Racial Justice

The Elimination of Racism

The YWCA supports policies that contribute to the elimination of racism. This includes but is not limited to policies that eliminate racial profiling, increase immigrant rights, retain and strengthen affirmative action, reduce hate crimes and result in increased education on racism and its elimination.

Affirmative Action

The YWCA supports the maintenance and strengthening of affirmative action laws to protect people from discrimination on the basis of race and gender.

YWCA McLean County is committed to making the world a better place. Our mission sums up what the YWCA strives to achieve.

YWCA’s Mission:

The YWCA McLean County is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Is it realistic to believe an organization can really eliminate racism? Our approach is to provide guidance and offer programs that influence racial justice and empower women financially/economically.


In the US and most of the world there is a system of hierarchy and inequality based on race. It operates historically, institutionally and culturally to produce preferential treatment, privilege and power for white people at the expense of people of color.

Definition of racism: race is based on prejudice + privilege + power to discriminate or oppress. Racial justice is a proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all.

 •            Racial Justice ≠ Diversity (Diversity = Variety)

•             Racial Justice ≠ Equality (Equality = Sameness)

•             Racial Justice = Equity (Equity = Fairness, Justice)

Indicators: Equitable impacts and outcome across race is the key indicator of racial justice.

Economic Empowerment

Women’s Economic Empowerment is defined as the expansion and enhancement of women's ability to make strategic choices at all life phases; improve the economic situation of women individually and collectively; and holistically alter existing power structures that previously denied or underutilized women’s strengths.

Economic justice encompasses the moral principles which guide the design of economic institutions.

•             Economic Justice ≠ financial literacy (financial literacy is balancing a check book, having a credit card, personal money management)

•             Economic Justice ≠ simply having a job

•             Economic justice = equity, fairness and justice; which includes fair distribution of economic resources, the exchange of goods and services, how each person earns a living, enters into contracts, and a world where institutions no longer perpetuate conditions that create the systems of poverty

Indicator: Equitable impacts and outcomes across economic systems impacting women and men is the key indicator of economic justice.

YWCA’s Progress

In April 2008, YWCA McLean County held its inaugural Racial Justice Summit, bringing in Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training for a full-day event. Two 2 ½ day training sessions were held in the fall of 2008, looking more in-depth at systemic racism. These sessions were also presented by Crossroads.

On November 5, 2010, YWCA hosted its second Racial Justice Summit. The one-day workshop, “Let’s Get Real: Unlearning Racism,” was facilitated by Lee Mun Wah, a veteran in the world of racial justice.

On November 18, 2011, YWCA McLean County held its thrid Racial Justice Summit. "The Effects of Subtle Racism" was a full-day workshop that featured speakers, Christopher Benson and Dr. Hsiao-Wen Lo. The two speakers led the day's discussions on better understanding subtle racism and microaggressions/every day racism.

On November 9, 2012, YWCA Mclean County hosted it's 3rd Racial Justice Summit "Not In Our Town" featuring prominant writer & speaker, Tim Wise.  The day-long workshop featured keynote speaker Tim Wise and the first caucus activities.

Multicultural Leadership Program

Bloomington-Normal is fortunate to have a multicultural leadership program for developing future leaders. The Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP) is an intense professional development curriculum that provides a framework to those with an interest and potential to step into leadership roles within our communities. MCLP focuses on cultivating emerging leaders to strengthen and support their communities.

Emerging leaders are not defined by age but by both intent and action. The MCLP class is composed of 25 individuals who meet for bi-weekly sessions spread over eight months, August through April. Class participants are chosen on the basis of their demonstrated commitment to community issues, desire to learn and intent to contribute to the community at large.

As part of the experience, each participant must take part in a group project. YWCA McLean County submitted and was selected as one of the group projects. YWCA’s project is to:

Develop a marketing campaign that will raise awareness of how our community has grown more diverse. The campaign should provide information that stresses that our new diversity strengthens the community and deserves the community’s support. We hope that it can influence people to be more accepting and inclusive and less biased and prejudiced. We want to encourage people to embrace diversity and use it to our advantage to create an even stronger community.