April 7, 2023 / St. Louis, Missouri – YWCA Metro St. Louis will reveal the results of an extensive renovation on its historic Phyllis Wheatley Branch – now the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center – at a ribbon-cutting and re-dedication on Thursday, April 13 at 3pm at 2711 Locust Street.

Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center exterior

  • The Historic Phyllis Wheatley Branch of YWCA was the central meeting place for the African American community in St. Louis during the time of segregation.
  • Originally located in Mill Creek Valley, the Phyllis Wheatley Branch was formed in 1911 to serve African American women and girls. The Branch moved to Locust Avenue in 1941.
  • The national YWCA organization singled out St. Louis as a model for integration in 1947 – well before the civil rights movement.
  • Please join YWCA Metro St. Louis, along with local, state and national dignitaries as we celebrate the re-dedication of the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center and honor the esteemed members of the Phyllis Wheatley Committee on Administration (COA) – the only functioning COA in the United States.
  • This renovation marks a significant investment in the Locust Business District, and YWCA is thrilled to reopen the Heritage Center to the community as a premier event venue. Proceeds from events will support the programs and services of YWCA.

WHAT:  Ribbon-Cutting and Re-dedication Celebration
WHERE: Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center, 2711 Locust Street, St. Louis MO, 63103

WHEN:  Thursday, April 13
3pm: Ribbon Cutting & Remarks, Reception follows


Dr. Cheryl Watkins, MBA, President & Chief Executive Officer, YWCA
U.S. Congresswoman Cori Bush
Missouri Senator Brian Williams
LaKeySha Bosley, State Representative of MO House District 79
Dr. Vernon Mitchell, Mayor’s Chief Equity Officer
Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke
Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson
Dr. Vernon Mitchell, Mayor’s Chief Equity Office

More information about the venue

YWCA Metro St. Louis is the region’s leading advocate for the safety, security and stability of women and children, serving more than 10,000 women, girls and families annually. The mission of YWCA is eliminating racism and empowering women. YWCA offers crisis intervention and rapid re-housing for victims of sexual and domestic violence; services for pregnant women and Head Start and Early Head Start early childhood education; economic empowerment services for all clients; and racial justice educational programs.


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