Can we stop talking about racial justice now?
After all, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years for the death of George Floyd.
After all, Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday.
It has been more than a year since an unprecedented wave of multi-racial protests erupted across the country.
In a word: NO. And here’s why:
It has been only three days since the U.S. Justice Department announced that it was suing the state of Georgia for its restrictive new voting law that appear designed to suppress minority voting.
It has been only a little over two months since Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot and killed by police officers in Columbus, Ohio on April 20.
And there has still been no accountability or justice for the murder of Breonna Taylor.
If we have learned anything, we should have learned the more things change – the more things stay the same. During the month of June, YWCA has been about the business of moving from reckoning to resolution to action. In the last month, YWCA USA has led the charge to bolster our role in this moment of time by providing toolkits, guides, opportunities to advocate, alongside many other resources to assist YWCA local associations in our collective quest for racial equity and justice.
Last week, movement builders, changemakers, and thought-leaders from across the country and the YWCA Network came together for our racial justice summit, In Solidarity We Build and Women of Distinction Award Gala! We heard from an incredible lineup of powerful speakers, artists, and changemakers such as Roy Austin, Vice President, Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel, Facebook; Charlene Carruthers, Political Strategist, Community Organizer, & Author; Monique Carswell, Director, Center for Racial Equity, Walmart; Sarah Eagle Heart, Social Justice Storyteller, Consultant, & Activist; Ebonne Ruffins, Vice President of Local Media Development, Comcast; and so many others who are inspiring and leading transformative action to dismantle systems of oppression to create a more just and equitable world for people of color.
During the gala, we were honored to be joined by former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton and present awards to Taraji P. Henson, LaTosha Brown, Mari Copeny, YWCA Cleveland, and YWCA Madison for their work and impact in racial justice, advocacy and civic engagement, and women’s empowerment.
Although this convening allowed us to re-center ourselves in our racial justice work during our summit, we must all continue to do the work to advance our mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and creating a world of justice, peace, freedom, and dignity for all. We hope that you will join is solidarity with us in the fight to make our mission a reality by taking one or more of the actions outlined in this month’s newsletter.
As we move from reckoning to resolution to action, we are all immensely proud of the work YWCAs across the country lead in over 1,200 communities every day. The time to act is now. Will you join us?
Elisha Rhodes, Interim CEO, YWCA USA
Moving From Reckoning to Resolution to Action
Last week, people from across the country and the YWCA Network came together for our racial justice summit, In Solidarity We Build and Women of Distinction Award Gala! We are so proud of all the incredible insights, learning, and movement building conversations that were sparked during this historic convening; but we know this is just the beginning. Become a part of the movement for racial equity and join us in this work by taking one or more of the following actions:
WCA USA hopes you will use these resources to help you center racial equity in your work towards our collective liberation and empower you to take a stand against racism!
The Time is Now to Pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
n Friday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. In our statement, we recognize that although Chauvin was held accountable in court, no amount of jail time is going to bring back George Floyd or any of the lives lost to police brutality. At YWCA, we know that until all police are held accountable for their crimes and no more lives are negatively impacted by police violence, justice will not be served.
For these reasons, it is our firm belief that Congress must take action to immediately pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as a first step toward ending the use of racial profiling, excessive force by police, and ensuring police accountability.
To keep the movement going, we must join in solidarity and urge Congress to act! As long as they can’t breathe, we can’t stop! Join YWCA as we continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, and until justice just is.
Take Action With Us NOW! Become a YWCA Advocate
Since our inception, YWCAs across the country have been on the front lines advocating for the rights of women, girls, and marginalized people and addressing community needs. Today, we continue to drive an inclusive agenda to address the underlying gender equity and racial justice tensions that are so deeply embedded in our nation.
We invite you to join us and take action on health, economic, safety, and racial justice priorities directly affecting women and communities of color.
Here are some items you can take action on now:
We hope you will join us in the fight to eliminate racism, empower women, and become a YWCA Advocate today!
YWCA Spotlights: YWCA Tulsa and YWCA Rock County
YWCA has been on the frontline of serving immigrants and refugees since the beginning of the 20th century and is recognized by Ellis Island as one of the first providers of English language courses! Today, we shine a light onto this long standing tradition by highlighting two YWCA local associations at the forefront of this historic work.
YWCA Tulsa has been dedicated to serving immigrants and refugees for more than 35 years, and continues to be focused on addressing systemic disparities for newcomers and investing in their success. Today, they are proud to offer citizenship, legal, refugee and asylee services, as well as adult and family education services to their community.
At YWCA Rock County, their Immigrant Outreach Program specializes in serving immigrant survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. To address the needs of this unique segment, they are proud to offer services such as free and specialized legal resources, mental health and community empowerment programs, ESL and citizenship classes, and so much more!
Through our collective work, the YWCA network will continue to serve and stand for the rights of immigrants; upholding our country’s founding values and holding a sanctuary for those who came to our communities to build a new life.
New on the YWCA Blog
Have you checked out the YWCA Blog? Our blog features stories, tips, and other information designed to inspire and empower girls, women, and people of color on a variety of topics from civic engagement to women’s equity in the workplace and everything in between.
Read more about our work in our latest blog posts.
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