Our history

The YWCA movement has a long and rich history of advocating for policies that improve the lives of women, girls, low-income individuals and families, and communities of color. Collectively, we are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families across the United States. For over 150 years, the YWCA USA and its affiliates have demonstrated their strength in educating and advocating in various social justice spaces: from civil rights to racial equity, affordable housing to equal pay, and violence prevention to health care reform.

Over the last decade, many strides have been made at the national, state, and local efforts to effectively advocate for legal or legislative change that combats many social issues from racial inequality and economic disparities to ensuring women’s health and safety. However, much more remains to be done to ensure that laws will be of help to members of our communities from all backgrounds in this country.

Public policy and advocacy at the YWCA

Public policy impacts everyone.  Local, state, and federal policy decisions can uphold, maintain, and shape inequities and disparities in health, education, civil rights, and economic stability.  To make lasting change, we must be active in transforming those policies.  Coupled with the YWCA West Central Michigan mission – eliminating racism; empowering women and girls; promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. – public policy and advocacy address the underlying issues affecting members of our community and those we serve and move into action.  

Want to know what we are watching at the state level?  You can find out what we have been monitoring on our LegiScan page!

Interested in our positions?  Click on any one of our policy position statements for more information!

Looking to get involved in policy advocacy?  Check out our Calls to Action page!

For more information about our public policy and advocacy activities, please contact Adrienne Zaya, Prevention Specialist & Policy Analyst at





Grand Rapids City Government
Kent County Board of Commissioners
A Citizen’s Guide to State Government
Michigan State Senate
Michigan House of Representatives
United States Senate
United States House of Representatives