YWCA Home > Programs > Racial Justice

racial justice programming

The YWCA of Rockford offers a variety programs and approaches in helping to unlearn racism and promote equity.  In the world of business, it is essential that individuals unlearn the programmed messages that consciously and unconsciously promote racism, learn to communicate cross-culturally, and begin to have a deeper understanding of one another.

The opportunity to take this very personal journey rarely emerges as most individuals avoid such conversation in fear of saying the wrong thing.  The YWCA of Rockford wants to help lead you and your organization through this dialogue.  Our trained staff is well versed and can get you and your company on the right track to promoting cultural competency and equity.

There are a variety of programs to provide the opportunity that will work best for you, your business or your organization.  All programs and curriculum are adaptable to fit your needs.

  •  Art of Mindful Facilitation Facilitators Training teaches participants to facilitate forums to discuss race and our community through the use of Lee Mun Wah's training films, experiential exercises, and a variety of mindful techniques.

  • Cultural Competency Cultural competence is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency or professional and enable that system, agency or professional to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. The word culture is used because it implies the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, communication, actions, customs, beliefs, values and institutions of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group. The word competence is used because it implies having the capacity to function effectively.
    • Nine week curriculum that includes personal reading assignments, research, group discussion and self-introspection to help move individuals through the six phases of Cultural Competency.

  • Unlearning Racism Workshops are a forum for participants to discover conscious and unconscious ways that racism has impacted their lives. This powerful program is designed to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of differences. The workshops are scheduled quarterly and upon request from groups, organizations, or businesses.

  • Understanding Racism: Color of Fear
    This four-hour workshop includes a facilitator guided viewing of the 90-minute film, The Color of Fear. The Color of Fear is an insightful, groundbreaking film about the state of race relations in America as seen through the eyes of eight North American men of Asian, European, Latino and African descent.
    • In a series of intelligent, emotional and dramatic confrontations the men reveal the pain and scars that racism has caused them. What emerges is a deeper sense of understanding and trust. This is the dialogue most of us fear, but hope will happen sometime in our lifetime.
    • Half-day workshop can be hosted at your location or at the YWCA of Rockford. 

  • RACE: The Power of an Illusion is a provocative three-part series that questions the very idea of race as biology.  It is designed to challenge long and deeply held assumptions and provides the opportunity for people to examine their beliefs about race, privilege, policy and justice.  Each portion of the series is covered in a two hour workshop.  Participants are encouraged to participate in all three sessions to experience the greatest impact.

  • Skyn Deep is a 3-hour discussion session that will involve a private screening of the film "Skyn Deep."  This program is designed to increase dialogue and discussion about racial discrimination and prejudice.  It will help participants gain new insights, perspectives and communication skills for improving racial justice in our community.

  • Small Talk is a “round table” open discussion amongst individuals regarding discrimination and racism. The facilitated setting can take place as a group meeting or during lunch periods. The individuals are given a question and/or topic chosen by the YWCA (in correlation to your work atmosphere) and all members of the group participate and offer varying points of view.
    • The casual setting allows for honest conversation. People are able to see a different view point and how certain acts of discrimination truly affect their co-workers. These are generally one hour sessions, but can be customized to your needs. We can work with your company/organization to recognize some of the issues you may want addressed during these sessions.

  • Consulting                                                       
    The YWCA Racial Justice Program Team is available to meet with your staff to find out about your organization’s size, culture, needs and resources and work with you to both develop and support your own internal diversity plan. Fees for this service vary.

  • What's Wrong with Different? A fun and educational program for elementary school-aged children.  

For additional information on any of the Racial Justice Programming, e-mail Kris Kieper (kris . kieper at ywca-rockford . org).










YWCA of Rockford • 4990 East State Street • Rockford, IL 61108
email: • Phone: 815-968-9681 •

Copyright 2011