YWCA Cambridge Ambassadors are people whose values and work align with our organizational values and mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. They are active members of their community and they engage in anti-oppression work with an emphasis on anti racism and feminist pursuits
The inaugural YWCA Cambridge Ambassadors are: State Representative Majorie Decker, Cambridge City Councilor Denise Simmons, Reverend Irene Monroe, and Ms. Lori Lander.
State Representative Marjorie Decker
Representative Marjorie Decker is currently serving her fifth term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, representing the 25th Middlesex District. Before joining the House of Representatives, Representative Decker served seven terms on the Cambridge City Council, where she was the youngest woman ever elected to the Council. Representative Decker has deep roots in the Cambridge community. Growing up in public housing in Cambridge, Representative Decker was the first in her family to graduate from high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. She then went on to graduate with honors from UMass Amherst, and earned her Master’s Degree at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2007, focusing on Human Rights and Children.
City Councilor E. Denise Simmons
Denise Simmons is a lifelong resident of Cambridge, currently serving her 10th term on the Cambridge City Council. She has spent the past three decades working to better her community – first as the Executive Director of the Cambridge Civic Unity Committee in the 1980s, then as a member of the Cambridge School Committee in the 1990s, and since 2002, as a member of the Cambridge City Council. Denise has twice served as Mayor of Cambridge, and she continues working to make City Hall more accessible and more accountable to a greater number and scope of people.
Reverend Irene Monroe
Rev. Irene Monroe, is a public theologian, ordained minister, and syndicated columnist. She can be heard on the podcast and standing Boston Public Radio segment ALL REV’D Up on GBH 89.7 FM..Monroe is a founder and now member emeritus of several national LGBTQ+ black and religious organizations. Her papers are at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College’s Research Library on the History of Women in America.
Lori Lander is an artist, community organizer and civic engagement leader. Active in a number of community organizations, she co-founded ManyHelpingHands365, a civic engagement nonprofit that organizes the Cambridge Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service involving ~3,000 volunteers – from across the community, co-organizes an faith-and-community driven gun buy-back program and maintains an online volunteering service for Cambridge. Since 2010, Lori has hosted monthly breakfast gatherings of 50-70+ people to discuss racial and social justice issues. Since the pandemic the Breakfast conversations have been weekly on ZOOM with 80-100 people more deeply focused on looking at many issues through a racial justice lens. Lori is a member of the Cambridge Arts Council Advisory Committee and a Board member of Cambridge Community Foundation and Cambridge Health Alliance. Her paintings depict and celebrate the daily rhythms and rituals of women at work throughout the world - in markets, fields and festivals. (www.lorilander.com