WHAT IS YWCA’s Racial Justice Challenge?
YWCA’s Racial Justice Challenge (formerly known as Stand Against Racism) returned for its 5th year on April 17th – May 15th, 2023. Over 130 individuals participanted in this year’s challenge which will remain open and available in English and Spanish for the rest of the year.
This Challenge is part of the action component of YWCA’s greater, ongoing Until Justice Just Is campaign to increase awareness of and action against systemic racism in our society. The theme of this year’s campaign is Advancing Justice: Ensuring Equity for All.
The YWCA Racial Justice Challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. The Challenge works to foster personal reflection, encourage social responsibility and motivate participants to identify and act on ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination throughout our communities.
Since 2019, the Racial Justice Challenge has united YWCAs and people across the nation in virtual learning modules that educate, inspire and rally communities in the fight to end injustice. For four weeks, participants will engage in daily activities posted in the Challenge app and website, where they are encouraged to share stories, discoveries and conversations with the local and national Challenge community, all while allowing participants to move at their own pace.
Each week of the Racial Justice Challenge covers different social justice and equity topics. Weekly topics to be discussed in this year’s challenge include:
WEEK 1 – DISABILITY
During disability week we will dive deep into the Disability Rights Movement; the history of Eugenics; the intersection of race, gender, and disability, and COVID-19’s impact on individuals with differing abilities. YWCA Delaware thanks our Let’s Talk Disability guest panel speakers, LeTonya Wilson-Nalley, Parent Advocate , Carlean Ponder, Director of Disability Rights and Housing Policy Director, The Arc of the United States and Dr. Sarah Curtiss, Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Delaware.
WEEK 2 – HOUSING
Explore how redlining continues to impact housing access and how homophobia, racism, transphobia and other forms of discrimination are driving forces behind homelessness and its criminalization. WCA Delaware thanks our Let’s Talk Housing guest panel speakers, Eugene R. Young, Jr., Director of Delaware State Housing Authority, Dr. DeBorah Gilbert White, Social Psychologist, Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Specialist, Educator, Social Justice Advocate, and Author, and Shyanne Miller, Community Organizer – H.O.M.E.S. Campaign
WEEK 3 – MUSIC
Learn more about the legacy of musician activists, the cultural appropriation of music, racism in the industry, music’s place in opposing gender stereotypes and the accessibility of music education. YWCA Delaware thanks our Let’s Talk Music guest panel speakers Fostina Dixon-Kilgoe, Composer, Vocalist, Jazz Soloist, and Founder of the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band, Sug Daniels, Singer, Songwriter and Producer, and Jonathan W. Whitney, Father, Husband, Son, Artivist, Jazz Drummer and Composer.
WEEK 4 – MENTAL HEALTH
Dive into how psychology has been used as a tool of marginalization, access to mental healthcare, and discrimination’s impact on mental health outcomes. YWCA Delaware thanks our Let’s Talk Mental Health guest panel speakers, Marsha Akoto, Community-Based Counselor and Mental Health Fellow, Jewish Family Services, Dr. Renn Kinnear Boblits, PsyD, MEd, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and Tomaro M. Pilgrim, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSc, MShs, HS-BCP, LMSW
YWCA Delaware thanks Delaware state elected officials for recognizing our work in supporting the Delaware community in our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women and for presenting us with a proclamation declaring May 4, 2023, as “????? ??????? ???? ?? ???” in the State of Delaware. Senate Resolution No. 13 recognizes that racism is a public health crisis that requires investment in resources, including public safety and social support services, safe and affordable housing, access to quality education, and environments free of contamination.
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS
Thank you to our partners ACLU Delaware, Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV), Delaware Historical Society, Friendship House, First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Housing Alliance Delaware, Jewish Family Services, League of Women Voters of Delaware, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Peace Week Delaware, Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, The Episcopal Church in Delaware, YMCA
Past challenges have seen incredible success and community support as the largest collective learning experience in Delaware. Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2022 Challenge! Since we launched in 2019, YWCA has had over 30,000 participants across the country take the challenge and reached 5,747 unique ZIP codes. We also have over 2,000 members in the Challenge Facebook Group. We hope you’ll help join us once again as we work to dismantle racism and discrimination to create equality, equity and opportunities for all. Register today to receive important information and updates leading up to the challenge.