Honoree: Faye Washington
President and Chief Executive Officer
YWCA Greater Los Angeles
Beyond leading one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, Faye Washington has dedicated her career to activism and the empowerment of women. As president and CEO of the YWCA Greater Los Angeles, Washington has taken on issues of racism, trafficking and homelessness, as well as voting rights, civil rights, affordable housing, pay equity, violence prevention and health care reform. Through her vision and continued advocacy, she has forever improved the Los Angeles community. She is at the helm of YWCA GLA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. She orchestrated multi-million dollar facilities for the Los Angeles community, specifically serving at-risk youth, and she has become a respected leader and voice during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 protests surrounding racial justice. She guides YMCA GLA’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Washington masterminded the landmark Los Angeles Job Corps Urban Campus that serves as a home to 400 at-risk youths and offers the blueprint to replicate this vision in other urban centers around the country. The Urban Campus is a state-of-the-art, seven-story building with health facilities, library, dining accommodations, vocational training classrooms, campus-wide green spaces, dormitory rooms and offices for YWCA staff. She also led the development of the Union Pacific Empowerment Center in East Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art facility, which offers child development, senior programs, career transitional programs and California High School Exit Exam Preparation. These facilities have funded over $100 million and provided much-needed assets on the YWCA’s balance sheet. Washington’s expertise in social justice is widely recognized and sought after by community leaders. She was requested by Congressman Adam Schiff and Councilmember Mitch O’ Farrell to moderate a virtual town hall on the coronavirus recovery and the path forward to racial justice. And against the backdrop of Black Lives Matter protests, Washington sponsored a virtual town hall to address the culture of police brutality. Through meticulous hard work, creative vision, audacity and persistence, Washington has established herself asa”game-changer,” ushering innovative strategies that have garnered the adulation of local and federal policymakers.