The history of the YWCA is the history of progress in America.
Established in 1858 as a voice for women’s issues, YWCA opened the first employment bureau for women several years later. That was only the beginning of more than 150 years of active advocacy and programming for women’s rights and civil rights. YWCA Metro St. Louis formed in 1904 to provide safe housing for rural women coming to the city to find employment at the 1904 World’s Fair. 115 years later we are providing housing for women in St. Louis and much more!
Our Mission: YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Our Vision: Women and their families achieve their full potential and well-being in a world without discrimination.
We continue to evolve to meet today’s challenges in eliminating racism and empowering women. We’ve shifted to a bottoms-up, grassroots structure. We’ve launched a revitalized brand that reaffirms the mission of working aggressively for women and people of color. And we’re engaging women 18- to 34-years old to carry on the YWCA mission for years to come.
The YWCA advocacy issues reflect our mission and the values of our organization. We promote solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color across the country.
From lobbying for pay equity and hate crimes legislation to the increased funding for Head Start and the Violence Against Women Act, the YWCA advocates on Capitol Hill while employees and volunteers empower women and girls in our communities.