Reluctance to talk money blamed for low turnout at forum


Financial stability for low- to moderate income women and their families was the focus Saturday during an Empowerment and Financial Fair at the downtown YWCA.

The event, sponsored by the YWCA of Youngstown and the Mahoning County Financial

Stability Partnership, presented a “holistic approach” to women’s empowerment and financial management, said Jennie Andrews, YWCA program manager for youth and empowerment.

“The YWCA is a mission-driven organization,” Andrews said. “Our missions are to eliminate racism and to empower women, so everything we do ties into that.”

She said the Y typically targets its programming and events toward low-income women, but decided to open this one to anyone who wanted to attend, regardless of income, because “there is a great need for financial empowerment in this area.”

Andrews and Ginny Pasha, director of community impact for United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, said they were disappointed, but not surprised, at the fairly low turnout Saturday. They expected some 60 people to show up, but less than half that many actually came.

Pasha said that’s puzzling because similar events in other counties will draw hundreds of people. This was the local YWCA’s third financial fair.

“It might be because of the subject matter,” Pasha said. “Research has shown that when people are standing around the water cooler, they are much more willing to share the intimate details of their sex life than they are about their financial affairs. People are just reluctant to talk about their financial affairs in a public forum.”

For more on the event, read Sunday's Vindicator or

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