Racial and Social Justice

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YWCA Bucks County promotes the celebration of diversity in all of its programs. Racial and Social Justice programs encourage youth and adults from all cultures to explore race together and come away with a new appreciation and value of diversity.

Professional Development Workshops

YWCA staff are available to customize professional development workshops and/or facilitate dialogues on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging to a wide range of audiences including, but not limited to, educators, nonprofit professionals, businesses, corporations, volunteers and community groups.  Fees vary based on the size and scope of the project.

Racial Equity Learning Community (RELC)

The Racial Equity Learning Community is a cross-county, multi-sector initiative for organizations in Bucks and Montgomery Counties to come together to learn, build relationships, and take action that deepens organizational and collective capacity to advance racial equity and justice in our community. This 10-month commitment begins September 2021 and closes June 2022, with community action teams continuing in year two. The planning partners, the Bucks-Mont CollaborativeTri-County Community Network, and Interagency Council of Norristown, have made a minimum 3-year commitment to help coordinate this Learning Community. In 2021-2022, the Learning Community will include two cohorts. The Learning Community framework will be similar for both cohorts, with opportunities to work together through community action teams.

We hope to achieve these Learning Community outcomes:

  1. Local leaders shift their organizational cultures to make racial equity central to their work.
  2. Organizations and county departments create sustainable racial equity action plans.
  3. Participants coordinate inter-agency and cross-county pathways to improve racial equity and justice in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The YWCA Bucks County is a coaching organization for cohort one. Since 1954, the YWCA has been a leader in the realm of racial and social justice work here in Bucks County. YWCA knows that in order to lead the charge against racism, we must also consistently address internal issues of race head on. This is a challenging, self-reflective task that we take seriously, and can share our experience with others in their journey.

YWCA Bucks County staff have significant professional experience in facilitating educational opportunities focused on racial and social justice.  Our work extends to local schools, non-profits organizations, businesses and individuals.  Through the development of a Racial Equity Action plan, our goal is to provide each organization with support to build and/or increase their own capacity to create a culture of equity through organizational learning, organizational action and community building and action.

Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation

Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation was co-created by Bread for the World Institute and NETWORK as an interactive tool that helps people understand racial inequality at the structural level and how it connects with social justice issues, like ending hunger and poverty.  YWCA Bucks County, Bucks County Opportunity Council, and the United Way of Bucks County are collaborating to bring this learning simulation to our community. The purpose of this learning simulation is to help participants understand the role of racial inequity in policies and their implementation. Participants will learn how federal policies created structural inequalities in many areas, e.g., property ownership, and education, and how these policies increase hunger and poverty in communities of color. The simulation guides participants to an understanding of why racial equity is so important to ending hunger and poverty in the United States.

Reading to End Racism

Reading to End Racism is a hallmark program of the YWCA that uses trained staff and volunteers to read to children and adults with the goal of stimulating conversation about race, the nature of racism, and how individuals can work to eliminate racism in their lives, schools, and communities. YWCA’s Reading to End Racism program includes two components: (1) Workshops for Youth and Teens, and (2) Women’s Reading and Discussion Groups.

Social Justice Dialogues

YWCA hosts regular community dialogues on various topics including allyship, implicit bias, white privilege, law enforcement and criminal justice, advocacy and engaging in difficult conversations about race.

Stand Against Racism

Stand Against Racism is a national initiative of the YWCA USA. Locally, the YWCA Bucks County joins over 750 sites nationwide to advocate and lead activities that deliver a clear message that we are on a mission to eliminate racism. Participants read and sign the Stand Against Racism pledge to do their part to eliminate racism in their community.

For more information about YWCA Racial and Social Justice, please contact Jessica Gershenfeld at jgershenfeld@ywcabucks.org or (215) 953-7793 x114

Stand Against Racism

Week Without Violence

Reading to End Racism

Racial Justice Webinars