WHO WE ARE

YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world.

YWCA Mission

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

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Who we are

Founded in Rockford in 1891, YWCA Northwestern Illinois has a strong, proud history, and rich tradition of providing progressive services to women and families in the northwestern Illinois community.

In 2010, YWCA was recipient of the Rockford Register Star’s Excelsior Award; and in 2013, was honored for excellence in racial justice programming by the YWCA USA. In 2015, we acquired La Voz Latina, Inc. the largest multiservice Latino resource center in Northwestern Illinois.

  • We provide a holistic approach for each client or participant and believe strongly that the success of many of our programs is the ability to offer one-on-one case management to clients and connect them directly to the services they need.
  • All staff in the organization receive implicit bias, cultural competency, and racial justice trainings. All have a deeper understanding of the many cultures that exist, beyond race and ethnicity.

YWCA has been on the frontlines of the most critical social movements for more than 160 years — from women’s empowerment and civil rights, to affordable housing and pay equity, to violence prevention and health care.

  • YWCA Northwestern Illinois has upheld an unwavering dedication to its mission, “eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”
  • YWCA continuously adjusts to the emerging needs of the six counties we serve: Boone, Jo Daviess, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago.

YWCA Northwestern Illinois assists economically disadvantaged and over-burdened women, children and families — especially those impacted by traumas of violence, racism, and language and cultural barriers — achieve safety and stability with essential resources.

YWCA has been empowering women in Northwestern Illinois since 1891. Our mission-driven services continue to evolve to meet the needs of women, children and families in Rockford, and the Illinois counties of Boone, Jo Daviess, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago.

The YWCA has been empowering women in Northern Illinois since 1891. Our mission-driven services continue to evolve to meet the needs of women, children and families in Rockford, and the counties of Boone, Winnebago, Stephension, McHenry, Ogle, and Jo Daviess

YWCA Board

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dawna Menke, Chairwoman
Hon. Gwyn Gulley, Vice Chairwoman
Lori Lyons, Treasurer
Tiffany Nieman, Secretary

Karen Brown
Lesly Couper
Debra Cyborski
Rebecca Francis
Francisca French
Saba Jaffery
Gaby Johnson
Laura Pomerene
Sandra Rios
Robin Scott
Pam Solverson
Heather Spillare
Deputy Chief Tammie Stanley
Gennie Ustich
Michelle Weber
Anntonisha Williams

Throughout our history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.

YWCA USA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world.

Across the globe, we have more than 25 million members in 106 countries, including 2.6 million members and participants in 300 local associations in the United States. More important than the numbers, is our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

1891

Rockford Association was founded.

YWCA offered first “Physical Culture” Class to women in the Rockford Female Seminary, now known as Rockford University.

1906

First Rockford headquarters built, located at Madison and Oak.

1958 through 1960s

YWCA Rockford responded to the needs of young single women and baby boomer families, and opened a new location on S. Madison Street to continue providing safe recreational resources, housing and health and family education.

1970s – 1990s

Recreational services in downtown facility continued, but housing was becoming less of a social and community need.

1981

First Leader Luncheon was held at the Metro Centre.

1987

Tennis legend Billie Jean King spoke at Leader Luncheon.

1991

Child Care Solutions program was launched.

1998

NASA Astronaut Janice Voss spoke at Leader Luncheon.

1999

YWCA Puri Women’s Resource Center opened.

2013

YWCA USA presented YWCA Rockford with the Association Excellence Award for mission impact in the field of Racial Justice.

YWCA Rockford launched Creating Community Behind Shields cultural competency dialogues between communities of color and frontline law enforcement.

2015

YWCA Rockford becomes YWCA Northwestern Illinois. La Voz Latina added as a department.

2019

Expanded services into McHenry and Ogle counties.

2021

Introduced the first YWCA Illinois Welcoming Center

2022

YWCA Northwestern Illinois Foundation Formed after Major Gift from Mackenzie Scott

YWCA Northwestern Illinois adds The Literacy Council as a department.

YWCA Leadership Team

Kris L. Machajewski
Chief Executive Officer

David Homuth
Chief Financial Officer

Luz Ramirez
Chief Administrative Officer

Lisa Bock
Director, Child Care Resource & Referral

Kristian Wanland
Director, Family Services

YWCA Northwestern Illinois

4990 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108
[email protected]
Phone: 815-968-9681

Throughout our history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.

YWCA USA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world.

Across the globe, we have more than 25 million members in 106 countries, including 2.6 million members and participants in 300 local associations in the United States. More important than the numbers, is our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

1891

Rockford Association was founded.

YWCA offered first “Physical Culture” Class to women in the Rockford Female Seminary, now known as Rockford University.

1906

First Rockford headquarters built, located at Madison and Oak.

1958 through 1960s

YWCA Rockford responded to the needs of young single women and baby boomer families, and opened a new location on S. Madison Street to continue providing safe recreational resources, housing and health and family education.

1970s – 1990s

Recreational services in downtown facility continued, but housing was becoming less of a social and community need.

1981

First Leader Luncheon was held at the Metro Centre.

1987

Tennis legend Billie Jean King spoke at Leader Luncheon.

1991

Child Care Solutions program was launched.

1998

NASA Astronaut Janice Voss spoke at Leader Luncheon.

1999

YWCA Puri Women’s Resource Center opened.

2013

YWCA USA presented YWCA Rockford with the Association Excellence Award for mission impact in the field of Racial Justice.

YWCA Rockford launched Creating Community Behind Shields cultural competency dialogues between communities of color and frontline law enforcement.

2015

YWCA Rockford becomes YWCA Northwestern Illinois. La Voz Latina added as a department.

2019

Expanded services into McHenry and Ogle counties.

2021

Introduced the first YWCA Illinois Welcoming Center

2022

YWCA Northwestern Illinois Foundation Formed after Major Gift from Mackenzie Scott

YWCA Northwestern Illinois adds The Literacy Council as a department.