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Gaye’s Message: Spring 2018

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

— Martin Luther King, Jr. 

As you’ll see in the stories below, each of our program areas continue to make strides in meeting our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. We’ve welcomed new leadership to help us in our work, and we’ve taken steps to further engage our staff around critical issues of racial justice, gender equity and cultural understanding. Building a broader understanding among our staff will bolster our effectiveness as we educate, collaborate and advocate on issues of racial justice and gender equity in the community. 

We’re also building on organizational strengths as we reach the final stages of an Organizational Impact Project with Wilder Research. This 18-month initiative has helped us build a comprehensive evaluation framework that will support strategic decision making, strong performance and sustainability for the organization as a whole.  

We’re excited about the good work going on in our programs, and about the role our Health & Fitness Center (HFC) plays in supporting community health and wellness.

Amidst these strides and successes there remain challenges. As most of you know, the buildings housing our HFC and our administrative offices are aging, and increasingly require repair and updating. Our board of directors has formed a committee to conduct strategic real estate planning to assess our needs and develop a plan to address them. We are grateful for the participation of  community volunteers with real estate expertise who are working with our board members and staff to develop this strategic plan. Our next step is to conduct a market study to help us determine what the footprint of a new or renovated HFC should be. We will engage a consulting firm to help us, and the consultants will seek input from a representative group of our members and those in our neighborhood who might be potential members. When the market study is complete, the committee will reconvene to continue the planning process and determine next steps. We will keep you posted on our progress.

 If you would like to learn more about the work we’re doing and how you can be a part of it, I encourage you to reach out. We depend on the support of our volunteers and donors to maximize our impact. 

 Thank you for all that you do to support YWCA St. Paul.