YWCA Evanston/North Shore

Racial Justice

The YWCA Evanston/North Shore is committed to helping our community understand, challenge and eliminate racism. We foster opportunities to engage in open dialogue about race, racism and race relations -- combating racism at individual, interpersonal and institutional levels through programs and forums. Our efforts in this area include:

  • Community Conversations on Racial Equity, launched in 2011, is a  facilitated conversation series which helps participants develop the skills and common vocabulary necessary to engage in honest conversations, leading to an understanding of how systemic racism affects the day-to-day life of all who live and work in Evanston. These conversations are held both at the YWCA and in collaboration with community groups.
  •  Let's Talk at Lunch is a monthly brown bag lunch series which uses short articles, video clips, and/or recent community events as a catalyst for honest conversation about racial issues.
  • Watch, think, react, share, listen, learn! "Reel" Talk About Race provides another forum to challenge your thinking and deepen your understanding about issues of race and racism. Our monthly "Reel" Talks  feature a movie or video followed by facilitated discussion.
  • The Stand Against Racism™ is a movement of the YWCA that aims to eliminate racism by raising awareness through its annual event, which takes place the last Friday in April. Individuals and groups are invited to join the YWCA Evanston/North Shore for our public stand on Ridge Avenue, which is the culmination of varied activities throughout that week.
  • The YWCA Evanston/North Shore Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate raises awareness by bringing together thousands of people to participate in our 5K/10K/walk/youth mile and take a stand against racism, violence and hate crime. 

We are pleased to partner with local organizations and institutions that share our commitment to engaging the community in steps to eliminate racism. We are proud to work with congregations, businesses, and other community groups to make racial equity a goal for all of us. Contact Racial Justice Program Director Eileen Heineman to learn more.


Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.