A Celebration of Black History within YWCA
Scroll through history and celebrate with us the people, the events, the moments that shaped Black history within YWCA Columbus and YWCA as a whole.
The origins of Black History Month trace back to 1926 from Black historian Carter G. Woodson. Originally starting off as “Negro History Week” in 1926, it wasn’t declared a full month celebration until the 1970s. For the next few weeks, we will share a Celebration of Black History events, people, and moments within YWCA Columbus and YWCA as a whole.
And yet, every day of the year is a day to celebrate Black History. We recognize that Black History is American History and should be taught as such. Our work is far from finished. Every day of every month, we are committed to eliminating racism, standing up for social justice, and defying the status quo that puts all marginalized people on unequal footing.
Learn more about the work YWCA Columbus is doing today.
YWCA opens the nation’s first and only independent all-Black YWCA in Rhode Island Ave., Washington, D.C.
YWCA opens the Chapman Branch in St. Louis, later renamed the Phyllis Wheatley Branch, to serve African American women and girls. This is the fifth such branch in the nation at this time.
Eva del Vakia Bowles becomes the first Black woman to be the general secretary on the YWCA board.
The YWCA holds the first interracial conference in Louisville, KY.
In 1918, Black women join YWCA and the war effort to specifically meet the special needs of Black soldiers. This really begins the political activism mission of YWCA.
The Blue Triangle — YWCA Houston‘s first branch — is founded during World War I. This organization grew out of the pressing need for a central meeting place where Black women and girls could safely meet, learn, and recreate.
The YWCA of Montclair-North Essex buys a house to serve as its headquarters and used the property for offices, dormitories, and as a social center for Black women until 1965. It was the first Black YWCA in America not affiliated with a white YWCA.
YWCA encourages members to advocate against lynching and mob violence towards Black communities.
Bertha Pitts Campbell is the first Black woman to exercise the right to vote on YWCA Seattle‘s board.
Dorothy Height is hired at YWCA Harlem, and works towards getting better working conditions for Black domestic workers and integration in NYC.
The YWCA in Columbus, Ohio, establishes a desegregated dining facility and is cited by The Columbus Urban League “for a courageous step forward in human relations.”
The YWCA adopts interracial charter to continue work from interracial conference.
YWCA pushed to integrate racially segregated housing at YWCAs across the United States.
YWCA Columbus desegregates our swimming pool—the first to do so in Columbus.
YWCA of Greater Atlanta opens its cafeteria to Black Americans, becoming the city’s first integrated public dining facility.
The National Board of the YWCA created the Office of Racial Justice to lead the civil rights efforts.
The YWCA National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism began in response to the brutal assault by the police of Rodney King and the acquittal of four white Los Angeles police officers accused of the crime.
YWCA of Trenton, New Jersey, and YWCA Princeton, New Jersey, establishes the “Stand Against Racism” campaign, which spreads to 39 states with over a quarter-million participants.