YWCA Madison

Racial Justice Summit

Each year, the YWCA Madison hosts a Racial Justice Summit that brings together community stakeholders to work on eliminating barriers that foster racism in our community. The Summit focuses on institutional racism and involves nationally-known keynote speakers and researchers, as well as local experts and advocates. Through an environment that encourages learning from and supporting each other in our common goals, the Summit provides a platform for action planning and community dialogue. We invite organizations to demonstrate their commitment to racial equity through various sponsorship opportunities.


The 2016 Racial Justice Summit—Changing the Narrative is September 29 and 30 at the Monona Terrace.

Register for the Summit

Click here to download the Racial Justice Brochure 

View breakout session descriptions and presenter bios.


Featured Keynote Presenters

During this election year, we will be talking about the stories we tell around race—and how they can be used to divide us or to bring us together. Invited 2016 keynote presenters will include Rinku Sen and Vernā Myers.

Rinku Sen Verna Myers
Rinku Sen is the President and Executive Director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and the Publisher of the award-winning news site Colorlines. 
Vernā Myers is on a personal mission to disrupt the status quo and she knows how to: she’s lived it. Myers rose out of Baltimore’s working class to become a Harvard-trained lawyer, entrepreneur, author and cultural innovator. 

2016 Racial Justice Summit Agenda

Thursday, Sept. 29

8:00 - 8:30

8:30 - 10:15Ho-Chunk Color Guard opening followed by an Opening Plenary of local stakeholders including: Dan Brown, Ho-Chunk Nation; Erica Nelson, Roadmap to Equity; Rev. Alex Gee, Justified Anger

How does it feel to fly?, First Wave

10:30 - 12:00Break-outs

12:15 - 1:15

1:30 - 3:00Break-outs
3:15 - 4:30Closing Keynote: At the Intersection of Charity and Justice: Changing the Story and the System, Rinku Sen

Liberation Language, First Wave

4:30 - 6:00   Networking Reception and Hoppy Hour presented by Intellectual Ratchet (IR)

Friday, Sept. 30

 8:00 - 8:30Registration
 8:30 - 9:45Welcome & Opening Keynote: Changing the Narrative: Interrupting Bias in Ourselves and Others, Verna Myers

Time to Beat the Drum, First wave 

 10:00 - 11:30 Break-out Sessions
 11:45 - 1:30 Lunch & Closing

 Time to Beat the Drum, First wave

Lodging Information

Reserve hotel rooms at Best Western Inn on the Park (22 South Carroll Street, Madison, 53703) by calling (800) 279-8811 (Mention YWCA Summit Block). To receive block rate, reserve by 8/29/2016.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Download the sponsor information form

Summit Sponsorship benefits your organization and community in many ways. Sponsorship allows you to offer your staff intensive professional development opportunities with nationally renowned speakers and trainers.

Sponsorship will highlight your organization’s commitment to equity and diversity in the community and expose your organization to thousands of invited participants. Your organization’s sponsorship not only provides you with exposure, it allows us to offer this opportunity to the community at large with the intention of creating a more equitable and inclusive community for all.

Last year we had over 600 attendees from all around Wisconsin and beyond. We partnered with over 30 local businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions to present our largest Racial Justice Summit in the history of YWCA Madison. This year, we hope to continue to build on that momentum and help individuals and organizations network and learn effective and sustainable strategies.

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  •    Summit Sponsors

       Sustaining Sponsors



       Empowering Sponsors









       Collaborator Sponsors

       Dane County Sheriff’s Office
       Department of Public Instruction
       Edgewood College
       Forward Community Investments
       J.H. Findorff and Sons
       Madison Area Diversity Roundtable
       Summit Credit Union
       Tamra Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion
       UW Credit Union
       UW-Madison School of Social Work
       University of Wisconsin - Madison Division of Student Life
       Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office

       Nonprofit Partners

       ATTIC Correctional Services, Inc.
       Broadcast & Media Innovations
       Catholic Charities
       Center for Family Policy & Practice
       Community Partnerships
       Community Shares of Wisconsin
       Dane County Board of Supervisors
       Dane County Department of Human Services
       End Domestic Abuse WI
       Families and School Together
       First Congregational United Church of Christ
       First Unitarian Society of Madison
       Journey Mental Health
       Morgridge Center for Public Service
       Orchard Ridge UCC
       Sinsinawa Dominicans
       The Road Home Dane County
       UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
       United Way of Dane County
       White Privilege Conference/America & MOORE
       Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault 

       In-kind Sponsors

       American Printing Company