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Outgoing YWCA leader reflects on continuing struggles and greater awareness of women in poverty


The longtime president and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County says it's become even more challenging for women to move out of poverty since she joined the organization in 1985.

Jean Carroll is leaving her position in April.  But she says the effort to empower women, promote peace, and eliminate racism must continue.

Carroll does believe there is more awareness in the Rochester community of the challenges facing the women the YWCA serves.

"In terms of their lives and often being stuck to that sticky floor of poverty, I think there's a greater awareness and greater empathy in our community related to women and families."

In addition to providing housing for low-income women and children, the YWCA has developed programs to educate people about racism. Carroll said many people don't even understand how their unconscious beliefs impact the way they view women struggling with poverty and homelessness.

Carroll started 33 years ago as finance director and became the YWCA’s president and CEO in 1995. She said she's stepping down in search of a better work-life balance and may pursue work at another non-profit in training or teaching.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear her talk about the progress she believes the organization has made in the last three decades. 

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.