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Celebrating Black History

In 1889, YWCA Dayton became the first YWCA to open a branch for African-American women and girls. A sewing club founded by a group of Eaker Street African Methodist Episcopal Church women started the branch, calling themselves W.C.A. No. 2. Susan Bates Winters, YWCA Dayton’s first president, noted, “I believe we are the only association in our city organized for the relief of women and children, caring for them without regard to color or nationality.”

From the strength of a few in the 19th Century, it grew to a thriving site in the 20th Century with housing, an employment bureau, a community cafeteria, a Y-Teen program, educational and social classes, and more.

Today, we continue advocating at the intersections of gender and racial discrimination, noting as Audre Lorde did, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”


West Dayton YWCA: Profiles in Leadership