Eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. That is the mission of YWCA of Greater Atlanta, which works to eliminate racism and empower women through three pillars: education and empowerment, advocacy and social justice, and health and safety.
According to CEO Sharmen Gowens, the goal of YWCA of Greater Atlanta is to help people find their common humanity. She wants their work towards racial justice to be accessible within the Atlanta community and emphasizes that the organization can be a resource for both individuals and corporations in navigating the waters of combating racism.
Through its Conversations program, YWCA of Greater Atlanta focuses on the intersection of race and gender by engaging participants in small-group discussions that illuminate the challenges faced in moving towards a more equitable community. These Conversations are meant to break down the barriers in discussing topics of race and allow participants to learn from those who have lived much different lives. Robyn Miller of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has personally experienced the eye-opening conversations. By interacting with women from different walks of life and hearing personal accounts of racism, Robyn says, “I learned so much more than I ever expected through that one lunch conversation about race.”
YWCA of Greater Atlanta emphasizes the importance of education and empowerment for young women through several programs including Teen Girls in Technology and its Early Learning Academy. Their work to eliminate barriers to health services for women in need includes the EncorePlus program which provides nearly 200 free mammograms a year. And the signature program of their advocacy work is The Georgia Women’s Policy Institute which has the goal of improving the lives of women and girls in Georgia.
YWCA of Greater Atlanta has been a client of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta for over a decade and has worked with many different PBPA volunteer attorneys including Meredith Shaughnessy, Gregg Jacobson of King & Spalding, David Golden of Troutman Sanders, and Hannah Loo of Kilpatrick Townsend. Ms. Gowens describes the relationship as an asset and a gift. PBPA is proud help make possible YWCA of Greater Atlanta’s work towards making Atlanta a more equitable community.