24 - hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 405-917-9922 or 24 - hour Sexual Assault Hotline: 405-943-7273

History

YWCA USA History

Throughout our History, the YWCA has been at the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.

1858 
The First Association in the U.S., Ladies Christian Association was formed in New York City.

1889 
The first African-American YWCA branch opened in Dayton, OH.

1890 
The first YWCA for Native American women opened at the Haworth Institute in Chilocco, OK.

1894 
The United States of America, England, Sweden and Norway together created the World YWCA, which today is working in  over 125 countries.

1946 
Interracial Charter adopted by the 17th National Convention.

1965 
The National Board of the YWCA created the Office of Racial Justice to lead Civil Rights efforts.

1970 
The YWCA National Convention, adopted the One Imperative: “To thrust our collective power towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.”

1992 
The YWCA National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism began in response to the beating of Rodney King, and African-American, the acquittal of four white Los Angeles police officers accused of the crime, and the subsequent riots and unrest across the country.

1995 
The YWCA Week without Violence was created as a nationwide effort to unite people against violence in communities. The annual observance is held the third week of October.

2004 
Igniting the Collective Power of the YWCA to Eliminate Racism, the YWCA USA’s Summit on Eliminating Racism, was held in Birmingham, AL.

2008 
The YWCA celebrates its Sesquicentennial Anniversary with the launch of the “Own It” campaign. Focused on igniting a new generation of 22 million young women aged 18-34 to get involved with important issues facing women and the country today.

2011 
Today over 2 million people participate in YWCA programs at more than 1,300 sites across the United States. Globally, the YWCA reaches 25 million women and girls in 125 countries. 
 
YWCA Oklahoma City History

1907    
YWCA Oklahoma City organized with 600 charter members and an annual budget of $6,688.70.

1910   
Employment and social services added to programs

1911   
Physical education department organized

Prayer meetings held to address financial problems
Committees included: devotional, Bible study, missionary, education, physical education, hygiene, library and entertainment.
 
1912    
Incorporated as a non-profit organization.

Moved to 116 West 2nd Street (Later named Robert S. Kerr Avenue.)
Admitted men to the cafeteria.
Began YWCA Orchestra.

1914   
Formed the Interracial Committee.

Programs included Bible studies, YWCA choir, china painting, cooking, garment making, fancy work, Christmas gifts, Millinery, recreation camps for business, Girls at Camp Ione year round and Summer camp at Camp Idle Wild (never fully developed)

1915   
Residence established for permanent and transient guests at 131 E. 4th St. (later known 
as Florence Apts.) with rates of $1.00 per night lodging, $0.30 for breakfast, and $0.50 for dinner.  

1917   
Annual budget was $24,512.57

1918   
Voted not to support the Woman’s Suffrage Movement
Quarters rented at 225-227 Northwest 1st (later known as Park Avenue) for its headquarters, Lansdown Cafeteria and residence hall in addition to the 131 Northeast 4th location   

1920    
Nineteenth Amendment allowed women to vote.

1941    
Opened first branch located at 430 East 2nd Street

Included 272 African American women as members.

1941-1945 
Became the center for social and community events, providing free lodging and employment services serving more than 5,000 girls monthly.
Cafeteria fed more than ½ million people annually.
Served as a center for Red Cross, USO, War Drive, First Aid classes, and Soldier Recreation activities.

1946
Building at 300 North Stiles leased and Stiles Street YWCA Branch opened (predecessor to McFarland Branch)

1948    
“American Room” Cafeteria at 320 Park Avenue opened as the first cafeteria in Oklahoma City without racial restrictions.

1963    
Land purchased for the new McFarland Branch at 1701 N. Eastern (later named Martin Luther King Blvd.)

1965    
McFarland Branch building completed.

1974    
Opened Women’s Resource Center at 722 NW 39th to address the changing needs of women and initiated 24-hour Crisis Telephone Hotline and counseling services for sexual assault victims.

1975    
Initiated Battered Women’s Crisis Telephone Hotline.

1979    
Purchased a 3-bedroom residential home at 135 NW 19th and opened Passageway, the city’s first shelter exclusively serving women and children victimized by domestic violence.

1987    
Third Capital Campaign began to double capacity of Passageway Shelter and provide additional space for Crisis Services Program. 

1989    
Opened Inez Kinney Gaylord Passageway Shelter for Battered Women (60-bed capacity.)

Opened Administrative Offices and Crisis Intervention Services at Gaylord Community Service Center, 2460 Northwest 39th Street

1990    
Began co-sponsorship of Positive Tomorrows Transitional Center for Children of Homeless Families located at Gaylord Community Service Center.

1994    
Began Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program in partnership with the Oklahoma City Police Department in the Municipal Courts Building for the City of Oklahoma City.

1998    
Gaylord Hand-in-Hand Learning Center opened in April primarily to serve children of YES! and Passageway.

2001    
YWCA SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program for Oklahoma County established as collaborative partnership with Oklahoma City, Midwest City, and Edmond Police Departments; OK County District Attorney; and Midwest Regional, Integris Baptist and Integris Southwest Medical Centers. 

2003    
YWCA logo changed, stating mission as branding image.

2004    
Developed Resource Advocacy Program to assist clients in residential programs with job training, education, housing, and community resources (predecessor to EEP).  


Launched Purple Sash - a Fashion for Courage Event as an annual fundraiser with over 300 attendance and $100,000 raised.


As part of national changes, began more intentional focus on mission-driven programs and meeting new Hallmark program for racial justice and women’s economic empowerment, and staff/community education about mission.


Hosted first Legislative Advocacy training with presentations by former (4-time) Speaker of the House Jim Barker, Representative Rebecca Hamilton, Senator Debbe Leftwich, OCADVSA Executive Director Marcia Smith, OCADVSA Legislative Chair Ann Lowrance, and State Representative aide Linda Richardson.

2005     
Piloted Domestic Violence Nurse Examiner (DVNE) program at Passageway in partnership with Oklahoma City Police Department.
Increased Legislative Advocacy, with more than 17 staff and Board members attending Capitol Blitz Days, Legislative Awareness Day, and individual sessions with legislators at the capitol.
Co-sponsored First Annual Day of Prayer in Oklahoma to end Violence Against Women

Established OWN (Oklahoma Women’s Network) website in order to provide a central link to women-owned business, women-serving agencies/business, and women political candidates in OK 
            
Expanded services for children traumatized by domestic violence.

2006    
Began using Hallmark Program: Reading to End Racism at Gaylord Branch.

Moved Gaylord programs to the jurisdiction of Oklahoma Office of Attorney General-passed certification exam with unprecedented 100% compliance. 

2007     
Opened first retail venture, “Our Sisters’ Closet”, a resale shop in South Oklahoma City.

Founded Office of Economic Empowerment at McFarland Branch