The New Philanthropists: Donor Profile
After wrapping up the successful Power to SoarTM comprehensive campaign, we are highlighting women who led the campaign with passion and enthusiasm and who will continue to do great things for our community. This edition features Kristi K. Adams, former national board member of YWCA USA.
How long, and in what ways, have you been involved with the YWCA?
I began my relationship with the YWCA at the University of Minnesota when there was a vibrant student group on campus. We were THE Women’s group on campus and provided a safe space to explore issues of social justice. Through my involvement as a student activist, I was introduced to the National YWCA and served as the Chairwoman of the National Student Council.
Part of the excitement of the YWCA was being part of a national movement that had a mission that I felt personally connected to - the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women and girls.
I enjoy giving money to the YWCA of Minneapolis because I know it will help change a life. I know it will help support a young child in the YWCA’s childcare program, or will go to support a racial justice conversation in a local workplace with a trained facilitator. It will go to help support an older woman’s first triathlon, helping her build confidence in her mind and body. The YWCA offers many programs that reflect my values of working towards peace and justice, values that are shared with many wise and committed people.
How did you come to be a donor?
I became a donor to the YWCA of Minneapolis because over the years I’ve witnessed the YWCA take a leadership role in racial justice work in this community. I appreciate the fact that the YWCA is involved intentionally in the unlearning of racism. I’ve hosted tables over the years at the annual It’s Time to Talk:TMForum on Race luncheon, and I’ve invited friends and clients to join me because I feel the event provides an opportunity to openly discuss relevant issues confronting American society today.
I’m fortunate because I have an abundance of thoughtful, powerful women in my life and we challenge each other to go deeper in our understanding of how institutional racism and sexism reinforce the status quo. As a financial adviser, I am well aware of the economic disparities between people of color and white folks and the very real economic challenges women face every day in trying to provide for their families. Being part of the YWCA has provided me tools and strengthened my resolve to be a change agent in the world.
Have you maintained your connections with the national YWCA USA and/or other members you met at the national stage?
I served one term on the YWCA National Board after my student organizing and learned that the YWCA was not only a national movement; it was a worldwide movement of dedicated women who looked around their communities and found enterprising ways to meet the needs of women and girls. This greatly expanded my worldview.
The YWCA has been an important contributor to my development as a leader and the skills I’ve learned helped build my confidence and competence in the various organizations I’ve served with since college graduation. These skills have also served me well in my career. I remain connected with many of the women who mentored me during my college years and I donate to the National YWCA as a way to give back.
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Download Our Voice Winter 2015
Our Voice is a publication of YWCA of Minneapolis. And your voice matters to us!
To download a copy of Our Voice Winter 2015, click here.