Kim Nelson receives YWCA’s first-ever ‘Woman of Power’ award

Those who know Kim Nelson well say she speaks the truth, breaks down barriers, and is not afraid to share the power. Once the highest-ranking African American woman at General Mills, she retired at the end of 2017 with a lifetime’s worth of accomplishments behind her. As an executive at General Mills, she wielded her influence to make the company a more inclusive workplace for women and employees of color.

Kim Nelson
Kim Nelson Courtesy of YWCA

She co-founded Black Champions and Women in Marketing networks, mentored women and people of color at the company, and helped General Mills earn the title of Best Company for Multicultural Women by Working Mother magazine.

Given her trailblazing efforts, it was only fitting that the YWCA Minneapolis recognized her with its inaugural “Woman of Power” award. Nelson received the honor at the 2018 Circle of Women fundraiser on May 10 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The “Woman Of Power” award is presented to an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership, dedication and achievement in all of YWCA’s core values – peace, justice, freedom and dignity. YWCA Minneapolis established the award to honor women across the Twin Cities who have demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm and support of its mission.

In addition to her distinguished and influential leadership, both in her career and community work, Nelson has earned a reputation as a mentor to many and a role model to all, committing her life to making a better, more just world. As a dedicated YWCA Minneapolis supporter, Nelson served two consecutive terms on the YWCA board, including two years as board president.

Her passion to close the education opportunity gap for children of color in the Twin Cities led Nelson to be a founding member of Generation Next, a cross-sector community partnership working to close the academic achievement gap in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

“It is an incredible honor to be the inaugural recipient of the YWCA Minneapolis ‘Woman of Power’ Award,” Nelson said in a recent press statement. “The idea of a ‘Woman of Power’ Award is very timely. We are at a crossroads in our nation and in the world as relates to women and power, living in the #MeToo movement.

“We are standing up and standing in our power,” Nelson continued. “My prayer for all women is that we live every day as women of power – confident, courageous and willing to help others.”


Information and photo provided by YWCA