Our Mission

YW Boston is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

YW Boston is proud to share a mission statement with YWCA USA and all other YWCA affiliates nationwide.

Our Vision

YW Boston is a thought leader on issues at the intersection of race and gender, and helps individuals and institutions create more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and in particular women of color, can succeed.

About YW Boston

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and youth programming, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.

Our Impact

We will incrementally reduce systemic racial and gender disparities and improve social cohesion in Boston neighborhoods where health, educational, professional, and safety inequities are most significant.  By targeting organizational and systemic change,

  • Participating individuals and institutions will change policies, practices, behaviors, and attitudes to be more inclusive;
  • Partner organizations will shift their demographic structure toward greater diversity and inclusion at all levels.

As the first YWCA in the nation, we are proud of our history of leadership in the causes of eliminating racism and empowering women.

On March 3, 1866, 30 women met in Boston at the home of civic reformer Pauline Durant to adopt a constitution for the Boston Young Women’s Christian Association. It was the first time in the United States the name – YWCA – was used. Their objective: “The temporal, moral, and religious welfare of young women who are dependent upon their own exertions for support.” What followed was 150 years of YWCA Boston catalyzing unprecedented advances in women’s empowerment and social justice in the city.

Take a look back at some historical highlights and way YWCA Boston and its supporters have made Boston a better place to live, work, and play for all people.