The History of the Charleston YWCA
The YWCA's history spans 100 years in the lowcountry area and is as rich and varied as Charleston itself. The organization's reinventions through the years came about in the face of challenges, both internal and external, as well as opportunities. Since 1969, the YWCA of Greater Charleston, Inc. has been the only YWCA in the trident area. It continues to provide programs and services for all people that support its mission to empower women and eliminate racism.
1907 - A group of women of the YWCA Women's Auxiliary founded the Coming Street YWCA on July 4, 1907.
1920 - The National YWCA guided the Coming Street YWCA into becoming a branch of the Central YWCA on Society Street.
1967 - Objecting to the National YWCA's support of various public policy issues during 1966 and 1967, the George Street YWCA voted to disaffiliate from the National YWCA. The leaders of the Coming Street YWCA branch and other community leaders met and initiated plans to re-organize a community YWCA.
On June 3, 1967, the Coming Street Branch YWCA held an organizational meeting to initiate plans for a new Community YWCA. The volunteer attorneys guiding the new YWCA were Attorneys Bernard R. Fielding, Ellis I. Kahn, and Bernard R. Solomon. Ellis I. Kahn suggested a new name for the Coming Street YWCA: The YWCA of Greater Charleston was born.
The National Board of the YWCA of the USA voted to disaffiliate the Charleston YWCA on March 15, 1969. In turn, The YWCA of Greater Charleston, Inc. received state and national charters in March 1969 and February 1970, respectively, to become the only YWCA in the trident area.