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Fireside Chat with Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA
Alejandra Y. Castillo, former National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency of the US Department of Commerce, took the reigns as CEO of YWCA USA in 2017. As the first Hispanic American woman to lead MBDA she helped secure financing and capital over $19 billion and created/retained 33,000 jobs. With over two decades of public service experience, she has served in two presidential administrations, as well as served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Alejandra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in economics and political science; a Master of Arts degree in public policy from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; and a Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law.
YWCA USA serves 2.3 million women and girls around the country through an independent network of 200 associations that provide direct services and advocate for justice and equity, with special emphasis on issues at the intersection of racism and sexism.
Our Award Recipients
Eliminating Racism Award: Sharlen Moore
Sharlen Moore has committed her life to building and sustaining grassroots leadership for change. She has a passion for community justice, which led to her co-founding Urban Underground in 2000, a nationally recognized grassroots youth development organization whose members have been at the forefront of youth-led social change in Milwaukee and the region. She is also the founding member of Youth Justice Milwaukee which is a broad-based youth decarceration campaign advocating for the creation of community-based, family-centered, restorative programs as an alternative to locking up youth in Wisconsin prisons. Sharlen’s efforts have touched the lives of countless youth and have inspired a new generation of young leaders that will carry forth the struggle for justice and equality.
Sharlen currently serves as Director of Youth Justice Milwaukee & Urban Underground, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Empowering Women Award: Vicky Selkowe
Vicky Selkowe is the Manager of Strategic Initiatives & Community Partnerships for the City of Racine. In this role, she helps lead the City’s efforts to tackle systemic disparities and inequities and she works with community residents and partner organizations to support and scale up effective strategies and programs. Vicky has been engaged in policy advocacy and systems change in Wisconsin for more than 20 years. She is a public interest attorney who represented low-income clients in employment, housing, and public benefits cases; led statewide anti-poverty policy advocacy efforts; and was Chief of Staff to a State Representative for nearly 6 years. Vicky also spent 4 years as lobbyist for Wisconsin’s largest civil legal aid law firm and was the Lead Instructor for the Wisconsin Women’s Network’s Policy Institute, which empowers women from around the state to become effective policy advocates.
Vicky is a graduate of Beloit College and the University of Wisconsin Law School, and lives in the City of Racine with her husband and his two cats.
Thank you to our generous and supportive sponsors!