Notable Minority Executives: Ahmad Kweku Qawi

President and CEO, Racine Family YMCA

  • Category: Notable Minority Executives
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 23
  • Undergrad degree/university: B.S. degree in Communication from Illinois State University

Last updated on February 23rd, 2021 at 10:00 am

Ahmad Kweku Qawi is president and CEO of the Racine Family YMCA, a role he assumed in July 2020 after serving 16 years with the organization, the previous 10 years as chief operations officer.

Qawi created the Y’s Strong Communities Agenda, which worked to address a range academic, behavioral, family and community issues. The Young Leaders Academy (YLA), an academic, character and leadership building mentorship program for black male youth, became the first initiative in the Strong Communities Agenda.

Qawi’s partnerships with local, county and state service agencies resulted in programs that promote equity by targeting issues that disproportionately affect Racine’s youth of color, such as teen pregnancy, childhood obesity, college readiness, lack of strong male role models and gang activity.

In the last several years, Qawi oversaw the opening of a Y community center — the George Bray Neighborhood YMCA Branch — in Racine’s central city (2017), the addition of the First Choice Pre-Apprenticeship program that prepares communities of color and women for work in the construction industry (2018), introduction of Racine’s Credible Messengers gang diversion youth program that connects high-risk youth to mentors who have experienced and overcome similar circumstances (2019) and the addition of Family Service of Racine as the Y’s emotional wellness branch in April 2020.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin