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YWCA of the USA

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The YWCA is the largest and the oldest multicultural women's organization in the world. There are over 25 million members worldwide, spread over 106 countries. In the United States there are 300 associations that include more than 2.6 million members. The YWCA provides shelter and a safe haven for both women and girls.

The main offices for the YWCA are located in Washington, D.C. They focus on helping women but the offices also employ male employees as well as male members to the advisory boards and committees. The agency provides services to help meet the needs of women in the communities where they are located.

Services they provide include child care, domestic violence assistance, rape crisis intervention, shelters for victims of domestic violence along with their families, career counseling, job training and training for teens in entrepreneurial areas. The organization promotes the existence of a community for women in each association by developing women's leadership skills in an environment that is supportive, brings change through diversity and fosters hope for future. In some of the local associations fitness classes are also offered, as well as other programs that are designed to empower women.

Each YWCA analyzes its community to determine the need for programs and all programs must fit into the YWCA mission to empower women and eliminate racism. The organization underwent a major changed in 2001, making it a bottom up unit where the foundation, its local associations, is the key to the organization.

There are nine regional councils and each of the different local associations is affiliated with a specific Regional Council. Each of the local associations is represented on the Board of Directors of their Regional Council by two members.

And each Regional Council in turn sends a member to be on the national committees. The national office is in charge of branding and marketing and conducting advocacy across the nation on a national level.


The YWCA's mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. Programs offered at each local association throughout the United States help to carry out that mission. The organization is dedicated to also promoting justice, peace, dignity and freedom for all.

The YWCA is the largest and most preeminent provider for domestic programs and protective shelters in the United States. They serve over 500,000 women and children. They also are one of the largest providers of child care in the United States with over 350,000 children in its program. They are also members of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an advocator of gun control.

They also provide facilities, programs and fitness classes to women, in an attempt to empower women. In today's world women are still working extra hard to gain equal rights and be treated with respect and dignity. The YWCA with their programs aid women in recovery from abuse of both physical and emotional kind. The programs are all designed to follow the mission and purpose of the YWCA to eliminate racism and empower women.

A part of the purpose of the YWCA is to aid women in becoming more independent and in order for women to realize that the YWCA offers programs in day care so women can work and become independent. Letting them realize their personal goals and give to their children what they need. There are a number of programs that help women learn new skills that are valuable when they seek employment.

The programs give women basic knowledge of many different fields of work like computer skills and entrepreneurial classes are offered so that women can learn to manage their own business and not only become independent but be their own boss. The YWCA has seen a great need over the last century to eliminate discrimination and racism and through their programs they have helped hundreds and thousands women each year.


The YWCA was established in 1855 in London, England and the first chapter started in the United States in 1858 with the first National Board operating in 1906. In 1866 in Boston, "YWCA" was first used to describe the organization. In 1872 the first employment bureau for women was opened in New York City.

During these times there was still widespread segregation based on race and sex, and in 1889 the first branch of a YWCA for African Americans was opened in Ohio while the first YWCA for women of Native American origins was opened in 1890.

The year 1894 brought along with it the opening of the World YWCA when the United States, Sweden, Norway and England joined forces to open the organization that is now spread in more than 120 countries. In 1906 the first sex education programs and positive health concepts were included in the health programs at the YWCA.

In 1918 the YWCA sent workers overseas to help with administrative leadership to the Armed Forces of the United States. In 1944 the National Board for the YWCA appeared at the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in support of legislation for Fair Employment Practices.

The first interracial chapter of the YWCA was adopted in 1946 at the 17th National Convention. The dining facility at the YWCA in Atlanta, Georgia opened to all African Americans in 1961 making it the city's first public dining facility that was not racist.

The YWCA board in 1983 urged Congress to enact legislation that opposed apartheid in South Africa. The YWCA was instrumental in calming the riots that took place after the acquittal of four police officers in the beating of an African American Rodney King.

In 2008 the YWCA introduced the "Own It" campaign that was focused on helping the new generation of over 22 million women between the ages of 18 and 34. Trying to get them involved with the issues they face and the issues faced by women in general in the United States in the 21st century.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Business Size: 1000+
Notes: None Listed


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