The YWCA Pacific Region is composed of 23 local YWCAs — 16 in California, 3 in Hawaii, 2 in Arizona, and 1 each in Texas and New Mexico. They share a common mission with YWCAs nationwide: the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women. The Pacific Region is one of 7 regions in the USA representing a total of almost 300 local YWCAs. The Pacific Region Advocacy Committee is composed of 9 women of various ages, ethnicities, and geographic locations who research issues, develop issue papers, provide advocacy training, send legislative alerts, and participate with the YWCA USA in action steps at the national level. The Pacific Region, as a partner of the World YWCA, joins with YWCAs in 122 countries and with 2.5 million women and families to take action on issues affecting women.
Advocacy work is the bedrock of the YWCA and is often called the social conscience of the YWCA. Building on YWCA services to women, advocacy seeks to bring about long-term social change. The YWCA, since its beginnings in 1858, has been involved in all the major legislative changes: child labor laws, 40-hour work weeks, Title IX, civil rights, and hate crimes, as examples.
Currently YWCAs are assessing how to make advocacy efforts more effective, build capacity across local, regional and national efforts, and make the YWCA a unified powerful voice heard at all levels of government and society.
The YWCA Pacific Region Advocacy Committee has three major objectives:
1. Educate: to provide each local YWCA with the basic tools needed to become active advocates on racial justice and women’s empowerment issues.
2. Communicate: to connect YWCAs in the Region to each other and to provide key advocacy information in a timely fashion enabling them to take action on appropriate public policy issues at the state and national levels.
3. Activate: to provide action alerts, support and follow-up mentoring in order to build an effective, recognized YWCA power base focused on racial justice and women’s issues.