All last year, YWCA brought a traveling tapestry to community events, inviting supporters to add the names of women who inspire them. Many of the strips of cloth added to the tapestry weren’t the names of historical figures and famous trailblazers, but of mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, suggesting that the promise of an equitable future starts right in the home.

Picture of YWCA's traveling tapestry

In 2019, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish invited the community to celebrate 125 years of service through a series of community events. Below are some of the many contributions to our traveling tapestry, organized by reoccurring themes.

WISDOM & LESSONS

Picture of tapestry contribution that says: "My mother and grandmothers... all such different stories leading to totally different paths... together they make up a huge part of the woman I've become."

Some tapestry strips spoke to the benefit of knowledge and experience passed down from those who struggled through previous generations.

"On-ni (Grandma) saved my life!"

"My mom – she was on the YWCA board and she introduced me to the work of the YWCA. Now I’m on the board and giving back." 

"Georgina 'GiGi' Hawk. First woman of color District Manager with King County Parks. My mentor and friend in the environmental advocacy and employment of POC."

"My mother and grandmothers. All such different stories leading to totally different paths. Together they make up a huge part of the woman I’ve become."

While some spoke of the wisdom they witness from their own children:

"My Eloise Bea. My 3-year-old spirited daughter who impacts and shapes my motherhood every day. This future WA woman will change the world. Look out!"

Some of the strips of fabric described important lessons learned as a young person.

"My mom and grandmas who taught me resilience and strength, and not being afraid to speak up and use my voice to help others."

"My dear mom taught me to save my money."

"My grandma showed me how to work hard, run a business, and manage money."

STRENGTH & SUPPORT

Picture of tapestry contribution that says: "Jill for her tireless efforts fighting for gender and queer equity and for loving me unconditionally and fiercely."

Many who contributed described the women who inspired them as having high expectations of them, but that setting the bar high was out of love and belief in their future. Strength, grace, resilience – these words echo throughout the tapestry.

"My Nana was ahead of her time. She was her own boss and set the bar high for me without diminishing me."

"My mom taught me resilience, patience and humor."

"Leola. Pure love and strength."

A sense of the importance of support in the long road to equity is strong among the submissions.

"Jill for her tireless efforts fighting for gender and queer equity, and for loving me unconditionally and fiercely."

"Mom—inspiration from 1976 to today. Always supportive, always learning, always teaching, always loving."

"My grandmother traveled halfway around the world to give us a better life. She taught herself English and worked multiple jobs to take care of my mother. She taught me I can accomplish anything. I am the woman I am because of her bravery and strength."

"My sister. We started our careers around the same time and have supported each other and encouraged each other and watched each other flourish."

STRIVING FOR MORE

Picture of tapestry contribution that says: "Great Grandma Verna. Teacher, pilot, traveler, survivor."

Women valued seeing other women in their lives reach beyond traditional roles.

"Sureshta. Hardworking woman, great mother, inspiring person, mathematician."

"Great Grandma Verna. Teacher, pilot, traveler, survivor."

"Mom, you made your three girls believe anything is possible!"

TOTAL ACCEPTANCE

Picture of tapestry contribution that says: "Cheryl Snyder. She lets me be me!"

Finally, many were moved by the total love and acceptance they experienced from these women who inspired them.

"Beth, you raised me up to stand on mountains, to be more than I thought I could be."

"My mom. Inspired me to follow my dreams and be true to myself."

"Cheryl. She lets me be me!"

 

We loved reflecting on these incredibly inspiring women who modeled what equity looks like, starting right at home. However, in order to create equity at home, you need access to stable, safe homes. Help families in need through YWCA’s transitional and permanent affordable housing by making a donation or in-kind gift today.

Issue Area
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Gender Equity
Racial Equity
YWCA 125
Annalee Schafranek

Annalee Schafranek is the Marketing & Editorial Director at YWCA. She contributes agency news, press releases, and media coverage to the website. Annalee’s educational and professional experience has always focused on the place where gender equity and media meet.

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Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:41
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