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. 

In 2017, to commemorate the impact that the YWCA of Asheville has had on residents throughout our rich 110 year history, UNC Asheville History Department students from Dr. Sarah Judson’s African American History since 1865 class conducted interviews with YWCA elders. Visit the Asheville YWCA Oral History Project online to hear interviews and view timelines of the lives of the interviewees.

Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville Special Collections 
North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, NC Collection at UNC Chapel Hill


In 2007, ten historical panels were created to give an overview of the YWCA’s 100+ years of social justice work in this community. The creation of the panels was made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council. This project was a collaboration between the YWCA, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections at UNC-Asheville, and the YMI Cultural Center.

Click the links below for PDFs of each of the panels:

Introductory Panel
Where it All Began & How
Phyllis Wheatley Branch
South French Broad Avenue
E. Thelma Caldwell & The Boosters
Eliminating Racism at the YWCA
Eliminating Racism in Asheville
Empowering Women
Nurturing Children
Guiding Teens
Health & Wellness