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Just Imagine What We Can Achieve YWCA Southern Arizona makes real change happen by making this a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive . It does so by:

u Building on a 100-year history of action and impact u Envisioning the next century of change-making u Raising $1.5 million for the Women’s Impact Fund


and Stand Together Arizona Training and Advocacy Center

u Growing the local economy


u Providing the tools to be successful and live the American dream

u Creating the future for all with hope, energy,


intellect and action.

1. John-Peter Wilhite, Director of Donor Relations 2. Kelly Fryer, CEO of YWCA Southern Arizona 3. Liz Rabago, COO 4. Marisela Felix, Director of Marketing & Community Relations 5. Chef John Wirtis 6. Michelle Pitot, Chief of Staff 7. Alba Jaramillo, Director of Women Out of Poverty Initiative and Latina Leadership Institute 8. From left – Kerri Lopez-Howell, Director of Special Projects; Marisol FloresAguirre, Director of Microbusiness Advancement Center 9. From left – Jillian Thomas, Digital Media Manager; Liane Hernandez, Community Outreach & Education Director; Mari Herreras, Director of Organizing & Advocacy


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YWCA Positively Impacts Lives


Just Imagine Its Second Century

‘We Are Determined’

By Valerie Vinyard

YWCA has been leading the fight for social and economic justice in Southern Arizona for 100 years.

Las Promotoras is designed to empower Spanish-speaking immigrant women in Pima County. The name translates into “the promoters” and refers to women who help create healthier communities. Launched last October, this pioneering program demonstrates how YWCA Southern Arizona, now celebrating its first century of impact, is already planning for the next 100 years of change-making. Las Promotoras is the brainchild of Alba Jaramillo, director of YWCA’s Latina Leadership Institute. “The goal is to give these women the tools to become advocates for themselves and other women to help them get out of violence,” she said. Imelda Esquer, 47, volunteers with the program. While searching online for help to escape her domestic abusive situation, she found YWCA. The organization referred her for counseling and social services and helped her enroll in Pima Community College classes. “They helped me. I feel like I have to give back,” said Esquer, who has been a YWCA volunteer over the past year. “I feel like I have to do something to improve the life of women out there. YWCA is the right place to help humans.” Moving out of poverty

Jaramillo, trained as an attorney, oversees the many programs of the institute, which focuses on economic justice and works to get women out of poverty. Its services are free.

Las Promotoras offers weeklong trainings in January on stalking awareness, April on sexual assault and October on domestic violence. Jaramillo and her team have accomplished much, including helping persuade Pima County to recognize January as Stalking Awareness Month. Mi Carrera (“my career’) is another institute program, focused on career development for Spanish-speaking women, no matter their education level. Participants learn leadership skills, public speaking, financial management and computer skills. Ultimately, the training prepares the women to go to school, get jobs or start a business. Mi Vida (“my life”) is an empowerment program that helps women who have experienced trauma. Participants work on building self-esteem, setting goals and learning to use art as a form of creative expression. Women also can vie for a scholarship for a two-month Spanish-language business training program co-sponsored by YWCA’s Women’s Business Center and the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. YWorks is a four-day employability skills building and empowerment seminar to help women identify and build their strengths and self-confidence to enter and succeed in the workforce. Participants analyze their strengths, deficits, and needs while identifying the obstacles and what resources are available to overcome them.

Achieving success

These programs work. Jaramillo said, “Ninety-five percent of women who go through the Latina Leadership Initiative programs either find a job, start a business, return to college or enroll in a GED program.” Many women who complete the various programs remain involved so they can help future participants. “The women are learning, but it doesn’t stop there. Women become volunteers when they feel they are at a point where they can mentor women. They support each other in their leadership growth. Kelly Fryer, CEO of YWCA Southern Arizona, is proud of what her organization of 24 staffers and a host of volunteers has accomplished – yet realizes there’s much more to do. Last year, she asked the board and staff to think about what YWCA’s second century should look like. Just imagine. “We looked back at everything that has been accomplished because of what our founders did 100 years ago,” Fryer said. “We asked ourselves this question: ‘One hundred years from now, when people look back at us, what will they be thankful for?’ “We want them to say that because of what we are doing today in the state of Arizona, everybody thrives. Everybody.” Overcoming disadvantages

Fryer described YWCA as an oasis where women overcome the disadvantages they

Our mission is eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, dignity and freedom for all. Today, we are as committed as ever to making Southern Arizona a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

YWCA Benefactor Frances McClelland Frances McClelland Community Center 525 N. Bonita Ave. Tucson, AZ 85745 (520) 884-7810 South Campus 243 W. 33rd St. Tucson, AZ 85713 (520) 884-7810, ext. 7201

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Championing Social Justice Since 1917 In 1917, Arizona had been a state for five years. Tucson, a place of commerce and trade for hundreds of years, had doubled in size once the railroad came to town. Streets were paved, sanitary sewers installed and an electrified streetcar replaced the mule-driven version. But the benefit of economic growth was distributed unequally. Social divisions became more entrenched. Statewide laws mandated school segregation and prohibited mixed marriages. Yet the women who started YWCA, including Tucson’s most influential women, had a vision – everyone should have the opportunity to thrive. It’s hard to overstate how radical that vision was or how difficult it would be to achieve. They wanted to create a safe space and support network for working women. In 1917, 150 members of the Tucson Business and Professional Women’s Club raised enough money to establish a YWCA over the old State Theater. Then they commissioned the first woman registered as an architect in Arizona to design a new building (now “the Historic Y”) on Fifth Street. One hundred years is a long time to foster change – and YWCA has had a significant impact. Yet eliminating racism and empowering women is still a struggle. Fortunately, YWCA has a bold vision for the next century. The goal is simple – create a community where everybody thrives. Everybody. This fight isn’t over yet.

YWCA History in Tucson 1917 YWCA of Tucson opens its doors above the old theater

at 49 E. Congress St.

1930 Groundbreaking for YWCA’s first building (now “The Historic Y” at 738 N. Fifth Ave). It includes clubrooms, offices, a swimming pool and residence rooms. 1956 The Matthews Gymnasium and the balcony bedrooms are added. YWCA purchases property at 330 E. Third Street for a cooperative home for older women. 1969 The Howsare Wing, named for Elizabeth Howsare, YWCA executive director for 27 years, adds office space and meeting rooms. Property at 301 E. Fourth Street is purchased for the Mary Kelley Child Care Center. 1974 YWCA opens the ABC Child Care Center, starts a Latch Key program and establishes a halfway house for female ex-offenders. 1979 Pearl’s Kitchen, a low-cost food program for senior citizens and the disabled, opens. 1981 A shelter for domestic violence victims and their children opens. 1982 A building housing the Laura Banks Child Care Center is acquired and the first Women on the Move Awards Banquet is held. 1988 YWCA starts Elderhostel program, which now nets more than $100,000 per year. 208 BizTucson


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continued from page 207 face – in education, work, poverty or personal matters. The organization has set two goals for the next century. “First, we are doubling down on our efforts to give women and other underserved communities the tools they need to succeed in the private sector,” said Fryer. She notes that the Women’s Impact Fund will enable YWCA to launch a microlending program and invest in social enterprise that drives economic development, especially for women and minorities. “Second, through our new Stand Together Arizona Training and Advocacy Center, we are stepping up our efforts to advocate for women and underserved communities in our state.” These programs require funding – which comes from members, grants, foundations, corporate partners and government contracts. YWCA’s fundraising efforts already have yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars for programs, education and advocacy. Its biggest push is its Second Century Fundraising Campaign to raise $1 million for the Women’s Impact Fund and $500,000 for STAT. The Connie Hillman Family Foundation is matching donations to the Women’s Impact Fund, providing $1 for every $2 raised up to $250,000. Fryer said the funding for STAT will go to education and advocacy to challenge and change what YWCA sees as the extreme agenda that is hurting Arizona’s economy, environment and people. Creating opportunity

A portion of the money raised for the Women’s Impact Fund will help build and

develop the Kitchen Business Incubator, Southern Arizona’s only kitchen facility where women and minorities will learn the skills needed to become restaurateurs. The incubator is a challenging and comprehensive three-year training program. Budding restaurateurs take business courses in operations, finance and marketing. At graduation, they will have the knowledge and training to open a food truck or their own restaurant. The Kitchen Business Incubator will be an addition to the five-building South Campus at 243 W. 33rd St., which was formerly the House of Neighborly Service. Construction should be completed later this year. YWCA programs significantly impact the Tucson business community, Fryer said, and in turn, the nonprofit benefits from support of the business community, particularly women-owned small businesses. For example, Tucson’s best women chefs and restaurant owners, women entertainers and woman-owned Buffalo Exchange come together every October to support YWCA’s “POP!” Event, which raises funds for YWCA’s Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity. Fryer noted that several Tucson businesses hold drives for Your Sister’s Closet, a 28-year-old volunteerrun service that provides workplace-ready clothing, shoes and accessories for women in need who are seeking employment. Your Sister’s Closet helps outfit about 1,000 women a year. A shopping coach helps the woman fill a bag with five outfits, including clothes, shoes, accessories and grooming supplies. Women also can get an hour-long appointment with a volunteer stylist.

BizCOMMUNITY Local businesses also hold drives for Project Period, which allows YWCA to supply feminine hygiene products to about 1,500 individualsa year at its Bonita Avenue headquarters, as well as give products to 14 other organizations to distribute. The program keeps people from missing work or school because they can’t afford supplies to manage their monthly menstrual cycle. E. Liane Hernandez has served as YWCA’s community outreach and education director since January. She affectionately calls YWCA “the oldest startup in town” and seeks out issues of bias to highlight and educate people in the community. The former chef provides “on-theground training” on topics such as inclusion and activities combating racism. “We have to be aware, take note and make changes,” she said. “The future of the United States is browner and more female. We’re constantly widening perspectives and illuminating blind spots.” Opening businesses

Some participants take advantage of classes and support services to explore, learn and gain confidence until they are ready to strike out on their own and start a business. That’s where Marisol Flores-Aguirre, executive director of the Microbusiness Advancement Center, comes in. MAC focuses on entrepreneur development and helps women start and grow their businesses through services offered in English and Spanish. The $1 million Women’s Impact Fund will enable MAC to launch a small business lending program, which will give women and minority entrepreneurs access to microloans of $500 to

$50,000. The fund will also enable MAC to launch new programs and businesses that can drive economic development in some of this community’s poorest neighborhoods. MAC also offers entrepreneurs all-important access to industry experts. “We’ve taken a very hands-on approach,” Flores-Aguirre said. “We put them in front of folks they didn’t know how to access.” Last year, MAC’s Women’s Business Center helped clients secure $63,000 in small loans to help them launch a business and become their own boss. This year, the amount jumped to $500,000. The only prerequisite for using the WBC, which YWCA acquired in 2015, is that participants attend an hour-long orientation to learn about the process. “I’m proud of the approach YWCA is taking on economic development,” Flores-Aguirre said. “We’re working to build a local economy that works for everyone.” Fryer agreed. “YWCA is a critical part of the economic infrastructure of our community,” she said. Fryer dreams of the day where these programs aren’t needed for women to succeed. “I so wish that our programs weren’t necessary,” she said. “I mean, YWCA has been doing this kind of work for 100 years. And, to be sure, women have made a lot of progress. But there is still so far to go before women achieve true equity.” Biz

4TH ANNUAL POP! EVENT Food, Fun, Fashion Sunday, Oct. 1, 5-8 p.m. Frances McClelland Community Center 525 N. Bonita Ave. $75 VIP $45 General admission $25 Students

1989 Your Sister’s Closet, a free clothing shop for low-income women seeking employment, opens. The first Women’s Leadership Conference and the Leadership Academy are presented. 1995 YWCA receives a grant for the Lesbian Cancer Project. 2000 Bright Futures, a leadership development and scholarship program for high school girls, is launched. YWCA and the city of Tucson receive top honors from the National League of Cities for Undoing Racism. 2001 Property for a new YWCA building is purchased and a capital fundraising campaign begins. 2004 YWCA in Tucson becomes the first YWCA in the United States to elect men to board membership. 2006 TechGYRLS is created and expands to schools, the Pima County Juvenile Court Detention Center and the Tohono O’odham Nation. YWCA begins construction on Bonita Avenue to be completed the following year. 2010 The Emerald Foundation awards YWCA $1 million to pay the remaining mortgage on what is now known as the France McClelland Community Center. 2010 YWCA of Tucson is the only institution in Arizona and the only YWCA in the United States to receive a Kellogg Foundation Healing Racism grant ($200,000). 2011 YWCA’s Lider de Mi Vida leadership development program for women who are recent immigrants from Mexico is named by the Center for the Future of Arizona as one of five transformative programs in the state. 2012 Janet Marcotte retires after 25 years as YWCA of Tucson executive director. 2014 The Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity, a café and catering program, and Galleria Art & Gifts are launched. 2015 YWCA of Tucson becomes YWCA Southern Arizona and acquires two nonprofit organizations – the Microbusiness Advancement Center and the House of Neighborly Service, which becomes YWCA’s South Tucson campus. 2016 YWCA’s two campuses welcome 50,000 visitors a year for classes, public forums, art and theater, conferences, community events and meetings. The board articulates a vision for the second century – Everybody Thrives. 2017 YWCA Southern Arizona celebrates its 100th anniversary. It joins with YWCA Maricopa County to start a statewide Stand Together Arizona Training and Advocacy Center. A $1.5 million fundraising campaign begins to launch YWCA into its second century of change-making. Source: YWCA Southern Arizona

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Women’s Leadership Conference Fuels Curiosity Every year YWCA Southern Arizona co-sponsors the largest women’s conference in Southern Arizona with the Women’s Business Center of Southern Arizona. This year’s theme is “Taking the Lead” and features three inspiring millennial-generation leaders and an array of 14 new workshops. The Nov. 10 event is designed to fuel your curiosity. The keynote speakers are Ashley Callingbull, the first Native woman to be crowned Mrs. Universe 2015; Brit Gilmore, president of The Giving Keys, and Ariana Stein, co-founder of Lil’ Libros. Workshop topics range from what it really takes to run for elected office, how to build a business that’s good for the planet or escape the wrong career to how to be a good ally, recharge when you don’t have time and overcome doubt and negative selftalk. Sponsorship opportunities or other details are available from Marisol Flores-Aguirre at YWCA, (520) 884-7810 or

29TH ANNUAL WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Presented by YWCA Southern Arizona and Women’s Business Center of Southern Arizona Friday, Nov. 10, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. $99 – Young Leader (age 30 and under) $145 – Early Bird (until Sept. 30) $165 – General Registration $65 – Individual Lunch-Only Ticket $650 – Table of 10 Lunch Only Register online at

Action Centers Tackle Biggest Issues Facing Women By Valerie Vinyard It’s almost overwhelming to realize how many programs and initiatives YWCA Southern Arizona implements. The nonprofit organizes its operations into three action centers. “These three action centers, together, tackle the biggest issues women and minorities in our community face at every level,” said Kelly Fryer, CEO of YWCA Southern Arizona. Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity With the WCEO, YWCA is leveling the playing field for women in business and at work. It supports women seeking to advance professionally, hoping to acquire job training, learning financial literacy and achieving educational goals for economic advancement. Led by Alba Jaramillo, the WCEO’s bilingual workforce-education and leadership-development programs help thousands of women every year gain tools and confidence to advance in their professional lives and step into leadership roles in our community. Last year the center provided 11,066 hours of service to 2,519 women. Graduates of YWorks and the Latina Leadership Institute earned $2 million in new wages. More than half of the women YWCA serves live at or below the poverty line. Many are survivors of domestic violence or face other challenges. These programs help get them on a path to a better life. Microbusiness Advancement Center MAC works to bring economic renewal to our community by investing strategically in place-based economic development and incubating small businesses. Led by Marisol Flores-Aguirre, MAC’s partnership with YWCA enables the Women’s Business Center to leverage the strengths of both organizations to increase cost efficiency and expand the outreach to microbusiness startups. The program focuses on the underserved. The numbers are impressive – last year about 1,000 entrepreneurs were served, $3.8 million in gross sales revenue was generated by WBC clients, 7,612 service hours assisted 1,379 people and 500-plus hours of business coaching were provided. Stand Together Arizona Training and Advocacy Center STAT works to implement a public-policy agenda that will lead to equity, opportunity and justice. STAT challenges “the extreme agenda that hurts Arizona women, families and minorities, and is devastating our economy and environment” and advances a legislative strategy that could make life better for Arizona residents. The STAT team is led by Liane Hernandez, community outreach and education director; Mari Herreras, director of organizing and advocacy, and Jillian Thomas, digital media manager. The goals of STAT are:

u Advance a bold, coalition-led legislative strategy that makes life better for all Arizonans.

u Deliver anti-racism and inclusion training programs to private and

public organizations.

u Create a more informed voter base through online and onsite

educational programs.

u Recruit and train better leaders for civic leadership. u Support local, grassroots movements. Learn more at

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Rosey Koberlein CEO Long Companies

Nurturing Budding Businesswomen By Valerie Vinyard It’s one thing to have a fantastic idea for opening a business. Then reality sets in. First, you need a business plan. Then you need a building, supplies, materials and staff, not to mention mentoring from fellow entrepreneurs. And don’t forget about money. Lots of money. YWCA’s Social Enterprise Task Force is a much needed team of experts who identify, vet and recommend social enterprise business opportunities to YWCA. These social enterprise businesses provide job training, help launch other small businesses, drive economic development and generate revenue for YWCA programs. The task force is also helping YWCA become more entrepreneurial. The task force, whose members include two attorneys, a CPA, financial planner and a business owner, has an all-important purpose – to vet business opportunities and help shepherd them. “It’s taking some very, very smart women who are vetting business ideas that also support the mission of YWCA,” said Rosey Koberlein, a

YWCA board and task force member. Koberlein described one opportunity that fell into the task force’s hands about two years ago – the chance to open the Kitchen Business Incubator at the YWCA’s South Campus in South Tucson. When the incubator opens later this year, women and minority entrepreneurs hoping to enter the food business will have access to cooking, prep and storage space in a commercially licensed kitchen; business classes; technical training; business counseling, and co-working space. “We’re helping them put together a very sound business,” Koberlein said. “YWCA is doing economic development on a grass-roots level.” Koberlein is CEO of Long Companies, which employs 90 at the main East River Road complex and has 950 real estate agents. Her first experience with YWCA started in the East, when she rented one of the organization’s residence rooms while attending college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “YWCA has always had

a soft spot in my heart,” she said. “It’s a great use of my time.” Armed with a degree from Kent State University, Koberlein eventually moved to California and accepted a job with Long Realty. She steadily moved up the ranks. She already had fallen in love with Tucson during her travels after earning a master’s degree in public administration from University of California, Berkeley. When Koberlein met YWCA CEO Kelly Fryer about four years ago at the Women at the Top breakfast group, Fryer had an easy task reeling her in. “She hooked me,” said Koberlein, saying Fryer inspires her. “Kelly has this vision where the current YWCA could create a sustainable income flow.” While that’s not a reality yet, Koberlein has served as a YWCA board member for three years and on the task force about two. She calls her service an incredibly rewarding experience – but it sometimes can be difficult to accomplish YWCA’s self-described mission “to empower continued on page 214 >>> Fall 2017


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BizCOMMUNITY YWCA Southern Arizona Makes Real Change Happen YWCA Southern Arizona programs produce impressive results. Just in the past 12 months: u 1,500 women gained tools to find employment, injecting $2 million in new wages into the local economy. u 1,000 entrepreneurs got help starting and growing businesses, generating $3.8 million in local sales revenue. u 7,612 training hours served 1,379 people and 500-plus hours of business coaching were provided. u 500 young professional women learned leadership skills to advance in their careers. u 200 community events, public forums and arts programs were held. u 40,000 people marched across Arizona for human rights and continue to be mobilized for action with YWCA support and training. Source: YWCA Southern Arizona

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continued from page 213 women and eliminate racism.” “It feels like we’re pushing that mission uphill,” she said. “You would think in 2017, it would be like pushing it down an expressway. That’s why the task force even becomes more important.” Koberlein said there have been bright spots, too. When YWCA moved in to create the Kitchen Business Incubator in South Tucson, she noted how the main building, the former House of Neighborly Service Center, had been defaced with graffiti. Once YWCA started cleaning it up, she said the community took ownership and the vandalism ceased. The kitchen incubator is not the only thing happening at the South Campus. This is where the Women’s Business Center is located. It’s also the site of the only coworking space south of Broadway, a meeting space for community groups and an experiment site for new programs that will support cultural and food entrepreneurs in South Tucson. “It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done in a really long time,” Koberlein said. “In terms of value for your dollar, the community receives a tremendous rate of return from YWCA.” Biz

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