Racial & Social Justice


Take Action: Racial Justice | Courageous Conversations | Events | Learn With Us | RSJ Partners | AdvocateResources | Support This Work


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, so will the work of YWCA Spokane. We continue to work to create safety, security, and economic and racial justice for everyone, until justice just is.


the History

A group gathered in Spokane holding a YWCA sign
Image scanned at the YWCA Spokane

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 US. 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 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 helped 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 (IPDV), promoting early childhood education, and confronting racial and social justice issues that negatively impact our clients and community. By working at the intersections of inequality, poverty, and domestic violence, YWCA Spokane disrupts longstanding societal patterns of trauma.


JOIN THE MOVEMENT

Join us to champion equality, end gender discrimination, and 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 take action:
  • Have Courageous Conversations: Join our RSJ 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.
  • Learn With Us: dedicate time, space, and energy to deepen your understanding of concepts related to race, power, privilege, and leadership.
  • Support Our RSJ Partners: 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.
  • Advocate: Contact your legislators share your voice about issues that impact you, your family, and your community.
  • Support This Work: Your partnership is paramount to our RSJ work. Consider a gift in support of our mission at YWCA Spokane.

CREATING OUR PATH

YWCA Spokane’s RSJ Learning Community is comprised of agency leaders, programmatic staff, board members, and community partners committed to the work and mission of YWCA Spokane. Together, this group creates an intentional space that allows real and courageous conversations to take shape about systemic issues that impact the clients we serve. Together, we can deepen our understanding about inequitable systems, what to do with our awareness, and how to take action.

2023-2024 RSJ Learning Community | How to Join the RSJ Learning Community | Statement From YWCA Board of Directors


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

OUR GOALS

  • Enhance agency’s RSJ knowledge and engagement.
  • 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; develop partnerships with agencies and businesses fostering racial and social justice; share ideas, stories, perspectives, and goals.

Thank You to Our RSJ Learning Community

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

2023 – 2024 Racial & Social Justice Learning Community

Facilitators: Tamika LaMere, Lara Estaris
Members: Courtney Anderson, Kari Appelwick, Liz Backstrom, Christina Banda-Kamkosi, Devyn Bell, Stephanie Bogue, Desire Buckles, Desiree Crawford, Chandler Dean, Rachel Dannen, Kathryn DePaolis, Alethea Dumas, Lori Hancock, Jeanette Hauck, Alondra Herrera, Taffy Hunter, Misha Lehmann, Steve Lloyd, Caroline Mark, Anna Marie Martin, Alisha Merkt, Lauren Moffat, Jenn Nagata, Jessica Pakootas, Jennee Pool, Denise Redditt, Edward Renouard, Dr. Claudine Richardson, Jemma Riedel-Johnson, Roupe, Samantha Sanchez, Wendy Schatz, Julia Sheafor, Erica Schreiber, Dr. Deb Svoboda, Hannah Talbot, Karla Trejo-Bernal, Brit Wilson, Sally Winn

To learn more about our RSJ efforts, please email rsjteam@ywcaspokane.org.

Read the 2022 RSJ Impact Report here.


Support Our RSJ Partners

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 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 YWCA Spokane’s Community Engagement Team.

LEARN MORE

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
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Take Action: Racial Justice | Courageous Conversations | Events | Learn With Us | RSJ Partners | AdvocateResources | Support This Work