YWCA Kalamazoo’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. The longest-serving YWCA association in Michigan, YWCA Kalamazoo provides individuals and families with victim-focused counseling and advocacy services as well as shelter for survivors of violence, transitional housing, and legal services.
In 2021, NIRH worked with the YWCA Kalamazoo and All* Above All to establish a reproductive heath fund in Kalamazoo, which would be funded through a public-private partnership and fund gender affirming care, doula care, and abortion care.
Building off our 2021 work with YWCA Kalamazoo, NIRH is supporting their new initiative—the YWCA Kalamazoo Advocacy Project—to increase safe and equitable access to abortion by deepening the impact of the newly created YWCA Kalamazoo Reproductive Health Fund, which NIRH worked closely with the YWCA Kalamazoo to establish. This fund is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership to support abortion care, doula services, emergency contraception, gender affirming name changes, HIV prevention, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and practical support like transportation to receive services. In 2022, NIRH will help take YWCA’s advocacy to the next level, with a goal of securing municipal funding for abortion care. This project moves YWCA’s work from education and service provision to the justice and advocacy space—creating enduring positive change to protect reproductive health rights in Kalamazoo County.