Racial Justice

YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts is committed to dismantling racism in all forms by promoting awareness of racial and gender inequity, by educating individuals and communities, and advocating for equity throughout Southeastern Massachusetts. We support and promote the YWCA USA’s National Advocacy Agenda and are intentional in advancing the YWCA’s Mission of Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women. Our work includes establishing partnerships with allies, coalitions, and organizations; engaging grassroots networks; and hosting community forums, workshops, and racism and bias awareness events.

Community Conversations

Over the course of June and July, the YWCA hosted five Community Conversations and over 450 individuals from the community attended. People of Color shared their personal stories of how racism has affected them, microaggressions they have experienced, fears of raising their children, especially their black and brown sons, and overt white supremacist acts against them. Others shed light on New Bedford's history and the race riots of the 1970s. Many asked and learned how their workplaces can be more committed to antiracism work. The goal of these conversations was about having a space to come together as a community so that people can share and hear feelings of pain, rage, frustration, and fear; to validate and listen to those stories; and to think about ways we can dismantle racism in our community. We thank you for attending!

Join us in the next steps towards eliminating racism!

  • Share your stories with the YWCA! Racial Justice Consultant Pam Pollock is collecting stories from individuals who have experienced racism and racist acts in our community. From experiencing microagressions to overtly white supremacist-motivated acts of aggression, please share your stories with Pam at pampol@aol.com. Written stories and voice memos are both welcome.
  • Sign up to offer the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge with your school or workplace! On Juneteenth (June 19, commemorating the end of slavery in 1865), YWCA SEMA launched its first-ever 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge. Adapted by other YWCA’s and organizations from across the nation, this challenge was 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. You will be presented with challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience and more. Participation in an activity like this helps us to discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our community, to connect with one another, and to identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination. This is an exciting opportunity to dive deep into racial equity and social justice. Please email Jordan at jlatham@ywcasema.org to begin your Challenge today!

Racial Equity Workshops

YWCA’s Racial Equity Workshops are an opportunity to develop a foundational understanding of the systems that uphold racial inequity and the impact it has at the interpersonal, institutional and structural levels. These topics often give rise to challenging and emotional moments.

Facilitated by our Executive Director and Racial Justice Consultant Pam Pollock, all sessions utilize learning strategies intended to engage everyone, including group discussion, reading materials, awareness exercises, interactive activities and more—all in a safe, supportive environment where everyone can share their thoughts openly. Best of all, our workshops are for all ages, can be held on or off-site, and can be customized to meet the unique needs of any organization, business, institution or agency.

Sessions are available in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

For more information or to schedule a session please contact Gail Fortes at 508-999-3255 or gfortes@ywcasema.org.

Stand Against Racism

YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism is a series of events that bring together like-minded organizations sharing YWCA’s vision and mission of eliminating racism and celebrating the value of diversity. In recent years, more than 140 organizations have participated, pledging to stand with the YWCA.

Click here for more information about the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism.

Want to get involved in Stand Against Racism? Contact jlatham@ywcasema.org