The History Of The YWCA 


Established in 1858 as a voice for women’s issues,

we opened the first employment bureau for women several years later. That was only the beginning of more than 150 years of active advocacy and programming for women’s rights and civil rights. 


We continue to evolve to meet today’s challenges in eliminating racism and empowering women.

We’ve shifted to a bottoms-up, grassroots structure. We’ve launched a revitalized brand that reaffirms the mission of working aggressively for women and people of color. And we’re engaging women 18- to 34-years old to carry on the YWCA mission for years to come.


The YWCA advocacy issues reflect our mission and the values of our organization.

From lobbying for pay equity and hate crimes legislation to the increased funding for Head Start and the Violence Against Women Act, the YWCA advocates on Capitol Hill while employees and volunteers empower women and girls in our communities.We promote solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color across the country.

Our Programs

LEAD (Leadership, Empowerment and Development)


The LEAD program is designed to empower pre-teen and teen girls by focusing on three areas:  

  • Leadership – Building leadership skills that support self-respect, self-control and positive decision-making skills.

  • Empowerment – Challenging girls to explore their world and current issues through engaged and creative learning.

  • Development – Guiding and developing character and confidence that will encourage and promote effective communication skills, positive goal setting, and a strong foundation for a successful adulthood. 

The LEAD curriculum is trauma-focus and covers topics such as:  self-respect, healthy relationships, goal setting, cultural competency, drug and alcohol abuse awareness, personal, social media and online safety, and effective communication skills.

LEAD is offered at Caddo Parish middle and high schools, as well as community centers and non-profit organizations in the Shreveport/Bossier area.



Nurturing Parenting Program


The Nurturing Parenting program provides family-centered trauma-informed classes designed to build nurturing parenting skills as an alternative to abusive and neglecting parenting and child-rearing practices. 

Session topics include:  stress and anger management, positive discipline, understanding feelings, building self-worth in children, and communicating with respect. A Teen Moms parenting program is also offered through the Nurturing Parenting curriculum for all teen girls who have children or who are expecting a child.  

Session topics include:

 nutrition, self-awareness, developing nurturing routines, CPR, ways to reward behavior and positive discipline techniques.

YWCA staff are trained Nurturing Parenting facilitators and classes are free and available in-person or virtually.

Click here to register for the program!


Trauma Counseling Services


Professional individual counseling is available for women and teen girls who are or have been victims of crime and may be experiencing trauma.  Licensed professional counselors who are trauma trained and have EMDR training provide these services free of charge.  Sessions are available in-person or virtually. 


Senior Women Victim Advocacy


Advocacy and support services are provided to women 62 and older who have been victims of crime. Services include emotional support, information and referral, legal and court system advocacy, linkage with local resources for seniors, assistance with personal needs and access to services.  Educational programs are also available focusing on personal safety, crime prevention, elder abuse, and local resources and services that are available.  


Racial Justice Program


The YWCA offers Dialogue on Race groups on an ongoing basis as part of its Racial Justice Program. Dialogue on Race is a 6 week educational program bringing together a diverse group of up to 15 persons led by trained facilitators utilizing a curriculum of Dialogue on Race Louisiana.  Groups meet virtually or in-person and the fee for the program is $25 for the 6 week series.  

Community and online forums on various topics relating to race and racism are also led by the YWCA and local trained facilitators and experts on a quarterly basis.  

Restart Program


The Restart Program offers assistance designed to empower women impacted economically by the Covid-19 pandemic. The program helps women prepare for and create strategies for enhancing their work-related skills to re-enter the job market or secure higher paying jobs. Program sessions include a personalized assessment and a plan to facilitate a smooth transition back into the workforce. Services also include instructions on completing online applications, networking, agency referrals, resume writing, social media recruiting, and comprehensive career guidance. Virtual and in-person options available.

This new program is funded by a grant from Proctor & Gamble. Click here to register for the program!