Carolyn Ward | YWCA Women of Excellence
Carolyn Ward is an independent consultant providing a variety of professional services such as community organizing, event planning and operational support. Her expertise includes public policy and advocacy, grant writing and management, nonprofit governance, event planning, and development. Carolyn is adept at navigating complicated systems on behalf of people who do not have a voice or need assistance. Her commitment to social justice, integrity in leadership, and transparency in government have contributed to improved public policy and government services in Topeka and the State of Kansas.
In 2018, she led efforts to establish the Topeka Youth Commission and continues to coach the commission's student officers as they establish their new organization, provide presentations, and fundraise. In addition to her professional nonprofit and advocacy work, Carolyn is also a professional interior designer and home organizer. She has participated as a designer in Child Care Aware's Designer Showcase for two years.
TK: What inspires you?
CAROLYN: I am inspired to move the needle on issues of social justice, equity and access. All of my professional and personal experiences are driven getting people what they need when they need it. I recognize my privilege and am dedicated to helping ensure people who are often undervalued and marginalized because of sex, race, class or age (too young or too old) have an ally, recognize their value and their voice.
TK: What advice do you have for others?
CAROLYN: Be bold and be brave. Ask questions, keep learning and clear a seat at the table for others to be seen and heard.
TK: What is the greatest lesson your have learned on your journey?
CAROLYN: While progress can take time, is messy and uncomfortable, change always starts with one individual taking action. It seems impossible until it's done.
The YWCA is on a mission to empower women at all stages in their careers. Diversity in leadership is particularly vital to our vibrant business community in the Greater Topeka Area.
The YWCA is celebrating 31 years of recognizing Women of Excellence in our community with the theme “Dare to be Powerful.” We dare to be powerful, despite whatever obstacles may present themselves along the way.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
- Audre Lorde