YWCA Greater Flint awarded $1 million gift

FLINT — YWCA Greater Flint can fast-track the development of a Women’s Empowerment Center that will give area women and girls a place to gather, learn and strive after receiving a $1 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

“I am thrilled and will be forever grateful to Ms. Scott for this generous gift,” said Dr. Michelle O. Rosynsky, CEO of YWCA Greater Flint. “Our Women’s Empowerment Center will provide women and girls throughout the greater Flint area with a safe place to share ideas and develop their skills to be leaders in our community.”

YWCA Greater Flint was one of 384 nonprofits nationwide awarded a gift from Scott, whose team studied more than 6,400 organizations to ensure the donations would have a lasting effect.

“We do this research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached,” Scott wrote in a blog post announcing the donations. “These 384 carefully selected teams have dedicated their lives to helping others.”

Scott has pledged to give a majority of her wealth back to society through donations like the ones awarded this week. The ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said it’s important to give back to the society that helped generate her wealth.

The YWCA Greater Flint’s Women’s Empowerment Center will offer a wide range of racial justice and gender equity educational programs and services, focusing on the areas of life coaching and mentoring, self-esteem and leadership skill development, women’s financial empowerment, and challenging racism. The development of activities for middle school girls is also underway. The center will partner with community organizations to ensure these initiatives are offered throughout the Greater Flint area. Programming through the Women’s Empowerment Center will begin in mid to late 2021.

“We’re honored Ms. Scott recognized us as an organization that can be trusted to make a positive difference in our community,” Rosynsky said. “We’re excited to expand our services that offer women and girls throughout the area a unique set of programs that contribute to a vibrant community.” — G.G.