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Shelley Carthen Watson Receives 2020 Woman of Power Award

By YWCA Minneapolis
May 4, 2020
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YWCA Minneapolis is proud to present the 2020 Woman of Power Award to Shelley Carthen Watson for her distinguished and influential leadership.

Shelley Carthen Watson personifies the mission of YWCA Minneapolis. Distinguished in civic, professional and academic roles, she demonstrates extraordinary commitment to and leadership in YWCA values – peace, justice, freedom and dignity. She is a nationally renowned labor and employment law expert and works to create new opportunities for inclusiveness and collaboration. A frequent guest lecturer for conferences and law school classes, Shelley serves as a mentor to young African American lawyers to build and support future leaders of color in the legal profession. She is currently the senior associate general counsel at the University of Minnesota Office of the General Counsel.

Through her contributions, Shelley Carthen Watson strengthens our community and paves the way for lasting impact. As an advocate of youth development, Shelley served as president of the Minneapolis Chapter of Jack and Jill America, the sponsoring organization of the Rites of Passage program. Over the past 19 years, this program has recognized and assisted 275+ young African American men in their transition into leaders of tomorrow.

Shelley is a longtime supporter of YWCA Minneapolis and a two-term board member. She was a member of the successful Power to Soar campaign committee helping raise $22.5 million dollars to support and sustain the organization’s future.

YWCA Minneapolis established the Woman of Power Award to honor women across the Twin Cities who have demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm and support for the mission of YWCA Minneapolis. The Woman of Power Award is presented to an individual each year who has shown extraordinary leadership, dedication and achievement in all of YWCA’s core values – peace, justice, freedom and dignity. The award was presented to Shelley Carthen Watson this year at YWCA Minneapolis virtual Connecting Our Circles event.

Watch the award presentation and interview with YWCA Minneapolis President and CEO Michelle Basham and Shelley Carthen Watson: