YWCA Evanston/North Shore hosted their fifth annual YWomen Leadership Awards Benefit on October 3.
At the event, they honored several remarkable individuals and organizations for their commitment to women’s empowerment, racial equality and social change in front of an audience of more than 400 people.
The first honoree, Alice Tregay, began her work against racial injustices in 1964 when she challenged Chicago public schools and marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to end discrimination in Chicago housing policies. She then began the political education division of what is now Operation Push, and continues her work today at age 82 through voter registration drives and hosting supportive and encouraging youth workshops.
Kaethe Morris Hoffer was honored for her work in supporting victims of sexual assault, exploitation and trafficking. She has been committed to this cause for the past 20 years, and is currently the Deputy Executive and Legal Director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE). She also represented Equality Now in the United Nations proceedings which determined the definition of and law against the international sex trade.
YWCA presented Elizabeth Stanton with the Lorraine H. Morton Young Woman of Promise award. Elizabeth has used her photography and video exhibits to show how women’s sports can have a positive influence on the lives of women and bring about personal and social change in greater communities.
In addition to these honored individuals, Links-North Shore Youth Health Service was also awarded for their work supporting youth to make educated and responsible decisions concerning their health and sexuality. They provide health education in schools and community venues, reproductive health care, support services for LGBTQ youth and counseling services as well.
Proceeds from the benefit were put towards various women-empowering YWCA programs, including financial literacy classes and domestic violence services. YWCA continues each day to work towards eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice and freedom throughout the community.
Here’s a video from the event: