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

Our Story

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.

YWCA McLean County acknowledges that the land we occupy is the ancestral, unceded land of many Native groups, including the Oceti Sakowin, Myaamia, Kaskaskia, Peoria, and Kiikaapoi nations.

These peoples were robbed of their livelihoods and forcibly removed from their sacred lands. These lands were and are the traditional territory of these Native Nations; and these lands continue to carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity. Their ancestors continue to advocate for representation in our country that systematically denies their traumatic pasts and on-going struggles for equity and access.

At YWCA, we stand with our indigenous peers as we strive to live up to our mission of eliminating racism, and empowering women.

We extend honor to the Indigenous people who may be excluded in this acknowledgement due to historical erasure and inaccuracy.


This statement was partially drafted in collaboration by Lester Randall, Tribal Chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Nichole Boyd, Former Director of the Native American House at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the McLean County Museum of History.

YWCA McLean County recognizes that every facet of American society has been built up by the unpaid labor of enslaved Black peoples. From the time of slavery to the on-going legacies of Jim Crow and current iterations of systemic anti-Blackness, our nation continues to profit off of Black suffering. We are indebted to Black labor and sacrifice, and we cannot continue to profit off of Black suffering. At YWCA, we stand with our Black peers as we strive to live up to our mission of eliminating racism, and empowering women.

YWCA McLean County is committed to promoting equity and providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community, including clients, staff, volunteers, community partners, and vendors. We are committed to helping individuals of all races, ethnicities, national origins, genders, sexual orientations, incarceration backgrounds, religions, ages, abilities, and other diversities succeed through our programming and services. We are committed to promoting equity throughout our operations, including the provision of services, staffing decisions, and selection of volunteers and vendors.