For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility

Helping the Community Have a Better Quality of Life

For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility

Helping the Community Have a Better Quality of Life

The history of the YMCA – like the history of the United States – is a story of incremental progress toward greater inclusion and equity for all. As we celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, we are honoring the stories of Black leaders who helped move the Y – and America – forward.

#YForAll

Anthony Bowen

Anthony Bowen

A former enslaved man and the first Black American to become a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office, Anthony Bowen founded the first YMCA for the Black community in Washington, D.C., in 1853, eight years before the Civil War. Additional Black Ys and college chapters were established in the following decades, with membership reaching 28,000 nationwide by the mid-1920s. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Canada William Hunton

Canada William Hunton

The son of a freed enslaved family from Canada, William Hunton began his Y work in 1888 as the first employed YMCA secretary at a “Colored YMCA” in Norfolk, VA. Hunton worked among the soldiers in the Army camps during the Spanish-American War and in developing Student YMCAs on Black campuses throughout the South. He helped communities meet philanthropist Julius Rosenwald’s challenge grant to build YMCAs for Black communities, and then helped recruit and train the staff and volunteers to lead those associations. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Carter Woodson

Carter Woodson

In 1915, at the Wabash Avenue YMCA in Chicago, Carter Woodson organized the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which researched and celebrated the achievements of Black Americans. This led to his starting Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker

An entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist, Madam C.J. Walker was one of the first self-made female American millionaires. She escaped poverty and built a company selling hair care products, which also gave her sales agents an income of their own. Walker was a philanthropic supporter of the YMCA and participated in and financially supported the NAACP’s anti-lynching movement. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first Black major league baseball player. This same year he also became a volunteer boys coach at the Harlem YMCA with fellow coach and teammate Roy Campanella. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Leo B. Marsh

Leo B. Marsh

In 1954, Dr. Leo B. Marsh became the first Black president of the Association of YMCA Secretaries. In 1971, Marsh brought the Black Achievers program (created by Quentin R. Mease at the South Central YMCA of Houston) to the Harlem YMCA. With the help of volunteer adult mentors, the Achievers program helps youth of color succeed in school and develop a positive sense of self. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Violet P. Henry

Violet P. Henry

After holding various executive leadership roles in the Newark and Chicago YMCAs, in 1976, Violet P. Henry became the first woman to be named to a top management position at the Y's national office. She provided leadership for numerous national and international commissions and committees that worked for the rights of women and people of color. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Kevin Washington

Kevin Washington

In 2015, Kevin Washington became the first African American - and the first person of color - to serve as CEO of the YMCA of the USA. Besides reimagining a new service delivery system across the Y movement, Washington was a leading national voice for relief from federal government for nonprofits devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. He spearheaded the highly successful #Relief4Charities effort, put Y-USA on a path to become an anti-racist, multicultural organization and engaged young people as changemakers in their communities. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

Visit the YMCA Archives to learn more about the history of Black leadership in the YMCA.

Note: The images used for the social media posts can be utilized for this article/blog post as well, depending on your layout choice.

Ms. Mann

Ms. Mann

Ms. Mann is the first female to serve as the CEO of this century old institution. Erika Mann is a native New Orleanian, with roots growing up in the 7th Ward. She earned her bachelor’s from Loyola University in Mass Communications, and then pursued a master’s in Education and Certification in School Administration. She is a mother of two daughters and a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Jesse Alexander

Jesse Alexander

After starting his YMCA career an outreach worker with youth, in 1969, Jesse Alexander joined the National Council of YMCAs as where he helped organize the National Conference of Black and Non-White Laymen and Staff, which dealt with supporting efforts to overcome racism in the YMCA and ensuring that YMCA organizations existed where communities of color wanted them. #BlackHistoryMonth #YForAll

📷: @yarchives

American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Electric & Gas Utility Arrearage Assistance Program

A young girl smiling and holding her hands in the shape of heart.

Your Community Wellness Center

At Dryades YMCA, we are more than a gym. We are a community driven by the belief that our actions can make a difference. Our focus is on the well-being of our community in New Orleans, LA.

Our Wellness Center is the heart of our operation. It's a place for health and wellness, where individuals and families can work towards their fitness goals. We provide a diverse selection of gym equipment and offer a range of fitness classes. We invite you to join our Wellness Center and experience the difference it can make to your health and well-being.

We believe in the power of family activities. We offer a variety of programs that cater to all ages and interests. From swimming lessons to youth sports, we aim to provide a fun and safe environment for everyone. If you are looking for family activities, we have got you covered.

Children are our future, and we are committed to their early childhood development. Our programs are designed to nurture their growth and development. We provide a supportive environment that encourages learning and exploration.

We are a community that cares. We believe in giving back and making a positive impact on our community. We invite you to give to the Y and support our mission. Your contribution can make a difference in the lives of many.

Join us and become part of our community. Get involved with our programs and help us make a difference. Together, we can make your community a better place for all.