On Inauguration Day, many of us were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief and find renewed hope towards unity, democracy, and equity. So much has happened over the past month – quite frankly, over the past four years – that have made our work towards racial justice and gender equity more challenging yet critically important.
Through it all, women have worked tirelessly to drive real change in this nation. Lasting change. Insurmountable change. Women, specifically women of color, across the country made certain their voices were heard by registering and voting in record numbers – demonstrating a strength and power that boldly states injustice, of any kind, will no longer be tolerated.
The YWCA network also got up and did the work through our 2020 YWomenVote initiative to move justice into the power structures that determine the future. We led national conversations, held voter registration drives, offered space for polling centers, and so much more. Through our collective efforts, we reached over half a million people, ensuring fair and equal access to the ballot box.
In the past two months alone, we’ve witnessed what can happen when women come together to demand the democracy we rightfully deserve. We made “herstory” when we elected Kamala Harris, the first woman, first woman of color, and a daughter of immigrants, as the Vice President of the United States of America. Also sworn into office this month was the first African American to represent Georgia in the Senate, and over 150 women and women of color in Congress – making the 117th Congress the most diverse in our nation’s history.
“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words,” President Biden said in his Inauguration speech. “It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy. Unity.” Now more than ever, we must unite and continue to move forward together and demand a world of equity, advancement, justice, and human decency for women, girls, and people of color. IT’S OUR TIME NOW! And at YWCA, we are centering our work on our 2021 – 2022 Legislative Priorities to advocate for practical solutions that meet the needs of women, girls, and marginalized communities and that advance our intersectional mission to eliminate racism and empower women.
Whether it’s through economic relief from the impact of COVID-19 or gaining access to quality child care, we now have the collective power to influence change and establish policies that promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Our commitment to justice is strong, because we know first-hand, serving over 1,200 communities, how much more work we must get up and do. Will you join us?
Alejandra Y. Castillo
CEO, YWCA USA
|#YWCAGoTime: Stand Up for YWCA’s Advocacy Agenda
Advocacy and social action are long-standing traditions that carry YWCA’s mission forward. Your voice is important as we advocate for policies that bring us closer to eliminating racism, empowering women, and ensuring justice and dignity for all.Our advocacy agenda includes child care, gender-based violence, racial justice, COVID-19 response, and federal funding for nonprofits.Take action with us by:
Visit our Action Center for resources and tips on how to make your voice heard on key issues that impact women, girls, and people of color.
At YWCA, we take a Stand Against Racism every day by raising awareness about the impact of institutional and structural racism and by building community among those who work for racial justice. We also host an annual campaign to provide an opportunity for our associations across the country to highlight a special issue or cause that inspired them to take a Stand Against Racism, and to educate, advocate, and promote racial justice.
During this year’s campaign – April 22 – 25, 2021, – we invite you to explore how From Declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis can advance the work of justice in your community and empower people of color. Structural racism plays a large role in determining the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age. These factors affect people’s access to quality housing, education, food, transportation, political power, and other social determinants of health. Understanding and addressing systemic racism from this public health perspective is crucial to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities and to improving opportunity and well-being across communities. Take our pledge to Stand Against Racism and gain access to resources for this year’s campaign toolkit by registering here.
Our collective efforts can root out injustice, transform institutions, and create a world that sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.
YWCA Spotlights: YWCA Northeast Kansas
This month, we’re highlighting YWCA Northeast Kansas and their important work providing safety and supporting survivors of human trafficking. In November 2019, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment opened Topeka’s first drop-in day center for those experiencing human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. The day center serves the Shawnee, Jackson, and Wabaunsee counties in Kansas, providing case management, crisis intervention, counseling, personal care items, and shelter.
The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment has provided services to those experiencing human trafficking since 2014, and the day center expands on the basic services survivors’ need most: access to a shower, a place to rest, and clean clothes. Additionally, the day center has a computer lab to provide access to online courses and tele-health services.
Powering Positive Change: Become a Sponsor
YWCA works with organizations, foundations, government institutions, and corporations to help further our mission of empowering women and eliminating racism.
We welcome new sponsors and partners to work together on standing against injustice, strengthening families, and helping communities. Our sponsors provide financial support for our signature programs, such as our Stand Against Racism and Week Without Violence campaigns.
Join us as we reimagine the future for women, girls, and people of color. For information on our partner and sponsorship opportunities, click here.
Upcoming Events and Important Date
Share Our Newsletter
Know someone interested in learning more about our mission to eliminate racism and empower women? Please share our monthly newsletter signup link.
Agenda a list of matters to be taken up (as at a meeting) More (Definitions, Synonyms, Translation)