The White House Honors Young Women Empowering Their Communities

StaceyMeadowsBy Stacey Meadows

Development Associate, YWCA USA

Last week, the White House Champions of Change – Young Women Empowering Their Communities. The program honored 11 young women who are empowering their communities every day through leadership, advocacy, and just all out #girlpower! It was such an honor to hear the amazing stories of strength and perseverance that these young women have.

The YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women seemed to echo throughout the event. Each honoree had passion, a strong voice, and resilience to withstand adversity in order to step forth and be a leader in their community.

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.

3 Questions to Ask About the FY2015 Budget

By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate for Economic Empowerment


Danielle Marse-Kapr

It’s that time of year again: Congress and the White House are producing federal budget proposals. The President, and House Republican and Democratic committees, have all released their budgets. Senate proposals from each party will likely come out later this month. Appropriators are working to allot funds to various budget lines.

Our job as advocates is to remind legislators to pass a fair and responsible budget that protects women and families. Here are three questions to ask when interpreting the federal budget and advocating for what women and children need the most:

The STEM Promise: Opportunities for Economic Empowerment

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

equal pay WH graphicNext week, the national conversation will turn to income inequality as we mark Equal Pay Day. This marks the day on which women must continue to work in 2014, in order to earn as much as men did in the previous year.

According to 2012 numbers from the Census Bureau, the wage gap is still 23 cents, with women earning around 77 cents on average for every dollar earned by white men. The wage gap for women of color is worse: in 2012, the earnings of African American women were $33,885, or 68.6 percent of all men’s earnings and Latinas’ earnings were $28,424, 57.5 percent of all men’s earnings.

Kasar Abdulla: A Champion of Change for Immigrants and Refugees

by Katie Stanton and Renee Green

Kasar Abdulla

Kasar Abdulla

Kasar Abdulla, Board Member at the YWCA of Nashville for three years, has been making a difference in her community for nearly two decades. Through her work with Welcoming America, Kasar helps immigrants and the new communities they are joining to find cross-cultural understanding and an appreciation for their new neighbors. In September, Kasar was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change, and we sat down with her for an interview about her work and her life in the United States.

Why were you honored as a Champion of Change? 

YWCA CEO Gloria Lau Meets with White House Officials on Jobs for Women

Tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress. The President’s speech will focus on his jobs plan which is expected to include initiatives aimed at creating jobs, assistance for state and local governments and assistance for unemployed workers.

In anticipation of the speech, YWCA USA Chief Executive Officer Gloria Lau, along with leaders of other national women’s organizations, recently met with members of the President’s team to discuss the needs of working and unemployed women.  Lau’s remarks specifically focused on how the nonprofit sector is both a sector of employment for women and a critical provider of services to women.