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.
In 2022, the YWCA Kalamazoo amplified the impact of its Reproductive Health Fund, increasing awareness of the services it covers (doula care, gender-affirming care, and abortion care) and seeing a significant uptick in usage by the community. They also built out a coalition of community partners, advocacy groups, grassroots organizations, and clinicians to support the Reproductive Health Fund and to advise on the creation and implementation of a long-term strategy for achieving reproductive justice in Kalamazoo. 2022 was a significant year for abortion access in Michigan, and the YWCA Kalamazoo played a pivotal role in protecting abortion access at the ballot box by launching a successful GOTV campaign that targeted over 30,000 voters via mailers, and over 20,000 doors via canvassers. These efforts educated voters – especially BIPOC voters – around the impact redistricting may have had on protecting reproductive justice in their communities.
In 2023, NIRH will continue their partnership with the YWCA Kalamazoo. The YWCA plans to develop a municipal reproductive justice policy agenda that will outline policy goals for the city and county. A centerpiece of this agenda and the YWCA’s campaign for 2023 will be advocating for municipal funding to support the Reproductive Health Fund. This partnership is a collaboration between NIRH and All* Above All.