SHARE: Follow Us on Twitter Join Us on Facebook

YWCA Newsletter Header

November 16, 2019

Dear Friend,

Vanessa McDowell, CEO, YWCA Madison

As we enter the holiday season, I hope season finds you and your family well. As I think back over 2018, I’m sitting with the work we’ve done and the change we’ve experienced as an organization and as a community. We are grateful for all that you and the community have done to support YWCA Madison and the individuals we serve. I invite you to support us in the coming year.

This newsletter shares many of the work we are doing, but it also is an invitation for you to join with us in a way that is meaningful to you.

YWCA is also always looking for volunteers in a variety of roles, ranging from our daily children’s program to committee members who lead our planning around our events.

One of the biggest ways you can be connected with us is by joining our team: we are currently hiring amazing mission-minded individuals to join our team.

We have many physical needs for our participants, ranging from diapers and formula to gas cards and bus passes, to partnering in support of an entire specific family through the holiday season. There’s information below.

Giving matters. This is a time when we rely on your financial support; soon you will be recieving a story about the impact your support has on the lives of women and people of color whom we serve. Please give today if you are able, and invite those in your community who stand with our mission to join you in doing so.

Thank you for standing with us in 2018. 

Meet YWCA's New Race and Gender Equity Director

Geraldine (Gery) Paredes Vasquez

Geraldine (Gery) Paredes Vasquez is an Intercultural & Social Justice Educator as well as a Racial Justice Facilitator with 12 years of experience. This is not the first time that Gery is joining the YWCA Madison, between 2013 and 2016 she co-authored the Creating Equitable Organizations program with former director Colleen Butler as part of the Racial Justice Department. This time she is coming back to Madison and our organization after two years of collaborating with UWC Costa Rica in the development of the Tuanis Co-curricular Program and Agents of Change Curricula for youth between 16 and 19 years old and in six competency areas: diversity,inclusion and equity; conflict transformation; healthy lifestyles; leadership; social entrepreneurship and sustainability.

When asked about her return to YWCA Madison, Gery says "I am both honored and humbled to come back to the YWCA Madison this time in the role of Race and Gender Equity Director, I am re-connecting with a YWCA further emerging as a multiracial and gender diverse organization as it keeps pursuing the mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. As I keep on allowing this new role to emerge in me, I remind myself to pause and reflect on what does it mean for our organization and my leadership as a Latinx woman to center our work on race and gender equity in these critical times."

Paula Steinhorst was recently elected Board Chair  

Paula Steinhorst

Paula Steinhorst, MBA, PMP, CSM is a Strategic Project Manager Leader with Alliant Energy. Paula is a Project Management Professional (PMP) experienced in quickly understanding project objectives, generating project scope documentation and effectively leads project teams to achieve on-time project completion. Strong abilities of interfacing between stakeholders and managers across multiple business lines to coordinate system requirements and deliver projects on time and within budget. Experienced in providing advice to project managers on correct methods and standards for use of the project management software tool and project management processes. Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and experienced in Agile Project Management Framework.

Paula Steinhorst is a native of Lima, Peru and has served on the board of YWCA Madison since 2015. Before being elected to chair the board, Paula served as the Board of Director's Vice Chair. When asked about her volunteer service to YWCA Paula said "I am extremely honored to be serving as the board chair of YWCA Madison for the 2018/2019 term. YWCA touched me personally when I was part of the YWomen Lead program. This program opened many doors for me at the professional and personal level. I felt more confident and ready to take on more challenges in my career. I am a recent graduate of the Executive MBA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, in my mind is one the most important things we need to address in this country these days. As an immigrant, I always felt welcome and nowadays, it feels the tone has changed.  We need to get more educated about race, we need to be more aware of our biases and YWCA Madison can help us with this mission. I am so glad we have this organization in our community!"

Holiday Giving

We need your help to make sure our families have Happy Holidays! There are many ways you can help this Holiday Season:
  • Fulfill a wishlist for a family in one of our programs - contact Erin Farrar (efarrar@ywcamadison.org)
  • Help provide transportation for our participants by providing bus passes or gas cards.
  • Purchase our most needed supplies through our Amazon Wishlist
  • Donate to support our families and mission
You can find more information on our website

Current Volunteer Opportunities 

Volunteers are always needed and welcomed at YWCA Madison.  Volunteers are an important part of our team and critical to meeting our mission. There are many ways you can volunteer and we will do our best to match volunteers interests with our program needs.

Children’s Programs - Assist in providing developmentally appropriate recreational activities for homeless children sheltered, with their families, at the YWCA or participating in one of our family housing programs.

Restorative Justice Mentors - Participate in Restorative Justice Circles and follow up with youth (90-day minimum) to support them in successfully completing Restorative Agreements.

Data Entry- needed one to two hours every other week to help with data entry for the Volunteer and Development Department. Will receive training on Volunteer software. Some proficiency with data entry necessary.

Holiday Party - Lend a helping hand at our Holiday Party at the Children's Museum on December 11th, 5:00-8:00 PM.  Helping with snacks, craft tables, set up, clean up, making sure everyone is having fun.

You can get started by filling out the online volunteer application

Please contact Erin Farrar at 257-1436, option 2 if you have any questions about volunteering with YWCA Madison. 


  • Monday, November 26, 2019, 5:30-6:00 PM
    Volunteer OrientationYWCA Empowerment Center,  2040 .S Park Street

  • Monday, November 26, 2019, 6:00-7:30 PM
    Restorative Justice Volunteer Training -  YWCA Empowerment Center, 2040 S. Park Street                                                                      
  • Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 5:30-6:00 PM
    Volunteer OrientationYWCA Madison, 101 E. Mifflin Street

  • Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 6:00-6:30 PM
    Children's Program Volunteer TrainingYWCA Madison, 101 E. Mifflin Street

  • Saturday, December 15, 2018, 10:00-10:30 AM
    Volunteer OrientationYWCA Madison, 101 E. Mifflin Street

  • Saturday, December 15, 2018, 10:30-11:00 AM
    Children's Program Volunteer TrainingYWCA 101 E. Mifflin Street


Fania Davis Recap

We had over 225 individuals joined us to hear from Fania Davis, leading national voice on restorative justice, a quickly emerging field which invites a fundamental shift in the way we think about and seek justice. Restorative Justice is based on the desired set of principles and practices to mediate conflict, strengthen the community, and repair harm. She is a long-time social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney, restorative justice practitioner, writer, and scholar with a Ph.D. in Indigenous Knowledge.

Thank you to all of those who attended and to our partners Briarpatch Youth Services, Dane County TimeBank, and Madison Metropolitan School District, as well as our event sponsors, Community Shares, Dane County Board of Supervisors, Dane County Dept. of Human Services, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and UW School of Social Work. 

Upcoming Events

YWeb Graduation

December 19, 2019, at the Overture Center for the Arts, starting at 6:00 pm  

YWCA Madison invites you to celebrate with the newest tech industry professionals at the YWeb Career Academy graduation.

YWeb Career Academy (YWeb) targets women and people of color, who are underrepresented in technology, to increase opportunities to attain family‐sustaining jobs while also meeting a labor market gap. YWeb provides instruction in website development skills through an intensive training of 400 hours of instruction in HTML5/CSS, JavaScript, user experience design, and project management. In addition, the class covers job readiness, team building, and hands‐on learning in computer programming. The course also places each student who completes the class in a paid internship in the field or helps them acquire a job, based on their experience. 

Circle of Women 

Join us on February 21, 2019, for Circle of Women 

Celebrate the power of individual philanthropy at the Circle of Women fundraiser. Guests hear from women who have changed their lives with support from YWCA Madison and discover how their gift benefits women and their families in our community. YWCA create this event to encourage philanthropy among women and provide an opportunity to network with others from diverse social, ethnic, economic, educational, and cultural backgrounds. Men are also welcome to attend.

Circle of Women is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to support YWCA programs and learn about their impact on the community and individual lives. Funds donated by guests at the event will support the YWCA Madison’s race & gender equityjob training & transportation; and housing & shelter. Because of our generous sponsors, each dollar raised goes directly to the YWCA to support local programming.

Circle of Women Table Captains

To fill a room with 1,000 women and men, we recruit table captains who commit to filling a table of ten. Through these individual efforts, combined with sponsorship dollars, we hope to raise more than $250,000 over one lunch hour!

Are you interested in being a Table Captain? Click here to learn more.

Women of Distinction

Save the Date: May 30, 2019

YWCA Madison presents the Women of Distinction Leadership Awards to women who represent outstanding achievement in their field of endeavor and whose achievements are supportive of the YWCA mission. Awards are presented to women who represent a diversity of race, age, occupation, and endeavor. This award is intended to recognize anyone who identifies as a woman.

YWCA Madison invites you, your organization, your firm, or your association to help make the 2018 Women of Distinction Awards extra special by nominating a deserving Woman of Distinction. To learn more about the nomination process or to download nomination and nominee support form please click here. Nominations will be due February 8, 2018, at 4:00 pm. 


1‌020 1‌9th S‌treet N‌W, S‌uite 7‌50, W‌ashington, D‌C 2‌0036
Phone 202-467-0801 | info@ywca.org
YWCA © 2019 All rights reserved.
FOLLOW US:   Follow Us on Twitter   Join Us on Facebook  
Powered By Blackbaud