By Yolanda Raine, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Eliminating racism. Empowering women. Our mission lives in the soul of everyone at YWCA, because we demand a world of equity and human decency. We envision a world of opportunity and we commit ourselves to the work of justice. We’re not new to this, we’re true to this. Combating injustice and fueling equality is in not only in our mission statement. It is in our DNA and our legacy. We stand on the legacy of women before us, like our very own Dorothy Height, who pushed the boundaries and developed our bold stance against racism known as the One Imperative: ”the elimination of racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary,” making it the driving force behind all initiatives of YWCA.
Yes, we will march and yes, we will peacefully protest but we also do the work. We are rolling out Until Justice Just Is, an initiative designed to bring about national attention and awareness to the systemic and institutional racism that plagues our nation and to center the justice-oriented work that YWCA does every day. In communities big and small, we answer the cry for justice. We offer housing to women seeking safety. We take care of children, so their families can build their futures. We help dismantle systemic racism, because the future deserves all of us.
Our communities demand justice in a thousand different ways. This moment in the movement for racial justice isn’t the absolute solution to systemic inequities, but rather a starting point in our foundational push to meet those demands and to elevate and bring about change for women and people of color.
At YWCA, we lead conversations and set the model for talking to our children about racism, we are making sure that marginalized communities are counted in the Census, raising our voices against voter suppression tactics so that people of color have safe and equal access to the ballot box, pushing for equal protection under the law and demanding an end to racial profiling and targeted surveillance tactics and strategies, teaching women and people of color new skills that lead to better lives for their families, and leveling the playing field for those same people to become entrepreneurs.
Over the coming months, we will highlight the work of our 200+ local associations who are on the ground in over 1,200 communities breaking down barriers every day. We will also focus our civic engagement work, Week Without Violence, and other initiatives and campaigns on the specific the ways in which intersectionality is paramount to this work, and the different barriers faced by marginalized groups in pursuing and achieving justice.
This moment in time is exactly what our mission is about. And we will continue to do this work…
Until the land of the free is free of racism.
Until the home of the brave is brave enough to change.
Until “by the people” and “for the people” means doing right by all the people.
Will you join us? Learn more at ywca.org/untiljusticejustis.