Political Salon Highlights

Great conversation filled our conference room at our Political Salon Friday. Katie Ludvigson, Allison Matthews and Erin Meyer spoke on the panel about political issues with importance to young women. We were especially thrilled to have Rep. Kathy Brynaert attend our Political Salon.

Katie spoke about the growing concern of young women balancing family and career. She also gave insight about the wage gap still present between men and women. Erin addressed LGBT rights and the current political climate for the LGBT community. Allison talked about young women’s health and reproductive rights. The three topics were different in content but all hark back to the growing concern about young women’s involvement in politics and policy. We agreed that these issues are vital for women to know, but there is a lack of education and media surrounding women’s involvement in politics, especially for young women.

Our political salon discussions are about creating an informal dialogue that educates about ways we can learn more about policy. It is a social gathering to learn new ideas and find new connections. We encourage everyone to respect each other’s opinions even if they are different. Our nonpartisan discussions are open to all voices. It was exciting to see how these issues are important to all generations.

These issues proved to garner many different thoughts. We enjoyed hearing all the different voices, and we give a big thanks to all who attended!

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Political Salon: A monthly discussion on policy and politics

Join the political conversation with the YWCA. The second Friday of the month, the YWCA will feature an open non-partisan discussion focused on issues of importance to young women, elections and the future of women in the political arena. The mission is to get more local women involved in politics and political decision-making. Political Salon will be at the YWCA conference room, 500 S. Broad St., downtown Mankato. Bring your own lunch, coffee and water provided.

Upcomming Dates and Topics:
September 9 : Issues of Importance to Young Women. Allison Matthews, Alyssa Nelson, Erin Meyer and Katie Ludvigson
October 14 : Upcoming Elections. Bridget Kennedy, Nicollet County Auditor and Treasurer
November 11: Election Wrap Up. Leigh Pomeroy
December 9: What’s Shaping Up for 2012?


Girls on the Run fall season starts this week

This week GOTR begins with more than 11 sites in the greater Mankato area. Girls in 3rd through 8th grade will explore running and movement in after-school activities with coaches. At the end of a fun fall season is a 5k run/walk event that celebrates the hard work the girls and coaches put into the program.

“The only requirement of having a dream is believing in it.”

-Molly Barker, Girls on the Run founder and vision-keeper


Women’s Leadership Program Helps Balance Professional and Personal Life


Becky Kunst joined the Elizabeth Kearney Leadership Development Program after Elizabeth Kearney herself recommended the program. Becky grew up with Elizabeth’s grandchildren, so they knew each other for many years. Elizabeth thought she would thrive in the program.

Becky Kunst
Becky Kunst at the YWCA

Becky is one of two women who have gone through the program twice. During the first year she gave birth to a little boy. She decided to wait till the next year to finish the program.

Becky said her experiences in both years worked together to build upon her strengths while she connected with other women. Becky said what makes the Women’s Leadership Program so special is the bond that grows among participants.

“There was an unexpected respectful environment. We all came from different backgrounds, but we all found similarities within each other. We felt welcomed,” Becky said.

The program allows participants to create their own leadership plan. Becky’s plan focused on her personal life because she is a working mother. Becky was the executive director of LEEP, a nonprofit organization that provides enrichment activities for people with developmental disabilities.

Becky sited the Women’s Leadership Program as a place where she could bring a balance to her professional and personal life.

“The program has a holistic approach. We talked about our strengths. It gave me resources, skills and courage to be a leader. We all want to be a leader in some way whether it is professionally or personally. The program built on our strengths to help push us out the door.”

Becky is currently transitioning to a new position with Blue Earth County Extension.

For more information about the Elizabeth Kearney Leadership Development Program contact Anne Ganey at 507-345-4629 ext. 29 or email at executivedirector@ywcamankato.org. 


New Beginnings at the YWCA Mankato

As summer starts to wind down, the YWCA Mankato is just getting started with new changes. Not only does the YWCA Mankato boast a new batch of interns, but it also is developing a stronger presence in the online community. We will be blogging about various things happening at the YWCA Mankato that include program updates and interviews from program participants. Our list of topics to blog about is continually growing. Let us know what topics you would like to see covered!