YWCA IS ON A MISSION
to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
We have the collective strength to face the biggest challenges and work toward a more just and equitable society that benefits everyone.
We believe that impacting lives begins with understanding individual needs. We listen, we learn, and we respond.
We are the oldest and largest multiracial women's organization in the world. We have always been - and always continue to be - leaders for racial justice and women's empowerment
YWCA McLean County was organized in Bloomington, Illinois in 1908. We are a branch of a larger, global organization whose first student chapter was at Normal University (Now Illinois State University). YWCA McLean County began as a respite for women from the day-to-day tasks of life for early working women, babysitting services, recreation, and a tea room.
YWCA changed with the needs of the community from the very beginning and shifted to helping unemployed women and teens, offering them support and classes, while also taking on the physical education aspect for women in the 40s – offering first-of-their-kind training classes for McLean County teachers on how to teach physical education to female students.
In the 50s, with divorce on the rise YWCA again stepped in for the needs of the community offering classes to women on all aspects of life. YWCA also held the first sit-ins and was a leading force in the civil rights movement in the area, appointing the first African-American women to chair our Board of Directors, among other things.