Cleola A. Callahan, born and raised in Birmingham, is Senior Director of Domestic Violence Services & Shelter Services for YWCA Central Alabama, whose mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. She worked many years as an educator in the Birmingham city and Montgomery County school systems. After deciding it was time for a career change, she earned her second bachelor’s degree from Miles College and a master’s in social work from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She then transitioned to her 7 ½-year career in nonprofits. She has been with YWCA Central Alabama since October 2016, and previously served as the Stabilization and Permanency Case Manager and the Shelter Manager. During the course of this work, Callahan learned that developing strong relationships in the community is the key to building a solid foundation within an organization. Working with victims and survivors of domestic violence, helped her develop a trauma-informed approach that integrates knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures and practices. Her goal is to ensure survivors of domestic violence have access to advocacy services in an environment that is inclusive, welcoming, destigmatizing, and non-traumatizing. A wife and mother of one beautiful daughter, Callahan is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.