YWCA Applauds Re-Introduction of the Resolution to Declare Racism as a Public Crisis

Yesterday, hours before the State of the Union, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced a Senate Resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. This resolution has been introduced for a third year in a row and represents the Senate’s acknowledgement that systemic and structural racism is a threat to the health and well-being of all people, but disproportionately Indigenous peoples, Black and African Americans, Latinos, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color. Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT-5) and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29) introduced a companion resolution in the House.

The resolution chronicles the health effects of racism in health care and the social determinants of health including housing, education, employment, transportation, environment, social services and criminal justice strategies. More importantly, the resolution calls for concrete action to address multisector inequities as a public health strategy to close disparities in health, quality of life and life expectancy.

YWCA is a nationwide network of affiliates that provide safe haven and social services to their communities and are dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We know all too well the public health implications of race-based discrimination throughout our society.

YWCA USA President and CEO, Margaret Mitchell released the following statement in celebration of this resolution:

“YWCA and our affiliates work on the front lines of our nation's racism epidemic. Each day, women of color come through our doors seeking to overcome housing, child care, employment, food insecurity, and health care access challenges that are rooted in generational, systemic racism. These realities impact their economic, mental and physical well-being and drive wealth injustice and education and health disparities for them and their families, largely and historically based on skin color. YWCA applauds the introduction of the Racism as a Public Health Crisis resolution, which chronicles the health effects of racial inequity and encourages a public health approach to addressing systemic racism.”

The Senate resolution was cosponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-M.D.), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Throughout March – Women’s History Month and April – Minority Health Awareness Month, YWCA USA will mobilize our nationwide network to contact their members of Congress to encourage co-sponsorship of the resolution in the House and Senate.

Read the Senate resolution text here. Read the House resolution text here.


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving approximately 2 million women, girls and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls.

For more information, visit ywca.org.



YWCA Statement on President Biden’s State of the Union address 


Congress Averts Government Shutdown; More Work to Do to Support Families