YWCA Richmond awarded Gigi Amateau with the 2017 Pat Asch Fellowship for Social Justice at Outstanding Women Awards at the Greater Richmond Convention Center at 12:00 p.m. on April 28, 2017.Amateau, award-winning author and former community impact officer at United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, will receive $17,500 for education and personal development to strengthen her
service to Richmond’s aging population and individuals working in long-term care.
Amateau has worked in the health and human services sector for 30 years, holding several titles at United Way. She has worked to coordinate services for homeless in Richmond as Director of Community Initiatives: homelessness at United Way, and as a co-developer of a start-up phase of Homeward. She has also served the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, assisted with Richmond AIDS Ministry at the height of the HIV/AIDs health crisis, and helped develop SeniorNavigator.
“Both older adults and the workforce of primarily women who provide direct care are often overlooked sources of creativity, strength, and wisdom,” Amateau said. “This Fellowship will allow me to better serve women in the long-term care workforce and the older adults whom they support.”
The Pat Asch Fellowship is awarded annually to a woman age “50 or better” to advance social justice in Richmond. The fellowship is named after the late Patricia “Pat” Morris Asch, lifelong community servant and former executive director of both YWCA Richmond and the Jackson Foundation, who fund this award.
“Gigi has dedicated her work-life to improving the Richmond region by advocating for the underrepresented and providing thoughtful leadership to the nonprofit sector,” Jill McCormick, executive director of the Jackson Foundation, said.
“The Fellowship will give Gigi the resources and time to extend her knowledge to benefit our growing elderly population and majority female long-term care workforce, two issues about which Pat cared deeply.”
Amateau is the award-winning author of seven books for children and teens. She enjoys practicing yoga and is a certified yoga instructor (RYT 200) through Glenmore Yoga and Wellness Center. Gigi is studying for her Master of Science in Gerontology at VCU and intends to use her fellowship to enhance her current certifications with more training in mental health first aid, Community Resilience Model (CRM), expressive writing and trauma-informed yoga.
Passionate about the power of story to unite diverse people and communities, Amateau reviews children’s books for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, serves on the board of the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, and on the advisory board of James River Writers. She’s a devotee of the cerulean warbler, the American Crow, and Virginia’s James River. She lives with her family in the city of Richmond.