I feel a sense of urgency to find promising and pragmatic solutions to the challenges in our community. Injustice, poverty and lack of opportunity can be overwhelming. But we push back hard against these elements, and to see hope where there was once despair can be not only emotional, but extremely gratifying as well. – Megan Schwerdt Williams
Megan Schwerdt Williams
YWCA Board of Directors
#ONAMISSION since 2018
How did you first get involved at the YWCA?
I was raised to believe you have a duty to be a force for good within your community. I think we’ve all seen how narrow worldviews, power imbalances and biases have led to people being maligned and forgotten. I wanted to be part of a movement that addresses these issues through real, boots-on-the ground activism, direct interaction and positive messaging. The YWCA fit all these criteria and I was fortunate enough to be approached by current board member Amber Oetting about getting involved. To me it was the purpose I had been searching for.
Who is a woman you look up to?
I love Oprah for her fearlessness, wit, candor and awareness. Her charitable and world-building endeavors have made a great difference across genders, regions, orientations, religions and races. This is why she’s one of the most admired and respected individuals on the planet.
What are you most proud of in your work with the YWCA?
I am most proud of being a part of an organization that addresses inequality and bias issues holistically and without reservation. One of the YWCA’s values is “dignity for all”. What a great way to view and interact with humanity.
What is one thing you’ve learned in your time on the board?
That it’s important to look outside yourself and your experiences. You need to really understand and share what binds us together.
What drives you to do this work?
I feel a sense of urgency to find promising and pragmatic solutions to the challenges in our community. Injustice, poverty and lack of opportunity can be overwhelming. But we push back hard against these elements, and to see hope where there was once despair can be not only emotional, but extremely gratifying as well.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to try new things and explore the outdoors; I love playing and being silly with my family, cooking delicious food and drinking wine with my friends. I feel very fortunate to be afforded these moments and my hope is the work we perform through YWCA allows others these same light-hearted moments.
Who do you look up to or feel inspired by within the YWCA?
I’ve heard Joan Wagnon speak about her earlier years with the YWCA and I find her relentlessness and grit not only empowering, but essential to creating change.
Thank you, Megan!
Like Megan said, we simply cannot wait to achieve justice for all. Today, you can make a difference eliminating racial divides and empowering women’s decisions by becoming a volunteer or donating to our mission.