Become An Advocate

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Check out the YWCA Advocacy issues and see what we’re doing to promote solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color across the country.

Become an advocacy intern and join the YWCA in fighting for women’s empowerment and racial and social justice. Efforts include writing letters to editors; engaging in social media, meeting members of congress; and recruiting and engaging local community members on current advocacy issues.

To join the team call (510) 848-6370 or e-mail:

Make sure to also sign up with the YWCA USA Advocacy Network to learn more about what you can do right now.

2017 – 2018 YWCA Berkeley/Oakland Legislative priorities


H.Res.487 : Urging all Universities to designate and maintain a sexual assault coordinator on staff who can be accessed by student victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking on campus and in the surrounding community. 

HR.1447/S.1328  – Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017: To extend the protections of the Fair Housing Act to persons suffering discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation, and for other purposes.

HR.5157/S.2431 – ALERT Act: To ensure that certain incidents involving a covered employee that are reported to the title IX coordinator at an eligible institution of higher education have been reviewed by the president of the institution and not less than 1 additional member of the institution’s board of trustees, and for other purposes.

H.R.4893/S.2349 – Improve Data on Sexual Violence Act: To direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to establish an interagency working group to study Federal efforts to collect data on sexual violence and to make recommendations on the harmonization of such efforts, and for other purposes.

H.R. 4720/S.2266 – Abby Honold Act: To authorize the Office on Violence Against Women to improve the handling of crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking by incorporating a trauma-informed approach into the initial response to and investigation of such crimes.

S.858 – Fair Housing for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors Act of 2017: To provide protection for survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault under the Fair Housing Act.

S.1801 – SOS Campus Act: To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education to have an independent advocate for campus sexual assault prevention and response.

S.856 – Campus Accountability and Safety Act: To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to combat campus sexual assault, and  for other purposes.


AB-2289 Pupil rights: pregnant and parenting pupils: This bill would include as another type of excused absence, 4 absences per school year to care for a sick child, for which the school is prohibited from requiring a note from a doctor. The bill would require a school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school to allow a parenting pupil who gives or expects to give birth up to 6 weeks of parental leave or 8 weeks of parental leave for a caesarian section birth or birth with complications, and to allow a parenting pupil not giving birth up to 4 weeks of parental leave after the birth.

Campus Advocacy 

#FreeTheTampon:  Tampons and sanitary napkins are not luxury items, but necessities to achieving feminine hygiene. On UC Berkeley’s campus YWCA advocacy interns are fighting to change university policies to accommodate women on campus, and provide them with free access to menstrual hygiene products. To join the movement or share your story, email

End Sexual Violence on Campuses: Sexual violence has proven to be an epidemic on school campuses, endangering students of all genders. Approximately 19% of women will be sexually assaulted during their time in college, and 5-6% of men will experience sexual assault in college. There are protections in place to help support survivors, however, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault. Through campaigns and lobbying efforts, the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland  advocacy team is dedicated to ending sexual violence at UC Berkeley. To join the movement or share your story, email

2017 YWCA USA Legislative Priorities

Racial Justice & Civil Rights 

Ending Racial Profiling and Criminalization of People of Color : eliminate the policies and practices that support racial profiling and the criminalization of people of color and other marginalized communities by systems of authority.

Support Girls of Color Who Are Trauma Survivors: ensure that girls of color who have experienced trauma have improved access to community resources for trauma survivors, including education and juvenile systems.

Support the Attainment of the United Nation’s Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Targets : support and advance the United Nation’s gender equality and women’s empowerment targets set fourth in Sustainable Development Goal 5, with a particular focus on ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere (SDG 5.1) and ensuring women and girls’ full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life (SDG 5.5).

Empowerment and Economic Advancement 

Improve Women’s Economic Security : improve the economic security of women, particularly women of color, by increasing access to job-protected safe, paid sick, and family leave.

Remove Barriers to Women’s Workplace Participation: remove barriers to successful workplace participation by women, particularly women of color, by improving access to quality affordable childcare and housing.

Health & Safety 

Promote Federal Legislation to Support Survivors of Gender-Based Violence : address gender-based violence by supporting federal legislation that supports survivors of violence.

Improve Maternal Health Outcomes for Women of Color : address racial health disparities by reducing maternal mortality rates and improving maternal health outcomes for women of color.

Ensure Access to Quality, Affordable Health Carr for Women and Girls : ensure that the healthcare infrastructure currently provided by the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare, state health insurance programs, and reproductive health service remains strong and viable.