Since 1931, YWCA Evanston/North Shore has been a force for social justice in northeastern Chicagoland. Empowering women and eliminating racism are the heart of what we do. We do it because we believe the well-being of ALL women is essential to the vitality of our communities.
Today, the need for YWCA has never been more urgent. Issues of racial and gender equity continue to garner more attention nationally and locally. Our communities require both immediate assistance for individuals affected by domestic abuse, as well as leadership and advocacy to address the root causes of violence against women and racial and gender inequities.
YWCA is not new to this – we’re true to this. We stand ready to lead.
With our strong and long record of community impact; our well-earned reputation as a trustworthy, stable, and credible community leader; and our steady pace of recent growth, YWCA Evanston/North Shore is poised to seize this moment – to do and become more for our communities.
About the YWCA Campaign for the Future
YWCA Evanston/North Shore is embarking on a capital campaign to launch a bold new expansion plan that will expand and deepen our work in our communities. The expansion has 4 overarching goals:
- Expand and upgrade our current campus
- Enhance our services to women and children
- Increase our impact through new, innovative programs
- Accelerate our transformation to a community catalyst, thought leader, and advocate for racial and gender equity
Learn more about the YWCA Campaign for the Future below:
In short, the Campaign has 4 pillars that are the foundation for our expanding work:
Every year, YWCA’s emergency housing shelters over 200 women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence. But the need for emergency shelter far exceeds our supply: each year, one thousand women and children are referred elsewhere due to lack of space. Our existing space also does not allow for conditions – such as privacy and autonomy – that help survivors heal.
A new Family Support Center will double the number of rooms and offer an innovative, trauma informed design to facilitate healing.
Our economic advancement program has seen remarkable growth—a five-fold increase in the last 10 years. Because of our success, however, we are now challenged to accommodate current participants and to scale our programs further. Increased space and technology upgrades will allow us to expand our workshops as well as introduce exciting new programs teaching marketable jobs skills to women in our community.
A new Economic Advancement Center with state-of-the-art classroom and training space will enable more women to gain economic independence and job readiness skills.
In order to build more just and equitable communities, our capacity must be commensurate with the work we envision. Our current facilities are insufficient for the level of training, convening, and action that we know our communities require, and that we know YWCA has the credibility and acumen to deliver.
A new Equity Center will be a central hub for convening our community to advance racial and gender equity.
Outdated facilities and inadequate parking affect our ability to attract families to our program and make it difficult for YWCA to compete with other local swim programs and continue leading the way as an inclusive and welcoming aquatics program for all. Without enhancements to modernize our aquatics center, we risk diminishing the excellence for which Flying Fish Aquatics is known.
Upgrades and enhancement of our aquatics facilities will reflect the excellence of our aquatics program and make water safety instruction accessible to all youth.
Here’s why we’re supporting YWCA Campaign for the Future…
“I spent my career in two male-dominated industries, academic medicine and automotive manufacturing, so I know from experience how women have been left behind in terms of empowerment, financial stability, equity and safety. Through employees, friends, acquaintances and news media, I came to realize how many women suffer abuse – physical, emotional and financial – or face racism, disempowerment and inequality….” continue reading here
-Deborah Price, YWCA-ENS board member
“Violence against women and domestic violence are issues I care deeply about. I realized that Mary Lou’s place, the YWCA’s current domestic violence shelter, could be more and do more to help abused women in our community. That is why I am helping to build a new campus and emergency shelter.”
-Ann Balusek, YWCA-ENS Advisory Council
“I believe the Campaign for the Future will significantly enhance YWCA’s ability to ensure the safety and economic security for all women through the expansion of both its facilities and services. Furthermore, through the thought leadership of its diverse Board and leadership team, the newly created Equity Institute will be positioned to play a key role in furthering our mission of eliminating racism.”
-Jen Steans, YWCA-ENS board member and Chair, Campaign for the Future
YWCA’s new Family Support Center, Equity Institute, Economic Empowerment Center and renovated Aquatics area will offer unique opportunities to recognize your generosity or honor a loved one with your gift. To learn more about the naming opportunities we have available, please email Vice President of Development Kathy Slaughter.
The Campaign Cabinet is a team of 14 women leaders throughout our communities that will help guide the strategies and implementation of the Campaign:
Jennifer Steans, Chair
Campaign Counsel: The Alford Group, Brenda Asare, President
Landon Bone Baker, Architects – Catherine Baker, Jack Schroeder
Bully & Andrews, Preconstruction Services – Catherine Solecki, Mike Lemmons
AT Group, Owner’s Rep- Jim Kastenholz, Jim Johnson
TRUE 100 Ambassadors
The TRUE 100 Ambassadors is an honorary committee of influential women and men across the North Shore who will champion the Campaign and build awareness of our work.
To receive updates on our programs and on the state of the Campaign for the Future, please subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter below.
Since 1931, YWCA Evanston/North Shore has been a leading champion for women and children in our communities. Almost 90 years later, we still are.
If you have questions about the YWCA Campaign for the Future, or want to know how you can get involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.