Throughout our history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.
- Opens the doors to our Family Shelter, a shelter where families experiencing homelessness can stay together and work together to get into permanent housing. The Family Shelter provides a safe and supportive shelter for 35 homeless women & children each night of the year.
- YWCA Greensboro joins with the Interactive Resource Center and Greensboro Urban Ministries to create the White Flag program, which creates warming stations across Greensboro in response to dangerously low temperature nights.
- Receives the Women to Women Grant for the Community Foundation of Greensboro and creates a Passion to Purse program, which seeks to improve the economic independence of Greensboro women and their children by implementing a comprehensive project assisting low or no income women to start and maintain micro-enterprises.
- Construction work is completed on the new building and the YWCA Greensboro moves into our new home. 1807 E Wendover Ave.
The YWCA celebrated its Sesquicentennial Anniversary, 150 years of service, with the launch of the “Own It” campaign. The campaign focused on igniting a new generation of 22 million young women aged 18 to 34, inspiring them to get involved with important issues facing women and the country today.
YWCA of Trenton, N.J. and YWCA Princeton, N.J. establish the “Stand Against Racism” campaign, which spreads to 39 states with over a quarter million participants.
Igniting the collective power of the YWCA to eliminate racism, the YWCA USA’s Summit on Eliminating Racism, was held in Birmingham, Ala.
- Celebrates its 100th anniversary by hosting a Gala event at the Marriott with dancing, historic review demonstrated through fashion, casino fun and the honoring of six YWCA “Living Legends”.
- Once, in a century ice storm, the YWCA Greensboro opened the doors to stranded Kannapolis students.
- Town meeting on education held at YWCA Greensboro. The meeting focused on what can be done to help teachers play a greater role in shaping the school district’s direction.
- Reception held recognizing the hiring of the first African American Executive Director, Mrs. Carolyn W. Flowers.
- Teen Parent Mentor Program began a pilot project at Smith High School to help teen parents at Smith stay in school. A teen parent advocate was on site at Smith 3 days a week and weekly peer support/educational meetings were conducted.
- The YWCA Greensboro formed a Minor Parent Housing Coalition with other agencies to address the needs of minor parents who do not have safe or adequate living situations.
- Grandparent Support Groups started for grandparents raising their grandchildren.
- Teen Parent Mentor Program began working on assessing and planning a better system of education for teen moms with the help of a Weaver Grant and Collaboration with Smart Start, Greensboro Public Library and Family Life Council.
- “Swim With a Buddy” begins teaching children with disabilities to swim, partnered with another child lessons.
- Sunshine Club for adults with mental disabilities and EnCore, group for women who have had breast cancer surgery, celebrates their 20th Anniversary.
YWCA of the USA is one of the founding organizations of the first Stand for Children March in Washington, D.C. A YWCA teen from San Diego, California is one of only seven speakers addressing hundreds of thousands of people from the Lincoln Memorial.
- Teen Parent Mentor Program (TPMP) joined with the Greensboro Public Library to increase library and academic skills of teen moms, creating the Teen Families Reading Together program.
YWCAs of the USA in Atlanta and Brunswick, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama receive Goizueta Grant to create and pilot YWCA childcare standards.
- Joins the American Red Cross in offering free learn-to-swim classes for the community.
- In response to issues of sexual harassment in the military, YWCA Greensboro hosts “Women in the Military: Job Protection/Self-Empowerment
- Sponsored first Racial Justice Conference in observance of the National YWCA Week Without Violence. Board members and staff were invited to discuss personal and institutional racial issues and concerns.
- Carolyn W. & Raymond Flowers established the Johnathan W. Flowers Scholarship Fund, an endowment fund to support children’s scholarships for YWCA Greensboro’s activities.
Delegates to the National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, voted to “support the right of Native Hawaiians to sovereignty and self-determination.”
Convention summons the YWCA to “continue its active advocacy for public policies that ensure economic security for women, including (1) welfare reform that provides access to comprehensive health care, child care, education, job training, jobs and nutrition for all recipients; and (2) adoption of comprehensive public policy that places a high priority on adequate child care and dependent care.
First national meeting of state/regional council presidents held following the National Convention, co-chaired by the President of the Pennsylvania Council of YWCAs and national president.
- First Women in the Media seminar held.
- Jr. Women of Color Committee formed representing the campuses of NC A&T, UNCG and Bennett College.
YWCA of the USA, Avon Products, Inc. and the Centers for Disease Control form an unprecedented collaboration of a not-for-profit organization, for-profit enterprise and a government agency to deliver ENCOREplus a breast and cervical cancer early detection program to medically underserved women.
Third Annual National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism attracts prominent speakers, including nearly a dozen members of Congress and leaders of civil rights, women’s and other community organizations.
- Women of Color committee presents “Women Against Violence: Seeking Solutions” a two day conference focusing on the effects of violence on women, their families and the community.
- Holds Family-A-Fair to celebrate 90 years of service to the Greensboro community.
- Greensboro hosts a Teen Parent Conference
First Annual Day of Commitment to the Elimination of Racism is held in Washington, D.C. and in many Member Associations in response to the Rodney King beating and race riots in Los Angeles, California.
YWCA organizes a National Day of Commitment to the Eliminate Racism in response to the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, California. The kick-off is held during a Washington, D.C. press conference; YWCAs nationwide took part.
YWCA is the first women’s organization chosen by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch a breast cancer partnership. Expanded ENCORE Plus program begins to make quarterly detection available to medically undeserved and minority women in some communities served by the YWCA.
- joins other groups to form Life Savers, a statewide coalition of NC organizations committed to reducing breast & cervical cancer mortality by providing access to screening mammogram and Pap smears. This group successfully lobbied for passage of legislation requiring health insurers to provide coverage for testing
- Creates a series of workshops targeting rural women titled “Economic Empowerment for Women”
YWCA is first women’s organization invited to join U.S. Olympic Committee, Multi-Sport Division.
- Creates Widows/Widowers Helping Each Other (W.H.E.O.) support group
National Student YWCA rejects Sullivan Principles as an inadequate and thoroughly ineffective instrument for changing the fundamental structure of apartheid; recommends that the National Board of the YWCA encourage the Board of Trustees to present an annual investment portfolio report to the full National Board and member’ Associations of the YWCA of the USA which lists the National Board’s holdings in U.S. corporations with South African subsidiaries; and encourages them to target a 50 percent divestment of funds from companies with South African subsidiaries by 1988.
30th Triennial Convention in San Jose, California overwhelmingly reaffirms priority of racial justice and commitment to the One Imperative and receives a major report on ethical investment. During the convention, the YWCA of the USA presents its first Racial Justice Awards.
Convention votes for resources and assistance to support public measures to prevent unwanted adolescent pregnancy and childbirth among women of all ages and economic levels.
National Board participates in non-violent demonstration against apartheid outside the South African Embassy, in a candlelight vigil in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and in front of the Consulate of the Republic of South Africa in New York City.
Racial Justice Institute conducted during National Program Conferences.
National Board announces the first Racial Justice Award Program to recognize work of Associations toward the elimination of racism.
National Board sends a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State urging the U.S. Administration to voice its outrage at the arrest and detention of the six leaders of the United Democratic Front, without charge who were involved in the boycott of South Africa’s recent election, and to seek official assurance from the government of South Africa of their protection and safety.
- creates the Teen Parent Mentor Program (TPMP)
National Board members endorse a March on Washington, D.C. for “Jobs, Peace and Freedom.” Policy statement and guidelines are adopted for relations with commercial enterprises.
National Board submits comments on proposed rules changes to the Securities and Exchange Commission, supporting the rights of shareholders to have access to company proxy statements and opposing any changes, which would make it more difficult for social responsibility resolutions to reach the proxy statement.
National Board sends letter to Congress to urge support of legislation that opposes the South African policy of apartheid.
YWCA Leadership Development Center is constructed in Phoenix, Arizona, with nearly 30 percent of the contractors and work crews being people of color. World YWCA Council meeting in Singapore reaffirms policy against racial discrimination and urges national Associations whose governments have diplomatic links with South Africa to urge them to bring pressure on the South African government to eliminate apartheid.
- Public Affairs Committee (PAC) creates Housing Assistance Volunteer Effort (HAVE)
29th Triennial Convention in Washington, D.C., reaffirms the One Imperative and adopts priorities, including reauthorization of the Civil Rights Commission, dissemination of educational material on affirmative action, opposition to racist organizations and use of investor power to encourage greater corporate social responsibility.
Boston YWCA becomes first YWCA in the nation to divest itself of investments in companies doing business in South Africa.
- Public Affairs Committee (PAC) begins Community Alternative to Budget Cut (CAB)
- Hosts a Coupon Clipping Convention
YWCA continues to work for passage of Voting Rights Act and for preservation of federal, state and local affirmative action programs.
YWCA presidents and executive directors meet on the theme, “‘Third World Leadership Looks to the Future,” to examine the impact of institutional racism on women of color in leadership roles and to identify opportunities for the YWCA to eliminate racism.
The Racial Justice Committee of the National Board holds first three-day retreat in Memphis, Tennessee, to develop long-range plans.
Ethical Investments Committee established to educate National Board and Associations.
The One Imperative is featured in Common Concern, a World YWCA publication.
National Student Assembly passes resolutions calling on all YWCA Member Associations to provide support services for Native Americans and Latinos/Latinas for their increased representation at future sessions and for preservation of higher education programs for African Americans.
- Creates Pregnant Teen Program which helps teen mothers succeed in school, postpone subsequent births to beyond adolescence, and deliver and raise healthy, school-ready children.
First grant given to a voluntary agency by U.S. Department of Commerce enables 250 YWCAs in 44 stales to form network publicizing jobs for women in local public works projects.
28th Triennial Convention in Dallas, Texas approves key programs for the 1980s, including multicultural, affirmative action and societal conditions affecting women and third world persons.
National Board recommends to Board of Trustees divestiture of investments in corporations doing business in South Africa that the National Board on Ethical Investments Subcommittee targets.
More then 400 leaders meet in Indiana to develop skills and knowledge in specific areas, including affirmative action.
Public Policy Center addresses affirmative action, civil rights, busing and fair housing.
Center for Racial Justice continues to train YWCA leaders and members to eliminate racism.
- Creates Sunshine Club for mentally disabled teens and adults
- Creates support group for single parents
Dr. Dorothy Height, Director, Center for Racial Justice, retires. She is universally acknowledged as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” often being the only woman present at meetings with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other national leaders.
- Provides counseling for battered women
- Creates Women’s Aid Hotline
- Starts an African Heritage Studies group
- League of Women Voters office established at the YWCA Greensboro
- Auto Repair Workshops begin at the YWCA Greensboro
- Opens a Rape Help Center
Affirmative Action incorporated into Management Training.
YWCA starts ENCORE program: exercise and support for women who have undergone breast cancer surgery.
World YWCA Council meeting in Canada adopts policy on discrimination. 27th Triennial Convention in South Bend, Indiana reaffirms the One Imperative.
Action Audit for Change, through convention action, becomes a requirement for continued affiliation with the National YWCA.
- Hosts sessions on abolishing the death penalty
Convention in San Diego, California reaffirms the One Imperative.
YWCA National Convocation on Racial Justice, Consultation of Asian-American Women in Honolulu, Hawaii; Consultation of White Women of the YWCA in Forest Beach Camp, Michigan; Third World Coalition Workshop in Asilomar, California.
YWCA publishes a book, Child Care: A Plan That Works, providing YWCAs with suggestions for strengthening child care at the local level and guidance on how to effectively avoid racism and sexism in child care programs. The basic premise underlying the YWCA’s approach to child care is reflected in this statement from this cutting-edge publication: “When group care is needed, as it is for many children at this time, it must be available to all who need it and it must be quality care.”
World YWCA Council meeting in Ghana adopts Policy on racism and racial discrimination.
- Hosts political workshops for women and Ex-offenders Rehabilitation programs.
A pre-convention meeting of 500 black women m the YWCA is held. Convention votes on the One Imperative: “To thrust our collective power toward the elimination of racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary.” Convention adopts a Statement of Reaffirmation, Renewal and Relevance – a direction for the 1970s.
Action Audit for Change is introduced.
Convention votes to “give special emphasis to the immediate establishment of an extensive network of adequate child care services.
- Two branches of the YWCA becomes one organization and opens new facility at 314 N. Davie Street
Community and Student YWCAs, under direction of the Office of Racial Justice, examine the subtleties of racism in America, using the continued lack of understanding of “liberal minds,” both black and white.
The National Board adopts “YWCA Project Equality,” pledging to purchase goods and services from equal opportunity employers, to review its own employment practices and to recruit women leaders from minority groups.
Associations work on a grape boycott, Operation Breadbasket in support of black businesses, university divestiture in South Africa and boycotting war machine companies.
Guidelines are written to implement the following; “today there is an increasing awareness of the importance of early education for the healthy growth and development of children. One cannot make a valid distinction between care and education.”
National YWCA elects first black woman, Mrs. Helen W. Claytor, as President. Convention adopts Constitutional amendment stating that any Association not “fully integrated in policy and practice and thereby living up to the “Statement of Purpose” would be disaffiliated.
World YWCA Council meeting in Australia adopts a policy on discrimination against racial and ethnic groups.
Convention adopts first of three abortion resolutions leading to freedom of choice. Convention votes to support “appropriate measures and adequate appropriations for child care services for children who need them” and to make child care a public policy priority.”
YWCA participates in a March on Washington, D.C., for Jobs and Freedom. 1964
On Apri1 6, the National Board takes action affirming its support of the nonviolent civil rights movement and thereby offers encouragement to Student Christian Associations across the country.
Opening of the YWCA cafeteria to African Americans in Atlanta in December, the first desegregated public dining facility in that city. This is a direct result of a student sit-in. The National Board cites this significant action in wide publicity throughout Associations and urges similar action.
YWCA of Buffalo employs their first African American executive director.
National Board votes support of members of Student YWCAs involved in “sit-in” demonstrations by statements and collection of funds for those needing bail. National Student YWCA chairwoman, Olga Seastrom (Mrs. R.E. Jarrett), and other YWCA leaders are jailed during a peaceful demonstration.
- Supports local sit-in movement and tries to contribute openness, common sense and acceptance of these demonstrations for civil rights.
National Convention commits local Associations and the National Board to review its progress toward inclusiveness and decide on “concrete forward steps” to be taken before the 1958 Convention. National Student Assembly votes to “…try to persuade their college administrations to outlaw those fraternities and sororities which have racial discriminatory clauses…”
In Texas, a city USO operated by the YWCA becomes interracial in staff, volunteers and participants.
In Louisiana, a large city, YWCA is the first organization to open its doors for interracial meetings.
- YWCA board recommended the desegregation of the Council of Social Agencies, the Girl Scouts and the United Church Women. YWCA Greensboro creates an all-association council to promote interracial effort within its own organization.
In Grand Rapids Michigan, and Princeton, New Jersey, the city-wide YWCAs elect an African American woman as president.
National Convention pledges that the YWCA will work for the integration and full participation of minority groups in all phases of community and national life.
National Convention, recognizing the need for racial justice to establish a just and stable peace, pledges as a participating member of the World YWCA “to seek deeper insight into the international implications of the Interracial Charter and to exert greater effort to realize its religious and ethical goals on a world-wide scale.”
Sharing common problems, business and industrial) women form National Employed Women’s Coordinating Assembly.
- Public Affairs Committee (PAC) hosts series on “Understanding the Marshall Plan”
- The Susan B. Dudley Branch opens on Dudley Street
Interracial Charter is adopted by the 17th National Convention and accepts the 35 recommendations of the Interracial Study Commission based on two years of intensive examination of interracial policies and practices. The basic recommendation is “That the implications of the YWCA Purpose be recognized as involving the inclusion of Negro women and girls in the main stream of Association life and that such inclusion be adopted as a conscious goal.”
Convention of the YWCA of the USA unanimously adopts the Interracial Charter, in which the YWCA committed itself to work for an end to racial injustice.
- A recognition service was held at Bennett College for 1,100 charter members of the Susan B. Dudley Branch.
- A recognition service was held at Bennett College for 1,100 charter members of the Susan B. Dudley Branch.
National Board appears at both House and Senate bearings in support of a permanent Fair Employment Practices Committee.
National Board sends to both the Republican and Democratic Conventions the following proposed plank: “The interests of democracy and national unity demand that there must be full integration of racial minorities into the armed forces and that racial discrimination and segregation in interstate travel be abolished by federal action.”
- Forms the Business Girl’s Club
- Forms the Interracial Committee
National Convention endorses the Geyer Bill to abolish the poll tax. The National Student Assembly of the YWCA brings to the convention floor a resolution calling for a committee to “study interracial practices in Association and community life” and report back at the next convention. Many people support this, resulting in the Interracial Charter in 1946.
- Involved in the formation of the Council of Social Agencies
- Creates PAC (Public Affairs Committee) to address and react to issues across the city of Greensboro. Issued addressed included neutrality, wages, length of workday and federal standards
National Student Assembly brings to convention floor a resolution that the YWCA re-affirms its support of an anti-lynching Bill in Congress.
YWCA calls for legislation to provide for dissemination of birth control information under authorized medical direction.
- Meeting of presidents and secretaries of North Carolina YWCA’s held in Greensboro discussed the following problems: international relations, racial justice, problems facing youth, freedom of speech, dissemination of birth control information, motion pictures and liquor control.
- Day nursery created for working women of color’s children.
- Twelve women met at Carnegie Library and formed a Committee of Management for the creation of the Susan B. Dudley Branch of the YWCA Greensboro, to serve black communities in Greensboro, and began raising funds for the Dudley Memorial Building.
National Student Assembly takes program stands on “race relationships,” “We, the National Student Assembly …pledge ourselves to seek anew to know the mind of Jesus in regard to our race relationships and to know students of other races, that we may rid ourselves of prejudices and may promote justice and understanding.”
First women’s pension fund established, the YWCA Retirement Fund.
First African-American woman elected to the YWCA National Board.
First National Conference on Unemployment held in NY.
Bi-lingual instruction for immigrant families is featured at the YWCA International Institute’s First National Assembly of Industrial Women in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
- Volunteers from YWCA Greensboro’s District Nurse and Relief Committee fought a devastating flu epidemic. This committee fosters the creation of the Public Health Department in Guilford County.
- The Community Chest Committee is formed which will later become the United Way.
First National Student Assembly held. Racially integrated student conferences are held in the south. Delegates representing 30,000 YWCA industrial members at the 1st National Industrial Conference in Washington, D.C., agree to work for “an eight-hour law, prohibition of night work and the right of labor 10 organize.”
Woman’s Press, a YWCA publishing house, is established to “cultivate an attitude of honest, open, scientific interest in the subject of sex”;
YWCA’s Social Morality program becomes the official Lecture Bureau of the Division on Social Hygiene, U.S. Department of War.
Seventeen hostess’ houses operate as centers for recreation and service to segregated Negro troops.
U.S. Ordinance Department invites YWCA to help 1.5 million women working in war plants; 20 service centers set up near ammunitions factories.
International Conference of Women Physicians, financed and convened by the YWCA is the first gathering of female doctors. For six weeks, these physicians from 32 countries considered women’s physical conditions, emotional health and immature attitude toward sex.
- College students from Greensboro College and the Woman’s College (later to become UNCG) formed a group known as the Carpenterettes. In the summer of 1018, the Carpenterettes constructed a frame building on the campus of the Women’s College. This was the site of the first student YWCA.
First group to send professionals (433) overseas to provide administrative support for U.S. armed forces.
- Incorporates under NC Nonprofit Corporation Act
Hollywood Studio Club, YWCA residence for aspiring actresses, opens in Los Angeles, California
Eva Bowles is the first African American staff member to work with Local Associations.
Bi-lingual instruction for immigrant families is featured in the YWCA International Institute.
- Social Study Class leads to the formation of the District Nurse and Relief Committee.
First organization to introduce “positive health” sex education in all health programming.
- Began with the opening of a rest and reading room in the Southern Life and Trust