Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Many of us wake each day feeling somewhat like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." Each day for the last two months, we have been waking to the same reality - the pandemic is still with us and we still can't do what we used to. But like Bill Murray's character did, many of us are also finding ways to make each day better than the last - by becoming more honest with ourselves, more understanding of our neighbors, more helpful to our communities -- and more aware of the racial injustices that this pandemic has laid bare for us, once again.

We have read enough by now to know that Covid-19 is disproportionately killing Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and others from marginalized backgrounds, and destroying the economic livelihood of the most vulnerable people. Disproportionate outcomes like these are not new, and not unique to Covid-19.

If we want to continue advancing towards a better world, we must ground ourselves in the belief that when we support and lift those who are most affected by injustice, it creates the most good in society and we all benefit.

In June, we are offering a month-long array of activities designed to help us come together in healing, equity, and community and build the skills needed to work for change. We invite you to join us for any or all of them of the events listed below.

Let's learn from this pandemic experience -- let's wake up each day asking ourselves what we can do to make this day better, for all of us, than the last.
June Race... in Place events:
June 1-21: Race Against Hate... in place
We can't gather this year for the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, but you can Race Against Hate... in place in June by throwing on one of your old race tee-shirts (or get creative and design your own Race tee-shirt!) and running or walking a 5K (3.1 miles) anytime between June 1 and June 21 (respecting social distancing, of course!). This can be done wherever you are – on a treadmill; around your neighborhood; around a track at a school; or even the Race course along the lake – it’s your choice! Then connect your experience and offer encouragement to other participants by posting on the YWCA Evanston/North Shore Facebook or Instagram page using the hashtag #RaceAgainstHate.
June 4: Racial Healing Circle
Racial healing is an experience and a tool that can facilitate trust and build authentic relationships that bridge divides created by real and perceived differences. This session includes both group interactions and intimate conversations between two participants. This is a FREE event appropriate for age 17 and up. Learn more and register.
June 10: Let's Talk @ Lunch: Race Against Hate edition
Please join us on Zoom for a special Race Against Hate… in place edition of Let’s Talk @ Lunch, an informal facilitated discussion of current events through a racial equity lens.

We’ll discuss Ahmaud Arbery, the connection to Ricky Byrdsong, and what it feels like to be a Black man out for a run. This is a FREE event appropriate for age 17 and up. Learn more and register.
June 18: Lunch with Sherialyn Byrdsong (virtual)
Join Sherialyn Byrdsong; YWCA Evanston/North Shore President/CEO, Karen Singer; and Director of YWCA’s Equity Institute, Tiffany McDowell, for a Zoom discussion of critical issues challenging our communities. Together they will examine racial health disparities unmasked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ahmaud Arbery case and how it echoes Ricky Byrdsong’s murder and imagine action that we might all take to move our country toward greater equity and inclusion. This is a FREE event. Learn more and register.
June 25/26: Equity Summit - Transformation in the New Decade
Our annual Equity Summit gathers our collective resources in one (virtual in 2020!) place for a summit designed to move us – as individuals and as systems – to transformation. Featured speakers include New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie, WBEZ South Side Reporter Natalie Moore, and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, Dr. Evelynn Hammonds. Learn more and register.
YWCA Hero of the week: Debbie Reynolds
YWCulinary Grad and Essential Worker
Debbie Reynolds, pictured at far right with her fellow YWCulinary grads in 2019, is helping feed hungry students during this crisis. She talks about what it means to her:

"YWCulinary has been the best thing that has happened to me. I've had so many cool opportunities since graduating from the program. It helped make me feel empowered. After graduating, I was offered several positions and felt confident enough to be selective with my job choice. I began working for District 202 (Evanston) in August and I love it. I'm able to use a lot of skills I learned in the program which has helped me complete tasks quickly and efficiently. I'm often told that I do the work of three people and my supervisor's only complaint is that I'm not available to work more. Our work has changed since school closures occurred due to COVID-19. We are now focused on preparing breakfast and lunch meals for students in Evanston. It feels amazing to be being able to work and contribute to people's ability to live at this time. A lot of families aren't able to feed their children, I'm glad that I'm able to help the community."
Who is not getting the Economic Impact Payment?
Photo of the author, Fabiola Alfonso
by Fabiola Alfonso, YWCA Financial Education Specialist

The COVID 19 pandemic has reduced domestic violence survivors’ options of getting out of their abusive relationship. Contact with family members, access to social services, filing of orders of protection, going to shelters, computer access, and more are not easily available.

When the Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Checks) were announced, it appeared that victims of domestic violence would have a way out. But though the Economic Impact Payments and other forms of financial relief have helped many families during the COVID-19 health crisis, for victims of domestic violence this is often not the case. Why? Read more here.
Upcoming Financial Education Opportunities:
Considerations When Renting Your Own Apartment During Covid-19
June 1, 2020, 6:00 - 7:30 pm (virtual)

During these uncertain and challenging times, are you considering renting an apartment for the first time, or is it time for a move? Before you rent, learn the basics from presenter Erica Crohn Minchella, President of Minchella & Associates, Ltd., who will provide the basics for new renters and answer COVID-19 related rent questions.

This virtual workshop is free but registration is required. Register here.
Basic Money Management for Women
Monday, June 8 & 15, 2020, 5:30 - 6:30 pm

Basic Money Management will help strengthen your money management skills by developing tools to help with budgeting, credit and debt issues.

Participants must commit to complete the entire course consisting of two (one hour) modules over two evenings on Monday, June 8 & 15, 2020.

This online class is open to the public, but please register to attend. Register here.
Flying Fish swimmers stage "dry land" Oz Relay
Shout out to all of the high schoolers, Flying Fish alums, and others who participated in a pop-up, dry land Oz Relay on May 15/16. Almost 100 swimmers walked, biked, ran, or did some other form of exercise in honor of Oswald "Oz" Roper, a beloved YWCA Flying Fish coach and instructor who died in 2013.

Read Oz's story and learn more about the Oz Fund, which provides funding for aquatics outreach and scholarships so that all children could have access to swimming lessons at YWCA Evanston/North Shore, here.
Your gift meets critical needs
We’re all desperate to get back to “normal”, but great need still persists in our communities. Your gift, in any amount, will help provide shelter, food and economic support to vulnerable families and domestic violence survivors who have critical needs today. Please don’t wait for “normal”. Please give now.
We love our Corporate Partners!
YWCA Evanston/North Shore | Phone 847-864-8445 | ywca@ywca-ens.org | www.ywca-ens.org