What We Do

The history of the YWCA is the history of progress in America.

Established in 1858 as a voice for women's issues, we 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.

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.

We have made progress, but we still have a long way to go

  1. Over the past fifteen years Early Head Start has reversed the national high school graduation rate of adolescent parents. The average graduation rate of participants in the program is 82% compared to the national rate of 30%-40%.
  2. Although the breast cancer diagnosis rate in our State is consistent with the rest of the USA, the survival rate in Louisiana is 50th in the country.