Leading. Growing. Together. 2021

A Virtual Event BenefiTING the YWCA

With Title Sponsor

Thank you to everyone who made Leading. Growing. Together. a wonderful success!  

If you weren’t able to attend, you can still donate and support the YWCA’s critical work. Give today. 

The YWCA has long been unique in creating a space where women of color and white women could work alongside one another to improve the lives of all women. With that as our backdrop, we celebrated our history, including recollections from the women who were instrumental in the creation of the YWCA One Imperative – YWCA associations’ racial justice touchstone. We were joined by nationally recognized leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts – Denise Hamilton and Jenna Arnold. Their personal friendship and professional collaboration revealed the role women play in anti-racism work. Attendees left inspired, energized, and equipped with the tools needed to help move our community forward. 

Our mission statement is clear – empowering all women requires an end to racism. This video details the effort that was undertaken to ensure passage of the One Imperative at the YWCA national convention in 1970. It built on long-held interracial ideals while seeking to also address the deep racial inequities within our own organization.

The One Imperative

The YWCA will work toward the elimination of racism
wherever it exists and by any means necessary.


Leading. Growing. Together.
Keynote Speakers

Special Thanks to Our Speaker Underwriter:

Denise Hamilton is a nationally recognized inclusion strategist and the founder of WatchHerWork, a digital platform for professional women. Denise has been called “The Secret Weapon of CEOs” because her unique super power is the ability to have the most challenging discussions and come out the other side with solutions and a positive direction. She uses this gift to lead workshops, design education programs and coach senior leaders. The goal is to empower individuals and teams to mine and close the gender gap, understand differences, resolve conflict and become better allies. Denise’s work has been featured on Bloomberg TV, MSNBC’s Morning Joe,CBS, Newsweek, NBC, Harvard Business Review, and numerous other outlets. 


Jenna Arnold is a global educator, activist, entrepreneur, and author of Raising Our Hands: How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place on the New Frontlines. A frequent contributor to CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, she has also been named one Inc’s “20 Most Disruptive Innovators,” earned a spot on Oprah’s list of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity”, and received Glamour’s Woman of the Year Award. Jenna is the co-founder of ORGANIZE, and organization dedicated to ending the organ shortage, was formally at the United Nations and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.


Special Thanks to our Premier and Ally Sponsors:


For more information, contact Breanne Zost, Events Coordinator, at bzost@ywcawcmi.org.