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Facility Notice: YWCA Minneapolis fitness centers, as well as Early Childhood Education centers (except Abbott), are temporarily closed through the end of April. Learn More

Connecting Our Circles

Celebrate Our 24th Annual Signature Fundraising Event

Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our members, our employees, and the communities we serve. To that end, we have made the decision to shift our Circle of Women event on April 29 from an in-person program to a virtual day of giving event: Connecting Our Circles.

As the world adapts to social distancing, we are redefining what it means to connect with others.  A virtual day of giving offers us a new opportunity to showcase the many ways that YWCA plays a critical role in the well-being of our community, and to create meaningful engagement through technology.

Support from our beloved YWCA community has never been more important. Emergency, unrestricted dollars will be vital to the health of our organization and our ability to respond quickly as things progress.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Time: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Location: Virtual Event
Cost: Free

What to Expect

  • Fun! We will laugh and celebrate our community together. We want to hear from you!
  • A showcase of YWCA’s outstanding programs and the impact they have in our community.
  • Inspiring stories from YWCA staff, fitness members, parents and program participants.
  • Interactive sessions with our new president and CEO, Michelle Basham, and honoring our Woman of Power Award recipient, Shelley Carthen Watson.
  • Online shopping with a purpose through YWCA’s silent auction.
  • Challenge matches throughout the day that will double your impact.

Woman of Power Award

We are pleased to announce the 2020 Woman of Power Award will be presented to Shelley Carthen Watson!

The Woman of Power Award honors extraordinary women who are committed to the mission of YWCA Minneapolis and our values of peace, justice, freedom and dignity. These women lead, inspire and advocate for others in our community.

Ms. Carthen Watson personifies the mission of YWCA Minneapolis. Distinguished in civic, professional and academic roles, she demonstrates extraordinary commitment to YWCA values and leadership in our community. Ms. Carthen Watson is a nationally renowned labor and employment law expert and works to create new opportunities for inclusiveness and collaboration. Past recipients of the award include community changemakers Kim Nelson and Sharon Sayles Belton.

Supporting Life-Changing Programs

Connecting Our Circle signature fundraiser is an inspirational opportunity to support life-changing programs that empower women and girls in our community.

Be inspired by their stories! See a recap of last year’s event here.

Every year, we leverage our expertise and knowledge to deliver innovative programs and passionate advocacy in education, racial justice and wellness, creating a positive impact on the lives of over 30,000 people in our community.

Our Impact Includes:

  • 28,000 health and fitness members visited three urban fitness centers
  • 1,350 women built strength, dignity and vitality in wellness programs
  • 4,000 diverse individuals were empowered to take action to eliminate racism
  • 1,250 girls and youth engaged in quality afterschool programs
  • 2,700 advocates raised awareness about addressing institutional racism and advancing economic empowerment for women and girls
  • 4,000 individuals were awarded health and fitness scholarships
  • 1286 volunteers generously gave 4,953 hours of their time
  • 640 children received high-quality, nationally accredited early childhood education


Want to make sure you receive information for the 2020 Connecting Our Circles event?

Email Alyssa Whalon at to be added to the invite list!