YWCA Celebrates 130 Years of Service in Seattle

February 14, 2024

Seattle, WA — This year marks the 130th anniversary of YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. The first organization in the region dedicated to serving women and girls, this local YWCA association was founded on February 17, 1894, to address the needs of vulnerable young women in Seattle.

130 years later, YWCA continues delivering critical services for housing, economic advancement, health, and safety to women and families across King County and Snohomish County at 24 regional sites, providing ongoing services for nearly 8,000 women, men, and children annually. 

In 2024, YWCA is entering the final year of a three-year strategic direction, completing a massive rehabilitation of its 111-year-old flagship building in downtown Seattle, and taking steps to strengthen its commitment to social justice and racial equity. To honor its anniversary year, YWCA is highlighting the organization's legacy of social justice and community impact.

"I'm grateful to the leaders of YWCA's past and present for confronting the challenges of their times with courage and conviction," said Maria Chavez-Wilcox, Chief Executive Officer and the first Latina to serve in this position. "Now, our job is to expand on YWCA's legacy of social justice and support the next generation of leaders who will shape our community for the better."

YWCA's mission of eliminating racism and empowering women can be seen throughout the organization and its programs. Out of the populations served by YWCA, 83% are women and children, 70% are from BIPOC communities. In YWCA's workforce, 80% of employees identify as women and nearly two-thirds are BIPOC. On the Board of Directors, 85% are women and more than half are BIPOC. 

Community members are invited to celebrate with YWCA at events throughout the year, including the 14th Annual Stand Against Racism (Friday, April 26), YWCA Snohomish County Celebration (Thursday, May 9), and the 2024 Inspire Luncheon (Thursday, September 19). Visit YWCA's website for more details: ywcaworks.org.   

About YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish:

YWCA is the region’s largest organization focused on the needs of women, and provides services and advocacy to support stable homes and economic advancement, reduce violence and improve health, and promote racial equity and social justice. With programs that serve 7,000 people each year, YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. To learn more, please visit our website: ywcaworks.org.

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Marketing & Editorial Director
Annalee Schafranek