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Preventing Gun Violence 

YWCA Lancaster is committed to ensuring that communities are safe places for women and families to thrive.
As headlines and research make clear, gun violence is a major threat to our health and safety. From the hallways of Stoneman Douglas High School and Sandy Hook Elementary, to the social venues of the Las Vegas country music festival and the Pulse nightclub, to homes and communities across the country, women and female identifying individuals experience unacceptably high levels of gun violence that leave them at heightened risk of harm and death.

Women’s experiences of gun violence are inextricably linked to domestic violence. Some 4.5 million women in the U.S. have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner, and nearly 1 million women alive today have been shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner. In an average month, 50 women in the U.S. are shot to death by intimate partners, and many more are injured. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed.

Gun violence is particularly dangerous for women of color, who are nearly three times as likely to be murdered with a gun than white women. Black women are shot and killed by a husband or intimate partner three times more often than by male strangers, and most often during the course of an argument.

Transgender women of color face an even higher increased risk of gun violence: transgender women are four times more likely to experience gun violence than cisgender women, and nearly 85 percent of transgender victims are women of color.

The connections between domestic violence and mass shootings are alarming. Most mass shootings in the U.S. — those in which four or more individuals are killed — are related to domestic violence: shooters killed intimate partners or other family members in at least 54 percent of mass shootings. While women make up only 15 percent of all gun violence, they make up 50 percent of victims in mass shootings, largely due to the correlation between domestic violence and mass shootings. Even when strangers are targeted instead of family members, there are connections between mass shootings and domestic violence: while most mass shootings occur in the home, the shooters in one third of the 46 mass shootings that took place entirely in public between 2009 and 2016 had a history of violence against women. Moreover, in 42 percent of mass shootings between 2009 and 2016, the shooter exhibited warning signs that they posed a danger to themselves or others, and one-third of mass shooters were prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The significant links between mass shootings and domestic violence, and the disparate impacts of gun violence on women of color, are too often overlooked in the public narrative about gun violence. So, too, are the impacts of school shootings on girls of color. Like all students, youth of color face the increasing risk of school shootings. Frequently, when young people are the shooters in school settings, they have obtained firearms at home, likely because an adult did not store it locked and unloaded. However, it is primarily students of color who face the negative impacts of heightened school surveillance and security measures that have been implemented in response to school shootings. Such measures have not been applied equally across all schools, and schools with a preponderance of students of color are more likely to adopt strict surveillance and security measures which can further criminalize girls of color who already experience disproportionate punishment in school.

YWCA USA POSITION

YWCA believes that all women and girls deserve to live free from the threat of gun violence. To this end, we support systemic and structural policy changes that focus attention and resources on the places, spaces, and contexts in which women and girls–particularly women and girls of color– experience significant threats from gun violence: in their homes, as victims and survivors of intimate partner violence; in mass shootings, which are most often perpetrated by those with a history of domestic violence; and at school, where students of color both face the threat of school shootings and bear the brunt of harsh school surveillance and security measures.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

To decrease gun violence for women and girls, particularly women and girls of color, YWCA USA endorses the following policy responses:

●        Keep guns out of the hands of perpetrators of domestic violence, stalking, and other interpersonal violence

  • Prohibit those convicted of domestic violence and stalking from obtaining firearms, as well as those subject to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking restraining orders
  • Ensure that abusers and stalkers subject to a restraining order relinquish all firearms once they are prohibited
  • Establish mandatory licensing requirements, so that law enforcement and courts can more effectively identify when abusers and stalkers have firearms that should be confiscated
  • Oppose “concealed carry reciprocity” legislation, which would enable abusers to carry firearms across state lines into states that prohibit “concealed carry”

●        Eliminate access to automatic weapons and high capacity ammunition

  • Ban the sale and possession of assault weapons, high capacity gun magazines (those with a capacity of more than 10 bullets), and bump stocks
  • More tightly enforcing laws on straw purchases of weapons, and limits on how many guns can be purchased in a month

●        Protect students from the danger of school shootings

  • Mandate “safe storage” requirements such as trigger locks, and requiring that guns and ammunition be stored separately, especially when children are in the house
  • Ban the sale of firearms to people under the age of 21
  • Focus responses to school shootings on fostering positive school climate, instead of arming teachers, expanding police presence, or other attempts to fortify schools
    • Increase the number and availability of counselors and other specialized support personnel in schools
    • Expand the availability of restorative practices in schools to build healthy communities, decrease antisocial behavior, repair harm and restore relationships
  • Hold adults responsible for negligently storing firearms

●        Strengthen methods for screening and removing firearms from individuals who pose a significant risk of danger to others

  • Establish and enforce gun violence restraining orders – “Red Flag Restraining Orders” / “Extreme Risk Protective Orders”
  • Improve background checks
    • Require universal background checks for all gun sales
    • Ensure all necessary records are updated in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
    • Hold states and federal agencies accountable for accurately reporting records to the NICS database
  • Increase training and technical assistance to state and local jurisdictions to improve firearm removal and storage
  • Carefully distinguish between individuals who are mentally unwell or experiencing a crisis and may pose a safety threat, and those who are mentally ill yet do not pose any increased risk of violence
  • Ensure that accessible, high quality, culturally competent mental health treatment is provided in communities

●        Remove legislative restrictions on gun data collection and sharing, including:

  • The Dickey Amendment, which currently prohibits research by the Centers for Disease Control
  • The Tiahrt Amendment, which requires the FBI to destroy all approved gun purchaser records within 24 hours and prohibits the National Tracing Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from releasing information from its firearms trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agency or prosecutor in connection with a criminal investigation, and thereby precludes gun trace data from being used in academic research of gun use or utilized in civil litigation against gun dealers or manufacturers.

YWCA USA opposes policy responses that further stigmatize individuals with mental health conditions, or that expand police presence in schools and the criminalization of youth of color, including proposals to arm teachers with firearms and to “fortify,” “harden” or “militarize” school facilities.

Announcing the 2023 Black Artist Waystation Winners!

YWCA Lancaster is proud to announce its 2023 Black Artist Waystation participants, joining a community-run collective of artists celebrating and uplifting the Black experience, and helping to define the movement toward freedom and recognize the many efforts that brought us to this moment. Exploring the link between Lancaster as a waystation on the Underground Railroad and the freedom seekers who rested here, these artists are living embodiment of the beauty, brilliance, and joy that makes our community extraordinary.

The awardees will receive $2,500 to support their work, as well as receive opportunities to showcase their craft at events throughout the year, while receiving mentorship (Conductors) from previous Black Artist Waystation participants, as well as other community members.

2023 Black Artist Waystation Awardees:

Keisha Finnie (she/her)
Keisha work explores the journey of evolution as not only an artist but as a woman of color. Interpreting my personal experiences and observations. Nurturing and visualizing her determination and resilience through touch and a strong vibrant color palette.

Keisha has been artistic since she could remember in her first art class at Ross Elementary School where her 2020 mural “Nurture Your Mind” resides. She’s had work displayed all over Lancaster City from galleries, murals, pianos, food trucks as well as neighboring cities.

Thunda Khatt (she/her)

Thunda Khatt is a Writer and Spoken Word Poet from Baltimore MD based out of Lancaster PA that tells the stories of the unheard. She lifts her voice to amplify those before her that could not speak and encourages those after her to never forget the power of their voice.

Dominic Jordan (he/him)

Sir Dominique Jordan the Prolific One is a poetic vanguard hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania; whether it spoken word or on a page, he uses his unique verbiage to inspire others to use their vulnerability as a ‘super power’. He identifies as an Artivist, and teaches across the country about how Hip Hop culture and general creative expression are tools that can be used in the classroom/neighborhood to enhance the overall educational experience. He loves to challenge people to make a difference in their community as they see fit. The Prolific One is also the lead vocalist of the sensational, funky Hip Hop and R&B band, The Prolific Steppas. Lastly, Sir Dominique Jordan is the founder and CEO of both The Artivist Corp. (a social enterprise dedicated to youth mentorship) and Nobody’s Pen (a poetic writers collective). Find him and his efforts on social media using the hashtag #WhatThatImpactDo

Kearasten Jordan (they/them)

Kearasten Jordan is a Black Queer Artist born and raised in Lancaster PA. They enjoy art, music, and being a problem.

There are two upcoming events to celebrate the Black Artist Waystation awardees, with more coming later in the year:

  • February 3: A meet and greet at EsoArts from 5-7pm
  • February 24: Artist showcase at PCAD from 7-9:30

YWonderful Kids’ Ms. LaTea Honored with Statewide Award

At YWCA Lancaster, we know that the best way to eliminate racism and empower women is to support the next generation of leaders, thinkers, do-ers, and helpers.

That’s why it’s no surprise that one of our extraordinary teachers, Ms. LaTea has been honored with the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network’s Afterschool Champions Award!

LaTea has worked for YWCA Lancaster for four years and is in charge of our before-and-afterschool program that serves about 30 students from the School District of Lancaster (SDoL). SDoL is a large, urban school district that receives Title I funding. The district is richly diverse and has more than 1,800 English language learners who speak 38 different languages. The district also has a large population of students with disabilities and participate in the Individualized Education Program (IEPs).

Most of the students in our program come from families whose income falls below the poverty line; several have IEPs; some have a primary home language other than English. LaTea treats them all with enthusiasm and care. She meets students where they are. Knowing the challenges they face, she seeks to empower them and plans her lessons and activities through a trauma-informed lens.

At YWCA Lancaster, we love Ms. LaTea, and we are inspired by her passion and care for her students. We’re so proud to honor her, lucky to have her, and thankful to her and all the educators that make YWonderful Kids the award-winning program that it is!

Pre-K programs are open for enrollment! Learn more

Postcards to a Just Future

What does a Just Future look like to you?

At YWCA Lancaster, we are committed to eliminating racism, empowering women, and making a difference for real people facing real challenges in our community.

For this year’s ExtraGive, we invite you to join us in the fight for justice and envision a future that has realized that change to help guide our work into the a future that promotes peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

How it works

  • Fill out a digital postcard below, or request a physical postcard using the form
  • Use the postcard to tell what a just future looks like to you
  • We will share your vision on November 18 for the ExtraGive and use your ideas to inform our work moving forward
  • Bookmark our ExtraGive page to support us on November 18 to make your vision possible!

Fill out your Postcard to a Just Future:

Request a physical postcard:

We’ll also be at Penn Square, Zoetropolis, and the Warehouse Beer Garden on November 18 if you would like to create a postcard there!

Postcards to a Just Future

Name
Address

WATCH: Women of Achievement videos released!

SALINA ALMANZAR-OREE

Program Coordinator at the Center for Creative Exploration at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

Salina Almanzar (she/her) is a Puerto Rican and Dominican artist, educator, writer, social justice advocate. Her art and scholarship examine the intersections of Latinidad, feminism, decolonial practice, and Taino spirituality. She is specifically interested in what it means to be ni de aqui y ni de alla, meaning being part of a diaspora that is between spaces and between cultures. 

 


 

DR. SHAREE LIVINGSTON

Dr. Sharee Livingston (she/her) is Chair of the ObGyn Department at UPMC. She is the epitome of professionalism and excellence in medicine. She is known and respected by her peers and patients for her surgical expertise. Dr Livingston is a founding board member of Patients R Waiting and has taken her community work to a new level, mentoring students, founding the Doula initiative, and fighting COVID in our community. 

 

 


 

BARBARA JEAN ELLIS WILSON

Executive Director, Lancaster City Housing Authority

Barbara Jean Ellis Wilson (she/her) has dedicated her professional life to public service and strengthening community well-being. Currently leading the Lancaster City Housing Authority, Barbara ensures over 3,100 Lancaster City residents have safe, decent, and affordable housing. Barbara leads the organization of 35+ full-time employees in fulfilling the Authority’s mission to provide housing stability to our city’s most vulnerable populations.  She is the first woman, and only African American, to lead the Lancaster City Housing Authority in its 70 years of existence.  

 


 

KENDRA WOLFE

Founder and Executive Guide at Unique Lancaster Experiences

Kendra Wolfe (she/her) is the founder of Unique Lancaster Experiences, a Black and female-owned business that creates meaningful Lancaster-based experiences for tourists and locals that builds community, as well as highlight local, minority, and women-owned businesses in Lancaster. Kendra works to provide opportunities and dignity for impoverished members of the community. She is a role model for others in turning their passion into profitable entrepreneurs who are excited about their careers while connecting with the community in an impactful way.  

 


 

2022 CHERYL GAHRING AWARD

We’re also proud to continue the presentation of the Cheryl Gahring award, created in memory of our colleague Cheryl Gahring who passed in 2021. This award is given to an extraordinary young person who represents the future of our community’s spirit of eliminating racism and empowering women.

SOPHIE YOST

Manheim Township ’22, Duke University

Sophie Yost (she/her) is a rising Freshman at Duke University. In her high school career, she became the National Field Director for MyVote Project, a national, nonpartisan voter education website with over 250 volunteers (myvoteproject.com). She is the founder of Manheim Township’s Coalition for Social Justice (@mt.coalition) and is a proud member and creator of Manheim Township’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board to advance and support educational equity.

 


 

Resident story: Elana-Beth Rosen

We were also honored to share the story of a community activist we were lucky enough to have as a resident a YWCA Lancaster.

See Elana-Beth’s story:

We need your help to keep our mission going!

New Department of Justice collaboration between YWCA Lancaster and Community Action Partnership

Lancaster, Pa. (10/4/22) – YWCA Lancaster and the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County, PA are proud to announce a grant award from the US Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The Legal Assistance for Victims Program is intended to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance needed to effectively aid adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by providing funds for comprehensive direct legal services to victims in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence.

This three year, half million-dollar federal grant will expand and strengthen the capacity of YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center (SAPCC) and Community Action Partnership (CAP)’s Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster County’s Domestic Violence (DV) Legal Center, offering civil legal services to victim survivors free of charge. To provide these services, the agencies will hire a full-time attorney to handle civil legal matters, as well as a full-time legal advocate.

Senator Bob Casey and Representative Lloyd Smucker provided key support for the proposed new services to highlight the need for more resources for survivors across Lancaster County.
“YWCA Lancaster provides support, sanctuary and resources for people who need it. I was proud to advocate for this funding, which will substantially expand their capacity to provide free legal services to survivors. Every person deserves to feel safe within their community, and every survivor of abuse deserves their chance to seek justice and accountability,” said Senator Bob Casey.

“I want to congratulate the YWCA of Lancaster for receiving the Legal Assistance for Victims grant from the Department of Justice. I was pleased to provide a letter of support for their application. I am certain that YWCA Lancaster will use these funds to provide meaningful support to survivors of domestic violence. I thank the YWCA for all they do to support our community,” said Rep. Lloyd Smucker.

Services will begin this year once final federal approvals are secured, and new hires are oriented with both agencies.

“Collaboration is essential to meeting the needs of our community,” said Stacie Blake, CEO of YWCA Lancaster, “we are Lancaster County’s rape crisis center, but we know that survivors need support whether its due to sexual or domestic violence and often it’s both. Our whole community must be involved, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to partner with CAP on this vital program.”

“We are excited to partner with the YWCA to expand the resources available to survivors in our community,” said Vanessa Phibert, Chief Executive Officer of Community Action Partnership of Lancaster, the parent organization of Domestic Violence Services. “this new initiative will be a great support to families on their journey of healing and thriving.”

YWomen Vote Advocacy Fly-In

YWCA Lancaster CEO Stacie Blake was one of five YWCA leaders selected to join YWCA USA in Washington, D.C. last week for a weeklong advocacy fly-in! Throughout the week, YWCA leaders along with YWCA USA CEO, Margaret Mitchell, participated in a series of Hill and Administration meetings that highlighted several critical YWCA initiatives.

( Kelly Grosser, Chief Mission Impact Officer, YWCA Tri-County Area; Stacie Blake, CEO YWCA Lancaster; Naya Diaz, ED, YWCA Greater Austin; Margaret Mitchell, CEO, YWCA USA; Pam Yuen, Director of Government Relations, YWCA USA; Dr. LaRhonda Megras, CEO, YWCA Central Alabama; Dr. Cheryl Watkins, CEO, YWCA Metro St. Louis)

 

Throughout the week, YWCA Leaders focused on four key areas, which include:

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act

The maintenance and strengthening for FVPSA (Family Violence Prevention and Services Act) in the FY23 Appropriations process, with specific focus on the continuation of services, transitional housing, rapid-rehousing and related services (cash access, included) in addition of significant prevention funding.

This is the first and only funding stream dedicated to supporting DV shelters as well as lifesaving services in safety, childcare, housing, transportation, and counseling.

According to YWCA’s YWomen Vote Survey, 72% of women overall said providing robust funding in the federal budget for program services that support survivors of DV, sexual assault, and other gender-based violence is one of the most important or very important things Congress should do.  This includes 80% Black Women, 72% Hispanic/Latinas, 71% AAPI women, and 78% AI/AN women.

Childcare

The childcare sector is still struggling to recover from the pandemic with staff hiring and retention.  The sector, including YWCAs across the nation, is still down over 100,000 workers when compared to pre-pandemic levels, leaving families relying on a childcare system that has lost 10% of its workforce.

65% of women overall support providing robust funding for childcare in the federal budget.  This is an increase of 7 percentage points since January 2022.  79% of Black women, 67% of Hispanic women and Latinas, 70% of AAPI women and 79% of AI?AN women support providing roust funding for childcare in the federal budget.  70% of overall women support access to high-quality childcare that is affordable, dependable, and accessible.  70% of PA women overall believe passing affordable, quality childcare is the most or very important things Congress should do.

YWomen Vote Survey

The YWCA YWomen Vote Survey debrief was hosted on Wednesday afternoon and the results of the survey were used to inform the meetings with key offices during the Fly-In.  The survey is YWCA’s 5th national survey of women in the US, explores women’s economic, health, gender-based, violence, workplace equity, and racial justice concerns and priorities.  The survey highlights that women are expressing deep anxiety about a broad range of economic, caregiving, safety, and societal concern.  The survey reflects that women are remarkably united – across perceived differences of race, ethnicity, party identification, and socioeconomic and disability status – in supporting policy solutions that address the concerns and needs they have for themselves and their families.  The report included in-depth analysis of the concerns and priorities of women of color – Black women, Hispanic women/Latinas, AAPI women, and AI/AN women – Millennial and Generation Z women of color, and women across party lines.  Women’s concerns are increasing when compared to January 2022, particularly with respect to economic security, gender-based violence, racial justice, mental health, childcare, and reproductive rights.  Of note:  Women’s support for Congressional action to protect access to abortion and reproductive rights is strong and increasing; Women want Congress to take action on child care NOW; anxiety around the economy (Cost of Living/Family Income Not Enough to Pay Bills), threats to personal safety (Mass Shootings and Gun Violence), and white nationalism (rise in white nationalism) dominate women’s top concerns.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The leaders ended their efforts in attendance at the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s 25th Anniversary celebration.  Among others, Sen Bob Casey was present.  NDVH has answered over 6 million calls for help in the past 25 years.  1:4 women, 1:3 teens, 1:7 men will endure relationship violence.  YWCA, as the largest network of DV/SA services in the nation, was honored to participate in this meaningful celebration.

 

WCA Lancaster looks forward to continuing to work together to break down barriers to services for women, families, children, and survivors of gender-based violence. The work done this past week directly impacts women and families in Lancaster through the important work we do at YWCA Lancaster in living out our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women!

Announcing $200,000 County investment in YForward

We’re proud to announce that YWCA Lancaster has earned a new $200,000 investment in YForward, our radical reimagining of our historic Lime St. location from the Lancaster Housing and Redevelopment Authority’s Community Block Grant Program!

We are honored to be in partnership with Lancaster County government for their plans for the future: YForward will help will add sixteen residential units to the existing 38 units and add an additional, ADA-compliant, interior elevator to handle increased traffic and accommodate ambulance stretchers, and transition the Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center from the 3rd floor to the ground floor. 

A space built for community

With YForward, we will be able to enhance our facility reflect the needs of our community. With the support of the County as well as other community partners we’re working to recruit, we will renovate the Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center, completely transforming our space,  and growing where we are:  

We will have community space created for our survivor groups, such as our Trauma Process Yoga Group, Expressive Arts Groups, support groups for all ages, and processing groups after major events or related media reports. 

Discrete and private meeting spaces will provide a confidential area for team meetings, group supervisions, support groups, and educational workshops.  We will also provide a calm and trauma informed waiting area. 

In addition, we will provide a new, private entrance that allows clients to have direct access to services and can minimize discomfort or potential distress with having to enter via a public entrance. If the elevator is not working it will no longer negatively impact Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center clients who are unable to access the stairs.

Forward for a just future

While we are honored to partner with the County on this block grant, we continue to seek more partnerships with other organizations, businesses and community leaders to meet the full need of the project. With your support, we can maximize this unused space where the pool used to meet more urgent needs for our community, and to grow our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center. We are proud to continue the work YWCA Lancaster grow where we are, expand our vital services, and continue our work of supporting and advocating for victim survivors of sexual assault. Our mission is more important now than ever, and with your help, we can move forward together!

Learn more about YForward and join the movement to build for community.

Announcing the 2022 Women of Achievement Honorees!

We’re thrilled to welcome five amazing community leaders to our collective of Women of Achievement Honorees!

The Women of Achievement Awards is a one-of-a-kind community event that showcases the accomplishments of women and gender expansive individuals who, through their careers and volunteerism, live out the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women in Lancaster County.

This is the 6th Women of Achievement Awards, which means that together we have created an incredible collective of community leaders from all backgrounds 26 strong, but about to be 31!

At YWCA Lancaster, we work every day to uplift and center the experiences and leadership of women and gender expansive community members. These are the folks who make up the majority of the workforce of our community, inside and outside the home; they provide on average more volunteer labor than anyone in our community, including in creating vital organizations like YWCA Lancaster back in 1889. We center women and gender expansive individuals because when we do that we all prosper.

This year’s pool of nominations was our biggest, and most competitive yet. Thank you to all who nominated, were nominated, and were a part of this year’s selection process.

2022 Women of Achievement Honorees

Salina Almanzar-Oree

Program Coordinator at the Center for Creative Exploration at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

Salina Almanzar (she/her) is a Puerto Rican and Dominican artist, educator, writer, social justice advocate. Her art and scholarship examine the intersections of Latinidad, feminism, decolonial practice, and Taino spirituality. She is specifically interested in what it means to be ni de aqui y ni de alla, meaning being part of a diaspora that is between spaces and between cultures. 

 

Barbara Jean Ellis Wilson

Executive Director, Lancaster City Housing Authority

Barbara Jean Ellis Wilson (she/her) has dedicated her professional life to public service and strengthening community well-being. Currently leading the Lancaster City Housing Authority, Barbara ensures over 3,100 Lancaster City residents have safe, decent, and affordable housing. Barbara leads the organization of 35+ full-time employees in fulfilling the Authority’s mission to provide housing stability to our city’s most vulnerable populations.  She is the first woman, and only African America, to lead the Lancaster City Housing Authority in its 70 years of existence.  

Dr. Sharee Livingston, DO FACOG, Physician

Patients R Waiting, UPMC

Dr. Sharee Livingston (she/her) is Chair of the ObGyn Department at UPMC. She is the epitome of professionalism and excellence in medicine. She is known and respected by her peers and patients for her surgical expertise. Dr Livingston is a founding board member of Patients R Waiting and has taken her community work to a new level, mentoring students, founding the Doula initiative, and fighting COVID in our community. 
 

Kendra Wolfe

Founder and Executive Guide at Unique Lancaster Experiences

Kendra Wolfe (she/her) is the founder of Unique Lancaster Experiences, a Black and female-owned business that creates meaningful Lancaster-based experiences for tourists and locals that builds community, as well as highlight local, minority, and women-owned businesses in Lancaster. Kendra works to provide opportunities and dignity for impoverished members of the community. She is a role model for others in turning their passion into profitable entrepreneurs who are excited about their careers while connecting with the community in an impactful way.  

2022 Cheryl Gahring Award

We’re also proud to continue the presentation of the Cheryl Gahring award, created in memory of our colleague Cheryl Gahring who passed in 2021. This award is given to an extraordinary young person who represents the future of our community’s spirit of eliminating racism and empowering women.

2022 Cheryl Gahring Young Person of Achievement Award honoree:

Sophie Yost

Manheim Township ’22, Duke University

Sophie Yost (she/her) is a rising Freshman at Duke University. In her high school career, she became the National Field Director for MyVote Project, a national, nonpartisan voter education website with over 250 volunteers (myvoteproject.com). She is the founder of Manheim Township’s Coalition for Social Justice (@mt.coalition) and is a proud member and creator of Manheim Township’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board to advance and support educational equity 

Join us on October 20!

We hope you’ll join us for 2022 Women of Achievement Awards on October 20, at the DoubleTree in Lancaster. Tickets are on sale starting this moment, so head over to YWCALAncaster.org to book your spot before tickets are gone! We’re so thrilled to be able to uplift and celebrate these honorees with you, as well as the community that helps make it all possible. We’ll see you on October 20!