Yvonne Pointer was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the fourth of ten children. Yvonne's oldest daughter Gloria was abducted, raped and murdered in 1984. Since the death of her daughter, Yvonne has worked tirelessly towards safer communities, in and out of the City of Cleveland.
Ms. Pointer is often called upon to give words of consolation to individuals and families victimized by violence. She is convinced the problems of drugs and gang violence will not just go away. Her motto is
One Pointer, One Passion, One Purpose.
According to Yvonne, one person can make a difference. When Yvonne learned of a successful program in Chicago called The Midnight Basketball Program, she waged a one-woman campaign to bring the program to the attention of Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. She was successful and in September 1991 the program became a reality in Cleveland. Mayor White named Yvonne the Mother of Midnight Basketball in Cleveland.
As a direct result of her work, Yvonne has been recognized on numerous occasions. Yvonne appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on November 7, 1991, and that same year was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame by former Governor George Voinovich.
Her name was placed in the rotunda of City Hall in Cleveland on September 30, 1992. She was awarded the 908th Point of Light national tribute to Americans who made positive differences by then - President George H. Bush. The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded Ms. Pointer the Director's Community Leadership Award on April 19, 1993. On May 4, 1994, Yvonne received The National Council of Negro Women's Tribute to Black Women Community Leaders Award.
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland's daily newspaper, honored Yvonne with the "Making A Difference" Award in 1995. She was given the Greater Cleveland YWCA's Women of Achievement Award in 1996. In July 2000, Yvonne was a recipient and speaker at the annual Essence Award at ceremonies at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Yvonne is the co-founder of P.A.C.K ( Parents Against Child Killing), the founder of Positive Plus Women's Support Group which is funded by the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland Inc., an active member of P.O.M.C. (Parents of Murdered Children), and a mentor in the Cleveland City Schools.