Over 1,300 community members will celebrate outstanding Utah women at YWCA LeaderLuncheon

At this year’s 30th annual YWCA LeaderLuncheon on Friday, September 7 from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM at the Grand America Hotel, community members will come together to celebrate, be inspired, and raise critical funds for YWCA Utah.

YWCA Utah will recognize remarkable women who have demonstrated their commitment to advancing the well-being of Utah women and girls, and whose work and achievements exemplify the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award and YWCA Heart and Soul Award recipients:

Sheryl Allen – Public Service 
A dedicated public servant who served 16 years in the Utah House of Representatives, Sheryl is also a founding member of Real Women Run, a collaborative, non-partisan effort

Mary Beckerle – Medicine & Health 
A compassionate healthcare leader and acclaimed researcher whose work as CEO of Huntsman Cancer Institute saves lives

Patricia Christensen – Law
An attorney with Parr Brown Gee & Loveless and lifelong social justice advocate

Cristina Flores – Arts & Communication
A journalist for KUTV2News who shares stories about populations that are often overlooked, including women of color, refugees and other marginalized communities

Yasmen Simonian – Education
Dean of the Dumke College of Health Professions at Weber State University, Yasmen is committed to promoting higher education opportunities for women and minorities in healthcare

Paula Green Johnson – YWCA Heart & Soul Award
A philanthropic leader and dedicated community volunteer whose service and generosity has had a lasting impact on the YWCA

The keynote address will be given by Piper Kerman. Piper is the best-selling author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison and is also a social justice advocate who works tirelessly to promote the cause of prison and criminal justice reform. Her book has been adapted into an Emmy Award-winning original series for Netflix. What struck her the most about her experience, Kerman says, is the power of women’s communities: “the incredible ability of women to step up for each other, and to be resilient and to share their resiliency with other people.” Kerman’s memoir also raises provocative questions about the state of criminal justice in America, and how incarceration affects individuals and communities throughout the nation.

All proceeds from LeaderLuncheon support YWCA programs and services: creating safety and a hopeful future for vulnerable women and their families; encouraging young children to learn and grow; nurturing women’s leadership in all spheres of life; advocating for racial justice and civil rights; and offering a distinctive public policy voice on behalf of all Utah women and girls.

Tickets are $75 for the general public and $65 for YWCA members at ywcautah.org.