A Kansas native, Woods has previously lived in North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, working for nonprofits, including the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, the North Carolina Dental Fund, and Save the Children. Before coming to the YWCA, Woods served as the CEO of Brown Family Health Center, where she worked to improve the health and wellness of people living in severe poverty.
“From Congressional intern to corporate America to national advocacy, Janine’s wealth of experience and dynamic leadership will steer our organization as we work to generate institutional change in racial justice, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls," said YWCA board of directors president LaJuana Fuller in a press release.
The press release also states that, under Woods' leadership, the YWCA is "preparing to launch cutting-edge programs that challenge racism and address institutional biases, defend the interests of marginalized populations, and improve quality of life in the Pittsburgh region." Plans include restructuring the Center for Race and Gender Equity and adding new programming for adult women.
The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is part of a larger organization of YWCAs, originally founded over 150 years ago, with the slogan "eliminating racism, empowering women," and the goal of righting health, economic, and educational inequities for women and girls.