By Catherine Beane, Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, YWCA USA
As a mother to four boys, this weekend has always been a special time to share with my family. I’m proud of all of their endeavors and regularly brag to colleagues about their individual accomplishments – in my defense, what mom wouldn’t! But this year with the COVID-19 global pandemic, Mother’s Day takes on a whole new meaning for my family and those around the country.
The coronavirus has affected everyone’s lives in new and unexpected ways and moving forward will continue to affect families differently. This Mother’s Day in my family, we’re counting our blessings to be safe, healthy, and sheltered together at home. But I’m acutely aware that other working moms don’t have that luxury.
Women of color in particular play an important role in maintaining the health, economic security, and safety of their families and community. With 81.1% of Black mothers, 52.5% of Latina mothers, and 67.1% Native American mothers as primary breadwinners, these family frontline responders are at the intersection of multiple racial, gender, and structural barriers, and are among the workers who have been hardest hit during the COVID-19 global upheaval. Now, the coronavirus has placed additional barriers on working moms and women of color that requires us to advocate for the additional assistance they need to weather COVID’s economic storms.
That’s why as a working mom, I’m humbled to be working for YWCA USA, an organization whose over 160 year history is anchored in a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Throughout our history, YWCA has boldly stepped forward to address the most pressing issues of the day and to work across party lines to protect the most vulnerable members in our community. In our earliest days, we saw the importance of safe housing assistance as we worked to welcome young immigrant women at Ellis Island.
Our mission and dedication to serve no matter the circumstance remains rooted in YWCA’s history – it’s in our DNA.
And today, we continue to provide the services women need, when and where they need them. Child care, job training, health screenings and mental health services, safe shelter and housing — these are the pillars of support that YWCA provides for women and that women need even more in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to need down the line as our nation recovers.
The economic security, safety, and health of women and families are core to YWCA’s mission. But we can’t do it alone – we need your help!
This Mother’s Day, I’m calling on you to join us and tell Congress to support the essential work of YWCA and the nonprofit sector in the next COVID-19 stimulus relief package. YWCA and the nonprofit sector are essential partners to our nation’s COVID response and recovery, and Congressional action is essential so that we can continue to meet the needs of women and moms.
So as we prepare to tip our hats to all moms, aunts, grannies, and mother-figures this Sunday, we hope you will join us in this important call to action. Women’s work is essential work and there’s no better time to show our mom’s an extra special act of kindness.