Understanding Protective Factors as a Buffer Against Violence within the Adolescent Community

By Caitlin Eckert, LSW
Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator, healingSPACE, YWCA Bergen County

Caitlyn Eckert

Caitlyn Eckert

Seeing violence as being preventable, instead of inevitable, is the first major push to successful program implementation for adolescents. The beginning phases of violence prevention start by activating individuals, family systems, schools, communities, and regions in not only recognizing the factors that contribute to power-based violence amongst individuals, but also examining protective factors that may serve as a buffer.

When Women Succeed

By Matt King
Director of Employment & Regional Services, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish

“When women succeed, America succeeds.” It’s not just common sense; it was also the theme of the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23.

President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden spoke at the White House Summit on Working Families. Photo via US Department of Labor on Flickr.

Potential to Power Girls Symposium Kicks Off NYC’s Girl Agenda

by Heather Nannery
Communications Manager, YWCA New York City

Who is the 21st Century Girl? How can we support her aspirations? What happens when 200 girls and women unite to find out?

The YWCA of the City of New York (YW) took on these questions and more on June 2 at the First Annual Potential to Power Girls Symposium. The YW convened over 200 girls and 50 influential women to engage in important discussions about racial and gender equity in New York City.

The United States Must Acknowledge the Legacy of Racial Injustice

By Rachel Krinsky
CEO, YWCA Madison

This week, the Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to affirmative action by upholding a Michigan law prohibiting public universities from considering race as a factor for admissions. Also this week, President Obama unveiled a new clemency process intended to reduce prison overcrowding and to begin addressing the stark overrepresentation of prisoners of color resulting from the war on drugs. These contradictory federal decisions cut to the core of our nation’s beliefs about the state of race in the U.S.

Racial Justice, Difference, and the Peer-to-Peer Model

by Rachel Abramson
Executive Director of HealthConnect One

I am a child of the sixties, and a Jew who takes seriously the prophetic challenge to pursue justice. But my connection to the struggle for racial justice has become more personal for me through my work in health care and in public health.

In the mid-1980′s, I was a 32-year old postpartum nurse, and I was a breastfeeding mother. I worked in a teaching hospital in Chicago, where the postpartum unit had private rooms, semi-private rooms (2 beds), and a couple of “Medicaid rooms,” larger spaces that contained 4 or 5 beds. Postpartum mothers in the Medicaid rooms were primarily women of color, and very few of them breastfed their babies. I was in love with the power of breastfeeding, in my own life and for the families I was caring for.

The Coolest Thing About Online Dating Sites

By Jenny L. Davis, PhD


Quartz, a business and marketing website, recently released data on the Facebook dating app Are You Interested, which connects single people with others within the confines of their Facebook networks. Quartz’ data are based on a series of yes-or-no questions about who users are interested in, as well as response rates between users, once notified of a potential suitor. The data show that white men and Asian women receive the most interest, whereas black men and women receive the least amount of interest. The writers at Quartz summarize the findings as follows:

Week Without Violence: Hate Crimes

By Qudsia Jafree
Advocacy & Policy Manager of Health and Safety, YWCA USA

Hate crimes are committed when a perpetrator intentionally selects and commits a crime towards someone based on actual or perceived membership in a particular group, usually defined by race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, gender identity or sexual orientation. Current federal laws make it a crime to commit bias-motivated acts against individuals or property. Hate crimes not only cause direct harm to the victim, but have an intimidating and isolating impact on the larger community than targeted originally.

Understanding Domestic Violence: How the Community Can Help

Erin McCarthy and Sangeetha Shivaji
Board Members, YWCA Greensboro

Domestic violence-related deaths are a growing problem in the greater Greensboro community.

The most recent victim? Guilford County Schools teacher Laurissa Armstrong, who was shot outside her apartment on Aug. 29, her husband found dead shortly afterwards. Laurissa had requested a domestic violence protection order two times after the couple’s separation. Both requests were denied.

Laurissa is one of seven victims who have died this year. On July 12, Angelique Sylvester was found dead at home. Her boyfriend Donald Johnson, Jr., is charged with her murder. On April 18, Guanghi Lei shot and killed his wife, university employee Yan Wu, and his sister, Bi Fang Lui. Lui’s unborn child died with her.

Top Five on Friday – August 2

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

Our top five stories this week all have a common theme: understanding. From getting the facts about economic inequality to thinking about how we describe events like rape and trauma, we hope the stories below will both teach you something new and inspire you to share that knowledge with your peers.

Top Five on Friday

The “Other” Immigrants: Finding Solidarity While Maintaining Authenticity

By Monique I. Liston
All Black Everything


Monique I. Liston

Our focus on comprehensive immigration reform is an opportunity for some true “Black and Brown” unity. I think that immigration reform should be more important to African Americans as we continue to critically discuss the realities of economics, education, and work in this society. People often forget (or intentionally neglect to discuss) that, during the Civil Rights and Black Power eras, you had many cultures – those labeled black, brown, yellow, and red – finding solidarity in the struggle while maintaining authenticity in their own fights.