Welcome, from the 2013 YWCA USA Annual Conference!

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Welcome, from the 2013 YWCA USA Annual Conference!

By Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D.

Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D.
Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D.

Today, we welcome nearly 400 YWCA leaders, advocates, staff and volunteers to Washington, D.C. for our 2013 What Women Want Annual Conference.

For 155 years, the YWCA has literally transformed this nation. The women of the YWCA have been at the forefront of many life-changing social movements in the United States—from the abolition of slavery to voting rights, from civil rights to pay equity, and today, from fair immigration reform to the prevention of violence. On all of these issues, the YWCA influenced outcomes that are a part of the foundation of who we are as a nation.

Why has the YWCA been such a transformative force in the lives of millions of women, girls and families for well over a century? Simply put: We know What Women Want and we do what is needed to get it done! The leaders of the YWCA are among the most talented, passionate and dedicated advocates this country has ever known. The theme of this year’s conference, What Women Want, is truly a testament to the accomplishments of our past, a mantra for the life-changing work we carry out in communities each day and a vision for our future.

The events going on this week – our National Day of Action for Immigration Reform, our workshops and keynotes, our Women of Distinction Awards Gala, and more – are the culmination of the incredible work of our strong leaders.

We believe strongly that our mission is compelling and we know that there are opportunities for us to leverage our collective strength. And we hope you will join us!

  • Tomorrow, join our Day of Action for Immigration Reform: call, email and Tweet your Members of Congress to let them know that the needs of women and families MUST be considered in proposed immigration reform legislation
  • Follow the latest Annual Conference updates on Twitter, with the hashtag #YWCA2013
  • Like us on Facebook to see the newest photos and videos
  • Subscribe to the YWCA Blog to see our newest posts and a round-up of Conference activity

Our Conference only happens once a year, and we want you to be a part of all of the energy and excitement this week, no matter where you live – since the YWCA is truly everywhere.

This is a very exciting time for our organization as we work to identify opportunities that will allow us to unleash and leverage our collective power as a national movement. We are building a revitalized National YWCA Movement—creating a strong, robust organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women well into the future.

I hope you will support our Day of Action on Thursday, June 6. Also, please follow all of our updates throughout the week – there’s a lot to see and we are all very excited about the positive impact we will have in the lives of women, girls and families across the nation… TOGETHER!



Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron is the CEO of the YWCA USA, which promotes solutions to improve the lives of over 2 million women, girls, people of color and their families in the United States. Dr. Richardson-Heron has more than 20 years of health care leadership, management and operations experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. For more than 150 years, the YWCA has dedicated its efforts to eliminating racism and empowering women with a focus on women’s economic empowerment, racial justice and women’s health and safety.

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