#ChangeForA20 Color Page


  • Advocate for people who are facing discrimination and prejudice
  • Conduct Cultural Awareness Workshops
  • Provide culturally specific education, information and referrals
  • Provide community outreach in Ohio Valley


racial justice



The City of Wheeling’s Arts & Culture Commission has been busy rebranding and redesigning the Arts & Culture Festival. The CDCO Director has accepted the position of Chair of the Performing Arts Committee. Due to COVID-19, this and all festivals in Wheeling are unsure of their futures.



The YWCA Wheeling has been administering the state-wide Project on Racism Essay Contest for over 20 years. We received over 300 essays, 13 Short Films, and 6 songs state-wide. Winners were invited to showcase their submissions at the Wheeling YWCA on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day held in Wheeling with WJU and several area churches. On Jan. 20th the local winners were recognized at a breakfast and Awards presentation at the YWCA.

The Project on Racism Essay Contest was based on the following quote.

“We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


Stand Against Racism™ is officially a Signature Campaign of YWCA USA. This campaign is a part of an on-going effort to increase our collective impact in promoting racial justice and civil rights.

On Saturday, Jan. 18th, at the Capitol Complex in Charleston, the Governor’s Office, via the Hebert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs and the West Virginia Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission, hosted the 4th annual Stand Against Racism Celebration at the Capitol Building. The winners of the state-wide Project on Racism Essay Contest were invited to attend. Three of the winners attended and presented their essays. Two winners presented their film. At the end of the celebration all the participants were invited to stand and read the YWCA USA’s Pledge to Stand Against Racism.



This year, CDCO has been providing guided group discussions & Presentation on the topics of Discrimination, Diversity, Rape Culture, and Acceptance throughout the community. These group activities were held at Bethany College, Wheeling Park Instructional Support Enhancement Day, West Liberty University, & OUE Freshman 101 Classes


This year, CDCO has been offering guided group activities/discussions on the topics of Cultural Diversity, Rape Culture, and Acceptance. These group activities were held at the Moundsville Middle School, Bridge Street Middle School, Cameron Middle & High Schools, John Marshall High School, Wheeling Park High School, Triadelphia Middle School, Wheeling Middle School, and Warwood Middle School.


Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Marking the date that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom, the month of June and the nineteenth day were combined to form the term “Juneteenth.” From its Galveston, Texas, origin in 1865, observance of Juneteenth as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States, and is an official holiday recognized in 45 States and the District of Columbia. On June 19th at 6 p.m. at Market Plaza we honored and celebrated African American history, music, faith, family, and freedom! The event began with a short

Ceremony at the site of the slave auction block on the north end of Market Plaza, with food and music will following.


OVAASA Awards Banquet

On Thursday May 9th, 2019 at 7pm in the River City Banquet Hall; the 10 Annual OVAASA (Ohio Valley African American Students Association) Awards Banquet was held. We recognized 31 seniors throughout the Ohio Valley. The Keynote Speaker was Demetrius Baldwin-Youngblood, faculty member & coach at The Linsly School. Besides the students recognized for their academic accomplishments, one current African American Educator was honored with the Wanda C. Brown Award for Educator of the Year. The recipient was Mr. Brian Walker. One retired African American Educator was honored with the Burial “Bo’ Holmes Award. The recipient was Mrs. Edith Fuller. The Michael Green Memorial Award for the student who achieved Academic success despite overcoming extreme adversity was Donovan Goddard. Also, our OVAASA Phoenix Award for Academic Achievement from a Non-traditional Student was Ms. Kiesha Phillips.

Our various Scholarship winners were: Ohio University Eastern Merit Scholarship: Sheldon Lekanudos, WVNCC OVAASA Scholarship: Barak D. Lear II,WVNCC OVAASA Scholarship: Jamaiah Hairston,Wheeling Jesuit OVAASA Scholarship: Nyree’Anna Bledsoe, Tito’s Sloppy Dogg Culinary Arts Scholarship: Dallon Jones, Helping Hand/Listening Ear Psychology Scholarship: Ariana Hickman, Helping Hand/Listening Ear Psychology Scholarship: Kyla Leigh, The Timothy Midget “Know Thyself” Artistic Scholarship: Jordan Spears, Daugherty Foundation Scholarship: TeVon Minor, Ronald Scott Sr. Armed Forces Scholarship: Donovan Goddard,Daugherty Foundation Scholarship: Neveah Lekanudos, Daugherty Foundation Scholarship: De’Vaughn McWhorter Stradwick Family Scholarship: Nathaniel Blakely, Stradwick Family Scholarship: Haley Brown


A History of Black Music in America

The Wheeling YWCA in collaboration with the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission, Wheeling Heritage and the Wheeling 250 Celebration celebrated contributions of Black music in America. Starting with Negro Spirituals, it followed the creative road map from jazz to blues, rock and roll to hip-hop and other genres between. We were joined by several incredible local artists, including Candi Gardner, Keith Creighton, James Watts Sr., Ezra John, Lonnette Walker, Reggie Watkins, Laron Carrol, Voices of Praise, Mr. FancyPants, and Van Gilder and hosted by Ron Scott, Jr.


Open Discussion with Shannon Foley Martinez

An open discussion with a former violent white supremacist Shannon Foley Martinez, who has two decades of experience in developing community resource platforms aimed at inoculating individuals against violence-based lifestyles and ideologies.

As the mother of seven children, she feels passionately about building empowered families and communities. She believes that we all have the power to enact profound and fundamental change in our lives.

Ohio Valley Redhead Festival

Saturday November 2nd, 2019, from Noon to 5pm at the Wheeling YWCA we celebrated and recognized any & all Redheaded men, women, and children! We used the event to raise skin cancer awareness that plagues the Redhead population with fair skin. The proceeds made during this event were used to help fund programs targeting bullying directed at Redheaded children & youth.


A Shared Narrative: A Dialogue on Black/Jewish Relations from Civil Rights to the Present

On Monday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Temple Shalom, Rabbi Joshua Lief, and Ron Scott, Cultural Diversity and Community Outreach Director at the YWCA; held an open discussion about the state of race relations between Blacks & Jews in the past & moving forward. We explored what has changed, what remains the same, where do we stand today, and where we can go from here.


Ohio Valley Festival for Filmmakers of Color

The YWCA Wheeling presented The Ohio Valley Festival for Filmmakers of Color: a first-time event that showcased creative amateur filmmakers of color from Wheeling WV, Martins Ferry OH, Bridgeport OH, Los Angeles & West Covina CA. This is also the first of its kind to take place in the Ohio Valley. Participants were asked to submit a short film that did not to exceed 10-15 minutes in duration. Filmmakers being showcased: Mikaya Green, Shawn Holmes, Miguel Angel Tapia Jr., Ron Scott Jr., & Marcellus Cox

STOP – Ohio, Marshall, and Wetzel Counties – (STOP Violence Against Women Program) encourages governmental and nongovernmental agencies to restructure and strengthen the criminal justice system response to be proactive in dealing with the problem of violence against women.


For more information, please contact Ron Scott, Director of the Cultural Diversity and Community Outreach Program