Evanston/North Shore

Racial Justice Summit


April 6-7, 2017

Online registration for the Racial Justice Summit is now closed, however:

· You may register on-site Thursday evening at 6:00 or Friday morning at 8:30.
· We cannot guarantee there will be lunches for late registrants.
· Please read through the workshop choices ahead of time, and have a few choices for each time slot, as some may be full.


YWCA Evanston North Shore is on a mission to eliminate racism. To that end, we will be hosting the second annual Racial Justice Summit April 6-7, 2017. Our inaugural summit drew more than 170 people and is the only one of its kind on the North Shore.

The 2017 Summit will open on the evening of Thursday, April 6th with a range of artists who will help us explore the theme, “(Re)imagining”. The theme, which builds on last year’s summit, invites participants to (re)imagine- to imagine new ways of working toward racial justice.

We invite activists, educators, faith leaders, practitioners, and artists to (re)imagine with us. The Summit will continue on April 7th with a keynote address by Charlene A. Carruthers, National Director of the Black Youth Project 100, a scholar-activist panel, and workshop sessions.

The goal of the summit is to bring people – of all ages and demographics – together to deepen their understanding of their own racial identities, develop skills to work for change, formulate action plans, and engage with others. The summit is open to the public.

Click here for a complete summit schedule with list of presenters and breakout sessions.  REGISTER HERE >

Keynote Speaker: Charlene Carruthers

Ms. Carruthers is a Black, queer feminist community organizer and writer with over 10 years of experience in racial justice, feminist and youth leadership development movement work. She currently serves as the national director of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), an activist member-led organization of Black 18-35 year olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. Her passion for developing young leaders to build capacity within marginalized communities has led her to work on immigrant rights, economic justice and civil rights campaigns nationwide. She has led grassroots and digital strategy campaigns for national organizations including the Center for Community Change, the Women's Media Center, ColorOfChange.org and National People's Action, as well as being a member of a historic delegation of young activists in Palestine in 2015 to build solidarity between Black and Palestinian liberation movements.

Charlene is the winner of the "New Organizing Institute 2015 Organizer of the Year Award" and has served as a featured speaker at various institutions including Wellesley College, Northwestern University and her alma mater Illinois Wesleyan University. Charlene also received a Master of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Charlene was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago where she currently resides and continues to lead and partake in social justice movements. Her work has been covered several publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Nation, Ebony and Essence Magazines. She has appeared on CNN, Democracy Now!, BBC and MSNBC. Charlene has also written for theRoot.com, Colorlines and the Boston Review. She was recently recognized as one of the top 10 most influential African Americans in The Root 100.

Racial justice is part of our mission 

YWCA Evanston/North Shore has a deep and abiding commitment to working on issues of economic, gender and racial justice; particularly in the places where these systems of oppression overlap each other. There is little doubt that the systemic oppression of people of color in the United States remains painfully alive. Even when we do not want to see it or speak of it, deep in our core, we are quite aware that:

  • the rules and standards that govern our lives are skewed in favor of some and against others;
  • power and opportunity are distributed inequitably;
  • the basic rights of citizenship are unequally available; and
  • race and racism shape each of the previous points.

2016 Summit 

YWCA Evanston/North Shore hosted our first Racial Justice Summit, “Mirrors and Methods: Tools for Creating Racial Equity”, May 5-6, 2016. The Summit featured keynote addresses from Dr. Brittney Cooper (Rutgers, Salon.com) and Dr. Robin DiAngelo (author, What Does It Mean to Be White?, Westfield State Univ.). View their keynote addresses here:


Dr. Brittney Cooper YWCA Racial Justice Summit 2016 from YWCA Evanston/North Shore on Vimeo. (Karen Singer, President/CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore speaks until 8:21, at which point she introduces Donique McIntosh, Racial Justice Program Co-Director. Dr. Brittney Cooper speaks at 10:34)

About our Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Brittney Cooper has risen to become one of the most prominent Black feminist thought leaders of her generation. Also known as “Professor Crunk,” she is the co-founder of the infamous blog Crunk Feminist Collective, and a regular columnist at Salon, where she writes about race and gender representations in pop culture, black feminist thought, hip hop feminism, and racial justice. Dr. Cooper brilliantly navigates the worlds of academia and media, as an Assistant Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University, and a regular TV commentator, her appearances including The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, All In With Chris Hayes, and Al Jazeera America. Her work and words have been featured in nearly a dozen publications, including The New York Times and New York Magazine. In both 2013 and 2014, she was named one of The Root 100, an annual list of top Black influencers. Her forthcoming book, Race Women: Gender and the Making of a Black Public Intellectual Tradition (University of Illinois Press), looks at Black women’s thought leadership in the U.S., and makes a call to reinvigorate contemporary scholarly and popular conversations about Black feminism. (From www.freshspeakers.com)  

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is a former Associate Professor of Education. She is a two-time winner of the Student's Choice Award for Educator of the Year. Her scholarship is in White Racial Identity and Race Relations. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has extensive experience as a workplace consultant in issues of race relations and racial justice. She was appointed to co-design, develop and deliver the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative. She has numerous publications and just finished the 2nd edition of her book, What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy. Her work on White Fragility has been featured in Alternet, Salon.com, NPR, KUOW, and Colorlines



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