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For other uses, including specific buildings and chapters, see Young Women's Christian Association (disambiguation).
Founded 1858
Purpose Advocacy for young women’s leadership, peace, justice, human rights and sustainable development
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Region served
Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D.
Affiliations World YWCA
Slogan "Eliminating racism, empowering women"
Website www.ywca.org
Neysa Moran McMein (1888-1949) Y.W.C.A. In Service for the Girls of the World, Poster, 1919

YWCA USA is a non-profit organization founded in 1858. The umbrella organization for the national associations is the World YWCA, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The services provided at YWCA locations within the United States vary greatly depending on their size and location.[1]

The YWCA no longer stands for "Young Women's Christian Association," as their staff and the people they serve are not all young, women, or Christian. The acronym has been kept to maintain brand equity.


YWCA USA was founded as the Ladies Christian Association in New York City in 1858.

Prior to the U.S. civil rights movement, some YWCA facilities were segregated or operated as separate organizations. Advocates like Helen L. Seaborg in Washington, D.C. worked successfully to mediate mergers between the segregated groups.

The current YWCA logo was created in 1988 by Saul Bass.


The YWCA USA has almost 250 associations throughout the country, and services are provided in over 1,300 locations. Associations are configured into nine regions. Regions vary in size from 19 associations (New England) to 60 associations (Great Lakes). Average of the other regions is 32 associations. The associations employ about 14,000 staff members - 44% are full-time and 56% part-time.[citation needed]


In 2004, YWCA USA associations registered 2.6 million people in programs for children, youth and adults, of which 22% were helped with domestic violence programs, 8% were involved in economic empowerment & leadership development programs, 10% participated in racial justice programs, 7% were served by housing and shelter programs, 24% experienced child, youth and teen programs, 24% used health, fitness and aquatic programs. The majority of the YWCA USA associations publicly advocate on racial justice, violence against women, early childhood education and increasing women's income issues.[citation needed]

The YWCA USA is a preeminent provider of domestic violence programs and shelters in the United States, serving well over 12 million women and children. As comparison, the largest national hotline averages 192,000 calls per year. They are one of the largest providers of child care in the United States with nearly 350,000 children cared for, possibly more children than the largest for-profit center chain. The total income per year is almost $650 million - ($649,500,430). Of this amount, 49% is from government grants, 23% from public support (individuals, foundations, corporations) and membership fees, and 21% from program service fees.[citation needed]

The YWCA USA is an organizational member of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, which advocates gun control.

YWCA of The City of New York[edit]

The YWCA of The City of New York, the oldest of all of the YWCAs in the United States, was founded in 1858. It is unique[citation needed] in that the organization is guided purely by human service-oriented programs rather than physical services. Such programs include their Early Learning Centers, Family Resource Center, Out-of-School Programs, Professional Development Programming, and Women's Employment Programming to name a few, and are still guided by the YW mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. YWCA of The City of New York services are a major component of the non-profit community in New York City.

The YWCA of The City of New York produces several fundraising events annually including the Salute to Women Leaders Luncheon, the YWCA-NYC Theatre Benefit (featuring the Broadway hit The Color Purple in 2005 and the revival of Michael Bennett's A Chorus Line in 2006).

During their annual Summer Soirée (held at the W Hotel in 2005 and Cipriani 23rd Street in 2006) they present their "W" award. This award is presented to a woman who is a visionary, an innovator, trend-setter, a woman who gives back to her community and helps those the YW serves daily: the women, girls and families of New York City. In 2005, this award was given to Marian McEvoy, and in 2006 to Star Jones-Reynolds.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "YMCA: Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women". YWCA.org. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 

External links[edit]