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Message and Updates from our President and CEO

By Michelle Basham, President and CEO, YWCA Minneapolis
April 13, 2020
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Monday, April 13, 2020


Consistent with the governor’s extension of the stay-at-home executive order to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19, YWCA Minneapolis will extend through May 4 temporary closures we implemented for our fitness centers, a few of our Early Childhood Education centers and Girls and Youth programming.


We continue to operate our Early Childhood Education center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital to serve critical workers and are reopening our center at Ecolab, effective today April 13. The Ecolab center, located in St. Paul, is in close proximity to three hospitals and well-positioned to also serve health care and other essential workers who remain on the front lines during this pandemic.

As we all learn from this crisis and reshape how we go forward, we are exploring and implementing new and exciting ways to live our mission and impact those we serve.

While delivering Health and Wellness classes online and on demand, we are also taking the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board’s decision to cancel their beach events this summer into consideration as we plan our 12th annual Women’s Triathlon. We will announce our decision by May 1. Even if our Tri looks different this year, we promise to provide unparalleled training support throughout the summer and continue to celebrate the strength in all women.

Our Early Childhood Education directors check in with parents daily and share fun activities to help keep their little ones engaged at home. And our Girls, Inc. team launched their first “Woman of the Week” live interview with Eryn O’Neil. We also continue to serve as an information connector; sharing articles and community resources as we navigate our way through this pandemic together.

Remember to join us for a special edition of It’s Time to Act!TM on April 23. Featuring a virtual conversation with Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, we will expand understanding of systemic inequities and racism, and how crises like COVID-19 amplify the discrimination we already see in our community. Through guided action planning, participants will identify ways to leverage public policy to advance equity and stand against racism. Have a question you’d like to ask? Send it to

Of course, our signature fundraising event renamed Connecting Our Circles, is being held on April 29. Join us for a virtual day of connecting and giving to support the life-changing work of YWCA Minneapolis. Hear inspiring stories from program participants, honor our Woman of Power Award recipient Shelley Carthen Watson, shop the silent auction and more throughout the day. Emergency, unrestricted dollars raised are vital to sustaining the health of our organization. Please join us on April 29 and consider making a tax-deductible contribution to YWCA Minneapolis Emergency Fund.

We look forward to seeing you soon, virtually.