A Night to Remember

Photo By Nate Photography

On Tuesday night, YW Boston’s¬†sesquicentennial gala¬†celebrated 150 years of continuous work to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

The celebration, themed¬†“The Progress and The Promise,” took a look back at historic landmarks of progress (including¬†being the first YWCA in the nation!), while reminding all present of our collective responsibility to keep the promise of a Boston free from discrimination.

Nearly 600 guests took part in the event, held at the Boston Marriott Copley. The evening featured a keynote by Professor Anita Hill, performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus, and visual presentations of the history and legacy of YW Boston.¬†


Professor Anita Hill included personal history, research, and vision into her remarks. 

In her keynote remarks, Professor Anita Hill reported that young women, particularly women of color, still face barriers to full participation in educational and career opportunities. However, she remarked, “demographics are not destiny.” She further emphasized how community institutions like YW Boston play a vital role in helping young women overcome barriers to reach their potential.¬†

“We are informing, training, and encouraging young people to reach their full educational, social, and political potential.”

– Professor Anita Hill on YW Boston’s work


Guests were treated to two performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus.


YW Boston President and CEO Sylvia Ferrell-Jones took the stage to share impact stories.


YW Boston President and CEO Sylvia Ferrell-Jones shared two powerful stories of YW Boston’s impact on individuals – Reggie, who saw through the LeadBoston program how his company National Grid was integral to the provision of life-saving treatments for sick infants; and Rosa, a mother in a shelter who learned through the Women’s Health and Wellness workshops how to better care for her diabetic child.¬†

The event also included a short video about the history of YW Boston, the first YWCA in the nation, founded in 1866, and the current approach the organization takes to building a better Boston for all. 



The event was made possible by YW Boston’s 150th Anniversary sponsors, including Platinum sponsors, BNY Mellon, State Street Bank, Holland & Knight, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare, Boston Properties, and PwC.¬†