In episode 19 of the Equality Talks podcast, host Elisa Parker introduces us to YWCA USA CEO, Margaret Mitchell. As a partner who is focused on gender equality and eliminating racism, Mitchell says the ERA is the path forward for us and an invitatin to everything better. Knowing it's the W that makes the difference, this longtime institution is at the frontlines for equity and instrumental for educating and empowering young women, serving as a source for housing and growth for women in sports amongst other things.

Elisa speaks with Mitchell about the YWCA's recent initiatives in voter advocacy, leadership and equity and how the organization continues to serve as an institutional backbone for our county. She shares how her experience as a child growing up in Central California with family-friends the Reyes' of The United Farm Workers (with Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez), instilled the imporance of community service from a very young age. Mitchell also expands on her passion and approach for social change through nonviolent pathways to end oppression.

Margaret Mitchell, YWCA

Margaret Mitchell anticipates trends and has a proven track record of creating competitive breakthrough strategies. She communicates vision, purpose, and core values. As a strong decision maker who builds consensus, she is a consistent top performer who pursues growth with energy and drive. Margaret strives for personal and organizational excellence.

Recognized for savvy in building relationships at all levels inside and outside the organization, she guides an organization with a steady hand and maintains focus, even in challenging situations.

Prior to becoming CEO of YWCA USA, Margaret served as the President & CEO of YWCA Greater Cleveland, a 150-year-old social justice organization that provides direct service, collaboration, and advocacy in the community, focused on racism, empowering women, and homelessness. She has more than doubled the budget, the staff, and the services of YWCA Greater Cleveland through her leadership, financial acumen, and fundraising.

Among her achievements, in 2019 she led the call to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis in Cleveland and across the state through her leadership in the Ohio YWCA Council. Additionally, Margaret led the acquisition of the Norma Herr Women’s Center, Cleveland’s largest homeless emergency women’s shelter. She also launched the transformation of the YWCA Greater Cleveland Early Learning Center into a unique, unduplicated preschool that currently operates the only trauma-informed preschool serving children and families experience homelessness.

Previously, Margaret was the President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Cleveland, and served as the VP of Business Development and Director of Partnerships at Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas (now BBBS Lone Star).

In each of these roles, she expanded the reach and effectiveness of the organization – from board development, partnership recruitment, fundraising and organizational transformation focused on data. Earlier, Margaret held senior leadership roles at Menttium, a for-profit industry leader in one-to-one corporate mentoring, featuring cross-company programs serving the Fortune 500. She began her career in publishing as an editor and writer.

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