Welcome to the Greater Newburyport YWCA.


racial justice

At the core of YWCA Greater Newburyport—and sister YWCAs across the U.S. and around the globe—are racial justice efforts that break down internal and external barriers to racial equality and challenge our communities to move toward equity in the workplace, housing, education and all aspects of life.  The Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, is one component of our racial justice program.  We invite volunteers to join us in that effort.  Volunteer opportunities include assisting with the breakfast and our Stand Against Racism.  For more information on how to volunteer for these events, please contact  Ellie Davis.

Bringing Together Teens in Our Community and Throughout Massachusetts

The most important thing that a community can do to reduce racism and hate-motivated behavior is to help young people understand the implications of racism, to engender respect for others and to celebrate diversity through education and open dialogue.  The YWCA Greater Newburyport teen racial justice initiatives include activities planned by and for teens in local high schools.  We have sponsored discussion groups, movie nights and study circles.  Our participation in the Annual YWCA Regional Teen Racial Justice Conference brought together teens from across the state and gave our teens an opportunity to hear about the lives of others.  Our current work includes bringing together leaders of high school diversity groups from the greater Newburyport area to share the strategies, strengths and challenges they face as they bring racial justice issues to their school.

YWCA Greater Newburyport’s 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, 2017

This year we are holding our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. event on the evening of Friday, January 13th, 2017. The event will be held at Newburyport City Hall from 6:00 – 9:00 pm in keeping with a tradition we began two years ago that allows us to reach out to a broader audience and include more students in our celebration of Dr. King’s life and work. As in the past, all students attend for free, and a light supper will be served.

The group of High School students who are active in our Racial Justice Committee has been thoughtfully creating a forum for a community dialogue sparked by local, regional and national events. We hope that the conversation will help us examine our own biases and privileges while at the same time inspire a commitment to stand up to end racism and begin to formulate plans of action. We will be joined by several panelists including Jennifer Yanco, visiting Researcher at the African Studies Center at Boston University and author of Misremembering Dr. King: Revisiting the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. We are pleased to announce that this event is entirely organized by the students on our committee with minimal guidance from the adults who serve alongside them.

Attendees of our breakfasts form a diverse group of different ages, races, faiths, political parties, business communities, organizations and schools. The interaction between area high school students and adults is a hallmark of our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Event. Because of the donations of our sponsors and community members, area students attend for free. Click here for donation form.

Click here to order tickets to the 2017 MLK event.

Nancy E. Peace Action Against Prejudice Award

The mission of the YWCA is peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. This vision can not be achieved until there is racial equality in our nation. This is a challenging yet critical conversation in communities such as ours with predominantly white populations. Each year, the YWCA awards the Nancy E. Peace Award to a community member who has accepted that challenge and who, through their professional or volunteer lives, has made valuable contributions towards eliminating racism, fighting prejudice, and celebrating diversity. The award is presented annually at the YWCA’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Event in January.

The Nancy E. Peace Action Against Prejudice Award was established in 1998 by the YWCA Greater Newburyport to recognize individuals who, through their professional or volunteer lives, have made valuable contributions towards eliminating racism, fighting prejudice, and celebrating diversity. We welcome nominations for any adult or youth who lives or works in one of the communities served by the YWCA Greater Newburyport: Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, Amesbury, Merrimac, Salisbury, Georgetown, Rowley and Ipswich, MA; and Seabrook, Hampton, Hampton Falls and Kensington, NH.

Click here to download the nomination form.

Click here to see a list of former recipients.

Nancy DiGrezio Memorial Scholarship

The Nancy DiGrezio Scholarship was endowed in 2007 in honor of Nancy DiGrezio, a board member of the YWCA who was committed to fostering a tolerant and inclusive community.  The Nancy DiGrezio Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to a high school senior attending school within the YWCA Greater Newburyport's service area who is a leader and peacemaker among his or her peers; whose actions exemplify tolerance and understanding of differences; and who, by his or her example, empowers other students to respond to acts of intolerance and discrimination. Click here for more information. 

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Recipients of Nancy E. Peace Action Against Prejudice Award

Hannah Wilson and Katherine Preftis
Avi Poupko
Michael Nesson, Newburyport High School
2014 Reverend Oliver Jones, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
2013 Nancy Earls; Newburyport Learning Enrichment Center
2012 Debbie Szabo; Newburyport High School

2011 Reverend Bertrand Steeves, Pastor Emeritus First Religious Society

Marilyn Diehl, Community Health Nurse
Nora Duggan, Officer, Newburyport Police Department
Kara Herbert, Co-President Diversity Group, Pentucket High School
Michael A. Costello, State Representative, First Essex District
Donna Childs, Newburyport Public Library
Nancy DiGrezio (awarded posthumously)
Frank Cousins, Essex County Sheriff
Lila Teeters, peace activist
Merle Forney, Dove Campaign Chair
Michael Jacobson, Principal, Brown School, Newburyport
Barbara Hildt, peace educator and activist
Beth Horne, No Place for Hate Committee
Lisa L. Mead, former Newburyport Mayor, No Place for Hate Committee
Marc Tucker, No Place for Hate Committee
H. Douglas Lay, Principal, Rupert A. Nock Middle School
Kevin M. Burke, District Attorney, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Susan Fallon, Health Coordinator, Triton Regional High School
Michael Ward, former Principal, Triton Regional High School
Nancy E. Peace
Raymond Tiezzi & Donna Georges, Amesbury Middle School
North Essex Prevention Coalition & Community Action of Haverhill

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13 Market Street, Newburyport, Massachusetts 01950 | Phone: 978-465-9922 | Fax: 978-465-1076

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