Antronette (Toni) Yancey graduated from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1979, where she was also the starting center for the women's basketball team. Her medical degree was earned in 1982 at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. She left her residency in psychiatry at Duke in 1984 and then practiced as a general practitioner in Durham and New York City.
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George Williams, who found himself among the temptations of 1844 London, England, organized the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) as a refuge from the large, industrial city's streets. Focusing on Bible study, prayer, and social needs, the YMCA crossed social and religious lines among displaced youths offering safe housing and a better environment from the turmoil of the times.