YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley | News


YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. YWCA serves Knox, Blount, Anderson, Roane, Loudon, and Sevier counties in East Tennessee with programs ranging from transitional housing to domestic violence services, youth services, victim advocacy, and more. We welcome the opportunity to speak about YWCA’s work. Director of Communications and Events, Karlyn Reel, can connect you with experts from our organization who serve our community.

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YWCA in the News:

YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center Official Statement to Tragedies at Austin- East Magnet High School

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is deeply saddened by Monday, April 12th's events at Austin-East Magnet High School.

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Makes Significant Gift to YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a significant gift from author and philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. In the past four months, Ms. Scott has given gifts totaling $4,158,500,000 to 384 organizations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley was selected to receive funding, alongside other organizations nationwide who were identified as having “strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates.”

Rachel Haverkamp, Interim Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley, noted, “We are honored and humbled to receive this generous gift, alongside so many outstanding nonprofit organizations. YWCA has been a beacon of hope for women and their families in our community for over 120 years. 2020 has been an especially challenging year for the women and families we serve.” Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, YWCA has continued to provide safe housing through the Keys of Hope Women’s Program and Scattered-Site Housing Programs across YWCA’s six-county service area; victim advocacy services for individuals fleeing domestic violence; and essential after-school and virtual learning support for students in our East Knoxville community. “We are grateful for this gift to ensure that YWCA continues to carry out its mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all,” said Haverkamp.

Three other local nonprofits, Goodwill Industries – Knoxville, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, and United Way of Greater Knoxville were also selected to receive support from Ms. Scott. YWCA is honored to be recognized alongside these organizations who are also making a difference in the Knoxville community.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2020 "We Believe You"

YWCA Director of Community and Donor Relations, Ally Slavick, checks in with Tanisha Fitzgerald-Baker on Talking with T to place a focus on Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Their October 26th conversation begins at the 6:30 minute mark.

YWCA Advocates Work to Help Abuse Survivors Vote Safely

Many domestic violence abuse survivors don't vote out fear of their info being made public. However, there is a state program that can help.

Phyllis Wheatley Center Helping Virtual Learners

Phyllis Wheatley Center Director, Monica Smith-Albright and Director of Public Relations, Karlyn Reel spoke with Carol Shane at the Shopper News Northeast edition about the latest programming at the Phyllis Wheatley Center.

Virtual Keys of Hope Luncheon

The 10th Annual Keys of Hope Luncheon has virtual this year due to COVID-19. However, that didn't stop YWCA from sharing the story of the life-saving programs provided to clients across the Tennessee Valley. WVLT News Anchor, Brittany Tarwater hosted the event that raised over $140,000.

Newly Renovated Modular Classroom at Phyllis Wheatley Center

With the help from volunteers at Clayton, a modular classroom at the Phyllis Wheatley Center has been renovated and now available for students who attending the Virtual Home Away From Home Program. The 2,000 square-foot modular needed many cosmetic updates. Clayton volunteers started working on the project in February and continued their work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.