Dear YWCA St. Paul Friends and Family,
In 2018, YWCA St. Paul served 468 homeless or near homeless adults and children (165 families). 141 youth built a foundation for their futures through our youth programs, and we helped 754 individuals pursue job training to secure employment and family stability. In addition, our Health & Fitness Center counted 3,250 individuals as members. There is a story of struggle, strength and success within each of these numbers, and every day, we see individuals and families break down barriers and achieve their goals.
It’s a privilege to be part of an organization that helps people with some of their most difficult challenges, and to work every day in service of a mission to eliminate racism and empower women—through education, advocacy and programs that help bridge disparities in access and opportunity. The critical importance of this mission is painfully visible in the national news and in local statistics on racial and gender disparities. 
I hope you’ll be able to join us on August 23 for a documentary showing and facilitated discussion of past policies that led to some of the racial disparities in housing that our community is facing now. The discussion will be led by Dr. Yohuru Williams, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas (see details below). This event is part of our work to explore issues of racial justice, women’s empowerment and cultural understanding; we believe that understanding is a critical building block in our work for equity and opportunity for everyone.
We appreciate your support of our mission and your financial contributions toward our work. Thank you!
Gaye Adams Massey, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA St. Paul
National Night Out Block Party | August 6

Join us for the third year of our HFC Block Party, which this year will take place on National Night Out, August 6, 5–7 p.m. National Night Out is an annual nationwide event that encourages residents to get out in the community, meet neighbors and partner with police. 

Enjoy an evening of activities that include:
  • Special co-host Sgt. Fuzz, the Saint Paul Police Department comfort dog, from 5:30–6 p.m.
  • Chalk art mural
  • YW trivia and prizes
  • Popcorn bar
  • Face painting
  • Outdoor Yoga Sculpt class from 6–7 p.m.
  • Tours of the Health & Fitness Center on the half hour (5, 5:30, 6, 6:30 p.m.)

This event is free and open to the public. B ring a school supply donation for children in our housing program for a chance to win a three-month fitness membership to keep or give as a gift!

See and share the event here
YW Speaker Series: "Jim Crow of the North" | August 23

Why does Minnesota suffer through some of the worst racial disparities in the nation? One answer is the spread of racist, restrictive real estate covenants in the early 20th century. The Twin Cities PBS Original documentary "Jim Crow of the North" charts the progression of racist policies and practices from the advent of restrictive covenants after the turn of the last century to their elimination in the late 1960s.

Join YWCA St. Paul for a viewing of "Jim Crow of the North" followed by a facilitated discussion led by University of St. Thomas professor of history and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Yohuru Williams.

Friday, August 23, 2–3:30 p.m.
The program will start promptly at 2 p.m.
YWCA St. Paul Collins Conference Center (first floor)
375 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102
Enter on Selby Avenue, near the bus stop.

This event is free and open to the public, however seating is limited and RSVP is required by Wednesday, August 21: Visit and click "Get Tickets."

Our YW Speaker Series, presented for free and open to the public, explores topics of racial justice, women’s empowerment and cultural understanding. Recent speakers have included Judge Pamela Alexander on racial disparities in the criminal justice system, Melvin Carter II on growing up and raising a family in the historic Rondo neighborhood, and University of St. Thomas associate professor of psychology & neuroscience Jessica A. Siegel, Ph.D., on the history of the War on Drugs and its disproportionate effect on communities of color.
Equity Statement

At our March board meeting, our Board of Directors approved an Equity Statement to help guide our organization. We’ll be working internally to live up to the commitment it represents:

YWCA St. Paul is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

We believe that all lives have inherent and equal value. We envision an inclusive community where people of different races, ethnicities, cultures, faiths, economic status, and gender identities have equitable opportunities to benefit from institutions and systems that support equal justice and opportunity.

We work towards this vision by promoting racial and gender equity and breaking down barriers to opportunity, prosperity, and equal justice, so that everyone has what they need to thrive. Our work to achieve racial equity and women’s empowerment encourages investments in women of color and their families, facilitating their path towards self-determination, and building a stronger community and future for everyone.

As an organization, we are committed to ongoing assessment and improvement of the equity of our own culture, policies, decision-making practices, and composition. We view our diversity as a source of strength and are committed to sustaining it and to reflecting the community we serve. We acknowledge the challenges of working across difference, and purposely seek to deepen our understanding of the life experiences, histories, cultures, traditions and challenges of others in our organization and in our community. We believe that fostering understanding supports our commitment to equity in our organization and in our delivery of services.
In Solidarity Conference

This spring, members of our staff and a Youth program participant presented at the 2019 In Solidarity We Rise conference, sponsored by the National Crittenton Foundation. In Solidarity gives young leaders, advocates, social service professionals, community-based organizations and policymakers the chance to engage, learn and connect with other girls, women and gender nonconforming youth from across the country.

The conference includes intensive deep-dive learning sessions featuring presentations by leaders and experts on critical and urgent topics as well as interactive sessions sharing creative models and ideas for programming, community organizing, communication and policy reform. At this year's conference, Assistant Director of Programs Nikki Beasley, Youth Transitions Coach La'Shante Grigsby and Youth programs participant Maryam K., who you may recognize as one of our Sweet Success Honorees last year , facilitated a workshop on transcending trauma through relationships and creative expression.

Through dialogue and experiential learning activities, the workshop provided a shared experience as well as an opportunity to address and re-frame biased narratives, promote advocacy and advance holistic systems change. You can learn more about the Crittenton conference here
Strategic Real Estate Update

Our process of creating a facility that will meet YWCA St. Paul's vision for its future and better serve the community continues.

Over the last few months, we sent out requests for proposals (RFPs), conducted tours with developers who expressed interest in the project, and began reviewing the proposals to help us update our outdated Health & Fitness Center and administrative/program space and explore other ways our new facility might serve community needs. We are now in the process of selecting a developer partner.

We expect to have more information to share with you all soon!
Skills Learning in Program Areas
YWCA St. Paul recently hosted other local service providers for a Financial Literacy–Train the Trainer event. Our staff was joined by staff from Ujamaa Place , Project for Pride in Living , Better Futures Minnesota , The Cultural Wellness Center and My Brother’s Place YWCA St. Paul collaborated with these nonprofit organizations to develop an African American culturally specific financial literacy curriculum that can be shared with their respective program participants.

For YWCA St. Paul, this curriculum is complemented by a new written soft skills curriculum for program participants developed under the direction of Assistant Director of Programs Nikki Beasley.

 The soft skills curriculum covers a range of topics including critical thinking, communication and time management. It also provides guidance for the staff/trainers as well as workbooks for the participants. Staff are excited to see the curriculum being rolled out across all our programs as we work to continually improve how we prepare program participants to succeed after exiting our programs. 
Advocacy: Support the Violence Against Women Act

YWCA St. Paul is joining YWCA USA in urging our senators to support the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This legislation maintains the safety, resources, and protections that have been critical to survivors of domestic violence, especially women of color and other marginalized communities.

The proposed 2019 act would also strengthen public housing protections for survivors, including those seeking housing transfers based on safety concerns, which is something we see in our work all too often.

To join us in supporting this vital piece of legislation, visit this page and complete the prompts to contact your senators, and to share this information with your own networks. 
Ways to Support YWCA St. Paul

Supporting YWCA St. Paul can be as easy as a few clicks.

Facebook Fundraiser:  Raising awareness and encouraging your network to support our programs is easier than ever through social media. Start at  our page  and click "Create Fundraiser" to get started. No fees are deducted for donations made on Facebook!

AmazonSmile: Support our mission with every Amazon purchase by visiting and selecting YWCA St. Paul as your charity of choice! Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

We also have Amazon wish lists of items needed in our programs on a running basis, including toys for the new children’s play area in EED. You can find these wish lists at Your in-kind donations help up provide basic items that many in our programs come to us without. Thank you!
Sweet Success 2019
Our 2019 Sweet Success event was the biggest yet! View photos from the event here , and click below to watch the videos of this year's program honorees, Pete and Claudia.
Thank you once again to all of our guests and donors for making this year's event so special. We are also so thankful to our generous sponsors who helped make Sweet Success possible:

Barbara E. Tretheway
Paris Watts-Stanfield
Smith Family Foundation

Mara & Landon Ascheman
YWCA St. Paul Through the Years
When we empower women and girls to build skills for success, as seen in this photo from a 1945 Business Club meeting at YWCA St. Paul, we empower leaders for our entire community.
375 Selby Avenue