February was Black History Month and March is Women’s History Month. My own limited life experience convinces me that both Black History Month and Women’s History Month are good ideas. I grew up in the ’50s and early ’60s in a small town that had one black family living there. I never interacted with that family. Consequently, I grew up knowing nothing about black people. I had no idea of the contributions they make or the lives they lead. I saw blacks in stores or on the street, but since they were not a part of my world, the only information I had was the racial stereotypes and prejudices of my family and friends.
In honor of Black History Month, I was pleased to have the opportunity to interview a true YWCA leader: Mary Douglas, a 40-year YWCA veteran and advocate. She was present during one of the YWCA’s most historic moments; she shares her reflections below.
1) Tell me: how did you get involved in the YWCA? What positions have you held?
By Kris Kieper Chief Executive Officer, YWCA of Rockford
February and March are reflective months for me as both provide insight and inspiration for the work of the YWCA Rockford; February is Black History month, which leads into Women’s History month in March.
There are so many women in history we’ve never heard of, never celebrated their efforts and impact on our world today. As guilty as historians have been of neglecting women in history, they’ve been even more neglectful to women of color.