YWCA and 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 movement, and because of the leadership of women of color, in 1946 YWCA 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, 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. Too often, stereotypes, biases, and racial power dynamics are embedded in our laws and public policies. They are also reflected in the use of racial profiling, heightened surveillance tactics, targeted enforcement strategies, and other practices that increase policing of certain racial and ethnic communities (but not others) that lead to criminalization and often the death of people of color.

At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and human decency.

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

Our National Campaign

Girl and Woman Sticking up for Justice, Anti-Racism, YWCA USA

This year, Until Justice Just Is centers around the theme Advancing Justice: Ensuring Equity for All, and our campaign will take place throughout the entire month of April. YWCA USA will host a virtual event on Thursday, April 13th and the YWCA Racial Justice Challenge, beginning on Monday, April 17th. All throughout the month of April, YWCA USA will highlight YWCA Local Association events and initiatives to inspire and engage our network of activists, advocates, and allies all month long.

Our Racial Justice and
Civil Rights Impact

Our 2022 Program Inventory and Impact Survey program survey) shows fifty-five percent of associations engaging in racial justice (RJ) initiatives. With 98 programs, local associations are poised to mobilize on initiatives that prevent racial inequities and ensure fairness for all. This RJ Impact Area Summary sheds light on local associations’ activities and trends that can enrich programming.

  • 73 Local Associations

  • 98 programs

  • Served 76,133 people

  • 67.99% of people served were people of color

  • 38.17% of people served were Women and Girls

We Stand Against Racism, Anti-Racism, YWCA USA

Take Action

  • Take Advocacy Action

    Eliminate policies and practices that criminalize people of color

  • YWCA Racial Justice Priorities

    Learn about our racial justice and civil rights policy priorities.

  • Donate

    Your support in any form or amount is integral to helping advance our mission.

Additional Information

We Still Deserve Safety, Advocacy, YWCA USA

We Still Deserve Safety Report
Renewing the call to end the criminalization of women and girls of color report.

Racial Profiling Education Checklist
Oppose racial profiling in education with the Racial Profiling Education System Checklist.

Racial Profiling Community Checklist
Oppose racial profiling in education with the Racial Profiling Education System Checklist.