Donor Spotlight: Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng's pieces bring collective hope

Donor Spotlight: Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng's pieces bring collective hope

Donor Spotlight: Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng's pieces bring collective hope - ShopYWCA

Shop YWCA has acquired three important pieces from Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng to add to our online collection. Not only do these pieces hold significant value because of the story behind them, but mana is passed on as the fabrics embrace the new advocates in this sisterhood. 

Recycled Black Tunic with red detail

This piece was from Indonesia and was created by Amron-Paul Yuwono, which incorporated upcycled fabric.The piece represented her commitment to the environmental and the redemptive possibility of transforming waste into something that is beautiful and interesting. This piece inspires a shift in mindset about what should be discarded and how things can be used.

Maya wore this elegant wrap at the Obama Foundation Leaders Asia Pacific Convening in 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. This piece is part of a network of more than 200 leaders, hailing from over 34 nations and territories, working across various sectors and issue areas. Maya challenges the wearer and those inspired by the item, to think of ourselves as peacebuilders helping one another transcend individual suffering and commit to community wellbeing.

Shanghai Tang Red Tunic

Maya wore this piece to in the White House, as well as to her brother’s Senate Inauguration in 2005. 

Red is an important color in the Chinese tradition and carries the bright message of the future about this country and the sense of possibility and hope that swept the nation. The future owner of this piece should feel this vibrant story and energy. 

Empowerment Black Suit

Maya wore this suit when she spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention with Michelle Obamaʻs brother, Craig Robinson. What appears to be a simple black suit actually holds more meaning beyond the well-made garment.

The suit was an important part of American history. It was part of a promise made for a better future - a promise delivered to fight for democracy and representation, which eventually led to getting Barack Obama elected in the highest office. The black suit was part of a collective consciousness from an ocean of people from all parts of the country, which sent a wave of energy beyond the walls of the convention and throughout the world. The black suit held power, and still holds power that can be passed on.


These pieces from Maya’s closet are part of Shop YWCA’s story that weaves donors, vendors, shoppers all together in a special bond. Can you imagine the red tunic giving you all the confidence you need at your dream job interview? Or how about wearing the black suit during a debate when you run for local elected office? Or simply wear it to work and feel Maya cheering you on at every obstacle. 

Join Maya and our community at Shop YWCA in promoting commerce with a cause and inspiring more responsible shoppers to find meaning in their purchase.

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Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng is a Faculty Specialist in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She also serves as the University’s liaison to the Obama Foundation and works with the Foundation’s Leaders program and Global Girls Alliance on initiatives in Hawaiʻi and the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, she was the Director of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawaiʻi, where, in addition to leading outreach and development initiatives, she also taught Leadership for Social Change, Peace Movements, Peace Education, and Conflict Management. For many years, she worked at the College of Education at the University, where she taught Multicultural Education, Social Studies Methods, and Peace Education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Maya sits on several voluntary boards and is the Co-Founder of the non-profits Ceeds of Peace, The Peace Studio, and The Institute for Climate and Peace. In 2021, Maya launched a podcast entitled “The Bravethrough Series: Courageous Conversations on Community” in partnership with KTUH Honolulu.

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