About Us

Our Mission

YWCA Greater Austin is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities.

We are one of the oldest women's organizations in the Greater Austin area, serving over 4500 women, girls, and their families annually. Since our inception, we have been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements - from voting rights to civil rights, from immigrant justice to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform.

Today we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls.

Latest News

Upcoming Event: YWCA Greater Austin Mental Health Symposium

Not JUST Mental Health: The impact of sociocultural, environmental & systemic factors

VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM

Tuesday, October 27- Thursday, October 29, 2020

For 113 years, YWCA Greater Austin has been a social justice leader in the community, advancing our mission towards the Elimination of Racism and the Empowerment of Women.

In collaboration Huston Tillotson University College of Arts & Sciences, YWCA Greater Austin will be providing the Not JUST Mental Health Symposium to highlight the multiple layers of oppression generated through racist patriarchal ideologies and the impact on society's mental health.

Through this symposium we will address: sociocultural, environmental and systemic factors which influence symptomatology and access to treatment; raise awareness of social justice issues and the correlation to trauma; and foster ethical, culturally conscious, and JUST mental health services for marginalized populations that have traditionally been systemically and systematically harmed.

Early bird tickets are now available by clicking here.

YWCA Greater Austin Statement on George Floyd and Mike Ramos

Yesterday, we released a statement about the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing protests of police brutality both in Austin and elsewhere. In that statement, which ran under the subject line "Join us in saying ALL their Names and Demand Justice," we neglected to mention Michael Ramos, who was killed by Austin police on April 24th of this year.  The communication also included a graphic from YWCA USA in which Mr. Ramos's name was not included.

We made a mistake. We sincerely apologize for the glaring omission. We understand how hurtful this is to Mr. Ramos's community and those who have been standing up in protest since his death. YWCA Greater Austin extends our deepest condolences to Mr. Ramos's loved ones as they continue to seek justice.

In Austin, violence enacted by police against protesters continued through the weekend. On Sunday, Austin police shot a 20-year-old black man with what they called a "less-than-lethal" round of ammunition during the protests. He remains in critical condition. Brad Ayala, a 16-year-old, was shot in the face by police with a similar projectile and was hospitalized. On Saturday, APD fired these projectiles into a crowd of protestors and hit Saraneka Martin, who is pregnant, in her abdomen and back. This brutal and unnecessary show of force is unacceptable.

We are grieving alongside you the loss of so many Black Americans wrongfully killed due to the many layers of racism that exists in our country. Our hearts are heavy with these senseless and brutal killings, and with the precious lives lost that cannot be made whole. It is clear that we must answer the cry for justice, peace and dignity for all. We will stand up and we will continue to do the work.

Being ready and able to address the many impacts in our community in this grave moment of need is why we exist.  Our counselors and care coordinators are here to provide (virtual) trauma-informed care and will continue to provide relevant trainings and to hold space for conversations in our monthly racial dialogues. You are our community and we are here with you.

In solidarity,

Jen Pavich, YWCA Board Co-chair

Naya Diaz, Executive Director

YWCA Greater Austin Statement Regarding George Floyd and Mike Ramos

YWCA Austin wishes to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, Mike Ramos and every community that has been torn apart by police brutality against people of color. We stand with the protesters and with the Black Lives Matter movement.

We also wish to highlight the contrast between the treatment of protesters of COVID-19 stay -at-home orders, who were primarily white, and were allowed to march into state capitols across the country with weapons, and the use of violent containment methods against people of color who are protesting peacefully, such as rubber projectiles and tear gas, in cities across the country, including here in Austin.

Here in Austin, we will continue to work toward equity and change as we have for the past 112 years. Our counselors and care coordinators are here to provide (virtual) trauma-informed care for our community as events evolve. We will continue to provide relevant trainings and hold space for conversations in our racial dialogue sessions. You are our community and we are here with you.

Statement from YWCA National

Together with YWCA Minneapolis and YWCA St. Paul, and over 200 YWCAs across the country we unite to answer the cry for justice, peace, and dignity for all.  YWCA continues to call for dismantling systemic racism and equal protection and opportunity under the law through its public policy and advocacy work.

Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA states, "We are outraged by the callous killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Department officer - and similarly appalled by the inaction of three other officers who stood by watching as George Floyd endured unspeakable suffering," Ms. Castillo continued " But addressing this specific incident alone won't be enough to prevent future incidents of police violence against Black people, and people of color in America. Our country's failure to address institutional racism is costing lives. Racism is why coronavirus is killing more people of color than white people. Racism is why police shootings are a leading cause of death for young Black men. Racism is why Black mothers die more frequently in childbirth. Racism has no place in the America we all deserve."

At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and human decency.  We envision a world of opportunity. We commit ourselves to the work of racial justice. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.

Read the full statement from YWCA USA here.