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Until the land of the free is free of racism.

Until the home of the brave is brave enough to change.

Until “by the people” and “for the people” means doing right by all the people.

Until justice just is.

YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County strengthens the lives of the women and families we serve by addressing equity barriers and advocating for compassionate and effective communication when faced with differences.

Our commitment to equity is evidenced through our services, education and advocacy.

YWCA is a voice in the community-wide fight for equity for all and seeks to collaborate with community partners in promoting justice for all.

YWCA Impact on Equity through Services:


Barrier:  NationalFairHousing.org reports that in 2019 the second most reported type of housing discrimination was on the basis of race.  Systemic barriers to fair housing in Rochester are a result of pervasive historical racial housing segregation through the process known as red-lining.  Redlining is the systematic denial of various services by federal government agencies, local governments as well as the private sector either directly or through the selective raising of prices.

Impact:  Each year YWCA assists over 1,000 women and families in securing affordable, housing in the Rochester community.  YWCA offers a continuum of Supportive Housing programs ranging from emergency housing to permanent housing, designed to assist single women and families who need a safe and secure home during times of crisis or homelessness.  The majority of women and families we serve are people of color.

Young Adult Services

Raising NY, a statewide coalition of parent, early childhood, education, civil rights and health organizations, recently stated the expansion of home visitation programs can save money and reduce race-based disparities in health outcomes “… at a time when families from low-income backgrounds and communities of color need support more than ever.” RaisingNY.org/home-visitation

Barrier:  According to the CDC, women of color experience 3 to 4 times higher rates of complications with pregnancy, including death, than white women. Both implicit bias and structural racism affect how women of color are cared for in the health care system.

Impact:  The Parents as Teachers Program, annual assists 350 young adult parents ages 12-29 in navigating challenges related to economic disparities of people of color.   Through a home visit program focused on both maternal health during and after pregnancy and the parent-child relationship, program staff partner with and support parents in learning the skills necessary to encourage early childhood developmental success.  Research demonstrates children involved in the Parents as Teachers build larger vocabularies, demonstrate increased reading scores and are better prepared for Kindergarten.

YWCA Impact through Education

Barrier: Teens have limited access to human sexuality education and supportive services designed to reduce STDs and pregnancy.

Impact:  Young Adult Service staff work in partnership with the City of Rochester’s Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program knows as RISE to educate youth with the goals of reducing teen pregnancy, STD/HIV awareness and health education.   City of Rochester school enrollment is 90% minority.   Racial disparities in Rochester are wide and impact individuals and families throughout their lives and even into
future generations.  YWCA programming seeks to increase access to health education for all.

YWCA Impact Through Advocacy

Barrier:  Discrimination exists in our community.  Recent spotlights on inequities and injustices affect us all.

Impact:  YWCA is one voice in the community-wide fight for equity for all and seeks to collaborate with community partners in promoting justice for all.  We are active participants of the Rochester/Monroe County Racial Equity Justice Initiative, Rochester Chamber of Commerce Workforce Diversity Network, and the Rochester/Monroe County Anti-Poverty Initiative.


At YWCA, we are eliminating racism and empowering women.  We will get up and do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do:  Equal.  Powerful.  Unstoppable.