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YWCA and Stillman College announce a partnership to develop a multiuse community facility serving students, staff, and Tuscaloosa’s West End community.
(Washington, D.C., November 5, 2021) – YWCA USA announced a groundbreaking partnership with the storied Alabama HBCU, Stillman College, that will bring to life the first YWCA Local Association housed on an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campus. The multiuse facility will provide critically needed childcare, health and wellness, recreation, and other programs and services to students, staff, and historically excluded communities in and around Tuscaloosa’s West End.
YWCA has a deeply entrenched history of providing resources that enable excluded and marginalized communities to thrive and has been at the forefront of identifying and implementing solutions to offset the devastating impacts of COVID-19 exacerbated by generations of historic inequities. Similarly, HBCUs have long stood as drivers of equity, engines for economic opportunity, and catalysts for the communities in which they operate. This partnership helps deepen the capacity for both organizations to have a lasting, generational impact in Tuscaloosa and every community touched by a Stillman graduate.
“YWCA is thrilled to partner with Stillman College as we work to create innovative approaches that forge new ways to bring about equity and access to resources in historically underserved and excluded communities across the country,” said Elisha Rhodes, Interim CEO and COO, YWCA USA. “Childcare, housing, health care, education, access to recreation for health and pleasure – generations of inequity has left communities like the West End of Tuscaloosa void of basic needs that provide all people a chance to succeed and build generational wealth. Stillman has been deeply entrenched in this community for generations and the Vivian Malone Jones YWCA will increase their ability to deliver programming, services, and other resources that have the power to change lives.”
The Vivian Malone Jones YWCA honors its namesake, the first African American graduate of the University of Alabama whom Stillman College provided with safe accommodation on campus while she attended classes at University of Alabama. In this same vein, Vivian Malone Jones YWCA will create a place of refuge and safety for girls, women, and people of color in the Tuscaloosa community. Malone Jones credits the support she received from Stillman College and the Tuscaloosa West End community for helping her graduate.
“We need this space for both the campus and our community,” said Dr. Cynthia Warrick, president of Stillman College. “Stillman is so central to this community – an anchor for over 100 years – and the needs in this community are great. We have a desparate need for on-campus childcare, improved recreational facilities, a gym for students and the community, housing and the types of wrap-around services YWCA provides. These are the types of partnerships that can propel entire communities forward and we are incredibly excited to bring the Vivian Malone Jones YWCA to our campus.”
In 1873, the first college-based YWCA was established to help young women embarking on their educational journeys, and in YWCA’s over 160-year history, the organization has appeared on approximately 600 college campuses. The development of the Vivian Malone Jones YWCA at Stillman College will also enhance community-based programs that currently operate on Stillman’s campus including Arts & Autism, the Girl Scouts, and The House Tuscaloosa, a literacy initiative for children on the West End.
A generational imperative has guided YWCA since its earliest days, from women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement to Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. YWCA remains devoted to supporting social justice and finding solutions to inequity, knowing that when women are supported and empowered, they become passionate advocates for a more just future.
About YWCA USA
YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.
About Stillman College
Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a historical and formal affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is committed to fostering academic excellence, to providing opportunities for diverse populations, and to maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service by fostering experiential learning and community engagement designed to equip and empower Stillman’s students and its constituents.