Race & Gender Equity

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. In order to achieve our goals of a more equitable society, the YWCA Madison provides a spectrum of programming aimed at creating a more just and inclusive society. These programs include:

Racial Justice Programs

Racism affects all of us, regardless of what we look like. The elimination of racism is an on-going process that requires persistence, commitment, and continuing dialogue between individuals and groups. The YWCA is committed to helping individuals, organizations, and companies in the Madison community improve race relations and find ways to eliminate racism through constructive dialogue and meaningful action. The YWCA achieves these goals through:

  • Racial Justice Workshops are offered regularly in the community and upon request for groups, organizations, or businesses.
  • Each year, the YWCA hosts a Racial Justice Summit that brings together community stakeholders to work on eliminating barriers that foster racism in our community
  • For an intensive and cumulative learning experience, the YWCA offers a racial justice certificate program for participants who attend all three of the course levels and complete reading and online assignments between the courses.

Restorative Justice Program

The YWCA Madison uses Restorative Justice as a strategy to address the School-to-Prison Pipeline. The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a process by which students are removed from the school for disciplinary infractions. These students are often put on a path to the criminal justice system. The racial disparities in school discipline directly correlate with the racial disparities in the criminal justice system. We use restorative justice to provide alternative discipline models in schools to keep students in school and out of the justice system.

Women’s Leadership Initiatives

The YWCA Madison’s women’s leadership trainings aim to help women develop skills to help them advance in their careers while breaking down barriers that prevent women from attaining leadership roles. The YWCA Madison achieves these goals through:

  • The Moxie Conference: Nerve and Know-How for Emerging Leaders - This women’s leadership conference aims to build tomorrow’s leaders and encourage them to draw inspiration from the Women of Distinction Award recipients who will be honored during the conference.
  • YWomen Lead Series - This eight-month intensive leadership and career development series develops leadership skills to support personal growth and develop a leadership peer group. Attendees will gain fresh ideas and strategies to promote women’s leadership in their organization.

Learn more about the importance of developing women leaders.

race & gender equity

2012 Racial Justice Program Outcomes

94% (102 of 108) of Racial Justice Summit  survey respondents plan to apply knowledge or skills that they gained at the Racial Justice Summit to reduce racial disparities or to create or expand an initative or program.

Racial Justice Summit 90% (165 out of 184) of respondents ranked the YWCA Racial Justice Workshops either a 4 or a 5 on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most useful. Respondants were answering the question “How useful was this workshop in meeting the goals of the YWCA: to expand racial understanding through personal dialogue among members of different races, with the ultimate goal being to eliminate barriers that foster racism?”

85% (157 out of 185) of Racial Justice participants ranked the YWCA Racial Justice Workshops either “Very Good” or “Outstanding.”

race & gender equity

2012 Restorative Justice Outcomes

Since implementing the Restorative Justice program, participating schools had a 15% decrease in the total number of out of school suspensions during the 2011-12 school year.

98% (129) of the 132 students who completed the nine-lesson Restorative Justice curriculum indicated increased knowledge and understanding of Restorative Practices and Principles and went on to become leaders of the Restorative Justice Initiative in their school communities.

76% (35) of the 41 students referred to the program for disruptive behaviors did not repeat the behavior for which they were referred to the program.