Q: Where is the YWCA USA located?
A: The YWCA USA is located at 1015 18th Street, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036
Q: How do I find the nearest YWCA?
A: Click here to find your nearest YWCA.
Q: Is the YWCA and its local associations for women only?
A: Although YWCAs focus on women's needs and issues, design programs around those issues, and are managed by women, they include men in staff positions, committees, Advisory Boards, and many programs and recognize the role men play in the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women.
Q: What is the purpose of the YWCA?
A: Racial Justice and Women's Economic Empowerment are the Hallmark Programs of the YWCA. They carry out our mission. They are a reflection of our brand . They are what distinguishes the YWCA from all other socially conscious organizations. To find out more, click here.
Q: How many people do you serve?
A: Currently, the YWCA represents approximately 2 million women, girls and their families in the United States and 25 million women worldwide. The YWCA has more than 300 associations throughout the United States. The World YWCA is at work in more than 100 other countries.
Q: When was the YWCA founded?
A: London, England was home to the first YWCA, which was established in 1855. America soon followed with its first chapter in 1858. The first National Board was constituted in 1906.
Q: Is the YWCA a “social services” agency?
A: Yes, in the sense that the local organizations are major providers of services that meet women's needs. Depending on local programs, these can include: child care, rape crisis intervention, domestic violence assistance, shelters for domestic violence victims and their families, job training, career counseling, entrepreneurial training for teens, and fitness training. Just as important as the programs, however, is that the YWCA creates community among women, develops women's leadership in a supportive environment, fosters diversity, and brings about real change through advocacy.
Q: Does the YWCA provide health and fitness programs?
A: Some local associations have fitness opportunities as part of their programs to empower women. Each YWCA looks at its own community to determine its particular program needs and all YWCAs develop programs that fit within the Hallmark Programs of racial justice and economic advancement of women.
Q: How is the national YWCA structured?
A: In 2001, YWCA members voted to restructure the national organization. The grassroots Change Initiative in 2001 changed the top-down structure to a bottom-up structure grounded in the work of the local associations. Nine separate Regional Councils were created and each local association affiliated with a Regional Council. Each local association sends two representatives from the association to serve on the Board of Directors of their Regional Council. The Regional Council in turn elects two representatives to serve on the National Coordinating Board, the governing board of the YWCA. In addition, each Regional Council sends representatives to serve on the national committees, thereby giving extensive local representation on the regional level and the national level. The national office has been downsized considerably and a majority of the work of the YWCA is conducted by the National Coordinating Board, the national committees and the Regional Councils.
Q: Besides providing governanace, what is the purpose of the Regional Councils?
A: The primary purpose of the Regional Councils is to provide support and training for our member associations, to provide resources and encouragement for program and leadership development, and to serve as a conduit for information to and from the national office, board, and committees and the member associations. The Regional Council provides information to the member associations that it receives from the national office and board, from other Regional Councils, and from the other member associations. The Regional Council also provides the national office and board with information and input from the member associations.
Q: What has the YWCA accomplished since the structural change?
A: We have:
Reaffirmed our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.
Adopted the Hallmark Programs of racial justice and the economic advancement of women.
Elected a 21-member National Coordinating Board comprised of two representatives from each of the nine Regional Councils and three members-at-large.
Established seven strategic committees with one representative from each Regional Council on each committee.
Chartered nine Regional Councils to link the local associations. The number of associations per Regional Council range from 20-60.
Relocated the national office from New York to Washington, D.C.
Initiated a global campaign to raise $30 million in support of YWCAs in the USA and around the world.
Strengthened relations with the world YWCA organization.
Began rebuilding our advocacy efforts on behalf of people of color and women.
Launched a major rebranding effort.
Inaugurated a new Internet/intranet site.