Mission: To eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
About the organization: The first United States-based chapter of the YWCA was formed in 1858. Since the national organization was incorporated in New York City in 1907, YWCA USA has been at the forefront of critical social movements — from women's empowerment and civil rights, to affordable housing and pay equity, to violence prevention and health care. One of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the United States with two hundred local associations in forty-five states and the District of Columbia, the organization serves more than two million women, girls, and their families annually.
Current programs: YWCA USA's local associations offer programs and services in areas including anti-racism, child care and early childhood education, domestic and sexual violence victims, health and safety, family planning, financial literacy, and job training and economic empowerment.
The organization's advocacy campaigns call for protecting the rights and safety of marginalized communities, including immigrant women; equal pay and workplace fairness; gender-based violence prevention and support for victims; access to health care, ending policies and practices that criminalize people of color; and strengthening the nonprofit sector.
COVID-19 response: The organization's COVID-19 response efforts include launching the YWCA COVID Emergency Relief and Community Resiliency Fund to raise funds for local YWCAs facing an immediate funding, staffing, and safety crisis that threatens their ability to meet the needs of women and children they serve. To address the increase in domestic and sexual violence during COVID-related lockdowns, YWCA has been working to provide safe and secure housing, crisis hotlines, counseling, court assistance, and other protective programs. With schools being closed, 83 percent of local YWCAs have been providing childcare services for essential workers.
Website: Visitors to the YWCA USA site can search for a local association in their area, follow the blog for the latest developments, or browse interactive data maps showing the impact of YWCAs on women's empowerment, YWCAs located in thirty-eight Opportunity Zones, and community development financial institutions (CDFIs). They also can learn how to get involved by taking action to eliminate racism and empower women, partnering with local YWCAs, or making a donation to the national organization, the YWCA COVID Emergency Relief and Community Resiliency Fund, or their local YWCA.
Funding: YWCA USA is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, membership fees, and program service revenue.