Calling her a woman with “passion for serving and making positive change in her communities,” the New York City YWCA has named Wilton resident Constance Anderson Tate its Woman of the Year.

The announcement was made at the 45th Annual YW Academy Salute Luncheon on Nov. 2, where Tate received the honor and was a featured speaker.

Connie Tate is chair of the YWCA Service Council, past chair of the YWCA of New York City, and a member of the National Board of the YWCA USA.

The YW Academy of Women Leaders is a network of successful women recognized by the YWCA of New York City for their leadership, achievements in their fields and contributions to the success of other women.

A statement released by the YW Academy explained Tate’s background and why she was named its Woman of the Year. Tate has been a leader at the local, national and international levels of the YWCA for more than four decades. She co-chairs the YWCA World Service Council, the philanthropic arm of the YWCA USA that has assisted in the revitalization and development of YWCAs in 70 developing countries since its start after WWI, according to the statement.

Her engagement with the YWCA began in the 1970s when she was teaching English at the Nightingale School in New York City and became a member of the YWCA NYC. She joined the board and served as chair 2000-04 and 2008-09 and vice chair in the interim.

During this period, she helped lead the organization through a major strategic shift from a membership organization to a social services agency, which included monetizing the value in the YWCA building in midtown Manhattan and freeing up resources to fund more programs in New York City focused on the YWCA’s mission of empowering women and eliminating racism.

Tate also served on the board of the YWCA USA for 12 years (1980-92). She has also served many years as a YWCA representative at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which convenes every year in New York with representatives from governments, NGOs, and U.N. agencies to develop the global agenda concerning progress for women and girls.

“In her many roles, Connie has been a tireless organizer, advocate, fund-raiser, lobbyist, chronicler, and leader for the YWCA. Her infectious energy and commitment to racial and gender justice have attracted young women to get involved and follow in her path as YWCA leaders,” according to YW leaders.

Tate is the third generation of YWCA leaders in her family, following her mother, Constance Anderson, president of the YWCA USA in the 1950s, and grandmother Antoinette Myers, president of the YWCA NYC in the 1920s.

She was born and raised in Manhattan and graduated from Wellesley College. While raising three sons, she earned an M.A. in education from the University of Bridgeport.

Connie Tate and her husband Robert raised their children in Wilton. She has been an active member and leader in a number of organizations, including the Adirondack Council Board, Cosmopolitan Club of NYC, Kiwanis Club of Wilton, and St. Matthew’s Church in Wilton.  

The YW Academy helps to unite the YWCA of New York City with companies in the city to increase diversity and gender equity in the workplace, promote discourse around social issues, and support programs that foster education and help the most vulnerable New Yorkers find their way to self-actualization.