We’ve been advocating for equality since 1870.
YWCA USA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years. From voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to equal pay, from violence prevention to health care reform, YWCA has a legacy of supporting initiatives that advance its mission to empower women and eliminate racism. YWCA USA unites a network of more than 220 YW’s across the nation and harnesses their collective voice by providing resources and coordinating collaborative action.
In accordance with its mission, YWCA USA promotes an intense focus on racial justice, and directs programming, such as Stand Against Racism, which draws nearly 300,000 participants annually from across the country to draw attention to the ongoing need for peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Locally, the advocacy efforts of YWCA Dayton began with its founding nearly 150 years ago. The organization arose not only as a voice for change in the Dayton community, but as a leader on a national scale, as the Dayton association became one of the first YW’s involved in advocacy efforts when, in 1886, it publically called on legislators to provide “better legal protection for women against assault.”
YWCA Dayton proved itself as a change agent again in 1893, when ours became the first YWCA in the U.S. with an officially organized program for African-American women and girls.
This marked the start of more than a century of work for racial justice and equality, with a particular focus on the intersections of race, gender, and poverty within our own community.
Today, YWCA Dayton addresses such inequities affecting women and girls in Montgomery and Preble counties through a renewed commitment to advocacy. We are going back to our roots and again calling for the empowerment of women and the elimination of racism through local and state legislative action and the organization of community events around critical issues.
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