Who we are

Charlotte's YWCA: On a Mission Since 1902

Charlotte's YWCA: On a Mission Since 1902

YWCA USA is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the United States and boasts over 200 local associations. Nationally we serve over 2 million women, girls, and their families. The Charlotte YWCA was founded in 1902 and changed its name to YWCA Central Carolinas in 1955. Check out our history page to find local details.

At the forefront of pressing social movements for over 160 years, YWCA USA has focused its efforts on everything from voting rights to civil rights, affordable housing to pay equity, violence prevention to healthcare reform.

Today, YWCA USA and YWCAs nationwide combine programming and advocacy to create change in the areas of racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls.

Services provided by YWCAs depend on their location since each local association offers programming designed to meet specific needs within their community. Annually, more than half a million women are assisted with safety services, like that of sexual assault survivor support programs, emergency shelters for survivors of domestic violence, counseling, crisis hotlines and court assistance, as well as various other programs. More than 260,000 women and girls are provided economic empowerment programs. Nationally, YWCAs engage with more than 160,000 people through racial justice education and training programs.

World YWCA is the international arm, a global movement working for women’s empowerment, leadership and rights in more than 120 countries. The first YWCA was established in 1855 in London, England. The first United States-based chapter was formed in 1858 in New York, New York and Charlotte’s YWCA (now YWCA Central Carolinas) was formed in 1902. Today, YWCA Central Carolinas serves over 60 single women and 10 families through our Transitional Housing programs; nearly 250 students in our after-school literacy programs; and hundreds of fitness members walk through our front doors every month.

We are a safe place for women and their families facing instability. We are an empowering place for children to reach higher education goals. We invite community members to learn, question and be heard through our Racial Justice events. We inspire younger generations to give back through 1902 Society. We motivate men and women of all fitness levels to reach their personal goals, and to feel stronger in the process.

We are on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 

We are YWCA. Will you join us?