Janet Marcotte, YWCA Tucson Executive Director, presented the 2012 YWCA USA Women of Distinction Award for Civic Engagement in honor of Gabrielle Giffords to her mother, Gloria Giffords. May 4, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
The Annual Conference is a time to build strong bonds with your colleagues from other YWCAs and to learn best practices from YWCA staff and workshop leaders. I had many favorite moments from the 2012 YWCA Annual Conference. One was seeing Gabrielle Giffords’ mother, Gloria, accept the Women of Distinction Award for civic engagement on behalf of her daughter. To hear a mother speak so sincerely about her daughter and her accomplishments in the face of tragedy was very touching. Another highlight was a valuable workshop session that provided me with a new perspective on women with ambitions to be elected to leadership positions in government. It offered a realistic view of the components that go into building a successful campaign and was eye-opening and very intriguing. And, the experience of meeting with our Congressional legislators was very empowering. I would love to see that sea of YWCA persimmon marching up Capitol Hill again.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see the YWCA on a national level at the 2012 National Conference. While working every day in the field sometimes it becomes harder to conceptualize the big picture. Being able to network and share experiences with others allowed me the chance to understand how all of our individual efforts move the organization towards the common goal of empowering women and eliminating racism. Often when speaking with professionals in other fields it is hard for them to see how things as basic as housing, counseling, transportation, or childcare can have such a huge impact on societal outcomes, however being around others that share the same goals is very empowering.