How does faith inform the work of our civic, academic, and marketplace leaders? What faith-inspired lessons have our key leaders learned throughout their lives and how do they play out in the everyday demands of public engagement? Join us for our continuing Upper House series entitled, Faith in the Heart of the City.
The conversation with Vanessa McDowell, Executive Director of the YWCA Madison, will be led by Phil Haslanger, a United Church of Christ minister and long-time Madison-area journalist.
Vanessa McDowell became the Executive Director of the YWCA Madison in 2017, the first woman of color to hold that position. She has worked at the YWCA since 2014 in multiple roles, including Director of Support Services, Chief Programs Officer, and Interim CEO.
McDowell grew up in Madison and earned her BA in Sociology at UW-Madison in 2003. She is a long-time member and volunteer at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where she served as Executive Assistant to the pastor for nine years and plays the bass guitar for the Music Ministry. She is an active member and has served as chaplain of the Madison Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, an organization of predominantly African-American, college-educated women committed to scholarship, sisterhood, and community service. She is also known as DJ Ace and mixes music around town at parties and events like Dane Dances.