For over 100 years, YWCA Princeton has been serving women and families throughout the Mercer County area. Our programs have evolved and changed throughout the decades in order to meet the needs and interests of our community.
Our earliest years as an organization were spent in a modest office space at 148 Nassau Street. There, from a single rented room, our predecessors fostered a sense of community. In 1922 it was crucial for women to have a space to have conversations, build connections, and learn life skills. Some of the earliest programs and the sentiments behind them still exist today, like English as a second language and social groups like the Newcomers and Friends at YWCA Princeton (formally established in 1959). Childcare was an invaluable resource to local women who wanted to participate in programs or volunteer at YWCA Princeton.
YWCAs were established and founded during times of segregation. Leaders recognized that racism, segregation, and the inequitable resources and services available to communities of color were not compatible with the Christian values that served as the foundation of the YWCA. In 1946, the YWCA National Convention adopted an Interracial Charter, and by 1948, YWCA Princeton was fully integrated.
The most necessary and important change to YWCAs throughout the country and YWCA Princeton was the 1970 incorporation of the YWCA’s One Imperative: “To thrust our collective power towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists and by any means necessary.”
Today, we’re proud of our legacy as the co-founding chapter of the national Stand Against Racism, established in 2007 and now known as Until Justice Just Is. We are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment at The Burke Foundation Early Childhood Center at YWCA Princeton, support services for breast cancer thrivers and survivors at the Breast Cancer Resource Center, and life skills and encouragement through our ESL program.
Click here for an in-depth look at our organization’s history.