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YWCA Southeast Wisconsin’s Mission & History

Mission Statement

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

Our Vision

A thriving, inclusive, and just Southeast Wisconsin defined by racial and gender equity as the foundation for healthy communities.

Geneva Johnson, Honorary Co-Chair 2018 Circle of Women: Empowering Truth 125th Anniversary Message


For more than 100 years, YWCA Southeast Wisconsin has been a resource for women and their families. From the first auto mechanics training for women in 1920s, to the first racially-integrated cafeteria in the Midwest, to today’s innovative economic development initiatives, the YWCA has been at the forefront of positive social change.

On January 10, 2020, YWCA Southeast Wisconsin (SEW) celebrated the 127th anniversary of our incorporation. For 127 years, we championed many of the social movements important to our community then, and now, including civil rights, affordable housing, healthcare, racial justice and pay equity.

This year as we celebrate, we prepare to take on next 127 years of service with to the community. Join us as we celebrate this year!

Our History Timeline