It’s been just over a year and a half since I had the privilege of taking the helm of the nation’s first and oldest YWCA. And I have to tell you, I am still as excited about the possibilities as I was in July 2012 when I came on board. The past several months were spent in deep discussion with staff, youth, communities, board members and others who have a strong attachment to our past and an abiding commitment to our future.
As we reflect on our past as an advocacy organization for women, and a great, safe place for New York City families, one thing hasn’t really changed: The YWCA of the City of New York is dedicated to helping all women and girls thrive in New York City.
A year ago, I talked about renewing the YW’s presence at home, school, work and in our communities. That renewal has led to a reinvigorated commitment to ensuring that women and girls from all walks of life have the opportunity to engage with the YW and with each other on issues of importance.
I’m calling it “YW for Every Woman”. What does that mean? It means we champion the importance of high-quality, affordable early learning and after-school opportunities for working families at our locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It means we understand the importance of providing women who are unemployed and underemployed with transformational workforce readiness and career transition programs. It means we help underserved youth increase their college and career access in partnership with New York City public schools.
But now, we are taking our vision a step further.
Our commitment to “YW for Every Woman” also means that we want to reengage women of all walks of life in meaningful conversations about how women are perceived and how women can succeed at home, school, work, and in their communities in New York City.
We want to support advocacy work that addresses issues of pay equity and workplace flexibility for working mothers, and we will continue to hold panels, discussions, and YW Salons on issues important to women such as, media, leadership, the economy and influence.
We will continue to lift our girls up through initiatives like the YW 21st Century Girls Symposium™ and the YW Geek Girls™ STEM Programs.
We will continue to champion bold conversations about women and race because our foremothers understood that empowering all women requires real talk about race. At the YW, we are bold and powerful enough to believe that we can transform the way our society experiences gender, and cross the finish line of equality with all of our sisters together, side by side.
But, we cannot do it without your help! By supporting our work, following us on social media & engaging in important conversations about gender equity, you can help move us forward into a fair and equal society.
Join us today.