Empowered by Advocacy: Dr. Myra Henry Returns From White House with Renewed Mission

Dr. Henry joined community leaders from across the state in sharing the needs of their neighbors.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

 Dr. Myra Henry ’11 M’13 recently seized the chance to accept one of the most exciting invitations of her life — a visit to the White House. 

The Biden-Harris administration invited Dr. Henry to the White House in December to join the Communities In Action: Building a Better New York initiative, which is intended to improve communities throughout the state by identifying and investing resources. Participating administration officials included Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough, Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tom Perez.The event isn't just an honor, it's a platform to connect with influential individuals and advocate for causes she deeply cares about. The president and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County embraced the opportunity.
“I attended the event as part of a delegation of the WYCAs of New York State. Stephanie Stevens, the president of the YWCAs of New York State, spoke on our behalf,” said Dr. Henry, who serves as secretary for the organization. “She discussed women’s issues, increased costs of childcare and affordable housing, and support for survivors of domestic violence. She also shared the important work the YWCA does to address those issues.” 

Dr. Henry, a two-time graduate of Keuka College's Online & Graduate program, said she leaned on her College experience in preparing for the high-profile gathering.
"Keuka College has equipped me well," she said, adding that her various management classes taught her to construct compelling arguments, champion others, and command attention.

Dr. Henry joined about 50 other local elected officials, labor leaders, business owners, community organizers, and healthcare professionals from across the state in discussing various issues affecting working families. The forum also allowed participants to outline their communities' needs and identify potential opportunities. 

"In my role in the non-profit primarily human services sector, discovering new perspectives was enlightening," Dr. Henry said. She witnessed firsthand the significant impact federal government investments have on local politics and the YWCA's work. Also during her visit, the YWCA contingent advocated for improved childcare options with staff from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer's office.

Returning home, Dr. Henry felt a renewed commitment to advocacy and the importance of a robust advocacy agenda for the YWCA's mission and purpose in Rochester.

As a Rochester native, Dr. Henry considers it an honor to represent her city and the YWCA at the national level, marking a career milestone. 

Want to learn more about our Online & Graduate Programs? 

Fill out the form below to connect with us!