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Our history is deeply rooted in our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

Throughout our YWCA history, we have been at the forefront of most major movements in the United States, as well as here in Asheville, North Carolina. The women of YWCA Asheville have been social justice pioneers in race relations, workers rights, and the empowerment of women since 1907.


YWCA Asheville’s 110th Anniversary

YWCA of Asheville 110th Logo in persimmon with the dates 1907 - 2017

In 2017, to commemorate the impact that YWCA 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.


Our Archives

Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, Special Collections is the home to our archive of photos, documents, and news articles related to the YWCA. View the YWCA of Asheville Archive

In 2017, North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, NC Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill digitized over 400 YWCA photographs generously donated by the YMI Cultural Center. View the new Asheville YWCA Digital Photo Collection


Historical Panels

In 2007, eleven 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, Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, Special Collections, and the YMI Cultural Center.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the PDF

Into Panel

5 Eliminating Racism YW






6 Eliminating Racism Asheville in Panel7 Temlma Caldwell and Boosters Panel8 Empowering Women Panel

9 Nurturing Children Panel10 Teens Panel

11 Health And Wellness Panel