National Voter Registration Day is Here!

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy and Policy

Desiree Hoffman

Desiree Hoffman

The YWCA USA is excited to partner with Nonprofit VOTE for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) 2014 on September 23!

Close to 50 local YWCAs across the country are engaged in this day of democracy, and have pledged to register their own staff, or partner with allied organizations such as the League of Women Voters, to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. The stakes are high, with the entire House of Representatives up for grabs and one-third of the Senate up for re-election. And there’s a chance that the House of Representatives could be made up of 20% female Representatives for the first time in its history if key races are won.

Why I (Will) Vote: To Make A Difference

Voting for leaders and policies that will put us on a path toward ending homelessness is essential. Registering to vote is the first step in creating change through the democratic process, but about a quarter of Washingtonians who are eligible to vote aren’t registered! To inspire our readers to register (or to update your registered address if you’ve moved), we invited a variety of people to tell us their thoughts on the importance of voting. We’re sharing their responses in the lead-up to National Voter Registration Day, which is tomorrow!

Commemorating Women’s Equality Day

By Samantha Plotino
Mission Based Coordinator, YWCA Bergen County 

Samantha Plotino

Samantha Plotino

Historically, women in the United States have grappled with the perceived notion that they are not equal to men. It’s easy to forget that until 1920, women were not allowed to vote: they were, essentially, rendered voiceless.

Often subjected to a lesser status in society, women continue to fight for equality; a battle that has waged on for centuries. Thanks to some truly incredible women leaders – past and present – today’s women are graduating from college at increased rates, earning higher wages, and are better represented in all levels of government.

White House Summit Highlights Issues Facing Working Families

By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate, Economic Empowerment, YWCA USA


Danielle Marse-Kapr

Earlier this week, 10 representatives from the YWCA joined over 1,000 attendees at the White House Summit on Working Families. As anticipated, the summit highlighted issues facing working parents – particularly mothers who do paid work. There was no shortage of clout in the room as President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden all delivered remarks. They were joined by House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and the First Lady’s Chief Of Staff Tina Tchen, both of The White House Council on Women and Girls. Prominent business leaders and celebrities also attended to show their support for an agenda of public policy and cultural change that helps working families.

Top Five on Friday – August 30

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

It’s the end of summer, which means we’re getting ready for cooler weather, a new school year, and the start of holiday season. For this week’s Top Five, our theme is new beginnings – posts and stories that helped us renew and inspired us to take on new challenges.

Thank you, Dr. King, and All Who Came Before Us to Pave the Way

By Arlene Hosea
YWCA McLean County Woman of Distinction and former board member

I am too young to remember the March on Washington, as I was born in 1959. But as I reflect on it 50 years later and having learned about it as I grew older, I think about the sacrifices of those who came before me so that I could, live, eat, shop, obtain an education, work and thrive as a full citizen in America.

Reflections from YWCA Leaders on the Historic 1963 March on Washington

By Katie Stanton
Social Media Manager, YWCA USA 

Tomorrow marks the official anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. We have been commemorating the YWCA’s historical involvement as one of the sponsors of the original March with reflections from our YWCA leaders about their experiences of that day.  A few of their personal reminiscences are below.

Jeanine Potter Donaldson, Executive Director of the YWCA Elyria/Lorain, shared her memories of the March:

Unsung SHE-roes: The Top 8 Female Civil Rights Activists You Should Get to Know

By Rhonda Bishop
Policy Associate, Education and Young Women Engagement, YWCA USA

This week, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, and the women leaders who played integral and often unacknowledged roles in that important event. To continue our celebration this week, our theme for today’s Top Five on Friday post is slightly different. We’re sharing the Top Eight Unsung “She-roes” of the civil rights movement — women who fought for freedom and equality for all people, and whose names we hope you will share with your friends and family as important icons of American history.

Diane Nash

Diane Nash

Joining our Foremothers on the Lincoln Memorial Steps

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy, YWCA USA

March on Washington“We Demand an End to Bias Now!” was inscribed in big letters on the March on Washington rally sign that Bernice Cosey-Pulley, now 86, carried in 1963. She still has two of the rally signs from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom perfectly laminated in her living room, as she told me when I asked her about her experience there 50 years ago.

Top Five on Friday – August 16

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

Earlier this week, one of our local associations in New Hampshire faced a scary and tragic situation during a visitation at their center. We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life that occurred at the YWCA New Hampshire, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of all those involved in this incident. (Read the YWCA USA’s full statement.)

This has been a week of coming together and of healing for the YWCA, so our theme for our Top Five today is inspiration: stories that help us continue serving the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women, and that we hope will inspire you.