Our Beginnings

an introduction to ywca o'ahu, patsy mink and mcbl

Established through the efforts of YWCA O‘ahu, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and community partners, the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) equips women to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders by providing one-on-one business counseling, innovative workshops, and unique, specialized programs in a nurturing environment.

With the endorsement from her family and daughter, Wendy Mink, MCBL is named in honor of Patsy T. Mink, the first Japanese American woman and the first woman of color to be elected to the United States Congress. She advocated for issues, programs, and projects that advanced the well-being and status of women of all ages and in all walks of life. Congresswoman Mink’s pioneering efforts in the areas of health care, education, women’s rights, civil rights, conservation, employment, environmental affairs, government, and politics helped thousands of women participate in activities and professions that were once male dominated.

The naming of the center is a fitting way to honor the legacy of Congresswoman Mink, as the issues she stood for are those of YWCA Oahu’s mission: empowerment of women and elimination of racism.

everyone told her no, so she rewrote the rules

Here is an excerpt from the film, Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority.

 “A firecracker and a fighter, she continually pushed the limits of what was acceptable, speaking out against the Vietnam War and entering the 1972 presidential primary, making her one of the first women to seek the nation’s highest office. She transformed America’s schools as the co-author of Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened up higher education and athletics to women.

Mink’s accomplishments, however, reveal a woman whose political journey was lonely and tumultuous. Dispelling stereotypes of the compliant Japanese female, she battled sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her.

Simultaneously a woman of the people and a pioneer, a patriot and an outcast, her story proves endlessly intriguing, and one that embodies the history, ideals and spirit of America.” (Making Waves Films)