On Using Survivors for Public Argument

The YWCA’s mission guides our programming and advocacy. It lies at the heart of our efforts. Eliminating racism Empowering women and girls Promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all It calls us to understand how racism and sexism harm people in our community, and often fuel domestic and sexual violence. For those who are…Read more

Celebrating Juneteenth

Black Lives Matter, and one way we can honor them is to celebrate, liberate, and educate today, on Juneteenth. The holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This year’s celebration finds our nation in the midst of outcries and protests following the murder of George Floyd. The two are intrinsically linked –…Read more

Remembering Deb Bailey

Like so many, on Monday we learned of Deb Bailey’s passing. We are still settling into that reality, although our hearts remain heavy with grief. It’s impossible to quantify all that Deb accomplished while she was with us. When she received the YWCA’s Tribute Award almost 20 years ago, her nomination listed no fewer than…Read more

SAAM Spotlight: Q&A with Dr. Barbara Wynn

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we are pleased to spotlight Dr. Barbara Wynn. Over the course of her career, Dr. Wynn has elevated the level of care patients in our community receive — particularly survivors of sexual assault. As medical director of the YWCA’s Nurse Examiner Program, she has been integral in ensuring…Read more

Why hospitals and police point sexual assault victims to the YWCA

Yesterday, a news report was aired about a victim of sexual assault’s unfortunate experience in attempting to access medical-forensic services. Without exception, a victim of sexual assault gets to determine the course they take when seeking care. Their wishes should be respected. By nature, news reports are condensed, often oversimplified representations of much more complex…Read more

LGBTQ: 5 Questions You Might Have About Coming to the YWCA

By Jazz McKinney, YWCA Therapist You might have seen a rainbow flag on our website. Maybe you saw our table at Pride. But if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, and you’re facing things like domestic abuse or sexual assault, you understandably might want more than that before deciding to come here for help.…Read more

This Pride Month, an Open Letter and Call to Action

To our LGBTQ+ Community, Catholic Charities West Michigan, and Kent County’s Foster Care and Adoption Agencies The YWCA West Central Michigan is, at its heart, a social justice movement – a movement enriched by 120 years of history in our community. Although today the YWCA is secular, our founders were women representing congregations from throughout Grand…Read more

Meet Team YWCA

by Amber Jones Development and Communications Coordinator Who run the world? Gazelle Girls! This weekend is one of our favorite days of the year, the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K. The YWCA has been a proud beneficiary of the event since it started seven years ago, and we love being out on the…Read more

Why I Advocate for Survivors

  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and in honor of that we are pleased to share one of the stories of the many people who make the YWCA’s comprehensive services for victims possible. Volunteer Advocates provide support to victims of sexual assault (adult, adolescent, and pediatric) and domestic violence, as well as their friends…Read more