Get Out The Vote!

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Get Out The Vote!

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary year of women’s suffrage, we celebrate the courage and conviction of those who fought for equality. But in this moment of celebration, we must acknowledge that the 19th Amendment was not the end of our fight for equitable representation. Women of color were left out for decades following the passage of the 19th Amendment, and we continue to witness blatant attempts at disenfranchising large swaths of eligible voters to this day. In a year that can feel unpredictable, unnerving, and out of our control, there is one thing we can control–Our Voice and Our Vote. It is important now more than ever to ensure that our voices are heard this election season.

YWCA is mobilizing women so that our voices and priorities are heard in communities throughout the country. We are leading a Conversation with America’s Women in communities where YWCA local associations are at the forefront of the issues outlined in our YWomenVote2020 report by hosting a series of town halls and candidate forums with community leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders. See details below for information on how you can join in on the conversation.

Our vote is our path towards gaining an equitable share of resources, wealth, and power. That path has never been easy, but our resolve has never been clearer. We must unite and walk that path, together. Women make up more than half of our country’s population, yet are woefully underrepresented in government and business. This election can be transformational. This is our chance to claim our rightful place in society and make decisions at all the levels of government. By casting our votes in numbers that cannot be ignored, we will succeed.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg once said “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” In the days leading up to the election and on November 3rd, it is important that women vote so that decisions are made by us and not for only for us.

As we continue to navigate the unpredictability and uncertainty of 2020, we learned that women are being disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our newly released white paper, America’s Recovery from the 2020 “Shecession”: Building a Female Future of Childcare and Work,” in partnership with the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin, outlines practical guidelines for tackling childcare and the future of female work to ensure economic security for all women.

Finally, we cannot forget or turn a blind eye to individuals impacted by the surge in gender-based violence during COVID-19 that we have seen as a result of stay-at-home orders. We know that not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally, and that some victims go unrecognized altogether. That’s why, for more than 20 years, YWCA has continued to set aside one week in October as YWCA’s Week Without Violence in which we bring attention to and raise awareness about domestic violence. We hope that you are able to join with us for the remainder of this week as we hold events, share information and stories, advocate, and more with a common goal in mind: to end gender-based violence.

At YWCA, we are on a mission to empower women by ensuring our voices are heard, our vote is counted, and the issues that impact women and people of color are addressed by our elected officials. Join us as we work every day to make our mission a reality for all women.

Alejandra Y. Castillo

Week Without Violence 2020: October 18 – 24

This year’s Week Without Violence kicked off with a special Organize Your Butterflies podcast miniseries, a virtual panel teaming up with partner organizations dedicated to ending violence against ALL womxn, and an incredible Capitol Hill Briefing where we led Members of Congress through a virtual tour of facilities offering trauma-informed services for survivors of violence and abuse. And today, we held our #FreedomFriday on Instagram live, in which our CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo and Kim Pentico, Director of Economic Justice Program, National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) held an engaging and informative conversation about violence against womxn and how to best support survivors in the quest for freedom from abuse.

Join us for the final day of #WWV20 for #SelfCareSaturday, as we reveal a few resources to engage in healing and self-care as a provider, activist, or survivor as an integral part of your own mental and physical well-being to help make you an even more powerful advocate for your causes and clients.

Visit our Week of Action page for more information.

Week Without Violence 2020

Join YWCA for a Conversation with America’s Women

Women want the nation’s leaders to listen and take action on issues that directly impact them. And we are urging leaders to pay attention!

Women are powerful advocates on the issues that matter. As leaders of their families and trusted advisors in their communities, YWCA is working to ensure that women’s voices and priorities are heard in the 2020 election.

We are on the road (virtually, of course) continuing our Conversation with America’s Women, in communities where YWCA local associations are on the forefront of the issues outlined in our YWomenVote2020 report by hosting a series of town halls and candidate forums with community leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders.


North Carolina Womens Virtual Town HallNorth Carolina Women’s Virtual Town Hall

Monday, October 26 at 12 p.m. ET
Issues to be Explored: Economic security and child care


  • Alejandra Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA (moderator)
  • Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin
  • Muffy Grant, Executive Director, North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation
  • Dr. Iheoma U. Iruka, Research Professor, Department of Public Policy and Director, Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity program at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-CH
  • Velva Jenkins, CEO, YWCA Lower Cape Fear

Representatives from the Biden and Trump campaigns have been invited.

Ohio Womens Virtual Town HallOhio Women’s Virtual Town Hall

Tuesday, October 27 at 12 p.m. ET
Issues to be Explored:  Racism is a public health crisis


  • Alejandra Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA
  • Althea Stewart, M.D., Past President, American Psychiatric Association
  • Chyna Johnson, Director of Impact and Innovation, GirlTrek
  • Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, OH

Representatives from the Biden and Trump campaigns have been invited.

This conversation is sponsored in part by the L Brands Foundation.

America’s Recovery from the 2020 “Shecession: Building a Future of Childcare and Work”

We are living through our nation’s first female-driven recession. Fueled by disappearing service-sector jobs and a lack of childcare options, the COVID19 and economic crisis has triggered a nationwide “shecession.” Our report, America’s Recovery from the 2020 “Shecession”: Building a Female Future of Childcare and Work, in partnership with The LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, provides practical guidelines for tackling childcare and the female future of work.

Click here to read our findings and recommendations that lay the groundwork upon which we hope our legislative leaders will develop and enact a comprehensive policy response.

Americas Recovery From The 2020 Shecession


YWCA Spotlights The Work We Do

YWCA Spotlights: The Work We Do

This month, we’re highlighting the work of YWCA of the Harbor Area, which educates and empowers thousands of women and their families in the South Bay and Harbor area of California each year to make positive change in their lives and communities.

YWCA of the Harbor Area became an official voting site this year by reaching out to their local county registrar office, and has been regularly holding voter education open houses in the weeks leading up to the election as a part of their yVote initiative.

In order to fight voter suppression at their open houses, a computer has been provided for members of their community to use for registration who would not otherwise have access to technology, as well as Spanish speaking staff members who help individuals overcome language barriers they may face in the process.

In order to bring attention to the importance of voting, the YWCA of the Harbor Area also held their first Virtual and In Person Afternoon Tea on October 10th and 11th commemorating the 100th year of women’s suffrage in the U.S. and the Suffragette Movement, which started when Jane Hunt invited Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Martha Wright, and Mary Ann McClintock to her house for tea in 1848.

Their yVote initiative has collaborated with the League of Women Voters to provide packets of voting information to their community, as well nearby local colleges in an effort to reach younger voters and help them register. In order to learn more about the incredible work they continue to do, visit their website by clicking here.


Organize Your Butterflies

Organize Your Butterflies: Week Without Violence Miniseries
This year, YWCA is honored to feature several conversations surrounding the multitude of ways that gender-based violence impacts the lives of survivors. Check out these episodes of Organize Your Butterflies as we explore this harmful spectrum and work to empower and uplift the voices of survivors.

Featured topics and guests include:

  • Dani Ayers, Chief Executive Officer of the “Me Too” Movement talks about interrupting and eradicating sexual violence, empowering survivors of sexual assault, supporting and activating survivors, and the future of the movement in Me Too and the Evolving Movement to Interrupt and Eradicate Sexual Violence.
  • A powerful segment featuring Madeline Gregory, Philanthropy Manger, the Allstate Foundation on how the Allstate Foundation’s Moving Ahead Curriculum is empowering and serving survivors of domestic violence today.
  • The military’s #metoo movement, highlighting the immense amount of scrutiny in how the military investigates gender-based violence in the wake of the murder of 20-year old Vanessa Guillen, an Army specialist.

Be sure to visit the #WWV20 website here to listen to these episodes, as well as the conclusion of our miniseries with an episode featuring Sophie Sandberg, founder of CatCalls of NYC, and the movement to #StopStreetHarassment.

Check out these episodes of Organize Your Butterflies wherever you subscribe to podcasts, including:



Organize Your Butterflies


Have you checked out the YWCA Blog? Our blog features stories, tips, and other information designed to inspire and empower girls, women, and people of color on a variety of topics from civic engagement to women’s equity in the workplace and everything in between.

These posts are a must-read! Don’t miss out.


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