Learning from the rich history of YWCA Asheville

HONORING THE PAST: Past and present YWCA Asheville executive directors and board of directors presidents gathered at the YWCA’s 110th anniversary celebration event.
HONORING THE PAST: Past and present YWCA Asheville executive directors and board of directors presidents gathered at the YWCA’s 110th anniversary celebration event. Photo by Jesica Gaskin, courtesy of the YWCA

Editor’s note: As part of Xpress’ Nonprofit Issue, we asked local nonprofits to share a bright moment of 2017.

This year, YWCA Asheville is proud to celebrate our 110th anniversary! To honor our 110 years of social justice work and community building, we partnered with UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library Special Collections to include recently donated historical photos to the YWCA archive.

The YWCA hosted community photo-viewing events to help identify the people, activities and stories of these photos. To ensure that the broader community has access to the photos for years to come, they were included in the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center at UNC Chapel Hill. To capture more stories, UNC Asheville students studying African-American history also conducted interviews with YWCA elders and published the recordings and “digital storyboards” of their memories and connection to the YWCA online.

Beth Maczka
Beth Maczka/Photo courtesy of YWCA Asheville

At an event to share these projects with the community, living former YWCA Asheville executive directors and board presidents were invited to share their visions and blessings for our future. By learning from our rich history and honoring the women who fought for gender, racial and social justice here in Asheville, we are challenged to live up to that legacy every day.

— Beth Maczka, CEO of YWCA Asheville

Editor’s note: For links to the YWCA archive, oral history project and the digital photo collection, visit www.ywcaofasheville.org/history.

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