Empowering women goes hand-in-hand with eliminating racism. That’s because it’s impossible to empower all women without ensuring that the burden of racism is lifted from the lives of women of color. The link between racism and sexism – and the vulnerability to abuse that both create – has been something understood by YWCAs since our earliest days more than a century ago. The following includes individual resources along with links to robust, curated libraries that shine a light on those connections.
As we work to achieve justice for all, our intent is to support and elevate women of color and communities of color, and to aid white women and white communities in meeting their personal and collective responsibility to eliminate racism.
For White People
“I often remind my readers that anti-racism work is not self-improvement work for the white community. This work does not end after white people feel better about what they did. This work ends only when Black people have justice in every vein that white supremacy has found to oppress”. – Rachel Cargle
Change starts with education. We must understand how racism morphs from ideology into policy. We must fully understand how that harms women and communities of color. Then we must put that knowledge into action.
Compiled by Autumn Gupta with Bryanna Wallace’s oversight for the purpose of providing a starting place for individuals trying to become better allies.
Despite the title, this resource is applicable for learning more about racial justice in any month or timeframe. This document allows readers to designate 10, 25 or 45 minutes per day to learning, providing pre-chosen resources for each day for 30 days.
Created by Anna Stamborski, M. Div Candidate (2022), Nikki Zimmermann, M. Div candidate (2021), and Bailie Gregory, M. Div, M.S. Ed.
Learning (and unlearning) racism is a journey. This resource allows individuals to choose what they would like to learn about according to any knowledge they have previously. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work.
Compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein in May 2020.
This document is intended to deepen anti-racism work. It’s organized by the type of media and audience, including resources for parents and children.
additional staff suggestions
Beyond Petitions and Protests: The Art of Being an Authentic Ally – Hosted by YWCA Greenwich
This important conversation included Jenna Arnold, author of Raising Our Hands: How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place On the New Frontlines, and Denise Hamilton, CEO of WatchHerWork. They discussed how individuals can contribute and make an authentic impact on systematic racism.
Moving Beyond Diversity Toward Racial Equity – Harvard Business Review
“On this critical issue, neither consumers nor employees are looking for vague platitudes about change; they want to see companies committing to action within their own walls. Achieving racial equity in the workplace will be one of the most important issues that companies will tackle in the coming decade.”
“Black lives matter. Learn more about the long history of systemic racism, white privilege, and racial scapegoating in U.S. politics and media culture with this featured collection of MEF films.”
This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.
For People of Color
Racism resides in almost every aspect of our community, and so, self-care for people of color is critical to health and well-being. Below are resources and thought-starters designed by and for people of color.
4 Self-Care Resources for Days When the World is Terrible – Miriam Zoila Pérez, Color Lines
Radical Self-Care in the Face of Mounting Racial Stress – The Psychology of Radical Healing Collective, Psychology Today
11 Black People Share Big and Small Ways They’re Caring for Themselves – Tonya Russell, SELF Magazine
How Black Americans can practice self-care during these trying times. And how everyone else can help them. – Elizabeth Wellington, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Talking About Race: Self-Care – National Museum of African American History & Culture
Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling With This Very Painful Week – Rachel Miller, VICE
Black Mental Health: 7 Self-Care Tips If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed – Eni Subair, Vogue
where race, gender, and violence meet
The issues of racism, sexism, and violence are at the center of the YWCA’s work. In fact, the YWCA specializes where these issues intersect in a woman’s life. The following helps to define intersectionality and demonstrates how any effort to address one facet of an intersection is incomplete if it excludes attention to others.
The Urgency of Intersectionality – Kimberlé Crenshaw, TEDWomen 2016
Why is it important to bring a racial justice framework to our efforts to end domestic violence? – VAWnet, A Project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Anti-Racism as Violence Prevention – Futures Without Violence
Our Commitment to Racial Justice – National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Black Women and Sexual Violence – National Organization for Women