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YWCA Charleston Racial Equity & Inclusion Work is on the Move!

The YWCA Charleston will proudly hold its sixth annual Race to End Racism on Saturday, April 23rd, 2022 IN PERSON! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charleston community and surrounding areas came together in 2020 and 2021 to participate virtually to fight racism and champion human rights.

The program continues to make progress and was officially renamed in 2021 from the Racial Justice Program to the Racial Equity & Inclusion Program. Also, in 2021, Shanté Ellis was hired as the Racial Equity & Inclusion Program Director. Since its inception in 2017, the Race to End Racism has maintained the goals of raising awareness and critical operational funds for the Racial Equity & Inclusion Program.

Program Director Shanté Ellis works closely with our Racial Equity & Inclusion Committee, comprised of members of diverse faiths, ethnicities, races, ages, socio-economic statuses, and professions. The program continues to experience strong growth and accomplishments year after year. Our role is to change one heart and one mind at a time to see true fulfillment of our mission work. Especially in today's world of diverse rhetoric, we must combat negative and unfair views of people with color, mitigate the downstream effects of racism, and attack the root causes of racial inequity.

In 2021 and to date, the Racial Equity & Inclusion Program has:

  • Facilitated discussions with local organizations, municipal and state legislative bodies, businesses and religious institutions such as Mountain State Justice, WELD, Charleston Area Alliance, The Mayor of Charleston, City of Charleston administrators/department heads and City Council, West Virginia State Legislators, West Virginia State University, University of Charleston, and others totaling over 1,000 individuals.

  • Introduced our Anti-Racist Series to include Implicit Bias, Meaningful Allyship, Understanding Privilege, and Acting with Intent.

  • Facilitated Anti-Racist discussions for the freshman experience classes at WVSU for the fall and spring semesters.

  • Collaborated with influential community leaders to start a series of children's virtual book readings that celebrate the African American community and culture to share with Kanawha and Boone County schools.

  • Partnered with Read Aloud WV to distribute books to students at Mary C. Snow Elementary and provided each classroom with diversity book bins.

We are pleased with the work our Racial Equity & Inclusion Program has done in the past six years and know there is more work to be done. Only when individual biases and structures of oppression are dismantled will we see true advancement and equal opportunities for people of color.

Please join us on this mission and register to participate IN PERSON at the Race to End Racism, April 23, 2022. Click here to register and learn more ways to be involved.

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