YWCA Westfield, NY 

Our Mission in Action

YWCA USA, which serves 2.3 million people annually, focuses its mission-driven work in three signature areas where we believe we can have the most impact:

 Our current strategic framework is the culmination of consultation and exploration with YWCAs around the country, and reflects YWCA’s legacy as a pioneering organization that squarely confronts social justice issues to make lasting, meaningful change. This approach defines our collective efforts, yet allows each YWCA to respond to the unique needs of its community.

As a collective, we look to achieve three signature outcomes:

  • We seek to increase the equal protections and equal opportunities of people of color.
  • We work to increase economic opportunities for women and girls of color, recognizing the importance of addressing the race and gender inequities that exist for this historically and contemporarily marginalized community. 
  •  We strive to improve the often disproportionately negative health and safety outcomes for women and girls of color by making sure they have access to high-quality health and safety resources and support systems.
Racial Justice and Civil Rights Increasing the equal protections and equal opportunities of people of color.

Annually, more than 160,000 individuals participate in YWCA racial justice programs and services that increase awareness, build coalitions, and transform local and national inequities in areas such as employment, housing, and voting.

YWCA's approach to racial justice goes beyond changing hearts and minds. We strive to transform communities, systems, and public policy. Most recently, we have been focused on addressing racial profiling and police violence as they impact women and girls of color. Past issue priorities have included hate crimes, immigration reform, voting rights, and fair housing.

YWCA also supports measures at the national, state, and local levels to advance and ensure human rights for women and girls around the world. As a founding member of the World YWCA, YWCA USA supports the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a comprehensive, international agreement on eliminating discrimination against women in every sphere - economic, political, and social.

Photo courtesy of YWCA San Francisco & Marin

In addition to our direct services and programs related to racial justice, YWCA USA also sponsors the annual Stand Against Racism campaign. Stand Against Racism, builds community among those who work for racial justice, raises awareness about racism, and encourages community members to take action for change.

Our Legacy

YWCA knows that in order to lead the charge against racism, we must also set the example within our own organization. African American and Native American women have been providing leadership in YWCA's movement since the 1800s, and because of the leadership of women of color, in 1946 YWCA began working for integration throughout the entire organization, adopting an "interracial charter" that established that "wherever there is injustice on the basis of race, whether in the community, the nation, or the world, our protest must be clear and our labor for its removal, vigorous, and steady." That work culminated in the addition of the "elimination of racism" to our mission statement in 1970.