Special to The Truth
Every spring, the YWCA of Northwest Ohio honors women who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and open doors in their communities for other women to also achieve their potential.
The Milestones Awards Luncheon was established in 1996 to recognize women of northwest Ohio for their outstanding contributions in the areas of Arts, Business, Education, Government, Sciences, Social Services and Volunteerism.
This year for her lengthy and influential service with the City of Toledo, the YWCA is honoring the role that Perlean Griffin played in the area of Government.
Perlean Griffin was the longest serving Affirmative Action director in the City of Toledo’s history, having served with distinction for over 23 years. She wrote the comprehensive Affirmative Action plan which included hiring and promotional goals to correct disparities and deficiencies throughout city government; a plan approved by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. She also wrote the City’s Sexual Harrassment policy to address issues of hostile work environments.
She convinced city leaders to hold an annual women’s conference, initiated the annual Pacesetter Awards Conference to recognize individuals working for civil rights, designed the Diversity Training Manual for the City, drafted deed restrictions for homeowners in Plats in Washington Village and trained groups through the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to deal with various areas of daycare services
Griffin also developed a city-wide training program to sensitize all employees to negative behaviors, comments and actions which adversely affect minorities and women as well as the first sexual harassment and hostile work environment policies and procedures for the City of Toledo.
Griffin played an integral role in helping minorities and women gain employment and promotional opportunities within the City of Toledo workforce. She changed policies and procedures which had ignored education and skills held by female and minority employees and removed barriers which inhibited their advancement. She also worked with the Department of Justice to ensure that all buildings, streets, parks and restaurants in the City of Toledo were in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.
A pioneer in advocating for women to engage and thrive in the workforce, Griffin initiated an annual recognition program and banquet recognizing women with exemplary performance and achievement in their field within city government. She recognized obstacles that prevented fair and equitable employment and also trained leadership to understand how and why this was problematic and unjust.
During her many years in community service, Perlean Griffin received numerous community service awards and recognition for her deep commitment to employees and advancement of women and minorities including the National Sojourner Truth Award from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club; the Rosa Parks Award from the Board Of Community Relations of Toledo; the Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s Recognition Award; the City of Toledo Pacesetter Award; the University of Toledo’s Community Service Award; and the Community Service Award from “Save Our Children Inc.”
The 2022 YWCA Milestones: A Tribute To Women will be held virtually on March 24, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. Please consider purchasing a congratulatory ad or a zoom party to support all of the vital services the YWCA provides in support of vulnerable woman and children of northwest Ohio. Visit YWCAnwo.org got more details.