YWCA's Mission Impact: Living Our Mission and Making Real Change in Our Community
Advocacy and Public Policy
We promote, advocate, and take action for national, statewide, and local policies that promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all, including racial justice, immigrant and refugee rights, LGBTQ equality, women's empowerment, and economic justice.
- Racial Justice
YWCA is the convener of an alliance of civil rights and social justice organizations who share a common purpose of ending the criminalization of people of color. In 2017, we successfully ran a campaign centered around racial disparities in policing that directly resulted in the establishment of Bloomington's Public Safety and Community Relations Board by the Bloomington City Council.
- Immigrant and Refugee Rights
YWCA fights for the rights of immigrants and refugees on a local and state level as a founding member of the local Keep Families Together Campaign. Together, we have taken action to support the passage of the Illinois Trust Act--a bill which prohibits police from detaining community members on the basis of their immigration status and petitioned Bloomington and Normal to adopt "Welcoming City" ordinances to protect immigrant families in our community.
- LGBTQ Equality
YWCA has played a supporting role for LGBTQ organizations leading the fight for equality. Back in 2016, we raised funds to help the emerging Central Illinois Pride Health Center apply for 501C3 status and start providing medical and social services to our local LGBTQ community. Since them, we have been partners with this and other LGBTQ organizations.
- Economic Justice
YWCA has stepped up in the fight for state budget that reflects our mission and values. We have advocated for a People and Planet First Budget and consistently responded to the attacks on human services during the state budget crisis with call-in actions and lobby days in Springfield.
We strive to make anti-oppression education available to all members of the community with out growing popular education initiatives.
- Humanity Summit
YWCA brings the community together once a year for a daylong workshop that guides participants through unpacking and examining the depths of our lived experiences and the roles we play in oppression, while identifying intersection and opportunities for collective action toward shared liberation. Last year, we touched 200 community members with our first ever Humanity summit.
- Community Workshops/Panels
We regularly host and participate in community education events on a variety of topics connected to our mission. Last year we reached over 1,000 community members with our anti-oppression education.
- Mission Movies
A YWCA initiative created to expose community members to social justice issues connected to the YWCA mission in an accessible and welcoming environment. It is an opportunity for folds who may already know about thse issues to deepen their understanding and engage other in the fight for justice. Check out our mission movie calendar.
Outreach and Services for Marginalized Communities
We know that there are people in our communities who have been underrepresented, underserved, and disenfranchised for generations. We are working to bring those folks back into our community by offering services and support.
- Fresh Start: Criminal Record Relief Clinics
People who were formerly incarcerated or have criminal convictions on their record often face a lifetime of discrimination. YWCA is dedicated to helping members of our community reach a new beginning through out Fresh Start workshops. This free-of-charge service assists people in expunging and sealing their criminal records, opening up opportunities for them to reach their full potential in our community. So far, we have helped over 140 community members begin the expungement/sealing process.
We are committed to ensuring that all members of our community can freely exercise their right to vote. That is why we have convened the McLean County Voter Engagement Coalition--a nonpartisan, widespread alliance of community-based organizations, joint in an effort to register, educate, and empower voters, and get them out to vote during elections.
- McLean County Voter Engagement Coalition
Through street-canvassing, door-knocking, voter education, and voter engagement efforts, we have registered hundreds of people to vote and have worked to get out the vote during elections