What We Do

Internal Programs

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.

Community Racial Justice Initiatives

These activities or services are free of charge to participants.

  • Stand Against RacismMichelle Lewis LuellaStand 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…
  • Community Healing Networks – Groups for African-heritage (black or African American) participants are meeting in a variety of community locations starting the last week in August and ending mid-December. Sessions refute the lies of white superiority and black inferiority, promote self-care, and strengthen our families and communities. Special Preview Day is scheduled on Saturday, August 18 from 8 a.m. until noon at Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center, 2711 Locust, 63103. African American practitioners of yoga, meditation, Reiki, aromatherapy and other healing techniques will offer demonstrations and information about their work. Read more…
  • Catalyst Circles – Cross-racial groups dedicated to examining the region’s racial disparities and then engaging in experiential community-based learning and action. Pilot groups will be forming in fall 2018. Read more…
  • 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.

Contracted Racial Justice Services

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 mferguson@ywcastlouis.org.