December 26, 2012


I can't recall where I found this but since it was stored away in a box that I recently scavenged through after many years in storage it was mostly likely another of my ephemera serving as a bookmark finds. My guess is that it's from the 1950s though it could well be from the early 1960s. I can't vouch for whether the people shown on the flier are local, national or international members but it seems likely that they'd use local folks for their recruitment campaigns.

The Young Women's Christian Association began in London, England in 1855 under the direction of Emma Roberts and Mrs. Arthur Kinnaird. The American branch of the organization formed in Boston and New York City in 1858. For the past 150+ years they have been pioneers in the fields of race relations, labor union representation and the empowerment of women. 

Some of their accomplishments include holding the first interracial conference in the South, training the Rosie the Riveters during WWII, held the first typewriting classes for women and opened the first female boarding houses as populations shifted from rural to urban. In 2004 the group's name was officially changed to YWCA USA with a major shifting to a grassroots organization that works in a bottom up fashion with local representatives forming an National alliance.

Although the Detroit branch was formed in the late 1800s the Western Wayne branch likely didn't come about until the 1940s or 1950s as the suburbs began to spread out from the center of the city. I've seen the date listed as 1957 but that's merely a guess. Either way, whoever was in possession of this flier wrote some notes on the back which vary from Bible passages, to interpretations of such and even a mention of T. S. Eliot. It doesn't seem to follow much of a pattern though the small, cursive writing is a pain to read and I didn't put much effort into my analysis. Perhaps you will.

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