ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A gathering of powerful women in Rochester — to inspire and help others.

The YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County held it’s 17th annual Empowering Women Luncheon Wednesday to benefit the YWCA. The group offers many services such as emergency shelter, addiction recovery, domestic violence support, and long term housing.

President and CEO of the local YWCA, Myrah Henry, talked more about the importance of their mission.

“We believe in order to improve the lives of women we have to eliminate racism,” Henry said. “We have to get to the root of one of the first ills of our society, which is othering people. We know 93% of women who come to us have experienced some sort of trauma and 86% of people we serve are people of color. It’s important that we center their experiences as we help them onto a better way, better path of life.”

This particular luncheon is also extra special as the YWCA celebrates 140 years of service in Rochester.