Eliminate Racism & Promote Justice

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Dismantling Systemic Racism

YWCA Central Alabama promotes peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Therefore, we are committed to dismantling systemic racism in our state, nation and the communities we serve. To do so, we need allies! Here’s what you can do:

Estd. 1903

Our Legacy

1903-1958
Our Founder, Maybelle Sloss, had a dream in 1903 of a Young Women’s Christian Association to give “hundreds of noble working girls influences which will keep them sweet and womanly in adverse circumstances.” While the language reflects a different time, the message of helping women in “adverse circumstances” is as relevant today as it was at the turn of the last century.
1965-1998
At a time when race relations are turbulent, the central YW seeks a closer tie with the YWCA branch. In 1979, Suzanne Durham, another young woman with boundless energy and commitment, becomes Executive Director of the YWCA. Over the coming years, the YWCA opens a child care program at its downtown location, the Junior Board is formed, and the YWCA assumes operation of the Family Violence Center.
1998-2000s
After 20 months of construction, the YWCA moves back to her downtown home. The beautifully restored facility is the result of a successful $10 million capital campaign. The SAIL program is launched as well as the first ever Purse & Passion Luncheon. In the late 2000s, the YW acquires the Interfaith Hospitality House and launches a massive $15 million capital campaign to expand it in Woodlawn. Soon after, the YWCA opens its Family Resource Center that flourishes into multiple different programs.
2014-Present
Retiring CEO Suzanne Durham was recognized. The YWCA Central Alabama Board of Directors named Yolanda Sullivan CEO effective Jan. 1, 2015. The YW Hosts its first "Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes" as well as the "Domestic Violence Walk." The YW launched several new initiatives in 2016. The SMILE (Single Mothers Invested, Learning, Empowered) program allowed 12 single mothers living in poverty to be trained as dental assistants. In 2019, The YWCA Central Alabama Board of Directors named Patricia Hoban-Moore Interim CEO effective February 2019. Then, they named Dr. LaRhonda Magras as CEO effective Sept. 1, 2019.
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Our Social Justice Framework

We ask that you stand with us as we commit, communicate, educate and advocate. We advocate for a world of equity and human decency. We demand systemic change so lives aren’t senselessly lost. 

It takes joint commitment to rid our communities, businesses and institutions of social and racial injustices. So we form alliances and coalitions with like-minded partners who also want to help those who are systemically disenfranchised or have been harmed by bigotry and intolerance.  We forge a path of light in spaces that may be uncomfortable but are necessary to live out our mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

We are Strong Alone but Fearless Together! Stand with us as we Commit, Communicate, Educate and Advocate.

Commit

YWCA Central Alabama is committed to ensuring that the mission of the organization lives internally and externally in all that we do. We hold ourselves accountable to diversify partnerships, vendors and service providers. YWCA Central Alabama will provide diversity and cultural awareness training to staff and board members to prioritize social and racial justice throughout the organization. Creating a culture of philanthropy is an integral part of our commitment to moving YWCA’s mission forward. In order to ensure the integrity of our donor dollars, we reserve the right to deny funds from an individual or company that does not uphold the spirit of our mission. 

Educate

YWCA provides resources, training, seminars, webinars and hosts events to inform, influence and empower the community at large and communities of color on social and racial injustice. We provide relevant and research-based information to effect individual and collective change.

Communicate 

YWCA is a provider of safe spaces for courageous conversations around social and racial justice. By generating dialogue internally and externally, we are focused on communicating practical messages that inform and elevate the understanding of systemic problems facing the community. Our communication encourages inclusivity and active participation in eradicating educational, racial and social inequities.

Advocate 

YWCA developed a public policy platform that acknowledges our role in supporting and bringing attention to issues faced in the community.  We are not only a social justice organization. We also seek to find areas for social action to advocate for laws, policies and practices that impact those we serve.

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