
featuring The DuPont Diversity Choir, C. Lawler Rogers, Director The Choir of First Unitarian Church
with special guests: Rev. John Moore Nina Cottman, viola Scott Ward, piano
A good will offering will be taken to support the Racial Justice work of YWCA Delaware.
A big thank you to Maureen Tan for generously organizing small business owners to donate 51 “Blessing Bags” filled with Jamberry products, jewelry and chocolates for our youth, sexual assault crisis and housing clients and volunteers to pamper themselves over the holidays. Maureen says of her chance to give back, “I really just want women to know that no matter where they are in their lives or how they are feeling about themselves, they should still know that they are worthy of treating themselves.”
Congrats to this proud group of empowered young women at Serviam Girls Academy who recently completed the Tech Gyrls series offered by our Youth Empowerment program at their school! Tech Gyrls provided the group with the opportunity to experiment, hypothesize and, also, learn about influential women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
To find out how you can bring one of YWCA's Youth Empowerment programs to your school or organization, contact: Cynthia LaRock, Youth Program Director at 302.224.4060 ext. 215 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to the more than 200 attendees of our Annual Breakfast Celebration Fundraiser; our Honorary Co-Chairs, Kemal Erkan and Susan Leath; our lead sponsors: Chase, United Medical, LLC, DuPont, Lyons Companies, TD Bank USA and The News Journal; and all of those who supported this year’s event!
Cheryl, a YWCA Delaware Wo(Men) Achieving New Directions self-employment client, held a GRAND OPENING celebration on Friday, November 4th for her newly retro-fitted food truck - Curbside Cuisine - at our Newark location! Robscott Office Building employees and visitors enjoyed lunch from Cheryl's delicious menu. Check out Curbside Cuisine’s website to see where she'll be parked next!
October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In order to bring awareness and honor our DV survivors here at Home-Life Management Center, we held an art exhibit titled “Healthy Relationships Through My Eyes.” Participants worked with different art mediums to depict their ideal healthy relationship. Creating these works of art were both cathartic and inspiring to the participants involved. Everyone was rewarded for their participation but top prizes included $100 Visa gift card and a basket filled with Bath and Body Works goodies. We are so proud of everyone who participated!
YWCA Delaware is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities. That is why every year, we set aside one week in October as a Week Without Violence to raise awareness, share information, support survivors & call for an end to violence. This year's focus is on gender-based violence, which includes domestic and sexual violence.
YWCA's Home-Life Management Center (HLMC) provides domestic violence survivors who are facing homelessness the transitional housing that is sometimes needed to flee an abusive home, along with an array of optional support services personalized to meet their needs and promote self-sufficiency. Domestic violence and sexual assault support services at HLMC are also offered to the community and include, but are not limited to, safety planning, financial coaching, therapeutic individual counseling and support groups. For more information, please call (302) 658-7110 x204.
YWCA's Sexual Assault Response Center (SARC) provides comprehensive, free and confidential rape crisis services to to individuals whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence whether the assault happened yesterday or many years ago. If you or someone you care about has been sexually assaulted, reaching out for help can be the first step toward recovery and healing. Call our 24/7 rape crisis hotline at (800) 773-8570 to speak with a Sexual Assault Response Advocate.
On October 5th, nearly 200 people attended the NarrateHER reception at the Delaware History Museum & Old Town Hall, which kicked off our statewide NarrateHER Traveling Exhibit featuring the powerful stories of 12 Delaware women from diverse backgrounds as community advocates. The program began by honoring Commissioner Danielle S. Blount of New Castle County Family Court with the YWCA Delaware Trailblazer Award. Of her journey, Commissioner Blount said: “I not only want to inspire confidence in the justice system, but in those whose dreams may have been ‘delayed’, who hear that ‘they aren’t the right fit’ or ‘they aren’t as good as they think they are.’ “
If you have friends or relatives who have "everything," you must visit Ten Thousand Villages in the Greenville Crossing shopping center for early holiday shopping. Featuring handicrafts from around the world, the store creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to market through long-term, fair trading relationships. Many of the artisans are women.
On Saturday, October 8th from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, 15% of the sales will be donated to YWCA Delaware!
YWCA Delaware and Christ Church Christiana Hundred are pleased to present the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Contest! The contest is designed to challenge New Castle County high school students to reflect and share how Dr. King’s message of social change through nonviolence, using speech, poetry and/or rap, speaks today to their hopes and dreams. The contest also encourages youth to develop oratorical and presentation skills, enhance social awareness, build confidence, improve self-esteem and cultivate leadership skills that will serve them academically and professionally in their future pursuits.
FINALS: Sunday, January 15th 2:00 PM baby grand
818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE
SEMI-FINALS: Saturday, January 7th 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
The contest is
open to all New Castle County high school students, grades 9-12. Contestants must be sponsored by an adult willing to support and help them prepare for the contest. Interested students must complete online registration
21st. Registration will be limited to the first 75 sponsored contestants.
Contestants registered by December 1st, will be invited to attend a free workshop on presentation and oratorical skills conducted by Jayne Thompson, author and senior lecturer at Widener University. As well, finalists will receive a personalized 1 hour coaching session with Hugh Atkins, former head of English at Tower Hill. The First Prize Winner, in addition to $1,000 will receive an invitation to “talk” at the 2017 TEDx Wilmington Conference. All contestants will receive a certificate of participation.
The finalists and winner will be selected by a panel of judges selected by YWCA Delaware and Christ Church Christiana Hundred. Judging emphasis is on the message presented through the creative use of speech, poetry and/or rap and audience rapport. 2017 MLK judges (finals and semi finals) are: JoAnn Balingit, Delaware’s 16th Poet Laureate; The Rev. Canon Lloyd Casson; Nnamdi Chukwuocha, Delaware’s 17th Poet Laureate; Bebe Coker, Playwright & Social Activist; Kaamilah Diabaté, 2016 Winner of the MLK Communication Contest; Ajit George, TEDx Wilmington; Dr. Guillermina Gonzalez, Delaware Arts Alliance; Martha Holler, Sallie Mae; Elizabeth (Tizzy) Lockman, President, ACLU-DE Foundation; Cynthia Primo Martin, Trustees of Color; Albert Mills, Delaware’s 17th Poet Laureate; Dr. Yasser Payne, University of Delaware; Michelle Taylor, President & CEO, United Way of Delaware; Laurisa Schutt, Teach for America; Hanifa Shabazz, President, Wilmington City Council; and Dr. Melva Ware, University of Delaware. Tyrone Jones, Chief Impact Officer, United Way of Delaware, will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the MLK finals.
Sponsors who have generously lent their support are: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Gamma Theta Lambda Education Foundation, Inc.; Mercedes Benz of Wilmington; the Rotary Club of Wilmington; Trustees of Color; and WSFS.
Rules & Regulations:
• Message must be original.
• The content of the message must relate to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his story, work, and beliefs.
• Presentations must be memorized; cue cards, no larger than 4x6” are permitted, but not read.
• Presentations are to be approximately 5 minutes long, 30 second grace period will be allowed.
• Presentations shorter than 4.5 minutes or longer than 5.5 minutes will be disqualified.
• Participants are not permitted to leave the stage during their presentations.
• Audio, costumes and props are NOT permitted.
• The decisions of the judges are final.