Racial Justice Imperative
It’s a fact: racism continues to shape lives in the 21st century. It is part of our history as a community and a nation. Understanding racism – its construction, its impact, and our respective roles in dismantling it – engages us to create a different world, one without racism.
When there is racial justice, then a person’s racial identity is no longer a reliable predictor of life outcomes. Racial justice means racial disparities in health, education, employment, housing, and criminal justice are eliminated. Eliminating racism and empowering women is the mission of the YWCA.
Inside the YWCA, we apply a racial justice lens to all our work.
- Head Start and Early Head Start centers pay attention to how educational inequities can start early in life. Parents and staff members of our centers learn about racial identity formation in children and how racial equity issues affect family employment, housing, health, and other dynamics.
- Educating about and responding to domestic violence and sexual assault, our staff is informed about the impacts of race in healthcare, policing, courts and other systems with which they interact.
- Our Y Teens programs help girls and young adult women more successfully navigate in a world where racism and sexism exert their influences.
These activities or services are free of charge to participants.
- Stand Against Racism – Stand Against Racism is a signature event of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. This year, the YWCA Metro St. Louis partnered with St. Louis University’s Office of Diversity and Community Engagement and its Center for Service and Community Engagement in 3 days of events between April 25 and 27, 2018.
- Witnessing Whiteness – Facilitated group book study and dialogue for people who identify as white to learn about the construction of white identity and culture, white supremacy and privilege. Groups begin each year in January – February and again in August – September and meet bi-weekly over 20 weeks. Read more…
- Sister Circles – Updated Information Coming; Community Healing Network Groups currently interrupted due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. Groups for African-heritage (black or African American) women to promote self-care and mutual support; revitalize ourselves; learn more about the impact of historical forces on our emotional lives; share stories and detoxify our minds and spirits.
- Catalyst Circles – Updated Information Coming; Catalyst Circles currently interrupted due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. Now, as much as ever, we need to come together to learn, to listen and to act for change. A cross-racial dialogue and group, the Catalyst Circle pilot will sharpen your perspective and build your skills for engaging in systemic change. Groups will meet around the metro area for multiple sessions to examine the region’s racial disparities and then engage in experiential community-based learning and action. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314 531-111.
- Community Presentation – We promote racial justice and civil rights every place and anytime we can. Interactive presentations, media and other resources will help your group or organization to communicate and work effectively across differences.
- Intersectional Liberation – “Peace, justice, freedom, and the dignity for all people” is part of the YWCA mission statement. It is impossible to separate out the effects of racism from the way that other identities (gender, age, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, to name few) impact our lives. Our identities intersect and so too does our work for equity.
Customized Consultations and Presentations
From “Diversity 101” to more customized approaches to racial justice, the YWCA will work with you to design and deliver half-day, full-day, or multiple sessions. Grow the capacity of your staff to think about race and apply a racial equity lens to decision-making processes. Align and accelerate your racial equity work. Learn how to develop performance goals at both the individual and organizational levels. Create an organizational culture based on best-practices and evidence-based solutions.
Fees for services are negotiated on a per project basis. For information, contact Mary Ferguson at email@example.com.