July 2, 2021 GLENDALE, CA – The Board of Directors of the YWCA Glendale and Pasadena would like to publicly address the many factual errors and pointed racism contained in Mike Mohill’s recent newsletter, “SENATOR ANTHONY PORTANTINO HONORS A QUESTIONABLE INDIVIDUAL.” This is not the first newsletter that Mr. Mohill has written that obsessively focuses on our CEO’s race as an African American woman, while attempting to discredit the transformative work she has accomplished in unifying our community and moving us through a shadow pandemic of violence against women and a year of racial reckoning.
We stand unequivocally in support of Tara Peterson and her leadership, and we are honored to celebrate her 5-year anniversary at YWCA this week and the many accomplishments she has achieved during this tenure. We recognize that Black women are frequently the targets of racist attacks, especially so when leading groundbreaking work that drives social change. As a Board of Directors, we denounce this racism, establish that we as a body review and approve our policy priorities each year, and we restate our position that hiring Tara for this role was one of the best decisions ever made at and for our YWCA.
As a point of clarity, we would like to address the organizational inaccuracies contained in Mr. Mohill’s newsletter and to provide our community with some historical background on YWCA’s history and evolution:
Since 2009, over 200 YWCA chapters across the nation have shared the mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. These chapters use the eliminating racism empowering women logo.
YWCA’s mission, originally inspired by principles derived from Christianity, has in recent years embraced an inclusive vision and in December 2015, Young Women’s Christian Association changed its name to YWCA USA, Inc. YWCA Glendale & Pasadena embodies the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and employs and serves people of all faiths as well as those with no religious affiliation.
YWCA Glendale and Pasadena has not and will not be moving away from its core programming of 24/7 Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention services. This year, we served a record 2,600 survivors of domestic violence and as our community re-opens, we anticipate serving even more survivors. We have expanded our Girls’ Empowerment and Racial Justice work to respond to the needs of women and girls – and we will continue to evolve our programming to best meet the emerging needs of our community. We remain unwavering in our commitment to do this work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, and until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.
YWCA Glendale & Pasadena Board of Directors