Who We Are

Our Mission

Women of Color Leading Change mural painted
in the YWCA gym for Stand Against Racism 2017

The mission of the YWCA is to eliminate racism and empower women while promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Founded in 1878, the YWCA began as a service provider for women immigrating to Lewiston to work in the mills. The organization was originally known as the Women’s Benevolent Association and offered housing, language classes, job training, and recreation that allowed working women to thrive in their new country. The YWCA’s history inspires us to provide programming that builds community through strengthening inter-cultural relationships and valuing the needs and contributions of all of our members.

Our programming is guided by a belief in appreciation of diversity and equitable opportunity for all people in our community.  All YWCA services work toward the realization of gender and racial equity through providing accessible and culturally appropriate resources for health and wellness, recreation, childcare, and advocacy. The advancement of women, people of color, and economic justice in Lewiston-Auburn is integral in all that we do. From affordable childcare that supports families and women in the workplace to free-of-charge therapeutic swim programs to anti-racist education and action, the YWCA strives to bring this mission to fruition in big and small ways every day.