While the mission of YWCA Lancaster is rooted in the Lancaster County community, there is immense power to the national model that helps support more than 1,000 YWCA’s across the United States, as well as 120 countries around the world. We’re proud to be able to leverage that power to share resources, learnings, and ideas that can help bring new strategies and uplift more voices than ever before to help us better partner with you to eliminate racism and empower women.
Last month we had the honor of hosting four CEOs and Executive Director’s of regional YWCA’s, some of whom had recently joined their associations and are able to bring their extensive expertise to the YWCA family. Joining us in Lancaster were Delia Marerro of YWCA Bethlehem, Kim Bracey of YWCA York, Tymia Green of YWCA Gettysburg and Adams County, and Stacey Woodland of YWCA Tri-County Area. These exceptional leaders have an immense background of experience ranging from community activism, to former Mayor of York, and we were proud to share the table with such local brilliance!
Sharing insights, centering community
Though we are part of a national network, all dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, each specific YWCA’s scope, approach, and services is tailored to the communities we serve. For example, YWCA Lancaster is proud to be our community’s rape crisis center through our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center, and other associations offer vital physical fitness and wellness services to keep our community healthy and strong.
As part of our gathering, we discussed the differences between our communities, as well as the opportunities to learn from each other, to better uplift historically marginalized voices and to challenge our communities to build more just systems where everyone can thrive. As part of this discussion, we’re working to create a more consistent way of sharing insights across associations to further strengthen all of our programming.
Reaffirming our mission
In the coming months, every YWCA association across the country will be reconfirming their agreements with YWCA USA. This is a way of ensuring that every YWCA, regardless of where you are in the United States and regardless of the specific program offerings, upholds the same dedication to eliminating racism and empowering women, and is also remaining emergent to the changing needs of our communities. We, along with our fellow YWCA associations, are proud to be part of a network unlike anything else in the country: a collective of dedicated organizations working to build a just future that can learn, adapt, and uplift the brilliance of our respective communities. Since 1858, YWCA has been leading the way for the issues that will create that future, and we are honored to continue that legacy with you, our County, and our regional YWCA family!