Memo from YWCA Alaska
YWCA Alaska will be suspending its Youth Circle program and Multi-Cultural Female Leadership Conference effective July 1, 2017
YWCA Alaska has been a consistent presence in Alaska since 1989. Our programs are responsive to the times we live in, ensuring fiscal responsiveness, cultural relevance and mission alliance. The mission of Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women is broad, the fluidity of our programs reflect that breadth. Over the years we have housed a Women’s Business Center, Diversity Conference, Beauty Inside and Out, TechGYRLS, Girls on the Run and a Native Mother Daughter program. As community needs changed, programs either naturally ended or were absorbed by other entities, each a careful decision to ensure mission stability for the YW.
Today we are at that junction with our Youth circles and Multi-Cultural Female Leadership Conference. Youth Circles started in the fall of 2006, and for the past 11 years YWCA Alaska has provided in-depth empowerment curricula to over 3700 youth, making a lifelong impact ensuring that young girls and boys had gained the emotional, social and learning tools they need to navigate young adulthood. For the past 26 years, we have provided a one-day conference for middle school girls, the Multi-Cultural Female Leadership Conference. When we started both these programs, there were few programs in Anchorage or Alaska that focused solely on leadership and empowerment skills of girls. The YWCA stepped into the void and provided this, ensuring that these programs remained free to the underserved population we helped. The YWCA has subsidized these two youth programs for the past ten years between $30,000 and $70,000 annually. Unfortunately, YWCA Alaska can no longer afford this subsidy and will therefore be suspending our Youth Circle program and Multi-Cultural Leadership Conference effective July 1, 2017. We are currently in preliminary discussions with youth serving organizations who may be able to continue these programs. In the event that YWCA Alaska secures 2-3 years of full funding we will consider re-opening the programs.
YWCA Alaska will continue to:
- Honor youth overcoming tremendous obstacles through our Young People of Achievement Awards held every fall,
- Provide women’s health education and outreach connecting low-income women to services
- Bring economic literacy to the financially disenfranchised
- Highlight racism and create innovate ways of dealing with positive actions through our Social Justice/Cultural Connections programs
- Fighting for women’s economic future through EconEquity, our initiative to eliminate the gender pay gap in Alaska by 2025; and
- Highlighting the remarkable achievements of Alaska’s women through our Women of Achievement Awards.
While there are no programs exactly like Youth Circles and the Multi-Cultural Female Leadership Conference, Alaska is home to many worthy organizations providing empowering education and recreational opportunities to girls. Please join us in continuing to support those organizations and the important work they do, ensuring a promising future for Alaska’s girls and women. And please continue to support the ongoing work of YWCA Alaska eliminating racism and empowering women.
If you have questions, please contact YWCA Alaska at 907-644-9600.