America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth, a non-profit organization founded by retired Army General Colin Powell, recently hosted a youth symposium in the American Red Cross Board of Governors Hall in its historic national headquarters building on 17th Street in Washington, D.C. – an area in the heart of D.C. often referred to as Red Cross Square.
The half-day symposium brought together senior leaders and practitioners in the fields of education, health and youth development to discuss how best to create an encouraging environment where America’s youth can thrive and reach their fullest potential. Red Cross Chairman of the Board Bonnie McElveen-Hunter welcomed this prestigious group and introduced Alma Powell, Chairman of America’s Promise.
In the Red Cross Governors Hall are three Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows designed to represent the concepts of hope, mercy, and faith, which are dedicated to women who lost loved ones and cared for the wounded during the Civil War. The windows made an impression on Powell.
“As I look at these magnificent Tiffany stained glass windows that symbolically depict the work of the Red Cross, I realize how fitting it is that we meet here today – both because of the allegorical story in these windows and because of the story behind them,” said Powell. “How these windows came to be here in 1923 is relevant to our work today. They were a combined gift from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Women’s Relief Corps of the North – two groups that obviously did not share the same point of view but did share a common goal – to ease the suffering of those in need.”
During her remarks, Powell made use the scenes represented in each of the windows of this National Historic Landmark to illustrate points regarding the goals and aspirations of America’s Promise. In addition to her prepared remarks, Powell warmly recalled for the audience her mother’s service to the Red Cross as well as her own Red Cross work as the wife of an Army General.
This special event was supported by the American Red Cross External Events program, a resource for outside organizations and groups to host special events at Red Cross Square. To learn more about the program and for information about utilizing the historic facilities for an event, visit RedCross.org (www.redcross.org/externalevents).
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.