Why I Marched: Reflecting on the March for Black Women & March for Racial Justice

By Sequoia Smith, YWCA USA Public Policy & Advocacy Intern

Thousands of people from across the nation from different races, religions, and genders marched for racial justice and Black women this past Saturday. We marched to demand justice for all the Black girls who fell through the cracks of America’s broken education system, we marched for all the Black trans women who have been murdered, we marched for the queer Black girls who have been hypersexualized, we marched for all Black women.

Speaking Out In Support of the Dream Act

Today, on October 3rd, YWCA USA stood with our partners on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to act immediately to protect the more than 800,000 DREAMers who have received DACA protection, and some 200,000 “little DREAMers” who have been waiting to turn 15 to meet DACA’s age requirements.

YWCA USA Field Engagement Manager Samantha Davis spoke on behalf of YWCA USA, alongside Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and incredible advocates and allies from United We Dream, Center for American Progress Action Fund, VotoLatino, MomsRising, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and more. You can watch the full rally and hear from all the speakers in this video.

Why We March

By Alejandra Y. Castillo, YWCA USA CEO  

This Saturday, thousands will gather for the March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women, two marches converging into one to fight for racial equity, to denounce state violence and dismantle all forms of white supremacy. At YWCA, we are committed to eliminating racism by any means necessary and empowering women. As such, we are proud to sponsor these marches and build critical coalitions among organizations that are working at the intersection of race and gender.

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.