The YWCA knows that in order to lead the charge against racism, we must also set the example within our own organization.
In 1946, the YWCA began working for integration throughout the entire national 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 “elimination of racism” to our mission statement in 1970. It is our goal to foster opportunities to engage in open dialogue about race and racism, increase awareness, build coalitions, and transform inequities. For the last few years, we have partnered with the University of Evansville and Ivy Tech Community College to present the annual Stand Against Racism on both campuses. Activities included live monologues, a documentary film screening, panel discussions, community partner presentations, and a diverse group of community members standing together to take the pledge against racism.
Stand Against Racism provides the opportunity for communities across the United States to find an issue or cause that inspires them to take a #StandAgainstRacism. It is a time to unite our voices to educate, advocate, and promote racial justice. This year, we are offered our annual Stand Against Racism campaign as a 7-day Challenge from April 20-27. Although we were not able to gather together physically due to social distancing, we hope the content was beneficial to our community. For further understanding of race and racism in the United States, we encourage you to review our Stand Against Racism Reading List below.
In recent years, over 90% of women and children served by the YWCA had incomes below the federal poverty level, the equivalent of about $24,600 a year for a family of four. We work to address the unique needs of those living in poverty and strive for outcomes that increase emotional and economic self-sufficiency. We do this by providing our clients with housing, access to health care, financial literacy classes, GED services, and counseling. The YWCA also has an ongoing commitment–truly a mandate of our mission–to provide leadership development opportunities to women and girls.
YWCA supports women’s economic empowerment and a work and family agenda. Women comprise more than half of today’s workforce. One in four women are now the sole or primary breadwinners for their families. An overwhelming majority of mothers with children under 18 years of age or working. Women of color are overrepresented in low-wage industries that lack basic workplace protections. There is no doubt that women are central to the economic well-being for their families and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. Despite this, 21-century workplace policies are out of date and do not adequately support a woman’s ability to balance work-family demands. All women and their families would benefit from family friendly policies such as paid sick days, an increase in the minimum wage, and fair scheduling practices.
Each year, the YWCA partners with a local organization to raise awareness about pay equity through our Equal Pay Day activities. This date in April represents how far into the year women must work in order to earn what men earned in the previous year. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median earnings for U.S. women working full time, year-round were just 80% of men’s median earnings–a gap of 20%. The wage gap in Indiana is even worse than the national average with women earning just 74% of what men earn.
Racial Justice and Civil Rights
|The Elimination of Racism The YWCA supports policies that contribute to the elimination of racism. This includes but is not limited to policies that eliminate racial profiling, increase immigrant rights, retain and strengthen affirmative action, reduce hate crimes and result in increased education on racism and its elimination.
10 Easy Things YOU Can Do for Racial Justice