Mary Bledsoe

Executive DirectorYMCA

Mary Capers Bledsoe has worked in the field of civic engagement and outreach for more than 20 years. In her role as Executive Director of the South Carolina YMCA Youth in Government program, she works with more than 3,000 students each year, engaging them in programs and events that empower them to find their voice, understand their role in a democracy, and recognize the power of their participation in the community. Under her leadership, the South Carolina Youth in Government program has pioneered intentional outreach to underserved communities, schools, and populations, and has established partnerships that have furthered the goal of ensuring that all programs reflect the diversity of their communities on multiple levels. She serves on several national committees with the YMCA, helping guide the movement towards diversity, inclusion, innovation, and collaboration. She was a fellow with the Pew Charitable Trusts Youth Adults Civic Connector Initiative, and helped write the YMCA’s Civic Engagement Guide: Strategies and Tools for Increasing Civic Engagement. She served on the joint American Bar Association/YMCA Task Force that created the National Judicial Competition. She is a graduate and fellow of Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Initiative. Most recently, she was a participant in the Aspen Institute’s convening: Civil Discourse in a Fractured Age. She has been recognized by the Greenville Bar Association as a Liberty Bell Award recipient, and was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent for her work in education and civic engagement by SC Governor Jim Hodges. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and was a newspaper reporter before discovering her passion with the YMCA. She is the mother of a 16-year-old daughter and is ready to step aside and let the next generation lead! Mary Capers can be reached at


Building a Culture of Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Advocacy
March 25, 2018 - 11:50 AM - 12:50 PM
Room A/B