Evanston, IL, October 17, 2023 – The reparations movement launched in Evanston and economic empowerment for women take center stage when YWCA Evanston/North Shore (E/NS) presents its 14th annual YWomen Leadership Gala to celebrate women leaders and their commitment in the areas of racial justice and women’s empowerment on Saturday, November 4th in Skokie.
The event will honor leaders in the community who reflect YWCA’s mission of empowering women and eliminating racism: Robin Rue Simmons, a pioneer of the reparations movement in Evanston and nationally; and Tosha Wilson of The AUX, an incubator that supports Black-owned businesses promoting health and wellness. The event will also feature a program highlight of the YW Tech Lab program, YWCA’s free 4-month online web development program that provides education in digital skills and aims to challenge and transform the narrative surrounding underrepresented individuals in the tech industry. YW Tech Lab is part of a national partnership with Google.org, YWCA USA and YWCA Madison.
“I am excited for this year’s event for many reasons,” states Cherese Ledet, YWCA E/NS CEO. “It’s not often that we celebrate women, and programs that focus on empowering other women and their greater impact on society. This event brings together people who share our passion and want to celebrate our honorees’ achievements. Together, we want to change the women’s empowerment and racial justice narrative. You can’t have one without the other, and this is our opportunity to bring these two social justice pursuits together in one room and show how they intersect. Women come to us from all walks of life and for various reasons. It is our goal that they leave with a renewed spirit, new skills, and improved vitality. The awareness we bring and the support we receive through our YWomen celebration makes this possible.”
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 and racial justice to our local communities. The event, which includes a cocktail reception, dinner, live entertainment by Chicago violinist Windy Indie, silent auction, and a film presentation by filmmaker Susan Hope Engel, will be held at DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago – North Shore, 9599 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL. Tickets are $225/person, $2,250/table. To learn more and purchase tickets, go to https://secure.qgiv.com/event/ywomen2023/.
Thermoflex is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event. Other sponsors include Allstate, Hagerty Consulting, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Evanston Community Bank and Trust, and Northwestern.
About YWCA Evanston/North Shore
YWCA Evanston/North Shore, established in 1931, is a nonprofit organization that works to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice and strengthen local communities. It serves more than 8,000 people annually in northern Cook County through its Domestic Violence, Equity Institute, Economic Advancement, and Flying Fish Aquatics programs. Learn more at www.ywca-ens.org.
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