Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Update on YWCA happenings
These last three months have been a whirlwind of change at YWCA Evanston/North Shore. Some things are returning to place, but a lot isn't. This is both due to the continuing need for stringent safety precautions due to Covid-19, and to a concurrent expansion of our campus. In the long run, we'll have systems in place that will keep disruption to a minimum when we are faced with another crisis of this type. And our expansion and increasing ability to deliver education and training virtually will enable us to reach more people ALL the time. That's good! Here's where we stand now:
Becoming Equitable Institutions: We’d like to work with your organization! The Equity Institute team can support your organization on its equity journey through assessments, training/facilitation, coaching, and consultation. Contact us here to discuss opportunities!

Let's Talk @ Lunch : Virtual opportunities for facilitated conversation on current issues of racial equity Wednesdays in July and August. Free! Learn more here.

Racial Healing Circles : Opportunities to participate in virtual circles are available:
  • July 9 and Aug 12
Racial Equity Workshops : Virtual workshops are scheduled weekly throughout the summer:

July 14: Implicit Bias
July 23: History & Socialization of Oppression
July 30: Microaggressions: Intent vs. Impact
Aug 4: What is White Supremacy Culture?
Aug 10: Understanding Power & Privilege
Aug 20: Advocacy
Aug 26: Developing Cultural Humility

Register here.
Equity Summit : The 5th annual Equity Summit, held virtually last week, was a huge success with 448 people participating from across the US. View featured speaker and closing panel discussion videos below!
Transformation in the Next Decade
Featured YWCA Equity Summit speakers Natalie Moore and Jamelle Bouie talk about this moment in time: Why George Floyd's murder created this state of reckoning in our country and where we go from here.
Panelists Tiffany McDowell, Evonda Thomas-Smith, Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, and Sylvia Puente discuss Transforming Our Systems: What COVID-19 Reminds Us about Race and Next Steps
Emergency Shelter : In March, we moved all our shelter residents to local hotels to keep them safe. We are now preparing the shelter for a mid-July re-opening with occupancy at 45% (additional clients will remain in hotels). Counseling is available virtually, and our crisis line is open 24-hours a day/7 days a week.

Bridges (longer term housing for survivors of domestic violence): Bridges residents live in apartments, so they have been able to shelter in place, and have received counseling and support services virtually. This will continue.

Transitional Housing (in partnership with Connections for the Homeless): Thanks to a grant from Evanston Community Foundation, we have placed five domestic violence survivors into 12-month transitional housing units and are providing an array of supportive services to these individuals. 

Alternatives to Violence : Our support groups for perpetrators of domestic violence, a vital service that cannot be adequately offered remotely, restarted in June. Read "Groups resume for domestic violence perpetrators" below.

Legal Advocacy Services : Throughout the spring, our legal advocates worked diligently to ensure that clients could receive the services they needed despite limited access to court services and remote hearings. We are currently experiencing an increase in service usage and referrals from community partners as the courts prepare to reopen as of July 6, 2020.
Basic Money Management : We hosted our first virtual classes in June and will continue on a monthly basis - upcoming classes are listed below. Learn more here.
  • July 20 & 27, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm (for women)
  • Aug. 10 & 17, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm (in Spanish, for all)

Financial Education Workshops : Workshops have gone virtual - in June, we presented two workshops via webinar that were well attended: Considerations for Renting During COVID-19, and Rebuilding After a Financial Crisis.

YWCulinary: Our culinary training program is working hard at shifting to a virtual format and has found a learning platform that will allow us to offer an engaging and professional training. 

YWeb : We were recently awarded a grant through YWCA USA to provide YWeb, a program which will prepare participants for technology jobs by training them in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. We are very excited for this amazing opportunity and hope to start classes in the fall. More info to come soon!
We will begin welcoming existing members of the Flying Fish Swim Team back into the pool with short-term programming beginning July 6 and running through the end of the month. We will build on this foundation with more offerings in August and in the fall.

Pictured: Older members of the Flying Fish swim team have been doing some longer distance swims in Lake Michigan, guided by Coach Terry on paddleboard.
Our women's resale boutique at 1107 Central Ave. in Wilmette is open for limited hours now (with safety protocols in place!) and will completely reopen July 6. And we now have online shopping available too - the beautiful crocheted top modeled by Gina is just one example!

The Shop for Good is made possible through your donations, and 100% of profits help support YWCA’s domestic violence and economic empowerment programs for women across northeastern Cook County.

Shop hours this week:
Tue-Thur: 12-5 pm
Fri: 10-5 pm
Sat (4th of July): Closed
Starting next week, we are back to our regular hours: 
Tue-Thur: 12-5 pm
Fri-Sat: 10-5 pm
Learn more about the Shop here.
See By Chloe Crocheted Lace Tunic Top Blue/Tan/Beige Size 42 US Size Medium
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ for those experiencing homelessness
By Katie Scheuber, YWCA Housing Specialist

Everyone has unique barriers, challenges, histories, experiences, and resources available. With the lack of affordable housing, housing programs, and even emergency shelter, it makes it hard for folx ( why “folx?”) to meet their specific needs or to structure a plan, especially in a timely manner, for something that could be most beneficial and sustainable for them.

Continue reading here...
Groups resume for domestic violence perpetrators
Like many others during the quarantine, Brian McHugh discovered that there are some things that are best done in person, namely support groups for perpetrators of domestic violence.

That’s why McHugh (pictured with Antonio Rice, who also works with men as part of YWCA’s programming), who co-facilitates these men’s groups through YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s “Alternative to Violence” program, was anxious for his current group to start meeting again. They hadn’t met since Illinois’ stay-at-home order due to Covid-19 was initiated in March, but they reconvened in early June as the state moved into its next phase of reopening.

Continue reading here...
Additional opportunities to learn
YWCA Evanston/North Shore is happy to sponsor the following Family Action Network events:

Midwest Made: Poets in Chicago
Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 7:00 PM
Featuring Tara Betts, Ph.D. as emcee

This first-ever showcase will feature 5 extraordinary poets of color from the Chicago area: Tara Betts, Mayda del Valle, Julian David Randall, Jennifer Steele, and avery r. young. Each poet will do a 15-minute reading, and then all 5 will have an on-screen conversation.
Wes Moore on “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City”
Monday, July 13, 2020, 7:00 PM
Interviewer: Ava Thompson Greenwell, Ph.D.

Wes Moore is the CEO of Robin Hood, a bestselling author (The Other Wes Moore; The Work), a combat veteran, and a social entrepreneur. His new book, Five Days, tells the story of the aftermath of the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the subsequent protests and uprising.

Learn more and register here (events will be posted shortly if not currently visible!).
Listen. Learn. Give.
YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women has never been more important than it is today. COVID-19 has laid bare the longstanding racial, economic, and health inequities faced by Black Americans and other people of color. Mass protests in response to police brutality have magnified these injustices. We need equity, healing and community action now. You can help.

When you donate to support YWCA equity initiatives that help create more equitable and just communities, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000. We need your support now so please don’t wait. This matching grant opportunity ends on July 31st. 

*Special thanks to generous YWCA major donors and Susan and Nick Noyes of Better Letter for enabling this matching grant. 
And thanks to for the article below. We're always grateful for your steadfast support of our work!
How to Help YWCA Evanston/North Shore Continue Their...

YWCA Evanston/North Shore works to change hearts, minds, and systems that restrict access to opportunities and resources, based on race and gender. Advancing racial and gender equity is embedded in all their work, including their domestic...

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