Our Purpose

YWCA NorthEastern NY’s Racial and Social Justice Program’s mission is to eliminate racism wherever it exists and empower women and girls.

Our intersectional mission to eliminate racism and empower women demands that we recognize our responsibility to use our voice and platform to push for action and long-term legal, economic, and societal change – to forge a more equitable community. YWCA NorthEastern NY commits to the ongoing work of confronting our own biases as we challenge these systems. We are committed to working on issues of gender equality, economic inequity, and racial disparities in housing, employment, and education. We will be a consistently accurate resource of information on racial, ethnic, and cultural awareness to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity throughout Schenectady County. YWCA NENY will continue this work until inequity and racism are eliminated and establishments are challenged and transformed.

This also means working harder to engage and amplify women of color as voices for solutions, and strengthening partnerships with organizations throughout our communities that do the work against violence and systemic racism, so together we can drive change.

Every day, communities of color face the threat of violence and injustice. It is crucial that we recognize that recent events within the last several years are a tangible illustration of daily fears and anxieties for many in our country and in our community. Amidst the tragedy and unrest, we must be even more resolute that justice and equity cannot wait.

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

Our Legacy

YWCA knows that in order to lead the charge against racism, we must also set the example within our own organization. Black and Indigenous women have been providing leadership in YWCA’s movement since the 1800s, and because of the leadership of women of color, in 1946 YWCA began working for integration throughout the entire organization, adopting an “interracial charter” that established that “wherever there is injustice on the basis of race, whether in the community, the nation, or the world, our protest must be clear and our labor for its removal, vigorous, and steady.” That work culminated in the addition of the “elimination of racism” to our mission statement in 1970.

Our Programs
  • Comprehensive Domestic Violence Support Services
  • Affordable Housing for Women (trans-inclusive)
  • Early Learning Education
  • Advocacy & Counseling
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Help Save the Next Girl – in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady
  • Guyanese Girls Groups – in partnership with Schenectady County Schools
  • BIPOC & AANHPI Children’s Book Drive for local ELC’s and Schools
What We Do
  • Individual and group domestic violence support counseling
  • Family/parent domestic violence counseling (non-offending parent w/ children or individual youth)
  • Legal advocacy
  • Financial empowerment counseling
  • Emergency domestic violence shelter
  • 24-hour domestic violence hotline: 518.375.3386
  • Permanent housing options for single women 18 years & older (trans-inclusive)
  • Early Learning Centers: Ages 6 weeks to 5 years
  • Racial and social justice activities and community engagement events
    • Work with local schools and Boys & Girls Club to empower young girls and educate children:
      • Healthy Relationship Groups at Schenectady County Schools
      • Guyanese Girls Empowerment Group at Schenectady City Schools
      • Anger Management & Conflict Resolution Groups at the Boys & Girls Club
      • Help Save the Next Girl Club Empowerment Group at the Boys & Girls Club
    • BIPOC & AANHPI Book Drive- Celebrate and elevate BIPOC & AANHPI author’s voices and stories
Our Programs & the BIPOC Community

Affordable Housing

Black Americans are 3X more likely to experience homelessness than the general population. Indigenous people are 4x more likely and AAPI are 9x more likely to experience homelessness.x

The YWCA NorthEastern NY Housing Program provides safe housing and services for homeless and/or low-income women through three programs: Single Room Occupancy (SRO), Rosa’s House, and Rapid Rehousing. Support services for the women include advocacy, mental health counseling, support groups, information & referrals, health & recreation opportunities, and an emergency food pantry & clothing closet.

Domestic Violence Support Services

Almost half (47.5%) of Indigenous women, 45.1% of non-Hispanic Black women, 34.4% of Hispanic women, and 18.3% of Asian-Pacific Islander women experience contact with sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 

YWCA NorthEastern NY’s Comprehensive Domestic Violence Support Services include a: 24-hour shelter, 24-hour emergency hotline, advocacy services, group, individual, & family counseling, holiday assistance, community referrals, crisis intervention, and economic empowerment.

Counseling

Depression is the most commonly reported condition across BIPOC. Racial trauma increased the risk of developing PTSD. Stress plays a large role in mental health, the stress of racial discrimination on children can lead to depression and anxiety as well as high blood pressure and heart disease later in life. 

YWCA NENY’s Counseling Program offers individual and group domestic violence counseling in a confidential setting. We offer support and empowerment groups integrated within the community and local schools. We also offer economic empowerment counseling, promoting financial independence and self-sufficiency. These counselors have specialized training in career readiness, credit counseling, continuing education, workforce development, and community resources. Our Family Violence Prevention Program offers counseling for children who have been affected by domestic violence. This violence prevention program aims to prevent child abuse and stop the generational cycle of violence, allowing participants to work with a licensed counselor and participate in a mentorship program.

Resources & Education

Use these resources to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion and why racial & social justice is important in moving our mission forward. 

Podcasts

Videos