National Voter Registration Day: Why It Matters

By Samantha Davis, Field Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

Voting has always been a memorable experience for me. When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, before I was old enough to cast my own ballot, I’d join my Nana in the voting booth. Later, when I grew up, I celebrated the announcement of the first Black president with my college roommates.

Another Attack on Healthcare!

The Senate is back at it again. After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July, Senators Cassidy (R-LA) and Graham (R-SC) have introduced another version of repeal and replace and are trying to move it through the Senate before the end of September! This bill is just as bad as the ones that have come before it—if not worse. Repealing the ACA without simultaneously replacing it with a viable replacement plan risks far too much for women and families across the country.

This bill might just be the worst yet. It would:

Rise Up & DREAM

By Faye Washington, President & CEO, YWCA Greater Los Angeles

It is time to RISE: to the aid of those who need us most. It is time to say that these are OUR children. This is OUR citizenry. Because at the very core of our American legal and civil society is the belief in freedom from oppression and persecution. Why kill a dream? Why punish those who are the most vulnerable?

What does it say about our system, our people, and our very belief in ourselves? That we should criminalize children who are in school, who are graduating, who are going to college? Who want to access an American dream because it is the only dream that they have ever known and wanted?

Child Care and Development Block Grant: Crucial for working families


By Kathy Westra with Cindy Hoffman, VP of Marketing and Communications, YWCA USA

Congress has been deep in budget work for fiscal year 2018 since early spring. YWCAs across the country rely on federal funding to support local communities in our important work to empower women and eliminate racism. Magdeline (Maggie) Jensen, CEO of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, provided some insight into the important role the Child Care and Development Block Grant plays in the lives of many women and families in Pittsburgh.

Showing Up Against Hate: Why YWCA Boston Marched

By Beth Chandler, YWCA Boston Chief Operating Officer

Saturday, August 12, 2017, the unspeakable happened as white supremacists and Neo-Nazis organized around hate and perpetrated violence in Charlottesville, VA. At least 19 counter-protestors were injured, and one, Heather Heyer, was killed.

Shortly after we learned about the violence in Charlottesville, news spread of a “Free Speech” rally planned in Boston on August 19th. Boston quickly demonstrated that it will not tolerate such overt and threatening displays of white supremacy. By midday Monday, a number of counter-protests had been organized, including the Black Lives Matter organized protest “Fight Supremacy!

Afrodescendientes: Honoring Our Intersections

By Alicia Sanchez Gill with Luz Maria Marquez Benbow and Lori Robinson

This piece was adapted from an op-ed originally published in NBC BLK.

Photo Credit: William Perrigen

People worldwide know and recognize March 8th as International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women and girls, to inspire and remind them of their power and capabilities, and to raise awareness of the issues they face everyday in society. Little known to most, there is a similar day set aside specifically for Afro-Latinx women that is celebrated throughout the Caribbean and Americas. July 25th is El Dia Internacional de la Mujer Afrolatinoamericana, Afrocaribeña y de la Diáspora, or the International Afro-Latin American, Afro-Caribbean, and Diaspora Women’s Day.

Joy Hashimoto, A Woman Unafraid

We are saddened by the passing of Joy T. Hashimoto (1927-2017), a YWCA leader and an inspiration.

Born in California to Dr. George Y. and Mary Takeyama, she and her younger brother George had happy childhoods in Los Angeles, and spent summers at her grandparents’ farm. During World War II, her entire family was sent to the Amache Japanese-American Internment Camp in Colorado.

Lack of Healthcare Limits Women’s Choices

By Caitlin Lowry, Senior Policy Analyst at YWCA USA, with Jessica Pinckney, Government Relations Manager at YWCA USA

***As published in Women’s E-News.***

Like many women and families across the U.S., I was overjoyed when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed. So excited, in fact, that I spent my first wedding anniversary having a picnic on my living room floor watching the votes being cast for the bill.

Bold Mission, Bright Future: Reflecting on the 2017 YWCA USA National Conference

YWCA USA’s recent 2017 National Conference was a busy, inspiring few days filled with advocacy, discussion, and inspiration. From pre-conference sessions and deep-dive workshops, to Capitol Hill Day and the Women of Distinction gala, this year’s conference was a way for YWCA leaders across the country to gather, inspire each other, learn and strategize, and nurture the “Bold Mission, Bright Future” of the YWCA movement. During the conference, we were excited to utilize the fantastic skills of two social media ambassadors, Molly Toth from YWCA Warren and Lauren Weldishofer from YWCA of Asheville. Their work was invaluable to YWCA USA’s social media presence during the conference, and to engaging our audience with interesting quotes, valuable insight, and more! Here, Molly and Lauren share some thoughts about their experience at this year’s conference:

Charleena Lyles: Ableism, Racism, and Gendered Violence

By Alicia Gill, Director of Research and Program Evaluation, YWCA USA

This week, a pregnant Charleena Lyles was murdered in front of her four young children by police officers responding to her emergency—she had been burglarized and was likely shaken up when she made the call for help. The responding officers knew and discussed the fact that she had a history of mental health concerns and was a survivor of domestic violence. She had expressed concerns of having her children taken away, and of the continued violence she had already experienced. This horrifying story is neither shocking nor new. Black women are caught at the intersections of trauma, increased policing, excessive force, healthcare systems that are outright hostile and doctors who don’t take Black pain seriously. This has long been known. We know that ableism and anti-Blackness is ingrained in our institutions, and that this is something that can kill us – and this week, it killed Charleena Lyles.