On Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at the Marcus Performing Arts Center, the YWCA Gala Awards Ceremony and 2022 Impact Awards was held. The YWCA Southeast Wisconsin (YWCA SEW) President and CEO Tracy L. Williams stated that the first Gala and Awards Ceremony was the power of collaboration through partners and champions whose lives create impact on the community. The amazing show was directed by Frank Gatson, Jr., who engaged community members from all walks of life. Frank’s directing career was influenced early on by his work with Michael Jackson on his Smooth Criminal music video. He also directed and choreographed for Brandy, Beyonce’, EnVogue, and so many more. Frank and Brandy are currently working together on some amazing new projects. The YWCA is headquartered in the heart of Milwaukee’s Bronzeville Arts and Entertainment District, which is a thriving community on Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive. Through a racial justice lens, we have the opportunity to lead change. We serve the most diverse communities of the state of Wisconsin to improve the social determinants of health through education, economic empowerment, arts, and athletics. YWCA SEW’s programs are intergenerational, designed to benefit communities, especially through empowered black and brown women and girls. The program was hosted by Brandy, Luke James, Andrea Williams, and Tracy L. Williams. Special guest included choreographer Anthony Burrell, Olympic Hero and World Champion Carl Lewis, Josie Thompson, and MC Lyte. Amazing performances by Brandy, EnVogue, Chante’ Moore, Luke James, 40 plus Double Dutch Club, tap dancing twins Sean and John Scott, Brandon Gray, DOE, and so many more.
This year’s Impact Award honorees were Dr. Denita Ball, Kenneth Lock II, Phyllis Smith, Tina Johnson Williams, Orlando Williams, Arlene Skwierawski, Sarah Grant, Nicolas Payne, Austin Ammo Williams, Keith Carrington, Dr. Tanzanique Carrington, Tina Nixon, Beverley Holmes, Albert Holmes, Faithe Colas, Shelia Mayborn, Tamara Moore, and Telisa Yancy.