Home » Ask Me About | Rickell Howard Smith

Ask Me About | Rickell Howard Smith

President and CEO, YWCA Greater Cincinnati

by Elizabeth Miller Wood

ASK ME ABOUT: My first year with the organization and our plans for the future.

WHAT HAS BEEN MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR FIRST YEAR AS CEO of YWCA GREATER CINCINNATI? The most rewarding aspect was working with our amazing staff, volunteers, community partners, and supporters. My entire career has been focused on positively impacting our community, and at YWCA it’s inspiring to collaborate with others who believe in our bold mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR RECENT CHANGES ON THE EXECUTIVE TEAM DRIVE PROGRESS FOR THE YWCA’S MISSION? I’ve had the privilege of building a talented, diverse, and action-focused executive team to lead YWCA into our next chapter. In just one year, this team and staff have expanded our racial and gender equity work, services to domestic violence survivors, and violence prevention programming in schools as well as attracted local and national funders to invest in advancement of our bold mission. This is only the beginning.

HOW WILL A NEW $600,000 GRANT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HELP ADVANCE YOUR SERVICES AND PROGRAMMING? We were grateful to receive this award to reach survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in underserved populations and provide them with safe, effective, and accessible victim services. This funding will expand and deepen our work to serve domestic violence survivors living with disabilities and special needs, as well as their families.