News Archives - South Sound YMCA

During African-American History Month, we celebrate the rich contributions of African-Americans to the cultural fabric of our diverse nation. For more than 165 years, the Y has provided safe, welcoming spaces where people of diverse backgrounds can find resources and a supportive community to develop their talents and reach their full potential. For African-Americans living in New York City during segregation and through the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century, the Harlem YMCA was one such place.


Established in 1901, the Harlem YMCA played an integral role in the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural, social and artistic movement in the 1920s and 1930s that brought African-American art, music, literature, theater and political thought into the forefront of American culture.

Sometimes called the “living room of the Harlem Renaissance,” the Harlem YMCA hosted African-American visitors to New York City who were denied access to segregated hotels, theaters and other public spaces. Literary giants such as Claude McKay, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin lived and interacted at the Y during their peak creative years, while the Y’s “Little Theater” program would go on to launch the careers of actors such as Paul Robeson, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 became the first African-American to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball, was a volunteer coach at the Harlem Y.

Today, the Harlem Y continues its legacy as a safe and welcoming space, helping families improve their health and well-being, serving thousands of children in afterschool and day camp, and helping new Americans assimilate through its New Americans Welcome Center.

In the Y, we believe that in a diverse world, we are stronger when we are inclusive and our doors are open to all.

Dear Members,

This time of year we expect to see an increase in colds, viruses, stomach bugs, and the flu in our facilities, program sites and communities during winter. This season, however, we face a new and serious health concern with the coronavirus. YMCAs across the country are monitoring the global coronavirus situation closely. The links below provide up-to-date information about coronavirus and offer guidance and resources for responding to this and other types of widespread illnesses.

In addition to these resources, the CDC encourages individuals to engage state and local health departments to confirm channels of communication and methods for dissemination of local information as necessary. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to report that the immediate risk to the general public statewide is low.

What you should do:

There are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. We encourage you to share these tips with your family members, and our staff will be encouraged to reinforce them at school.

  • STAY INFORMED – CDC is updating its website daily with the latest information and advice for the public. (
  • REMEMBER TO TAKE EVERYDAY PREVENTIVE ACTIONS that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
    • Avoid close contact with sick people.
    • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
    • Stay home if you are sick.
    • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; germs spread this way.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
  • IF YOU FEEL SICK with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with 2019-nCoV in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Centers for Disease Control:

World Health Organization:

Washing State Department of Health:

Mason County/Shelton YMCA Groundbreaking Ceremony