Center for Community Innovation (CCI) was formerly the YWCA of Salem. We reorganized early in 2014, after experiencing financial challenges stemming in part from the recessionary economy. Important to our Board in making the difficult decision to change the name of the organization was assuring the continuation of YWCA programs. To make this possible, several programs were transferred to other organizations:
- The Salem Outreach Shelter went to Partnership for Veterans at Risk to shelter homeless veterans – a much needed resource for our community.
- The Medical Foundation now has the Women’s Health Program and is assuring free mammograms and screenings for uninsured women.
- The Medical Foundation is continuing the Discover Pink Walk as an awareness event and a fundraiser for the Women’s Health Program.
- Boys and Girls Club is offering DaVinci Girls at their Clubs and may branch out the program into schools, to continue to educate girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math.
YWCA values continue to underlay the vision and programming at CCI.
For example, our trainings are geared to strengthen charities from the inside out by increasing the skills of nonprofit staff and leaders. A scholarship fund has been created to assure these opportunities are especially available to women and to charities working to eliminate racism; empower women and families; and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
The significance? According to a 2012 study by The White House Project, 73 percent of the workers in the nonprofit sector are women, but men hold the majority of top leadership positions and receive higher salaries.
Ironically, The White House Project—a nonprofit with offices in five states that worked to increase female representation in American institutions, businesses and government—closed in 2013 due to the difficult economy.
Clearly, there is a need for CCI and the services we offer.