Shortly after announcing Odyssey theater professor Baron Kelly’s national honor and Odyssey cofounder Jean Feraca’s selection for the Athena Award, we learned that Odyssey’s Director of Development and Community Partnerships, Jenny Pressman, had been chosen as a 2021 YWCA Woman of Distinction for her decades of pioneering work championing racial and gender equity.
At a virtual ceremony on May 21, Jenny accepted this honor and traced her activism back to her mother, Alina Kaplan Pressman (pictured below), a Holocaust survivor who taught her to care about people and be part of something bigger than herself.
Jenny is a passionate community activist and accomplished nonprofit fundraiser who has fought for gender justice, racial equity, peace, freedom and worker and immigrant rights for decades. As the child of refugee parents who experienced antisemitism, Jenny was raised to speak out against injustice and hatred, crystalizing her activism at an early age.
Jenny calls Odyssey “the perfect home for my love of people and passion for equity” and is grateful for the purpose and joy her work brings her: “I couldn’t ask for a more inspiring and loving community than Odyssey students, staff, and supporters.”
She is honored both to have received the YWCA Women of Distinction award and to seek support for Odyssey’s life-changing work. Be sure to check out Jenny’s full award bio to learn more about her incredible story!