Eve Ensler Honored at YWCA USA 150th Anniversary
The YWCA USA celebrated its distinguished 150-year legacy as the nation's oldest and largest women's organization at a gala awards dinner in Washington, D.C. on May 1, 2009.
Eve Ensler, Lilly Ledbetter, Patti Austin and Dorothy I. Height, were all honored and recognized for their leadership in service to women and girls and awarded the YWCA Fearless Leader Award.
First Lady Michelle Obama noted that "the YWCA has been on the frontiers of this nation's history, standing up for gender and racial equality." In a videotaped message to the YWCA, she remarked, "You fought for job opportunities for women and bringing down barriers that were used to limit the ability of all women to achieve their full potential, and your rich legacy has touched generations of women - mothers, grandmothers and daughters. I want to personally thank you for supporting the President's call to service. In these challenging times, we all have something to contribute."
For the past 150 years, the YWCA has been at the forefront of every social justice movement in America - from the abolition of slavery to voting rights, from civil rights to pay equity, and from violence prevention to global health. Today, its nearly 300 local associations represent the largest provider of services to battered women in the country, and offer critical community services such as sexual assault support services, child care and after school programs, transitional housing for homeless women, job training, leadership development, and economic empowerment programs.