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Ijeoma Oluo to speak at Womxn of Achievement Awards

Olympia YWCA Womxn of Achievement award ceremony this year will feature special guest Ijeoma Oluo, a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and Internet Yeller. She’s the author of The New York Times best-seller So You Want to Talk about Race, published by Seal Press. The Seattle Times said that the book “pulls the most exasperated among us back from the brink and reminds us of what’s to be gained from continuing the discussion.”

Oluo’s work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice and the arts. She’s an engaging writer and popular speaker—her work has appeared in all kinds of outlets from the Washington Post and Time Magazine to Elle and The Stranger. You can get a taste of her approach in a piece called “The Conversation I’ve Been Dreading: Ijeoma Oluo Talks about Race with her Mom” online at “Trenchant and lucid” describes her writing. And she grew up in Seattle.

Oluo has a heap of honors and recognitions: she was one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, named one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine and one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met. She was the winner of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society. Since the YWCA Olympia established its Womxn of Achievement Award in 1994, it has become one of the most prestigious honors for womxn and businesses in the South Sound.   The award seeks to center and recognize the accomplishments, professional contributions, and public service performed by womxn in the community. The Womxn of Achievement Award recognizes those who embody outstanding leadership qualities, are exceptionally committed to their community and/or profession, and live or work in the Greater South Sound area.

All womxn, and especially Womxn of Color, continue to be under-represented in significant ways.  Womxn of Achievement helps to increase the visibility of womxn by celebrating the contributions of incredible leaders and businesses in our community, who are not only making a huge difference, but who are often overlooked because of historic and current patterns of racism and sexism.

While all womxn and businesses are encouraged and eligible to receive awards, Womxn of Achievement as an event is a platform for centering Womxn of Color, who are the leaders of change at the intersections of race and gender justice. Our honorees work to eliminate racism and sexism, to empower womxn, and have advanced the political, social and economic status of womxn and girls. They embody the YWCA’s vision of a world where all people are valued, live free from oppression, and thrive in a just society.

When is the event: Saturday, November 2, 2019

Where is the event: at South Puget Sound Community College.

When and where can I get tickets: Ticket info online at, under Events (2019 Womxn of Achievement). All proceeds benefit YWCA Olympia.

For more information contact Cherie Reeves Sperr, Development Director at 352-0593 or

*YWCA is using the “label” womxn to encompass a broader range of identities than woman and is based on self-identity

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