African-American Women and the Portland YWCA

Document 1

Document 2

Mallory Avenue
Christian Church

Williams Avenue

Program at
Williams, 1940s

Young Women at

Mallory Avenue Christian Church

Research by Alan Silver, Ismoon Hunter-Morton, and Sharon Rose

Mallory Avenue Christian Church

       After the sale of the Williams Avenue Center in 1959, the YWCA found a new home in the Mallory Avenue Christian Church, located at the corner of Alberta and Mallory Avenues in Northeast Portland. In the 1970s, church leader Audrey Sanders ran a highly successful program called "People are Beautiful," which provided activities for teens in the summers as well as outreach to women at the nearby Dekum
Court housing project. A group of YWCA women at Dekum Court took the name "Dekum Doers" and together offered each other support and mutual aid. Cooking and canning were popular classes offered through the YWCA, as were classes in studio art, especially painting and pottery. One woman taught bible study for young people. The Dekum Doers also performed community service, like cleaning up a local Fred Meyer that had become shabby and painting Mallory Church's kitchen. One YWCA staffer recalled that "we did some dynamite programs out of the Mallory Avenue Christian Church."[1] The Dekum Doers also took happy pride in their accomplishments. "I'm so proud of us," recalled one participant. "We were a bunch of scared women and now we can put on a lunch."[2]


1. Ismoon Hunter-Morton, "Interview with Marsha Mulvey," 2001, Portland YWCA Archives, Portland, Oregon.
       Back to Text

2. Sharon Rose, "Interview with Delvon Barrett," 1996, Portland YWCA Archives, Portland, Oregon.
       Back to Text

| YWCA Today | Programs | Asian-American Women |
| World War II | Religion, Race, & Reform | Buildings | Camping |



| Documents Projects and Archives | Teacher's Corner | Scholar's Edition | Full-Text Sources | About Us | Contact Us |