Racial & Social Justice


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THE WORK

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.


LEADING THE WAY

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 assists in planning 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.

2021 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.

Racial & Social Justice GOALS

  • RSJ Legislative Advocacy: Identify and develop issues, policies, and procedures that facilitate action towards social change. Recent activities include our Get Out The Vote campaign, a voter resource guide for domestic violence survivors, and promoting awareness of the 2020 Census.
  • RSJ Community Partnerships: Enhance community outreach, develop partnerships with agencies and businesses fostering racial and social justice, share ideas, stories, perspective, goals, support each other with action, and solidify connections.
  • RSJ Events: Promote and support events and activities facilitated by community partners that are focused on diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Facilitate  events and activities lead by YWCA Spokane that promote racial equity and social justice.  Events include our annual Stand Against Racism, a 14-Day Equity Challenge, and pop up events such as virtual RSJ related movie night parties.
  • RSJ Education and 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.

JOIN THE MOVEMENT

We encourage you to join us in this movement 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. 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.

Below are ways you can be the change and step into action:
  • Stay Informed: Sign up for our email updates, read our blog, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
  • Have Courageous Conversations: Join our Racial and Social Justice Facebook Group where we can 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 been championing 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 the families served by your community.
  • Donate: Consider a gift in support of our mission at YWCA Spokane. Your partnership is paramount to our racial and social justice work.
  • Volunteer: Want to take your action to the next level, consider volunteering to help with an event or join our YWCA Racial and Social Justice Committee for a year term or more.

History of YWCA & 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 national movement and, because of the leadership of women of color, in 1946 YWCA USA 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, there are more than 200 YWCA agencies across the nation and 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. 

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.


Thank You to Our YWCA Racial & Social Justice Committee

In addition to your service to 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 2021 Racial & Social Justice Committee

Co-Chairs: Anna Franklin and Nicole Jenkins-Rosenkrantz
Existing Committee Members: Brit Wilson, Christina Kamkosi, Dr. Claudine Richardson, Dana Morris Lee, Dawn Hart, Dora Williams, Emily Morgan, Emily Stohr, Erica Schreiber, Jeanette Hauck, Jemma Riedel, Jennifer Martin, Julie Schaffer, Justyce Cogswell, Kate Telis, Kiana McKenna, Laura McAloon, Laura Vickers, Liz Backstrom, Mia Morton, Rachel Dannen, Dr. Shari Clarke, Taryn Joshua, Terran Echegoyen, Tiffany Yamase, Tracie Meidl
Welcome New 2021 Committee Members: Briana Berner, Terri Echegoyen, Lynn Luu, Carmen Pacheco Jones, Annie Murphey, Kate Sowers, Dr. Deborah (Deb) Svoboda, Taylor de Vore, Tynan Black

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


Support Our Partners In This Work

There are many local organizations who are committed to peace, justice, freedom, and dignity. In addition to your partnership with YWCA Spokane, we encourage you to take time to learn about, join, and support other 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