When people ask how things are at YWCA Madison, I often think we are an organization that provides housing, transportation, and job training during a global pandemic and we are an organization fighting racism during our country’s racial reckoning. Our organization is considered essential and we are essential workers who have been holding it down since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. My team has been keeping the food pantry full, helping residents who have lost their jobs figure out how to pay rent, all while we advocate for peace, justice, freedom, and dignity in a multitude of ways.
And because of our shared HUMANITY, I know that each of us is struggling during this moment in history. We have lost people we love and the future feels uncertain. The calls I have received from supporters asking, “what do you need?” remind me of our shared humanity. Humanity shows up in the handsewn masks, the food deliveries, and the 1450 members of our community who spent three days at our Racial Justice Summit. Our shared humanity is all around us and its potential is beautiful.
During the current movement and uprising in defense of Black life, our community’s pain has been on display. But with that pain, also comes joy, which shines through in our second value. Joy comes from the COMMUNITY that supports our mission. That includes my staff, our participants, our volunteers, our program partners, our residents, those who take our trainings, and you, our donors. You are our community.
There has been tremendous GROWTH during this time, as well. This year’s Racial Justice Summit had the theme of “Reconstruction. Centering Blackness – A Path to Build Collective Power and Justice for All.” And our community embraced this theme and showed up in meaningful ways. Following the Summit, in collaboration with artists and partners, we brought the first Black Thought Wall to south Madison. This initiative is a way to grow the entire community in the shared vision of the freedom dreaming, liberation, protection and love.
Our last value is RESTORATION. This is a work in progress, but I have hope that our community can begin to heal, along with our country, and planet. But while we journey towards a better and healthier tomorrow, I am so grateful that you are here, walking alongside us. Your donation to YWCA Madison is vital at this moment.
We are dedicated, we are essential, we are committed, and we are not going anywhere. But we need your support to continue to provide all of the critical services needed by our community. Please, give generously to YWCA Madison this holiday season. We can’t do it without you.
In Humanity, Community, Growth, and Restoration,