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 towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.
To celebrate this diligent work, we are honored to uplift a few of our Local Associations that offer exceptional racial justice initiatives to their communities.
At YWCA Evanston/North Shore, their robust Equity Institute is dedicated to promoting racial equity at all levels through engagement with individuals, community groups, and institutions. Their full range of programming includes consulting, training and education, community engagement programs, racial equity resources, and annual events designed to offer opportunities for all to develop the knowledge and resources to move the collective towards racial equity. Through this racial equity programming, YWCA Evanston/North Shore can help individuals develop skills to become more effective anti-racist advocates; help build commitments to policies and practices that create long-term, sustainable change; invite open dialogue to foster mutual understanding; and raise awareness of oppression on interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels. These efforts are measured and uplifted in their Equity in Evanston project, which aims to begin to explore how their local communities are advancing — or failing to advance — equity.
YWCA Minneapolis also provides their community with comprehensive racial justice programming, led by their incredible Mission Advancement team and their Equity Through Insight framework. This programming includes Racial Justice and Public Policy Workshops, which helps individuals gain clarity on the impact and actionable steps needed to overcome racism, oppression, and biases; Inc.lude™ Diversity & Inclusion consulting services, which provides tailored training and development initiatives for organizations that wish to assess and improve equity and inclusion; as well as their Racial Justice Facilitator Program, which provides folks of all ages the opportunity to develop the tools needed to provide a supportive environment to open up dialogue, stand against racism, and advocate for racial justice. If you’d like to learn more about their work, sign up for their Racial Justice Newsletter!
Additionally, YWCA Olympia’s Institutional Foundations Community Institute facilitates equity cohorts with organizations and schools to build inclusivity, social justice initiatives, and accountability. Community members also have the opportunity to participate in their Let’s Talk Workshops, which include self-guided online materials that can be accessed at any time and provide participants with the opportunity to meet once a month in a virtual learning community. YWCA Olympia also makes a calculated effort to uplift local BIPOC Businesses and hosts their Racial Justice Summit Series to provide year-round programming to increase awareness of racial inequity, build solidarity across a wide range of identities, and educate folks with the skills needed to put the values of inclusivity and justice into practice.
At YWCAs across the nation, we stand against racism 365 days of the year! To multiply this effort, YWCA USA invites our vast network of Local Associations, partner organizations, changemakers, advocates, and allies like you to join us during our annual Stand Against Racism — happening from April 28 – May 1 — to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism and to build community among those who work to advance racial justice.
New this year, we’re offering the opportunity for anyone to take the Stand Against Racism (SAR) Challenge! Earlier this week, 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. If you are interested in taking a stand against racism in your everyday life and being an advocate for racial justice, register to participate in the SAR Challenge and join us throughout the month via phone app or web browser!
To learn more about our Stand Against Racism, the SAR Challenge, our racial justice legislative priorities and resources, or Stand Against Racism events happening in your community, visit www.standagainstracism.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay plugged into the movement.