Our History

YWCA West Central Michigan is an institution committed to eliminating racism and empowering women. Throughout our history, advancing justice within and outside our organization has been at the core of who we are. For the last 40 years we’ve focused on building programs and services around domestic violence and sexual assault because such violence emerges from the intersection of those first two elements in our mission – racism and sexism. Our focus at the YWCA is to stand at that intersection, to transform lives with expert services for victims, education to end those things that fuel abuse, and public policy that translates our mission into law, all with the help of generous community support.

Learn more about our history dating back to the late 1800s here.


 At the 1970 YWCA National Conference, the One Imperative initiative was adopted as a call to all YWCA associations “to thrust our collective power toward the elimination of racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary.” This marked the first time the elimination of racism appeared in the YWCA mission – and it has not departed since. Learn more about the One Imperative here.