Letters to Congress from Dreamers in our Community

These letters were written specifically for North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis as part of a public hearing hosted by a grassroots group, Siembra NC in High Point, NC. Siembra NC is an immigrant-led group comprised of undocumented immigrants, among them local DACA recipients.

These activists are asking for an opportunity to talk with their Senator to tell them why they think he should support the Dream Act and the issues that the SUCCEED Act presents in its current form. Although these letters are from North Carolina DACA residents, thousands of immigrant youth are going through the same feelings and emotions as they see their future start to dissipate with every day that passes.

Pass the Dream Act – Not Because of Our Productivity Value But Because Dreamers are Human Beings

By Citlaly Mora, Senior Director for Women’s Resource Center and Latino Family Center, YWCA High Point

On a day to day basis, I work with women, immigrants, and the Latinx population in High Point, a rural city in North Carolina. And although we live in an area where politically, we are represented  by conservatives who in the last legislative session, attempted to pass more than a dozen anti-immigrant laws for our state, our community of immigrants in High Point is strong and diverse, and includes Dreamers. Despite this, and despite knowing that immigrant youth contribute millions of dollars to our economy, our politicians haven’t made lasting progress on immigration reform. Despite the fact that every day, immigrant youth are creating jobs and increasing our tax base when they spend money and pay billions in Social Security even when they are not able to benefit from it, we often see politicians reverting back to their political rhetoric.

No Man is Sacred

By Danielle Marse-Kapr, YWCA USA Communications & Marketing Director

Growing up, I had the same impression many people have. Men who commit sexual violence are notably bad people. They hang out in back alleys or drug your drink from across the bar. You can spot them in a line up. They aren’t your friends or family. They aren’t people you trust.

Historic Firsts this Election Day!

We made history last night through our local elections! We are thrilled to see so many “firsts” during this election season, particularly as many of the firsts were women and people of color. This is what progress looks like. This is what representation and an inclusive democracy could look like.

On A Mission to Build our Collective Impact

By Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA

This week in Seattle, Washington, YWCA USA convened 43 leaders representing 30 YWCAs from around the western U.S. as part of our annual geo-network meeting. By hosting these smaller “geo-networking” meetings in each of our five designated geographic networks, we are bridging the distance between our national and regional work by supporting capacity-building opportunities, promoting collaboration, harnessing our collective action and strengthening our communication efforts. Furthermore, for the first time, our national board of directors intentionally held their quarterly meeting to coincide with a geo-networking meeting, allowing the opportunity to share ideas, promote transparency and elevate our united voice.

On a Mission to End Violence in the Wake of Another Mass Shooting

By YWCA Alaska

October 1st, 2017, was a terror filled night for America. The act of violence that occurred in Las Vegas was undeniably horrific; and sadly, we’ve experienced it before. At YWCA Alaska, we cannot in good conscious ignore this opportunity to address how violence surrounds us, and who most often perpetrates this violence.

YWCA Alaska’s mission is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, while promoting dignity, peace, freedom and justice for all. To live out our mission we are compelled to respond to this attack by using this national dialogue to address violence and create the safer world we imagine.

Refusing Silence

By Caitlin Lowry, Senior Policy Analyst, YWCA USA

Five years ago, I became the victim of a stalker who sent thousands of harassing and threatening messages to my email and across several online platforms. I spent countless hours talking to police, prosecutors, domestic violence advocates, my state delegate, therapists, and doctors; attending court proceedings; and attending state congressional meetings as a result of his harassment, which included rape and death threats, comments about the windows in my home, and a surprise visit to my workplace. I had binders full of documentation, but it wasn’t enough. Because all of this was viewed as “just” cyberstalking, few officials were willing to take the violence I was experiencing seriously. One police officer told me he couldn’t help me, responding, “Well, he hasn’t threatened to chop you up into little bits or anything yet,” and one judge asked me, “Can’t you just not go online?”

Taking Campus Sexual Assault Seriously—Always

By Lily Eisner, YWCA USA Public Policy & Advocacy Intern, Summer 2017

One day last spring, vandals scrawled messages threatening sexual violence in common areas and stole several pairs of women’s underwear from laundry rooms in a sorority at my school, Dartmouth College. The horrific message shook the entire student body. Copycat messages and thefts began appearing around campus. Off-campus apartments began to keep their doors locked—a strange occurrence for the trusting New England town. The Dartmouth community was going through a terrifying time. And yet, for the first time in my college experience, I saw a student body that was finally taking sexual violence seriously.

In Our Community: Collaborating to End Domestic Violence

By Sharon K. Roberson, President & CEO YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee

A few months ago, Maria  had one arm in a sling, while the other carried her infant baby.

The beating from her husband had put her in the hospital, and now that she was being discharged, she couldn’t go home. She had someone beside her though, the man carrying her bag into the Weaver Domestic Violence Center.

That man who escorted Maria to safety was the Metro Nashville police officer working her case. Without his kind insistence, guidance and protection, we know from our long experience at the YWCA that Maria and her child likely wouldn’t have made into safety.

Take Action: Call on Congress to Work to End Gender-Based Violence

At YWCA, 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, we have set aside the third week in October as a Week Without Violence to raise awareness around ending violence against women and girls with the World YWCA.

At YWCAs across the country and around the world, we are focusing on ending gender-based violence, which recognizes a spectrum of violence that overwhelmingly impacts women, and includes intimate partner violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and harassment. Gender-based violence impacts the lives of countless women and their families and continues to be pervasive across the United States. The statistics are disturbing: