ADVANCING WOMEN & PUBLIC POLICY
YWCA Kalamazoo’s newest department was created in 2015 with a goal of being a resource to all women and girls in our community. Through awareness campaigns and educational programming, Women’s Initiatives educates, engages, and mobilizes the community about racial justice, gender equity, and gendered violence. By educating the public and policymakers on a local, state and federal level regarding women’s health and safety, women’s economic empowerment, and racial justice and civil rights, YWCA Kalamazoo ensures that the voices of underrepresented communities are heard.
Learn more about Women’s Initiatives Programs:
YWCA Kalamazoo is dedicated to promoting healthy relationships through engaging presentations rooted in the empowerment model, bystander intervention, and violence prevention. Using videos, open and honest dialogue, and interactive learning experiences, the YWCA Healthy Relationships Presentation Series aims to raise awareness, build personal and collective responsibility, and provide skills to challenge violence throughout our lives and community. For more information, visit our Community Education page.
YWCA Kalamazoo supports the empowerment and growth of women and girls, especially women and girls of color. Our programs are designed to provide women and girls with tools and skills they need to be successful despite the barriers they may face due to their gender identity, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. These programs encourage creativity, positivity, and self-worth.
Infant Mortality Initiative
YWCA Kalamazoo is leading the effort to curb infant mortality in Kalamazoo. Women’s Initiatives offers the following programs:
- Cradle Kalamazoo, formerly known as the Kalamazoo Infant Mortality Community Action Initiative (KIMCAI), is a multi-agency community initiative lead by YWCA Kalamazoo. By bringing together community leaders and organizations to implement evidence-based and holistic interventions, our goal is to reduce infant death and promote respect for families, women and their children.
- YWCA Kalamazoo has taken additional steps to provide services to pregnant and new mothers of color. Women and Infant Supportive Help (WISH) provides ongoing, positive support for pregnant women and parenting mothers through one-on-one personal visits, peer support, and education.
- YWCA Kalamazoo Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) is a home visiting program for parents with Medicaid insurance in Kalamazoo County that provides care coordination services to promote healthy pregnancies, successful birth outcomes, and healthy infant development for those who are pregnant or with children ages 0-1.
People Who Think
YWCA Kalamazoo is committed to providing educational and healing spaces that promote dialogue around gendered violence, sexism, racism, and poverty. People Who Think is a dialogue series that encourages community members to come discuss topics currently affecting our community.
YWCA Kalamazoo is dedicated to advocating policy and legislation that protects and improves the lives of women and girls. By educating the public and policymakers on a local, state and federal level regarding women’s health and safety, women’s economic empowerment, and racial justice and civil rights, YWCA Kalamazoo ensures that the voices of underrepresented communities are heard.
Racial Justice & Civil Rights
YWCA Kalamazoo is committed to eliminate racism in society. Currently YWCA Kalamazoo in partnership with ERACCE hosts a one-day anti-racism seminar. YWCA Kalamazoo Eliminating Racism Seminar is intended to bring together members of the community to increase awareness of the perpetual existence of and oppression caused by racism in our society and to establish a collective commitment to become anti-racist. It is based on the premise that racism is both carefully taught and absorbed, beginning at the earliest ages. Using powerful videos, open and honest dialogue, and interactive learning experiences, YWCA Eliminating Racism creates awareness, builds personal and collective responsibility, and provides skills to confront racism in our lives and throughout our community.