Addressing racial and systemic inequality by engaging in social justice work is in our DNA. As a leader among racial justice organizations, we know that addressing long-standing systemic inequalities is hard work that will take generations. At YWCA USA, we are proud of the tireless work of YWCAs across the country that continue to lead the way and innovate in the racial justice space by following the vision of YWCA’s One Imperative commitment: to thrust our collective power toward the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.
Through our collective power, YWCAs across the country provide direct service to, collaborate with, and advocate on behalf of the most vulnerable people in our society, including low-wage workers, the unemployed, women and girls, people of color, English language learners, unhoused folks, immigrants, and survivors of abuse.
We have a deep and abiding commitment to working on economic, gender, and racial justice issues, particularly where these systems of oppression overlap each other. It’s projected that women of color will constitute 53 percent of U.S. women by 2050, yet society continues to marginalize them economically, politically, and socially. For these reasons, we must work together — strategically and vigorously to eliminate racism and empower women to fulfill our mission. To fully embody a mission that compels us to thrust our collective power toward eliminating racism, we must build a sustainable and strategic infrastructure designed to dismantle the institutional and structural forms of racism that continue to affect our lives, loved ones, and communities.
Internally, we are working to strengthen our collective power to lead change. Through our Strategic Business Plan, we seek to build greater alignment, stronger mutual accountability, and increased sustainability across the network to break down barriers and create opportunities for women and people of color in the 1,200 communities we serve every day.
This month is special because we are hosting our annual Stand Against Racism to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities and build solidarity among those who work for racial justice. To prepare for this signature campaign, we invite supporters of our mission like you to stand in this power with us by joining the Stand Against Racism (SAR) Challenge! Earlier this month, we kicked off this 21-day Challenge, designed to help foster a virtual community of growth and learning around social, systemic, and institutional racial inequity by providing participants with dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. On April 28, we invite you to attend our virtual event, We Can’t Wait: Equity and Justice Now! where Dr. Bernice A. King and I will discuss the deep-seated systemic racism and inequities faced by communities of color — from civic engagement to economic development, from education to health care, and even the way people of color are portrayed in the media. Are you ready to take the challenge and join the movement? Learn more about how you can participate by reading below.
The time for equity and justice for communities of color is now! If you are reading this, we know you are with us as we work to eliminate racism and empower women, and we hope you will join us as we invite the nation to take a stand against racism and tell the world that we can’t wait.
In Collective Power,
CEO, YWCA USA
Register Today! Stand Against Racism Event
Register now for the virtual Stand Against Racism event, We Can’t Wait: Equity and Justice Now! happening on April 28 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Join us as Dr. Bernice A. King and YWCA USA CEO Margaret Mitchell discuss the deep-seated systemic racism and inequities faced by communities of color — from civic engagement to economic development, from education to health care, and even the way people of color are portrayed in the media.
We will also highlight how YWCAs across the country work to root out inequity in the communities we serve and in societal institutions to demand justice and equity.
Register now to attend this event you don’t want to miss!
History Made! Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Joins the Supreme Court
Earlier this month, the United States Senate voted with a bipartisan majority (53:47) to confirm President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. This confirmation will go down in history as a victory for America, women, and communities of color due to the fact that Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first Black woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court! After more than 200 years, the Supreme Court of the United States is one step closer to being representative of the nation it serves. This is an incredibly important and exciting moment in history, and YWCA is thrilled to mark the occasion!
Our CEO Margaret Mitchell beautifully summed up our feelings during this moment when she said, “As an organization that serves communities of color across the country, we know first-hand that our nation has a long way to go before we live in a society that is truly equitable and just. We know that one woman cannot carry the burden of righting so many wrongs, but this moment in time is a critical, deeply impactful step in the right direction.”
President Reauthorizes VAWA in Major Victory on YWCA Legislative Priorities!
On March 15, after months of negotiation, the President signed a $1.5 trillion government funding bill, which included the full reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), one of YWCA USA’s top legislative priorities for the 117th Congress, 2nd Session.
YWCA USA applauds the passage of VAWA, which takes the necessary steps to ensure survivor safety by providing the resources and protections critical to all survivors and their families. In addition to providing significant increases in funding, VAWA invests in prevention efforts, expands access for survivors in rural areas and survivors requiring culturally specific services, establishes a grant program to support LGBTQ+ survivors, and maintains nondiscrimination language.
The voices, stories, and the relentless advocacy of YWCA leaders, staff, and advocates were key to making this legislative priority a reality. YWCA sent over 700 letters to Members of Congress thanking them for their support of VAWA, and in recognition of our advocacy efforts, YWCA USA staff were invited by President Biden to attend a White House ceremony commemorating the reauthorization of VAWA.
If you are interested in learning more about this landmark victory, read our statement.
Better Because of Her
To honor Women’s History Month, we celebrated the women — locally, nationally, and globally — who have made the world a better place for all of us. Every day, women get up and do the work to take care of their families, put food on the table, advocate for reproductive freedom and pay equity, break barriers in the workplace, show up at the ballot box, and so much more. Women are trailblazers and changemakers for each other, their families, and communities. It’s about time they got their flowers!
That is why for this year’s theme, Better Because of Her, , we highlighted why — due to the work of women — we are all better off. Throughout the month of March, we uplifted the work of influential women, international women, women active in civic engagement, young women changemakers and activists, as well as our YWCA leaders, staff, and volunteers doing the work every day to eliminate racism and empower women.
|YWCA Spotlight: YWCA West Central Michigan
For us, Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time to bring attention to this critical issue and center the work that YWCAs are doing across the nation to prevent and address sexual violence.
We are proud to spotlight YWCA West Central Michigan and their work to empower youth and adults, provide prevention education, and offer services to all survivors of sexual violence. Their Prevention and Empowerment Services (PAE) seeks to prevent sexual violence before it occurs by examining and addressing root causes through various programs like the Good Nightlife Project, Sexual Assault Prevention Action Team Of Kent County, and their #30DaysofSAAM Instagram campaign, which includes several community events such as drag brunches, community yoga, and more! Additionally, they provide free services such as examinations, advocacy resources, a confidential hotline, and counseling and therapy to child and adult sexual violence survivors with programming tailored toward women, men, teens and young adults, the LGBTQA+ community, people of color, and people with disabilities.
YWCAs across the nation will continue providing services, uplifting voices, and supporting survivors as a part of our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and create a world of peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Learn more about a YWCA near you today.
YWCA USA Stands in Solidarity with YWCA of Ukraine
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the women, girls, and marginalized communities who have been deeply impacted by the war being waged on Ukraine.
As the situation in Ukraine intensifies, it draws attention to its consequences on the lives and livelihoods of Ukraine’s women and girls. We are committed to supporting Ukraine’s people, especially its women and girls, at this time of greatest need. We stand in solidarity with our sister organizations, YWCA of Ukraine, World YWCA, and YWCA World Service Council, and are committed to ensuring that their needs are supported as they respond to evacuations, relocation, and humanitarian needs of women, girls, and marginalized communities who often bear the brunt of armed conflict.
We hope that you will join us in meeting critical needs during this difficult time by making a donation to our YWCA Emergency Fund for Ukraine, of which all proceeds will help the women of Ukraine and their families.
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.
YWCA Uplifts Women’s Voices Ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections highlights the YWomenVote 2022 survey findings which uplifts women’s voices and identifies top concerns and policy solutions of women across race, ethnicity, age, and income.
In Take the Challenge & Stand Against Racism with YWCAs Across the Nation! we invite folks to participate in the Stand Against Racism challenge and uplift the exceptional racial justice initiatives of YWCAs across the nation; shining a spotlight on YWCA Evanston/North Shore, YWCA Minneapolis, and YWCA Olympia.
Read more about our work in our latest blog posts.
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