Thanks SURJ-a brief speech

This was delivered an Ally event sponsored by Standing Up for Racial Justice, Tucson.  This event was part of the National Call to Action on July 21st, 2016.  This event, Rally and Outreach in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, took place  at 5Pm in front of the Federal Courthouse @ 405 W. Congress–this is the site where the travesty of justice, Operation Streamline, takes place each week in Tucson.  

–liane, (@loquesera) August 2, 2016

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First, I want to say thank you.  Thank you to the organizers for gathering these voices in support of and in solidarity to say very clearly that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Today, in response to a call for Freedom Now:

A freedom from violence

A freedom from oppression

Freedom to be our full selves

A freedom to Love

We hear that call and Tucson Showed Up.

Here in this community we gather to collectively imagine a new and inevitable future where we are all safe and able to not only live but to thrive and say very clearly that Black Lives Matter.

Today, we recognize that the tradition of state sponsored violence against black men and boys extends from a national history that devalues life.  So, our collective advocacy and action is also a continuation of the struggle for self-determination, free from the tyranny of neglect and the cycle of state sponsored violence and willful indifference to the suffering of entire communities.

We, of the YWCA, have been working alongside and from the margins since 1889.  In this time, we have centered women and communities of color in the ongoing struggle to eliminate racism, empower women and the promotion of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.  We further understand that the pain, historical trauma and legacy of violence in our communities is not equally responded to, nor is it acknowledged by the leaders, judges, system or by our own communities at times.

How else is it possible that in the year since Sandra Bland’s death, 800 additional people have died in US Jails?

How else could it be that our carceral system can destroy the lives of 1-in-3 Black men, while simultaneously shattering and fragmenting the lives and well being of Black women and children?

We see that this structural and institutional racism is not discreet, rather it extends to all aspects of our lived experience from our national promise of the pursuit of happiness, to access to healthy food, green spaces for communities to gather and flourish, fertile soil, drinkable water, participation in the democratic process or the interaction with an ever increasingly militarized police presence here and on the border.  We see that the wheels of change must cover a vast and ever-shifting terrain.

So,  we all have work to do to ensure that our sisters and brothers of the black community as well as all of us who believe in freedom, have the ability to thrive.  We must all make daily interventions from asking questions and demanding answers of who in our communities get justice and who do not.

We must acknowledge that social justice is both a process and a goal.  But, that means that there are roles for all of us in developing a future that is equitable, safe and secure for all our community.

So, thank you for showing up here on the steps of Operation Streamline.  Thank you for showing up for each other and for a movement that battles the complex systems of oppression that we all carry to say Black Lives Matter.

Together, and only together, can we uncover truths, right wrongs and collectively build the future that we all deserve.

 

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A Survivor’s Guide

The Pima County Women’s Commission has released a helpful resource called Domestic Abuse, Assault and Violence Survivor’s Guide. Click here to download the guide and please share with others.

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98 is the new 28

On May 1st, we celebrated the 98th anniversary of the YWCA in Tucson with a breakfast for 250 in our courtyard. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, new civil rights leader and state senator from Missouri, representing the district that includes parts of St. Louis and Ferguson, was our keynote speaker. These are remarks from our Executive Director, Kelly Fryer:

The other day one of my team mates (ok, it was Liane) stopped by the restaurant supply store to pick a few things up for our café, and one of the guys who runs the store said, “Boy o boy, it looks like the YWCA is getting a little radical.”

I think he probably saw an ad for this event and saw who the keynote speaker was. (All I have to say, Maria, is that, if I was getting tear gassed in the street by my governor, I’d probably use the F word, too. If you’ve Googled Maria, you know what I’m talking about.)

I’m not surprised that our friend at the restaurant supply store was surprised. There are a lot of misconceptions about the YWCA. There are all those people who think we’re the yMca, first of all. Then there are all the people out there who never heard of us before and when they DO find out about everything that’s going on here, say things to me like “So when did THAT place open?” (ummm, 1917) But my favorite people are the ones who HAVE heard about the YWCA before and have this idea that we’re a bunch of little old church ladies.

I want to put that one to bed right now.

First, we haven’t been church ladies since about 1932 (sic). And even before that the YW has always been a place where women of every religion, race and ethnicity have worked together to make the world a better place. Second, there is nothing little about us. There are 30,000 people that come in and out of this building every year, including 1000 in and out of Your Sister’s Closet alone. And we belong to a national movement that has 1300 sites and 2 million members across the United States. Third, we might be celebrating our 98th birthday in Tucson, but there is nothing OLD about us.

Does the work of justice ever get old? Does speaking up for those whose voices have been silenced and standing with those who have been trampled on ever get old? Here’s what I have to say to people who think the YWCA is “old”: 98 is the new 28.

We have so much work to do.

Three-four out of every ten children in Southern Arizona live in poverty, and most of them belong to single moms. But this State has made it nearly impossible for poor women to find affordable access to reproductive health care. And the Budget our new Governor just signed cuts aid to needy families, includes $0 dollars for child care subsidies and completely eliminates all funding for community colleges – three things research by the Women’s Foundation says are necessary for women to get themselves and their kids out of poverty.

Instead, we get prisons. And more prisons. Prisons that are privately owned. Prisons that someone, somewhere is making a lot of money on. Did you know that, in Arizona, three private prisons operate with a 100% occupancy guarantee? That means the state GUARANTEES they’ll have enough prisoners to fill every bed. And you know who’s filling those beds, right? Let me just put it this way: Those folks don’t look like me.[i]

A little radical, huh? You bet your granny pants we’re a little radical. That’s what the YWCA has always been. We marched for the Right to Vote in the early 1900’s. We lobbied Congress for an 8-hour work day and an end to child labor. We opened our hearts and doors to women of color, on both sides of the Mason Dixon line, before the muskets had even cooled off at the end of the Civil War. We marched with Dr. King and stood beside him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We helped get the Violence Against Women Act passed last year and made sure it included protection for LGBT folks, immigrants and Native American women. More than 300,000 people all across the United States (including a lot of you) stood with the YWCA and took a Pledge Against Racism last week.

And last week I was in Washington, D.C. with other YW CEO’s lobbying Congress to finally get the End Racial Profiling Act passed into law – and demanding that it apply to ALL law enforcement agents and agencies, including the United States Border Patrol. (Maria, I know this sounds strange because you and I are both from the Midwest and we don’t have to go through a checkpoint to get from Illinois to Missouri – but we have to go through one to get from here to California. And, believe me when I say, I never get stopped – but you would. In fact, a lot of our Latina sisters, especially immigrants, are so afraid of getting in trouble they are afraid to leave their neighborhoods, go to their kids school, go to the doctor or report a crime.)

We are living in a time that demands a little radical. You know, like writing a letter to the Governor or calling your Senator. How many of you have ever made a call like that?

Let’s do it right now. (This is when we actually dialed Senator Flake’s DC office and all 250 of us left a cheering message, thanking him for his leadership on trying to get immigration reform passed and asking him to co-sponsor the #EndRacialProfilingAct.)

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

We do so much good for so many individual women and their families here at the YW. And many of you – through your foundations and government grants – help fund that work. But we haven’t found a grant that can help us do THIS (hold up phone). This is where you come in. Your personal giving does BOTH things: It helps individual women change their lives…and it helps us change the systems that make their lives so darn hard in the first place.

Happy birthday YWCA! You don’t look a day older than 28.

[To make a donation in honor of the YWCA’s 98th birthday in Tucson, please click here. Thank you for your support!]

[i] http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/28/how-for-profit-prisons-have-become-the-biggest-lobby-no-one-is-talking-about/?postshare=4721430256807275

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Five Reasons to Support the YWCA Southern Arizona!

AZ_GD_2015_Logo_F_CMYKThere are so many great organizations in Tucson! Today on #AZGivesDay please support your favorites. But don’t forget to include your YWCA.

Click here to make a donation.

Here are five unique reasons to make a donation to the YW today. The YWCA is the ONLY organization in Southern Arizona offering:

1. Workforce education & support specifically for women living in poverty, immigrant women and domestic abuse survivors (200 each year)

2. Free professional mental health counseling to low income women(400 served annually)

3. A week’s worth of work ready, professional clothing and one-on-one coaching for low income, unemployed women(800-1000 each year!)

4. Leadership training for professional women and entrepreneurs (500+ each year)

5. Small business education, counseling and incubation focused on women, immigrants and people in poverty(400 each year)

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Arizona earns C- in women’s pay, employment*

Women in Arizona face enormous challenges. Nearly 50% are unemployed and, of those who are working, more than 60% are in low wage jobs. Based on research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, DC, that earns Arizona a lukewarm C-. Several states, all in the South, earned an F. So, while things could be much worse, in Arizona we’re #notthere yet.

According to the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, 500,000 Arizona women live in poverty. Based on their research, a pathway out of poverty for women requires:

  • Child care subsidies and early childhood education for the children;
  • Temporary Aid to Needy Families while women get the help they need to find work;
  • Access to affordable adult education and community colleges, so they can qualify for work with self-sufficient wages.

This year our State leaders passed a budget that slashed or eliminated funding for each one of these critical programs.

Here at your YW, we are taking action to help women in Southern Arizona. Through our new Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity (WCEO) we are expanding our programming to help women across the economic spectrum get the training and support they need to succeed. But we also need to make our voices heard. We need both Action and Advocacy.

Call the Governor & your elected State officials – or better yet go see them while they’re on break from the legislature. Tell them Arizona can’t afford to balance the budget on the backs of women and children.

Arizona has its priorities wrong. Let’s change that, together. #noceilings #notthere

*An article with this headline appeared in the Arizona Republic, March 23, 2015.

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We Stand Together Tucson

The 2nd Annual Delores Huerta Luncheon was held at the YWCA’s Frances McClelland Community Center of March 4, 2015. These are the welcome remarks from our Executive Director to our guests:

Bienvenidos, welcome to the YWCA Southern Arizona. It is such a privilege to be able to host the 2nd Annual Delores Huerta luncheon.

I was reminded this morning to bring my gavel. There is no better way to begin this event than with a crack of a union gavel on the podium (crack it).

This gavel belonged to my grandfather who was a union organizer and later president of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union in the Calumet Region, just outside of Chicago. It sits on my desk as a reminder that: Justice only happens when people work together…when they work together with people who are different from them but who are all striving, in their own way, for justice, peace, freedom and dignity.

We stand with Rosa.*

We stand with Rosa!

And we also stand with single moms who can’t afford child care to work or go to school in this state, where child care subsidies have been cut to the bone. We stand with our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who are still fighting for equal marriage. We stand with African American moms and dads who should not have to bear the burden of having to teach their sons (and their daughters, too) how to respond when they are stopped by the police. We stand with minimum wage workers who are not making a living wage and who have to choose between a paycheck and a sick kid, because they do not have paid sick days. We stand with poor women who do not have access to affordable reproductive health care and, therefore, do not have control over their own bodies, families or future.

We stand with Rosa!

And we stand with all people who are working for peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

We stand together Tucson!

– Kelly Fryer

*We stand with Rosa is a campaign in support of Rosa Robles, an immigrant woman who is living in sanctuary in a Tucson church.

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Advocacy Matters

On Friday, January 30, we held a ribbon cutting for the new Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity. About 175 people attended and heard from YW leaders about various initiatives happening. Diane Wilson, YW Board member and Chair of the Board Advocacy Committee, gave an update about the YW’s policy initiatives and advocacy work. This is her report:

“The Advocacy Committee was approved by the YWCA board in April 2013. Its purpose is to support the mission of the YWCA to eliminate racism and empower women by identifying issues, gathering information, developing policies and facilitating action to bring about social change.  The committee studies issues appropriate to our local YWCA, our membership and nationally adopted YWCA positions and advocates when necessary. We distribute information,  recommend actions, send letters to government officials, testify at hearings and visit local officials about issues related to our mission.The chair is a board member, and members include board and non- board members.

Our actions have included the YWCA Tucson support of Medicaid Expansion in Arizona to benefit low income women and children; freedom to marry efforts in Arizona; immigration reform efforts to make family reunification a top priority; providing workshops in gender issues, and educating the community about the impact of mass incarceration.  All of these issues are ones that the national YWCA is addressing.

We have sent letters to President Obama and officials in the Department of Homeland Security in behalf of Rosa Robles Loreto and Francisco Perez Cordova who have been in Sanctuary in two different churches. We supported a stay in their deportation orders since they fit into the category of low priority that President Obama has recently named in his Executive Order of November 2014 and allows their reunification with their families. This action fits with the YWCA Tucson Immigration Reform Policy that states “The YWCA supports immigration reform that includes a legal path to citizenship, makes family reunification a top priority, includes a system to allow those known as Dreamers an expedited process for citizenship application and protects the rights and working conditions of all workers”.

We testified at the Tucson City Council in support of agreements that would disallow Tucson Police Department Officers Resource Officers in TUSD to question students about their legal status. The City Council agreed with our recommendation.

The YWCA Tucson recently became a co-sponsor of Keeping Tucson Legal Clinic training forums assisting individuals to complete two important government documents. These are the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for children who have entered the US prior to age 16 and want to stay here; and Deferred Action Parental Accountability (DAPA) for adults who have been present in the US before January 1, 2010 and have children who are US citizens.  The legal clinic currently has ten non-profit sponsors, including three churches.

The committee has sponsored two gender equity workshops by Tim Wernette on Raising Our Sons and Keeping our Daughters Safe.

We have held one forum on Immigration Reform and one on Prison History and Policy. Three more forums on Mass Incarceration and the impact on our community are scheduled for 2015. The topics and dates are: April 29, Women and People of Color in Prisons; September 23, Private Prisons and Immigration Issues; and November 18, Re-Entry and Re-Integration of Prisoners.

The committee is recommending increasing our voter registration opportunities for participants. We have had voter registration available in our computer lab with our former YWorks program and we are continuing it in our Mi Carrera program.

Our Board members are: Janet Grace, Tim Wernette, Tanisha Price-Johnson, Laura Dent and Diane Wilson who are all board members. Community members are Jessie Baxter, Outreach Manager from Representative Grivalva’s office, Alice Berry and Amber Miller who are students from University High School and Violeta Lazo, a graduate of YWCA Mi Carrera. Liane Hernandez serves as YWCA staff member.”

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YWCA & CFSA appointing a Joint Task Force Committee to explore a Strategic Facilities Partnership

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of YWCA Southern Arizona are currently appointing staff and program representatives from both organizations to a joint task force to discuss the possibility of a strategic facilities partnership.

Currently the Community Foundation is seeking to explore ways it can accommodate its increased staff and expanding role in the community as a convener and go to organization for collaborative partnerships. The YWCA is seeking ways to deepen and expand its impact in the community through strategic partnerships and have identified the Community Foundation as one such partner. The joint task force committee is expected to return its findings to the leadership of both organizations by April 1, 2015.

While details of the facilities partnership are yet to be decided, here are some FAQs related to the partnership that have been discussed and agreed upon by both organizations: CFSA and YWCA Facilities Partnership FAQs

Please refer all inquiries to Kelly Fryer kfryer@ywcatucson.org.

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Top Ten Highlights from 2014

Your YWCA served more than 30,000 people out of the Frances McClelland Community Center on Bonita Avenue this year. That includes thousands of low income women and their families who came for help, support and services designed to get them jobs and put them on a path to economic independence; and hundreds of professional women who attended leadership classes, workshops, forums and conferences to help them take the next step in their careers. Here are our top ten highlights from 2014.

Click here to donate to your YWCA. You make all this great stuff happen.
Thank you!

Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta Honored

We were delighted to host (and cater!) the 1st Annual Dolores Huerta Awards Luncheon, sponsored by the Cesar Chavez Holiday Coalition, which drew more than 200 people. The civil rights activist reminded us there is only one race – the human race – and called on us to continue working for a world where there is peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Delores Huerta (center) attended the first annual awards luncheon, delighting the YW staff who were honored to meet and talk with her.

Delores Huerta attended the first annual awards luncheon, delighting and inspiring the crowd that gathered in the courtyard of the YW’s Frances McClelland Community Center.

Your Sister’s Closet Celebrates 26 Years

One woman who came for work-ready clothing looked in the mirror and said, “I’ve never seen that person before.” Low income women who need clothing to interview for and/or start a new job are able to get a week’s wardrobe. But, more than that, they receive support & encouragement from the dedicated volunteers who make this program happen. (Click here to listen as several YSC volunteers talk about their experience with Dara Larsen on “Circles of Change.”)

Your Sister's Closet

Your Sister’s Closet serves 800-1000 women each year. You can donate your clothing, shoes and accessories – call 520-884-7810 for info.

The Café@the YW opens in February

Eleven women of all ages participated in this first year of a pilot “YWorks Hospitality & Culinary Job Training Program” and, under the direction of Liane Hernandez (our Director of Community Life & Executive Chef), staffed the café & catering program and welcomed more than 30,000 people to the Frances McClelland Community Center this year. One young woman in the program says, “Being here makes me feel important to others and I’m thankful for that.” Designed to be a “social enterprise,” the Café not only provides job training for low income women, it is financially self-sustaining, creating a new model for moving our mission forward. (Read more about the Café in a recent issue of Edible Baja Arizona here.)

Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening of the Café@theYW in February

Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening of the Café@theYW in February

Your Voice Gets Heard

Under the leadership of our Advocacy Committee, the YWCA Tucson has taken clear and public stands this year on a variety of issues important to women and communities of color in Arizona. In op-ed articles and public forums, the YW has called for & worked together with other community groups for immigration reform that prioritizes keeping families together and worker’s rights; marriage equality; preventing Tucson police from questioning students about their immigration status; opposing private prisons; and investing in the economic empowerment of women as a way to reduce poverty and increase economic development in our community. (Click here to read an Op-ed Article in the AZ Daily Star, co-written by Kelly Fryer and Laura Penny.)

A public forum on mass incarceration & private prisons hosted by the YW in December, one of several forums on a variety of issues held here.

A public forum on mass incarceration & private prisons hosted by the YW in December, one of several forums on a variety of issues held here.

25th Annual Women’s Leadership Academy

Forty women graduated from the Academy this year, participating in an eight-week course teaching leadership skills to help them take the next step in their career. Participants currently work at some of Tucson’s most influential employer, including the University of Arizona, Raytheon, Intuit, IBM and TEP, as well as at smaller employers in the area and as entrepreneurs. “I’ve always thought of myself as a change agent,” one graduate said. “The Women’s Leadership Academy has given me tools and concepts to help others get on board.”

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Latinas Take a Seat at the Table

The YWCA Tucson is committed to helping immigrant & refugee Spanish speaking women and their families build a pathway to financial sustainability & self determination. Participants in Lider de Mi Vida, a leadership program, spoke at Tucson City Council meetings & forums this summer, as city leaders debated cutting needed services for the poor & unemployed, helped the YW host a public forum on immigration reform, and helped us co-host the only gubernatorial debate in Southern Arizona attended by both major Party candidates. These women had front row seats. “I am realizing how important it is for me to be at the table when decisions are being made,” one of them said. (Watch KGun-9’s coverage of the debate here.)

Lider de Mi Vida & Mi Carrera participants are joined by one of the sponsors of these programs at the 2015 AZ Governor's Debate in September.

Lider de Mi Vida & Mi Carrera participants are joined by one of the sponsors of these programs at the 2015 AZ Governor’s Debate in September.

Gabby Giffords honored with 1st Annual Changemaker Award

450 women attended the 26th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference in September for keynotes, workshops and networking opportunities around the theme: Design Your Life, Do Good Business, Change the World. The highlight was hearing Gabby encourage us in a speech that was deliberate and strong. “It’s been a long, hard haul,” she said. “but I’m getting better. My spirit is as strong as ever. I’m still fighting to make the world a safer place, and you can, too.” She urged us to: “Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.” (Read the story as told in USA Today.)

Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly at the 26th Annual Women's Leadership Conference, as YWCA Board VP, Tanisha Price-Johnson holds the Changemaker Award.

Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly at the 26th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference, as YWCA Board VP, Tanisha Price-Johnson holds the Changemaker Award.

1st Annual POP! Event

Bringing together women who are leading the way in food & fashion in Tucson, the POP! event raised money for the Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity, which is launching in 2015. A fashion show from Buffalo Exchange, led by owner Kerstin Block, held center stage. Women restaurant owners & chefs bedazzled us with culinary delights, and women bartenders mixed up special POP! cocktails just for the event. The silent auction, featuring Purses On Purpose!, offered a wide variety of items donated by local businesses. We predict this will become Tucson’s most FUN fundraiser of the year! (Click to watch our Executive Director, Kelly Fryer, talk about the POP! event and YW programs on the Morning Blend.)

Tucson's best women bartenders - from La Cocina, Flycatcher and Miss Saigon - mix up original POP! inspired cocktails.

Tucson’s best women bartenders – from La Cocina, Flycatcher and Miss Saigon – mix up original POP! inspired cocktails.

Native American Women Leaders Tell Their Stories

In celebration of Native American Heritage month, the YW hosted a panel discussion and conversation called “Bridging Two Worlds: Native American Women in Leadership.” More than 100 community members attended. Each leader spoke of the challenges they have faced and encouraged us to live authentic lives, in hope and courage. Their presence testified to the power of the human spirit and the importance of community.

Five remarkable Native American women who are leaders in academia, business and government.

Five remarkable Native American women who are leaders in academia, business and government.

 Laying the Groundwork for the Future

This was a transitional year for your YWCA in a lot of ways. We spent time evaluating our current programming, listening to the women we’re serving, meeting with and interviewing other agencies in the community who serve the same people we do, talking with business & government leaders, and studying best practices & innovative programs being offered by YWCAs and other organizations across the U.S. We identified programs we can stop doing, to reduce duplication of services in Tucson, and gaps that need to be filled. And we took some concrete steps that will shape the New Year. In 2014 we:

  • formed a Social Enterprise Task Force, populated with some of Tucson’s most exciting business leaders & investors, to help us identify and vet business opportunities that have the potential of creating a more sustainable funding model for the organization
  • gave birth to two new community wide collaborations that will work to eliminate racism and lift women out of poverty
  • initiated conversations that may lead to a shared facilities arrangement with other organizations in town
  • hammered out an agreement that will enable us to acquire the Women’s Business Center, a program of the Small Business Association
  • revised our bylaws, to give us a more responsive, flexible governance model – and establishing ourselves as YWCA Southern Arizona
  • drew up plans to launch the Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity & the Latina Leadership Initiative in 2015

We are ready to ring in the New Year!

Changemakers in a circle

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“I’ll always be committed to helping…”

Lauren

YW summer intern, Lauren

Lauren is doing a summer internship with us, a connection made through Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll’s office. We’re going to be sad when she has to go back to school next month but we feel like we’ve made a lifetime partner in the mission of the YW. This is Lauren’s description of her experience here:

I have only been at the YWCA for a few weeks, but it is already starting to feel like a second home. The YW is such a welcoming and tight knit community of women that I can’t help feeling comfortable and at ease here. The YWCA tries exceptionally hard to reach out to the women and people in Tucson; something that I found most extraordinary is that the people reach right back! In my first week, I have seen so much love and care coming from within the YW; our visitors bring the same compassion when they come in. For example, a woman named Gayle works next door at Pima Community College and bakes pastries for us every week to be sold at the Café@theYW. This is the kind of community that the YWCA creates through its programs.

There is one program, Your Sister’s Closet, which has inspired me more and more as my time here has progressed.

Your Sister’s Closet is donation based and focuses on helping women—all from different chapters of their lives—who are trying to get back on their feet or just need help getting into the work force. Our services range from professional attire to haircuts to job counseling. It has been a wonderful experience to meet so many people from different places and backgrounds, all coming together over the YWCA.

Another part of my summer is answering the phones and running organizational tasks at the front desk. Along with two other volunteers, Alice and Izzy, I get to speak with many of the men and women who visit the YW. One of the best parts about this is the opportunity to find out more about the women that I am helping by spending my summer working here. Sometimes women call because they need someone to listen to their story and offer advice or help. It’s always uplifting to be the one to answer the phone and get to chat with someone I would I have never met if not for the YWCA.

School starts in three weeks, but the summer that I spent here will certainly translate to my life outside of this building. The people I’ve worked with and the things I’ve gleaned about the greater community of Tucson will remain important to me, and I know I’ll always be committed to helping women and girls achieve better lives.

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