Tiffany S.W. Hamilton Builds Community Through the YWCA

This Westchester CEO fights for fairness within YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester and the community at large.

When Tiffany S.W. Hamilton was a little girl, she would defend her classmates who were being bullied, called by an innate drive to stand up for those without a voice. While her schoolyard days are behind her, Hamilton remains true to her brand of advocacy and action. As the CEO of YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, Hamilton strives to build community, transform systems, and empower women and girls marginalized by poverty, racism, and trauma to achieve economic, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

Taking the helm of the YWCA in October 2022, she steers the strategy of the nonprofit organization and its many initiatives, including early childcare, court-ordered supervised visitations for parents, women’s empowerment and economic improvement programs, aquatics, gymnastics, special programs for people with disabilities, and youth leadership programs. On top of those exponential programs, the nonprofit also operates the Westchester Center for Racial Equity and a women’s residence with supportive housing and wraparound services. We caught up with Hamilton about her continued journey to fight the good fight in Westchester and beyond.

Tiffany S.W. Hamilton
Tiffany S.W. Hamilton

What motivated you to fight for the underdog from such a young age and turn that into a career advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?

Honestly, it was because I saw how it impacted the person who received the [harmful] behavior. For whatever reason, I think I’m just a natural empath. But I saw how it made them feel. And I felt it, like I literally felt the impact. And so, it just created this fire…and an awareness that if I don’t do anything else while I’m on this side of the Earth, I’m going to address these systems, behaviors, and practices.

- Advertisement -

How do you make DEI concepts and initiatives less threatening in today’s climate?

The world can get caught up in semantics. You don’t even have to call it Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. You call those company values. You call that your moral compass. You call it whatever. But you commit to it. We can stay laser-focused on who we want to be and what we want our story to be when someone speaks of the work that we’ve done, and let the world argue about what we call it.

Hamilton with members of the YWCA of White Plains & Central Westchester at the Turn Up the Heat! event in support of women-owned businesses. Left to right: Board members Gina Accordino and Gloriana “Ginger” Waters; CEO Tiffany S.W. Hamilton; Board President Andrea Foote; Board Secretary Christina Altomare
Hamilton with members of the YWCA of White Plains & Central Westchester at the Turn Up the Heat! event in support of women-owned businesses. Left to right: Board members Gina Accordino and Gloriana “Ginger” Waters; CEO Tiffany S.W. Hamilton; Board President Andrea Foote; Board Secretary Christina Altomare

How can DEI become more approachable to the wider business community?

Historically, our country has thrived off the haves and have-nots, and those have-nots didn’t always look like me. No one is exempt from being attacked. This work isn’t solely about racial equity and racial justice. It is directly tied to economic mobility, women’s rights, the rights of differently abled folks, and others as well.

“If I don’t do anything else while I’m on this side of the Earth, I’m going to address these systems, behaviors, and practices.”
Tiffany S.W. Hamilton
CEO, YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester

What’s one example of how you incorporate these values in a YWCA program?

There are folks who are not eligible for financial assistance within Westchester County but still need support in our Children’s Learning Center to pay for childcare so that they can go to work. So, we had to pull the data to assess that, and create a scholarship program to support those families who need that additional assistance.

Related: WCA’s Healthcare Talent Pipeline Program Helps Graduates Succeed

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.