YWCA has been leading the fight for social and economic justice in Southern Arizona since 1917.


Today YWCA membership is open to all people, and it has not been a religious organization for more than fifty years. YWCA’s Frances McClelland Community Center at 525 N. Bonita Avenue was built in 2007 and has become an important venue for community, educational and business groups throughout the community.


YWCA Frances McClelland Community Center

525 N. Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85745

Home of these YWCA and YWCA-hosted programs, and more:

  • Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity
  • Your Sister’s Closet
  • Project Period
  • Latina Leadership Institute
  • Women’s Counseling Network
  • Stand Together Arizona Training & Advocacy Center
  • Galleria Art & Gifts
  • New Millenium Leadership Center
  • Corazon Cafe & Catering
  • Teatro Digna
  • Sheworxx feminist theater-making collaborative
  • Odyssey Storytelling
  • HARK!
House of Neighborly Service
YWCA South Tucson Campus

243 W. 33rd Street
Tucson, AZ 85713

Home of these YWCA and YWCA-hosted programs, and more:

  • Microbusiness Advancement Center
  • Women’s Business Center
  • Las Comadritas
  • Corazon Incubator & Commissary Kitchen


YWCA Cafe at El Rio Medical Center

839 W. Congress
Tucson, AZ 85745

Board of Directors


Laura Dent - President of the Board
Chief of Staff to Councilor Regina Romero Ward 1
City of Tucson
Dr. Patricia Mars - Vice President
Venus By Mars
Kathy Porterfield - Treasurer
KPMG LLP Partner—Retired
Josefina Ahumada - Asst. Treasurer
Director of Field Education
ASU School of Social Work
Renee Kreager - Secretary
Renee’s Organic Kitchen


Laura Alexander -
Partner & Consultant
Alexander-Carrillo Consulting
Feliz Baca -
Program Manager, Frances McClelland Youth and Family Institute
University of Arizona
Esther Brilliant -
Pima County Public Defender
Annette Everlove -
Sonia Valencia Economou -
Program Manager
Critical Path Institute
Miles Green -
Executive Director
Patronato San Xavier
Rosey Koberlein -
Long Companies
Jennifer Nash Rothschild -
Attorney, Prosecutor
City of Tucson
Leslye Obiora -
Professor of Law
Rogers Law School, University of Arizona
Treena Parvello -
Director of Public Relations and Communications
Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise
Rebecca Zapien -
Community Liason
Community Liason, College of Education


Community & Donor Relations

Marisela Félix -
Director of Marketing & Community Relations
John-Peter Wilhite -
Director of Donor Relations
Rhiannon O’Leary -
Executive Administrative Assistant
520-884-7810, ext. 7105
Kerri Lopez-Howell -
Grant Writer

Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC)

Marisol Flores-Aguirre -
Executive Director
Microbusiness Advancement Center
520-884-7810, ext. 7106
Francisca Villegas-Braker -
Women’s Business Center
520-884-7810, ext. 7111
Tiera Rainey -
Deputy Director
Women’s Business Center
520-884-7810, ext. 7202
Jon Wirtis - CEC
Executive Chef
Córazon Café & Catering
520-884-7810, ext. 7125
Yolanda Anton -
Assistant Kitchen Manager
Córazon Café & Catering
520-884-7810, ext. 7116
Mirra Matheson -
Campus Coordinator
South Tucson Campus
Maria Ortiz -
Senior Program Assistant
Las Comadritas
520-884-7810, ext. 720

Stand Together Arizona Training & Advocacy Center (STAT)

Liane Hernandez -
Community Outreach & Education Director
520-884-7810, ext. 7104
Mari Herreras -
Organizing & Advocacy Director
520-884-7810, ext. 7118
Jillian Thomas -
Digital Media & Communications Manager
520-884-7810, ext. 7117
Valerie Galloway -
Galleria Art & Gift Shop

Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity (WCEO)

Alba Jaramillo, J.D. -
Women Out Of Poverty Initiative & Latina Leadership Institute
520-884-7810, ext. 7108
Michelle Pitot -
Chief of Staff, Women’s Center for Economic Opportunity
Director, Women’s Counseling Network Director
520-884-7810, ext. 7110


Miro Gutierrez -
Operations Manager
520-884-7810, ext. 7101
Maricruz Kissinger-Pablovich -
520-884-7810, ext. 7102
Estela Nuño de Paredes -
Maintenance Porter

Chief Executive Officer

Liz Rabago -
Acting CEO & Chief Operating Officer
520-884-7810, ext. 7113
Kelly Fryer - MDiv, MTh
CEO (Sabbatical Leave)

YWCA Southern Arizona was established in 1917, just five years after Arizona gained statehood, by visionary women committed to establishing progressive values in this young state. From the beginning, YWCA has been committed to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. YWCA Southern Arizona was founded as a place for women to rest, socialize, learn, organize and contribute to creating a more progressive community. It was the only place where children of color could learn to swim in the years before the municipal swimming pools were built. Our organization provided the first child day care centers and the first domestic violence shelter.  The Big Sisters component of Big Brothers Big Sisters was originally a YWCA program.

We are proud of our affiliation with YWCA USA, which has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women for more than 150 years.

The first Association in the U.S., Ladies Christian Association, was formed in New York City

The first boarding house for female students, teachers and factory workers opened in New York, N.Y.

The first African-American YWCA branch opened in Dayton, Ohio

The first YWCA for Native American women opened in at Haworth Institute in Chilocco, Okla.

The United States of America, England, Sweden, and Norway together created the World YWCA, which today is working in over 125 countries

YWCA was the first industrial federation of clubs to train girls in self-government



YWCA Tucson is established, just five years after Arizona becomes a state. Our first board chair is a member of the Jewish community.


YWCA was the first organization to send professional workers overseas to provide administrative leadership and support to U.S. Armed Forces

Based on its work with women in industrial plants, the YWCA Convention voted to work for “an eight-hour/day law, prohibition of night work, and the right of labor to organize”

YWCA extends its services to Japanese American women and girls incarcerated in World War II Relocation Centers

The National Board of the YWCA created the Office of Racial Justice to lead the civil rights efforts

YWCA National Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism began in response to the beating of Rodney King, an African American man, the acquittal of four white Los Angeles police officers accused of the crime, and the subsequent riots and unrest across the country

YWCA Week Without Violence was created as a nationwide effort to unite people against violence in communities. The annual observance is held the third week of October


Today over 2 million people participate in YWCA programs at more than 1,300 sites across the United States. Globally, the YWCA reaches 25 million women and girls in 125 countries.

YWCA of Tucson formally changed its name to YWCA Southern Arizona, reflecting the current reach of its programming and a growing vision for the future.

YWCA’s campuses welcome over 50,000 visitors a year for classes, public forums, art and theatre, conferences, community events, and meetings. The board articulates a vision for the second century – Everybody Thrives.

YWCA Southern Arizona celebrates its 100th Birthday. It joins with YWCA Maricopa County to start a statewide Stand TOgether Arizona Training and Advocacy Center. A $1.5 million fundraising campaign begins to launch YWCA into its second century of change-making.