Dear Friends,

The past few weeks have elicited powerful emotions. On June 13, we recognized the 20th anniversary of the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate with a breakfast conversation with Ricky’s widow, Sherialyn. And, on Sunday, June 16, the race brought nearly 4,500 together to run, to walk, and to remember why we still race against hate.

The emotions around the race are deeply felt because twenty years have not diminished the horror of Ricky Byrdsong’s murder. And yet, to hear Sherialyn speak of how her neighbors – and the entire community – galvanized as a group in the face of hatred and terror reminded all of us that it is possible to move from “tragedy to victory.”

I am grateful to Sherialyn and the Byrdsong family and friends for having the unique vision of the Race Against Hate 20 years ago, and I’m grateful to all of you who supported this year’s milestone race by running, walking, volunteering, sponsoring, cheering, and participating in myriad ways. As Sherialyn said at our breakfast, the race truly is a “living demonstration of the power of love over hate.”

Karen Singer
President/CEO

PS: The Chicago Tribune did an in-depth story about our breakfast with Sherialyn Byrdsong. And Fox-32’s piece on this year’s race showed why we can’t stop working against hatred and violence.
Get involved in equity work at YWCA Evanston/North Shore
Looking for other ways to address racial justice in your own backyard. "Reel" Talk film series is back, starting tonight!

Race: The Power of an Illusion
June 24, July 1 & July 8 : 6:30 – 8:30 PM  
YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Room 207 (1215 Church Street)

Join us to view and discuss “Race: The Power of an Illusion”, the 3-part series which provides strong background information about how we got to where we are today regarding “race” in this country. Come for one episode or join us for all three.

This is event is FREE but please RSVP below.
Learn about YWCA’s equity programs, workshops, and educational events here. You can also sign up to get an e-newsletter specifically focused on our equity work. Sign up for the equity newsletter here
First-ever YW Culinary class graduates!
On June 20, we graduated the first class from our new YW Culinary Program, which prepares women for success in the food service industry. Eight women completed the program, and one graduate said, "It wasn't just about cooking, it was about making us whole women." Learn more about YW Culinary here.

Pictured above are women who graduated from YW Culinary's first class, led by YWCulinary instructor Gloria Simpson (in blue), and YWCA Housing and Employment Special Kristin Drake (with flowers).
Advocacy update
Illinois’ legislative session has come to a close! Thank you to everyone who engaged in advocacy with us this spring. Together, we were able to help pass three bills advancing equity in Illinois – the No Salary History Act, HB 3331, and HB 2237. 

These bills are now on their way to Governor Pritzker’s desk – you can act now by emailing or calling Governor Prizker at 217-782-6830 and urging him to sign these bills into law! If you’re interested in receiving periodic emails with more ways to take action, please sign up for our advocacy newsletter here.
Oz Relay raises $26,000 to help kids learn to swim
Thank you to all of you who swam in, donated to, or sponsored a swimmer in this year’s 24-Hour Oz Relay, which provides scholarships for aquatics outreach and swim lessons in our Flying Fish program. Learn more about the Oz Relay here, and read about this year’s success here.
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Over half of our revenue comes from private giving—from individuals just like you who want to make a difference. That’s why your support is critical to continuing comprehensive YWCA programs and services.    

Your gift makes our communities thrive! You can make a one-time gift in any amount, or simplify your giving and become a monthly donor for just $10 a month.

You can make a difference today! 
Thank you!
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YWCA Evanston/North Shore | Phone 847-864-8445 | ywca@ywca-ens.org | www.ywca-ens.org