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:
- Racial Equity Trainings help participants develop the skills and vocabulary necessary to engage in honest dialogue, in order to understand how systemic racism affects the lives of all who live and work in our communities. Trained facilitators help the group envision what racial equity could look like and identify roles individuals can take to move us, and the systems in which we participate, toward the goal of becoming equitable communities.
- Building Equitable Institutions: In order to effect lasting change, transformation must occur at the systemic level. Building Equitable Institutions (BEI) is designed to guide organizations through the steps necessary to become models of equity, inclusion and racial justice. We are excited to be able to offer this initiative to institutions ready to make the commitment to the work!
- Let's Talk @ Lunch is a drop-in discussion series which uses short articles, video clips, and/or recent community events as a catalyst for honest conversation about racial issues. LT@L occurs monthly in several locations, including here at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore.
- 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.
- Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA. The annual event is designed to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism. Community organizations, businesses, schools, faith groups can take a Stand Against Racism by hosting an event where participants may gather to take part in a variety of activities: trainings, film/book discussion groups, community education, public policy advocacy, etc. The YWCA Evanston/North Shore then encourages all to join our visible Stand Against Racism, lining the streets of our communities, culminating in a commitment or re-commitment to work for racial justice. In 2016, the public Stand Against Racism takes place April 29th.
- 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, educational institutions and other community groups to make racial equity a goal for all of us. Contact Racial Justice Program Director Eileen Heineman to learn more.