In The Spotlight

Lydick Accepts Erskine Award
  • WWHP member Marjorie Cohen’s son, Michael David Cohen, will be presenting his book, Reconstructing the Campus: Higher Education and the American Civil War (A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era)  on Thursday, November 15, at 10:00am, at Worcester State University. [Room location is not available at time of printing.]  Michael Cohen's book discusses higher education for women and men during and after the Civil War years.  Michael grew up in Worcester and attended Worcester schools. He received his undergraduate degree at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and his PHD from Harvard University in American History. He is the Assistant Research Professor of History and Assistant Editor of the Correspondence of James K. Polk at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • What Color Is the Wind is an historical account of WWHP member Edna P. Spencer’s family from Tennessee to Worcester.  Edna Paralee Thompson was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She spent her early childhood on her great grandfather’s farm in Oakridge, TN. Edna’s family migrated to Worcester during the late 1930s and early ’40s. She married Cornelius Boyd Spencer and they had one daughter, who died in 2006. Edna earned degrees from Quinsigamond Community College and Clark University and holds a master’s degree in Liberal Arts from Clark University. Edna is the first black woman to serve as chairman of the trustee board of Quinsigamond Community College and the first black woman to serve as president of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts. She has served on the Trustee Board of the United Way and several other city and agency committees. She is the recipient of The National Conference of Christians and Jews Brotherhood Award, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Good Citizen Award, The YWCA of Central Massachusetts Katherine F. Erskine Award, and The Clark University Outstanding Alumni Award. Edna was also given a key to the City of Worcester.
  • WWHP member Linda A. Cavaioli (Executive Director of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts) will be awarded the annual Father Michael Bafaro Humanitarian Award on October 18, 2012.  The award, in its second year, is given to a person who, chosen through a community process of nomination, is recognized for their service to humanity.  Linda Cavaioli has served as Executive Director of the YWCA of Central Massachusetts since 1992.  In this position, Linda reports to a 30-member board of directors and oversees the daily operations of a $6 million non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women. ~ She is active in the community and serves as a member on the Coordinating Committee and Co-Chair of Membership for the United Way of Central Massachusetts Women’s Initiative.  She is, also, a member of the Community Board of DCF Worcester West Area Office, a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and a member of the Board of Directors of Quinsigamond Community College.  In addition, she serves on the Martin Luther King Community Breakfast Committee, City Manager’s Task Force on Bias and Hate, and United Service Executives. ~ Furthermore, she served as regional chair of the YWCAs of New England Council, and she is a member of the National Association of YWCA Executives.  Currently, Linda is the Chair of the YWCA USA Regional Leadership Committee.  Before joining the YWCA, Linda was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Resource Development at the United Way of Central Massachusetts. ~ Linda’s outlook on life: “Each person can make a difference, but when a group of committed people comes together, anything is possible.” ~ For information on the event, contact
  • Katharine Forbes Erskine Awards, May 8, 2012

Arts and Culture Award:  Through her portrayal of Abby Kelley Foster in the one woman play, Yours for Humanity-Abby, Lynne McKenney Lydick has found a unique way to combine her own passion for the performing arts with her deep commitment to human rights and equality. Considered the face of the Worcester Women’s History Project, she allows Foster’s message to be passed on the next generation as part of the This is MYCity!  after school program. In 2010 she brought her act to the State House for the Massachusetts Women’s Legislative Caucus after an invitation from State Senator Harriette L. Chandler. In October 2011, Lynne proudly accepted Abby Kelley Foster’s nomination into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in New York. Since 2004, Lynne has been involved with the Jane Fund and currently serves as its president.  For her professional achievements, contributions to the community, and her commitment to eliminating racism and empowering women, the YWCA of Central Massachusetts is proud to present the Katharine Forbes Erskine Award in Arts and Culture to Lynne McKenney Lydick.  See Lynne’s acceptance speech on p9.

Medicine and Science Award:  WWHP member Dr. Phyllis Pollack at the ceremony praised her teams of supporters, who have enabled her to pursue a career in pediatric cardiology, teach and serve many nonprofits, including the YWCA's Daybreak.

Published Date: 
September 19, 2012