YWCA and Racial Justice
YWCA’s commitment to racial justice and civil rights runs deep. Since the 1800s, Black and Native women have been providing leadership in YWCA’s movement and, because of the leadership of women of color, in 1946 YWCA began working for integration throughout the organization, adopting an “interracial charter” that established that “wherever there is injustice on the basis of race, whether in the community, the nation, or the world, our protest must be clear and our labor for its removal, vigorous, and steady.” That work culminated in the creation of YWCA’s One Imperative in 1970: To thrust our collective power towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.
Today, we remain committed to ensuring that everyone is afforded equal protection under the law, and our intersectional mission to eliminate racism and empower women demands that we show up to advocate against the oppression that many groups and individuals endure, including through recognizing the interconnected experiences of discrimination and disadvantage that women face from their overlapping identities. Too often, stereotypes, biases, and racial power dynamics are embedded in our laws and public policies. They are also reflected in the use of racial profiling, heightened surveillance tactics, targeted enforcement strategies, and other practices that increase policing of certain racial and ethnic communities (but not others) that lead to criminalization and often the death of people of color.
At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and human decency. We envision a world of opportunity. We commit ourselves to the work of racial justice. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.
- Learn about our racial justice and civil rights policy priorities.
- Take a stand for racial justice and civil rights.
- Take advocacy action.
- Stand Against Racism.
- Fight racial profiling in your community with the Racial Profiling Community Watch Checklist.
- Oppose racial profiling in education with the Racial Profiling Education System Checklist.
- Watch our national tele-town hall, where we discussed why voting rights, census participation, and civic engagement are, and have always been, essential to racial justice.
- Download these resources to learn more:
- Nonprofit Sector Statement of Guiding Principles to Advance Racial Equity and Justice
- YWCA Supports Peaceful Protests Against Police Brutality
- YWCA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd
- YWCA Statement on Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor
- Virginia’s Leadership Crisis: The Intersection of Race and Gender Injustice
- YWCA Statement on the Mass Shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue
- YWCA: Justice for Charnesia Corley
- Militarized Police: Dangerous for Communities of Color
- YWCA USA: We Will Continue to Speak Out Against Racism
- YWCA: Arpaio Pardon is an Endorsement of White Supremacy
- YWCA USA: No Two Sides to Racism
- YWCA: We Will Not Normalize Racism
- Alton Sterling Case Must Prompt Changes in Police Practices
YWCA Blog Posts
- Unhooded and Exposed: What COVID-19 Reveals about Racism in America
- Simply Hiring People of Color Is Not a Racial Equity Strategy
- The Time Is Now To Talk About White Privilege
- Showing Up for Black Women
- Showing Up Against Hate: Why YWCA Boston Marched
- All Black Lives Matter
- Policy solutions for increasing women of color in leadership
Organize Your Butterflies Podcast
Launched in July 2019, our Organize Your Butterflies podcast discusses the ways women are working to organize, strategize, and mobilize around issues like equal pay, domestic violence, entrepreneurship, and more.
- Stand Against Racism: Exhibiting History and Curating the Future with Dr. Ariana Curtis
- Stand Against Racism: Building a Compassionate World with Michelle Kim
- Honoring the Importance of Racial Equity Education This Black History Month
- A Conversation About Racial Justice Training
- Hearing Fear, Not Acting On It: Discussing Conversations About Racism