Friday, January 8, 2021
As I write this, we are still reeling from the events that transpired at our Capitol on Wednesday, and we know many of you are as well. We are horrified and angry, as once again it has starkly illuminated how white privilege plays out in everyday life and how deeply it is embedded in the structures of our country.

It was an assault on our democracy, and while our democracy has never been perfect, the ballot box gives voice to those who have all too often been suppressed. Wednesday’s events revealed how deeply racial injustice is ingrained in our system and how the color of one’s skin determines whether law enforcement will respond with tear gas, batons and tanks (as witnessed during Black Lives Matter protests) versus the way they respond when mostly white people attempt an assault on our Capitol. This is unacceptable. 

YWCA Evanston/North Shore remains fully committed to our mission of eliminating racism and we stand in solidarity with communities of color and with everyone who is working to amplify the voices of those who have traditionally been marginalized. We will not be silent in the face of injustice.

For perspective, read:
Please join us for the National Day of Racial Healing
The National Day of Racial Healing occurs the day after MLK Day, and is a call for racial healing, celebration of our common humanity and to take collective action to create a more just and equitable world.

As part of this event, the Equity Institute at YWCA Evanston/North Shore will host a virtual lunchtime panel discussion:

Racial Healing and Reparations: Two Steps Towards Transformation
Tuesday, January 19, 2020
12:00 - 1:30 pm

Panelists include:

  • Monica Haslip, founder of Little Black Pearl in Bronzeville and a national trainer of racial healing circle practitioners for the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative
  • Robin Rue Simmons, Alderman of Evanston's 5th Ward and Chair of the Reparations Committee of the City of Evanston
  • Rev. Dr. Michael C.R. Nabors (moderator), President of the Evanston North Shore Branch of the NAACP and Senior Pastor at Second Baptist Church, Evanston

Our guests will discuss:

  • How can Racial Healing Circles impact a community in ways that lead to change? 
  • What's the role of the individual, and of the collective, in supporting Reparations initiatives? 
  • What do we need to know/do to be change agents?  

There will be some time for Q and A as well. This event is free, but requires registration. Please join us!

This event is funded in part by a grant from Healing Illinois, a statewide initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services in partnership with Chicago Community Trust.
Pictured below: Monica Haslip, Robin Rue Simmons, Rev. Dr. Michael C.R. Nabors
Live in Evanston? Join a Racial Healing Circle
Racial Healing Circles start January 31
Racial healing recognizes the need to acknowledge and tell the truth about past wrongs created by individual and systemic racism and address the present consequences. It is an experience and a tool that can facilitate trust and build authentic relationships that bridge divides created by real and perceived differences.

YWCA's Equity Institute is grateful that many individuals and organizations in Evanston are interested in the work of racial healing. We know it is not the responsibility of one person, one group, or one organization to drive this work. The responsibility belongs to all of us to participate in these honest, powerful and moving experiences and, pursue this journey together.

Those who live, work or worship in Evanston are invited to register for a series of THREE Racial Healing Circles. The first two will happen in racial affinity groups and the third session will be mixed across racial groups. We are asking folks to register only if they can participate in all three sessions.

Please note: You will indicate all the Jan-Feb dates that work for you in the registration form. Starting in mid-January, we will create the circles as registrations come in, and then confirm the dates that have been assigned to you. Thanks for your patience!

Date options for first 2 sessions, in racial affinity groups:

  • Sundays 1/31, 2/7 1:00-2:30 pm
  • Tuesdays 2/2, 2/9 9:30-11:00 am 
  • Tuesdays 2/2, 2/9 3:00-4:30 pm
  • Wednesday 2/3, 2/10 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Thursdays 2/4, 2/11 6:30-8:00 pm

Date options for final session, in mixed groups:

  • Tuesday 2/16 3:00-4:30 pm
  • Thursday 2/18 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Sunday 2/21 1:00-2:30 pm
Additional opportunities to learn with YWCA
All of the following online classes are open to the public, but please register to attend. Are you new to our platform Community Pass? Follow our easy guide to set-up an account.
Implicit Bias Workshop
JAN 11 @ 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Consciously or not, all of us carry biases towards individuals and/or groups. We look at what implicit bias is and how it works. Participants will examine their own biases and identify how those show up. Tips for how both individuals and organizations can manage bias are provided. Register here.
Basic Money Management for All (virtual)
JAN 11 and 25 @ 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Basic Money Management for All 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 modules over two evenings. Register here.
Let’s Talk @ Lunch (virtual)
JAN 20 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

We’re taking Let’s Talk @ Lunch, an informal community discussion of current events through a racial equity lens, to Zoom!

Please grab some lunch, pull up a chair in your home, and join your virtual neighbors for a facilitated discussion. All are welcome! Register here.
Microaggressions: Intent vs. Impact Workshop (virtual)
JAN 25 @ 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

What are microaggressions? Can they hurt if they weren’t intended in a hurtful way? How do they impact our work environment? What are helpful responses when I see, commit, or have someone use one on me?

Participants in our Racial Equity Workshops develop a common vocabulary, so they can begin to use a “racial equity lens” as they analyze institutional racism. Led by trained facilitators, the group develops skills necessary to address racism at personal, interpersonal and systemic levels. Register here.
Partner Spotlight: Evanston Hospital
Evanston Hospital employees choose YWCA as recipient of annual gift
We are so grateful to the employees of Evanston Hospital, who chose YWCA as recipient of a gift of $5,000.

Said Douglas Silverstein, president of Evanston Hospital, “Our team members at NorthShore Evanston Hospital recognize the importance of all of YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s health and wellness endeavors and we’re especially proud to support the YWCA’s comprehensive domestic violence services to those who need it across our communities.”

North Shore University Health System is also a longtime sponsor of the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate.

Thank you, Evanston Hospital staff, for your support of our mission!
Best wishes for a safe and healthy 2021
Happy New Year! We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy as we welcome 2021. As 2020 ends, we are grateful to all of you for your continued support throughout this challenging year. Your active participation, your kind words, and your generous contributions have sustained us and allowed us to serve more women and families in our communities.

With your help, YWCA has continued to provide support services to both residential and community-based domestic violence survivors. We have delivered financial education workshops, job training, and housing assistance to vulnerable families. Our Equity Institute is reaching a virtual national audience as individuals and organizations across the country work to understand and respond to systemic racial inequity. And despite closing and re-opening a few times to follow changing COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, our swim program remains strong.

Despite this being one of the most challenging years of our lifetimes, we remain committed to our mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and strengthening our communities. Thank you for making our work possible.

We appreciate you, and look forward to a more just, equitable, and safe 2021 for all!
Our Domestic Violence Services are available free of charge to anyone who needs them.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 847-864-8780 or (toll free) 877-718-1868 anytime, day or night.

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