Racial and Social Justice Program
YWCA Central Virginia’s Racial and Social Justice Program’s mission is to eliminate racism wherever it exists and empower women and girls.
Our intersectional mission to eliminate racism and empower women demands that we recognize our responsibility to use our voice and platform to push for action and long-term legal, economic, and societal change – to forge a more equitable Central Virginia. YWCA Central Virginia commits ourselves to the ongoing work of confronting our bias as we challenge these systems. We are committed to working on issues of gender equality, economic inequity, and racial disparities among healthcare, housing, employment, and education. We will be a consistently accurate resource of information on racial, ethnic and cultural awareness to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity throughout Central Virginia. We will continue this work until inequity and racism is eliminated and establishments are challenged and transformed.
This also means working harder to engage and amplify women of color as voices for solutions, and strengthening partnerships with organizations throughout Central Virginia that do the work against violence and systemic racism, so together we can drive change
Every day, communities of color face the threat of violence and injustice. It is crucial that we recognize that recent events within the last several years are a tangible illustration of daily fears and anxieties for many in our country and in our community. Amidst the tragedy and unrest, we must be even more resolute that justice and equity cannot wait.
At YWCA Central Virginia, 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.
YWCA knows that in order to lead the charge against racism, we must also set the example within our own organization. African American and Native American women have been providing leadership in YWCA’s movement since the 1800s, and because of the leadership of women of color, in 1946 YWCA began working for integration throughout the entire 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 addition of the “elimination of racism” to our mission statement in 1970.
Find out how you can get involved as we build this program below! You can also reach out to our Equity Advancement Manager via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Get Involved with our Racial and Social Justice Program!
Racial and Social Justice Committee
YWCA Central Virginia’s Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) Committee is comprised of agency leaders, programmatic staff, board members, and community partners who are committed to the work and mission of YWCA Central Virginia. Collectively, this group will work to develop and implement policies and programs that support our mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. This includes a purposeful committee to deliver and assist in planning functions that promote diversity and inclusivity, researches tools and practices, trains and develop activities for our employees, board members, and community partnerships with the support of other organizations that support our same mission, and acts in an advisory role to YWCA Central Virginia and the agency’s Board of Directors in order to:
- Enhance agency knowledge and engagement in matters of racial and social justice.
- Address barriers to a culture that embraces and celebrates diversity within the communities we serve.
- Identify organizational policy and procedures for review and development regarding issues of diversity, equity and inclusivity.
- Advocate for legislative priorities that impact people and women of color.
- Promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity in employment, in business practices, and in the services provided to the community.
- Strengthen collaboration with community partners focused on racial equity and social justice work.
New Member Enrollment is Available Each January
YWCA Central Virginia’s Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) Committee accepts new members during the month of January each year.
A limited enrollment window allows our committee of dedicated volunteers and staff members the ability to maintain a cohesive group with clear objectives throughout the year.
We ask each individual interested in joining YWCA’s RSJ Committee read through and agree to the committee expectations, time commitment, and community norms listed in the charter.
Lunch and Learn Series
To be held the last Friday of each month.
March 25, 2022
11:30am – 12:30pm
Black Wall Street: The Black-White Wealth Gap
Pack your lunch and get ready to listen in on this awesome lunch and learn session.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Minority mental health crisis
February 25, 2022
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
What’s on the menu? For Black History Month guest speakers Sophia Strange, LPC and Erin Pinckney, LPC from Advanced Psychotherapeutics will lead a discussion on a portion of the Minority Mental Health Crisis – How racial trauma has affected communities of color and the healing process.
Pack your lunch and get ready to listen in on this awesome lunch and learn session as we close out Black History Month!
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Stand Against Racism 21-day Challenge (April 4, 2022- May 2, 2022)
Click here to register.
Side by Side Walk for Racial Justice and Harmony
When: April 29, 2022
Where: Starting and ending at the YWCA Central Virginia Town Center with a loop around Monument Terrance.
Registration to start soon!
Light lunch to follow the walk with a guest speaker
This information is COMING SOON!
We encourage you to join us in this movement as we work to champion equality, to eliminate racism on all levels, to end gender discrimination, and to combat injustices across economic, political, and daily life that pose as barriers for so many. This work requires action. Action from us all. Every person is responsible for creating change. The time to act is now, and we urge the Central Virginia community to join us. Join us in changing our future.
YWCA Central Virginia advocates for policy and issues that advance our mission and vision. We believe that, working together, we can create a community where:
- All people live in dignity, free from violence, racism and discrimination, diminish health disparities and social inequities; which people are afforded equal protection under the law. We recognize the interconnected experiences of discrimination and disadvantage that women face from their overlapping identities.
- Measures reduce the incidence and negative effects of domestic and gender-based violence by offering emergency and transitional housing, crisis hotlines, medical and legal advocacy to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
- All Women are economically self-sufficient. We support measures that promote education and economic justice for women.
- Supporting a robust human services network is a core function of government. Therefore, we support the use of general funds and dedicated revenue sources for human services at all levels of government.
Your VOICE Matters
Your voice matters and has power to make an impact on your community. Here are some ways you can make a difference in the lives of women, children, and families on a local and national level:
- Contact your local representatives and share your voice about important issues that impact you, your family, and the families served by your community.
- Volunteer, attend events, and spread awareness through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn about the work that we do in our community.
- Support YWCA’s work and mission with a financial gift. Donate Today.
- Learn about our YWCA USA racial justice and civil rights policy priorities.
- Stand for racial justice and civil rights by becoming a YWCA Advocate.
- 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.
- Learn and share about ending criminalization of women and girls of color through the We Deserve Safety Report.
10 Books for Black History Month
- Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
- Diangelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
- West, Cornel. Race Matters
- Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk
- Beatty, Paul. The Sellout
- Tatum, Beverly Daniel. “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”
- Anderson, Carol. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
- Wise, Tim. White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
- Oluo, Ijeoma So You Want to Talk About Race
- Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man