Racial & Social Justice

Join The Movement: Stay Informed | Courageous Conversations | Events | Partners | Learn | Advocate | Donate | Volunteer


At YWCA Spokane, we are committed not only to providing free and confidential programs and services to women, men, children, and families but also to supporting and uplifting racial and social justice efforts within our community and serving as a voice for what is right, fair, and just.

We commit ourselves to the work of racial equity and social justice. We envision a world of equity, opportunity, and human decency. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, and until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.

As the needs of women and communities evolve over time, so will the work of YWCA Spokane. We will continue to work to create safety, security, and economic and racial justice for everyone, until justice just is.

the History

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 national movement. It’s because of their leadership that YWCA USA began working for integration in 1946 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, there are more than 200 YWCA agencies across the nation. We remain committed to ensuring everyone is afforded equal protection under the law. Our intersectional mission to eliminate racism and empower women demands that we advocate against the oppression too many groups and individuals endure. We recognize the interconnected experiences of discrimination and disadvantage that women face from their overlapping identities. 

Since 1903, YWCA Spokane has been helping women and children overcome social, economic, and personal barriers in order to accomplish their goals and achieve healthier and more fulfilling lives. Today, areas of focus include supporting victims of intimate partner domestic violence, promoting early childhood education, and confronting racial and social justice issues that negatively impact our clients and our community. By working at the intersections of inequality, poverty, and domestic violence, YWCA Spokane is able to disrupt longstanding societal patterns of trauma.


  • Community Partnerships: Enhance community outreach; develop partnerships with agencies and businesses fostering racial and social justice; share ideas, stories, perspective, and goals; support each other with action, and solidify connections.
  • Events: Promote and support events and activities facilitated by community partners focused on diversity, equity, and inclusivity; facilitate events and activities led by YWCA Spokane that promote racial equity and social justice such as our annual Stand Against Racism, the Equity Challenge, movie nights, and more.
  • Education & Training: Provide ongoing education to YWCA staff and board members on topics of systemic racism, social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusivity; promote awareness of subconscious thoughts and attitudes that affect our perceptions about people, the decisions we make, and the impact on our community by facilitating RSJ related trainings for YWCA staff, board of directors, and mission partners, and community members.


YWCA Spokane’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 Spokane. Together, this group plans functions that promote diversity and inclusivity, researches tools and practices for improving multicultural services for clients in all settings, and acts in an advisory role to YWCA Spokane 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.
  • 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.

2022 RSJ Committee  |  How To Join The RSJ Committee   |   Statement From YWCA Board of Directors

Together, let’s continue to do the work, until justice just is.

Thank You to Our YWCA Racial & Social Justice Committee

In addition to your service in our community, we appreciate your commitment to YWCA Spokane’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Thank you for all you do!

YWCA’s 2022 Racial & Social Justice Committee

Co-Chairs: Anna Franklin and Tamika LaMere
Existing Committee Members: Annie Murphey, Brit Wilson, Carmen Pacheco Jones, Christina Kamkosi, Dr. Claudine Richardson, Dr. Deborah (Deb) Svoboda, Erica Schreiber, Jeanette Hauck, Jemma Riedel, Kiana McKenna, Laura Vickers, Liz Backstrom, Rachel Dannen
Welcome New 2022 Committee Members: Alethea Dumas, Caroline Mark, Edward Renouard, Emily Arneson, Haley Abrahamson, Heather Schmitt, Jennee Pool, Jennifer Compau, Jessica Johnson, Rowena Pineda, Judy Noel, Julie Hudson, Karla Trejo-Bernal, Kassa Brock, Kathryn DePaolis, Kristina Ralls, Ryan Simmons, Steve Lloyd, Lara Estaris

To learn more about how you can get involved with our racial and social justice efforts, please email rsjteam@ywcaspokane.org. You can learn more about joining YWCA’s RSJ Committee here.


We encourage you to join us as we work to champion equality, 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 from us all. Every person is responsible for creating change. The time to act is now, and we urge the Spokane community to join us. Join us in changing our future.

Ways to step into action:
  • Stay Informed: Sign up for our email updates and read our blog. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
  • Have Courageous Conversations: Join our Racial and Social Justice Facebook Group to share resources, discuss, learn, and grow together.
  • Engage In Community: Attend events, rallies, townhalls, marches, and other virtual and in-person activities when it is safe to do so.
  • Support Partners In This Work: Local and national organizations have championed anti-racist work for generations. Review our suggested list or explore and identify groups that align with your passions or biggest area for growth.
  • Educate Yourself: dedicate time, space, and energy to deepen your understanding of concepts related to race, power, privilege, and leadership.
  • Advocate: Contact your legislators share your voice about issues that impact you, your family, and your community.
  • Donate: Your partnership is paramount to our racial and social justice work. Consider a gift in support of our mission at YWCA Spokane.
  • Volunteer: Consider volunteering for an event or join our YWCA Racial and Social Justice Committee for a year term or more.

Support Our Partners In This Work

Many local organizations are committed to peace, justice, freedom, and dignity. In addition to your partnership with YWCA Spokane, we encourage you to learn about, join, and support the organizations doing equity work in our community. We have compiled information about many of these partners to make it easier for you to get involved.

Support Our Partners

Learn about Fellow Community MEMBERS

As part of our ongoing RSJ Spotlight series, our Equity Coordinator, Lara, sits down with an organization or individual in our community each month to spotlight the work they do to create real and lasting change for a more equitable Spokane.

January’s Spotlight is a rundown on this year’s legislative session in Olympia and what to expect.


Have a question for us? Want to submit someone for a future RSJ Spotlight?

Ask a question or make a suggestion below!

RSJ-Related Questions
How did you hear about the Racial & Social Justice Committee?