Week Without Violence 2016

We already know the numbers are staggering. One in four women will become a victim of domestic violence. Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted. Moreover, women of color, immigrant women, transgender women, women with disabilities, and other people with multiple marginalized identities are at even greater risk for gender-based violence and face increased barriers to safety. At YWCA, we know that not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally and that some victims go unrecognized altogether.not-all-violence-acknowledged-equally_brand

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s powerful dissent in Utah v. Strieff

by Tiffany Wang, YWCA USA Digital Communications Coordinator

In a powerful, scathing dissent yesterday in an illegal-stop-and-search case, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote passionately on police authority and harassment, individual rights, racial profiling, and unconstitutional searches. The case, Utah v. Strieff, weighed whether evidence uncovered during an unlawful police stop could be used in court against the person in possession of it. In a 5-3 vote, the court decided that an arrest warrant discovered during the stop legitimized it, making the evidence admissible despite the initial stop. Sotomayer, clearly, did not agree with this, warning, 

Remembering Glendora Putnam

We are saddened by the passing of extraordinary leader and true trailblazer Glendora Putnam. A former president of the boards of YWCA USA and of YWCA Boston, Ms. Putnam dedicated her career to civil rights and justice.

Glendora Putnam and YWCA USA CEO Dara Richardson-Heron at at YW Boston's "Academy of Women Achievers" luncheon in 2013

Glendora Putnam and YWCA USA CEO Dara Richardson-Heron at at YW Boston’s “Academy of Women Achievers” luncheon in 2013

In 2013, Glendora was honored at YWCA Boston’s Academy of Women Achievers Luncheon, where current YWCA USA CEO Dara Richardson-Heron presented her with the Sandra B. Henriquez Racial Justice Award. As Dr. Richardson-Heron noted then, “Ms. Glendora Putnam’s actions speak volumes and at very high decibels. Truly her strength of character and determination to enhance the lives of others and pass her brilliant torch on to the next generation is exemplary.” You can watch Ms. Putnam’s full acceptance speech here.

Lessons from Our Moms

On Mother’s Day, we celebrate and show appreciation for our moms, and for moms everywhere. We thank our moms for all that they do, and for their love, encouragement, and support. In honor of these women who have shaped our lives, YWCA USA asked our staff to share some of the important lessons learned from their moms. Here are a few:

Reflecting on Stand Against Racism: 6 Questions with Judy Hutton

Last week marked the annual Stand Against Racism, our signature campaign to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about institutional and structural racism in our communities and in our country. This campaign was founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton in 2007, and has since grown into a national presence, involving numerous YWCAs and other organizations across the country. To get some insight into Stand Against Racism’s origins and growth, we spoke with Judy Hutton, CEO of YWCA Princeton, who has been a key part of the campaign from the very beginning:

Judy Hutton Head Shot1

The Drums of Change

By Janine Fiasconaro, YWCA USA intern


Pounding drums echoed across the campus of American University (AU) on April 11. I ran towards the sound with a friend and a few signs in hand, scrambling to get to the source, the Take Back the Night drummers. In just a few moments, I was marching and chanting in a crowd of at least 100 students as we followed a group of women expertly pounding out catchy rhythms on their drums. Flashing blue lights bathed the group every few minutes from a police cruiser that was leading us in our circular path around campus. I danced and chanted until I was hoarse and tired, feeling like there was nothing that couldn’t be accomplished with a well-organized group of determined women.

Are you Jamie or Judy? Mistaken for the wrong Asian

Time for another blog submission, as part of this year’s Stand Against Racism campaign,  “On a Mission for Girls of Color”! Here, Jamie Wong shares her experience as an Asian-American girl living in a relatively small town:

There are some things to be said about residing in a city. Namely, the diversity of citizens in a city. In a town on the smaller side, it becomes increasingly easy to notice diversity. My town is prevailingly white. Not completely, of course, but there’s a lack of minorities, particularly of Asians. I can count the number of Asians in my grade on one hand, while the number of white students in only one class outnumbers us. Which, by itself, is all fine and well. The real problem is being mistaken for the wrong Asian.

Latinas in Color: Racial Identity

At the end of February, YWCA USA did a call for for blog submissions from young women and girls of color under age 21 as part of our 2016 Stand Against Racism campaign, which is themed “On a Mission for Girls of Color.” We received a number of wonderful submissions, and by featuring some of these stories, we hope to both give these young writers a platform for expression and sharing, and to highlight and illuminate some of the unique issues facing girls of color in our country today. Below, Adriana Rodriguez shares her story: