YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit Time Line
YWCA changes history
for more than 140 years! Timeline and innovations:


1858
First women's organization in the U.S., the Ladies Christian Association, is founded in New York City.

1859
YWCA name first used in Boston. YWCA opens first boarding house for female students, teachers and factory workers in New York City.

1864
YWCA opens first day nursery in Philadelphia for the children of working women.

1866
YWCA opens first Traveler's Aid program in Boston.

1870
YWCA offers women first instruction in typewriting.

1872
First Employment Bureau in New York City. First Student YWCA opens at Normal University in Normal, IL.

1889
First African American YWCA organized in Dayton, OH. First Native American YWCA formed in Chilocco, OK.

1893
YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit founded. YWCA of the USA joins Great Britain and Sweden in founding the World YWCA.

1899
First YWCA resident hall and cafeteria opened in Boston.

1906
YWCA of the USA National Board established in New York City. It is the first organization to offer sex education in all health programming.

1910
Detroit YWCA organizes Traveler's Aid Society.

1912
YWCA organizes Business Women's Professional Association and helps organize the Camp Fire Girls.

1914
Detroit YWCA operates Michigan's first organized summer camp. YWCA organizes first interracial conference ever held in the southern states of the USA in Louisville, KY. YWCA offers first English As A Second Language classes to immigrants in New York City.

1917
YWCA is first women's organization permitted in a U.S. Army camp. This effort is later named the U.S.O.

1918
Detroit YWCA's International Branch becomes the "International Institute." Emphasis changed from "Christian-based" to regard for all women

1919
Detroit YWCA offers programs in housing projects. Detroit YWCA names property on Lake Huron "Camp Cavell" and programming begins for young girls.

1920
Detroit YWCA establishes a branch in Highland Park. Detroit YWCA Capital Campaign raises $2 million in just four days.

1922
National YWCA establishes a policy to hold meetings only in places that will accept all its members without segregation or discrimination.

1924
YWCA initiates first women's pension fund, the YWCA Retirement Fund.

1927
Detroit YWCA establishes the Lucy Thurman Branch for "Colored" Girls and Women. Detroit YWCA purchases property on Lake Huron north of Lexington for camp.

1928
Detroit YWCA establishes Camp Norcom in Dexter for "Negro" girls. Detroit YWCA establishes Camp Talahi near Brighton for business and industrial girls.

1929
Detroit YWCA builds "Central Branch" (later Downtown Branch) on Witherell Street. Noted architect Albert Kahn designs building.

1931
Detroit YWCA builds Northern Branch building in Highland Park.

1933
Detroit YWCA builds Lucy Thurman Branch Building on Elizabeth Street.

1936
YWCA holds first interracial, coed student conference ever held in the South at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC.

1940
National YWCA instituted a study on interracial practices. Girl Reserves (now Y-Teens) organized.

1942
YWCA extends services to Japanese American women and girls in WWII internment camps.

1946
YWCA of the USA unanimously adopts an interracial charter and commits itself to ending racial injustice.

1950
Detroit YWCA establishes branches in Downriver, Macomb, Oakland and Northwest areas.

1954
YWCA Southern Regional Conference held in Atlanta to discuss "Desegregation: Problems and Opportunities."

1955
A Louisiana YWCA becomes the first organization to open its doors for interracial meetings.

1959
YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit becomes a Torch Drive Agency. Detroit YWCA builds the Northwest Branch in Redford Township. Building designed by noted architect Minoru Yamasaki.

1960
Detroit YWCA builds Oakland and Downriver Branches.

1960s
YWCA of the USA becomes one of the first organizations to divest investments in South Africa.

1963
Detroit YWCA merges its Central Branch and Lucy Thurman Branch into the Downtown Branch.

1965
YWCA of the USA establishes Office of Racial Justice. Civil rights leader Dorothy Height is its first director.

1968
YWCA supports United Farm Workers' boycott of grapes.

1969
Detroit YWCA Oakland Branch burns.

1970
YWCA of the USA adopts One Imperative: to eliminate racism wherever it exists and by any means possible.

1971
Detroit YWCA Oakland Branch reopens.

1972
YWCA establishes ENCOREā„¢, a post-mastectomy discussion and exercise program in Princeton, NJ.

1979
Detroit YWCA establishes YWCA Interim House, a 24-hour, 7-days/week shelter for women and children survivors of domestic violence.

1986
Detroit YWCA closes its Northern Branch in Highland Park.

1988
YWCA becomes first women's organization invited to join the U.S. Olympic Committee, Multi-sport Division.

1989
Detroit YWCA closes and sells its Downtown Branch moves into new quarters.

1992
YWCA of the USA established "YWCA National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism." YWCA is the first women's organization chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch a partnership to combat breast cancer.

1995
YWCA establishes "Week Without Violence."

1996
Detroit YWCA closes its Downriver Branch begins outreach operations.

2002
Detroit YWCA sells Northern building in Highland Park with plans to continue programming there into the future.

2003
Metro Detroit YWCA establishes Latch Key Programs in 5 area schools.


YWCA celebrates its long history of service to the community with a renewed commitment!