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Guest Essay by Dennis Kampe: “Volunteerism”

May 9, 2018

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In appreciation of our CASA volunteers, we’d like to share this brief essay by CASA volunteer Dennis Kampe. Read below as Dennis reflects on some of his own childhood experiences and how they prepared him for a life of service towards young people. We at YWCA Clark County are so grateful for volunteers like Dennis, whose passion and dedication inspire us and help us live out our mission each and every day!

I was raised on a 25-acre farm in Ridgefield. I struggled in my early years in school, eventually failing the 4th grade. My older sister and brother were out of the house by the time I was in the 7th grade. My mother died when I was 15, and my dad drank excessively. By age 13 I was on my own and responsible for all aspects of the family farm and my life. My high school years were the most difficult and painful years in my life. More

Creating a Culture of Consent

April 23, 2018

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we’ve been holding a series of community events in our ongoing commitment to support survivors and help prevent sexual assault. One such event was a community discussion entitled “Conversation Hour on Consent Culture” co-facilitated by Austin Lea from Planned Parenthood, and Jessie Spinney, Sexual Assault Prevention Specialist for YWCA Clark County.

The topic of consent has been brought to the forefront of news and popular culture in the wake of last year’s #MeToo movement. Now more than ever women and men are feeling empowered to share their experiences and demand that as a society we re-examine the ways we think and talk about sexual assault and the meaning of consent. More

Join Us to Take A Stand Against Racism

April 19, 2018

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YWCA Clark County calls all individuals to join us in taking a Stand Against Racism on Thursday, April 26th from 4:30-5:30pm at Warehouse 23 in Vancouver, WA. Stand Against Racism is a national movement designed to unite our communities in a bold demonstration that delivers a clear message: we are on a mission to eliminate racism.

Hosted by the Women’s Leadership Center of YWCA Clark County, our local event brings a panel of state representatives and candidates from Oregon and Washington to Vancouver to discuss the importance of full engagement for women and girls of color in the political process. More

Public Policy Progress in 2018!

April 4, 2018

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Washington State Legislature wrapped up their first session of 2018 earlier this month. At YWCA Clark County we are immensely pleased with several pieces of legislation that passed that improve access to reproductive rights, support affordable housing, and strengthen and expand voting and immigrant rights. Additionally, we are proud of our Public Policy Committee’s tireless advocacy for these changes to our legislation.

YWCA Clark County’s Public Policy Committee provides direction and action items for our organization around policy issues directly related to our mission, and those with potential impact on our clients, programs, and community, both at the regional and national level. More

Shedding a Light on Teen Dating Violence: Interview with Prevention Specialist Michelle Polek

March 7, 2018

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February was Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, however at YWCA Clark County, raising awareness and working to end domestic abuse is a yearlong commitment. So as we enter March we thought we’d examine some of the statistics and issues surrounding teen dating violence, as well as discuss ways to prevent and educate young people (and adults) about healthy relationship behavior as part of our ongoing efforts to keep our community informed and safe.

It’s common for adults to think about teenage relationships and trivialize their significance as well as their intensity. “There is a tendency to not take teen relationships seriously – to assume that the relationship is just “puppy love” or that youth can’t or don’t cause serious harm,” said YWCA Clark County Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist Michelle Polek. More

ILS Participants Take Part in Youth Advocacy Day!

February 26, 2018

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Earlier this year several members of our Independent Learning Skills Program met with members of our community partner Janus Youth Programs and headed up to Olympia for Youth Advocacy Day, where they joined over 300 others to speak with legislators and advocate for issues pertaining to foster care and homelessness.

Youth Advocacy Day is organized by The Mockingbird Society, an organization that works with young people and families across Washington State to improve foster care and end youth homelessness. Members of our ILS program have participated in Youth Advocacy Day since 2009. More

Learn About Our Upcoming Women’s Leadership Center Workshops!

January 31, 2018

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YWCA Clark County is always seeking to empower women in every facet of life. This year we launched a new program, the Women’s Leadership Center (WLC), with the goal of enabling women of all ages with the skills necessary to realize and harness their innate leadership abilities.

One of the ways we plan do this is through different workshops led by expert facilitators that help women and girls develop life skills essential for success, self-confidence and self-worth, and be guided by a values-based philosophy that embraces equity, inclusion, and service.

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Women’s March 2018: Keep Demanding to be Heard

January 22, 2018

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This weekend marked the one year anniversary of the Women’s March that brought out millions of women and men in various cities to stand for gender equity, and to protect and support the rights and voices of all women. The turnout was phenomenal, and it was the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history.

In honor of that historic day huge numbers of people once again took to the streets on Saturday from Washington D.C. to Seattle and everywhere in between for #WomensMarch2018.

While the sentiment was largely the same, the 2018 marches did have a few new messages with many marching in support of the #MeToo movement as well as the new Time’s Up initiative set up to address systemic inequality, harassment, and injustice in the workplace. There was also a heavy emphasis on getting people registered to vote and get involved in their local politics ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

YWCA Clark County stands in solidarity will all those who participated in this year’s Women’s March, and hope all those who support equality never stop demanding that their voices be heard. For our part we will continue to fight for racial and social justice, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

If you’re not registered to vote, click here and get signed up today!

 

Janine’s Empowering Journey

January 4, 2018

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By Janine

YWCA Clark County has impacted and changed my family’s lives in ways I never knew possible. I considered myself a confident, educated woman with a bright future. After a whirlwind romance, at 21 years old, I married a ‘charmer,’ life-of-the-party, jovial, humorous and handsome man. Married life had extreme highs and devastating lows. It didn’t make sense. Fourteen years, seven investment homes, and three beautiful little kiddos deep, our married relationship was as volatile as ever. I could see the effects in my kids eyes. We were all hurting. We were all confused.

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Thank You Connie and Lee Kearney

December 26, 2017

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by Emily Ostrowski

At YWCA Clark County we are fortunate to benefit from the help and support of national and local organizations, community sponsors, and individuals who donate their time and financial assistance to helping us eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Connie and Lee Kearney are two such individuals who have contributed so much, not just to YWCA, but to the entire community of Clark County and beyond.
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