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Living Our Mission

Join YWCA Northeast Kansas in our mission to break through the barriers that perpetuate racism.

YWCA Northeast Kansas is dedicated to promoting racial equity by partnering with individuals, organizations, and businesses through racial justice training, advocacy, outreach and education.

Stand Against Racism: Join Us for Racial Justice Facilitation Training

Join the Conversation

In partnership with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, YWCA Northeast Kansas is launching a community book club that will feature books written by Indigenous people and people of color. All are invited to participate in monthly meetings to discuss the books and relevant social issues within our community. Discussions will be guided by YWCA’s volunteer racial justice facilitators.

Following with the state-wide Stay at Home order, our book club will meet online on Tuesdays in June from 7:00 to 8:30 PM via the online web conferencing platform Zoom. No special equipment is necessary, just a computer and internet access. If you don’t already have a free account, please sign up for one here.

June: Healing Politics by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed
Join us in June for our next installment of Racial Justice Book Club. In partnership with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, our racial justice facilitators will lead two discussions on Dr. Abdul El-Sayed’s book “Healing Politics.”
A child of immigrants, Abdul El-Sayed grew up feeling a responsibility to help others. He threw himself into the study of medicine and excelled – winning a Rhodes Scholarship, earning two advanced degrees, and landing a tenure-track position at Columbia University. At age 30, he became the youngest city health official in America, tasked with rebuilding Detroit’s health department after years of austerity policies.
But El-Sayed found himself disillusioned. He could heal the sick – even build healthier and safer communities – but that wouldn’t address the social and economic conditions causing illness in the first place.
In Healing Politics, El-Sayed traces the life of a young idealist, weaving together powerful personal stories and fascinating forays into history and science. Marrying his unique perspective with the science of epidemiology, El-Sayed diagnoses an underlying epidemic afflicting our country, an epidemic of insecurity. And to heal the rifts this epidemic has created, he lays out a new direction for the progressive movement. This is a bold, personal, and compellingly original book from a prominent young leader.


Past Book Discussions:

January 7th and 21st: “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo

February 4th and 18th: “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi

March 10 & 24: “Chokehold: Policing Black Men” by Paul Butler.

April 7 & 21: “When They Call You a Terrorist: a Black Lives Matter Memoir” by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

May 5 & 19: “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

YWCA’s racial justice work is made possible in part by the generosity of Kansas Gas Service and their commitment to their core value of inclusion and diversity.

As one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations across the nation, YWCA has been at forefront of the most pressing social movements in the Northeast Kansas area for more than 160 years – from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform.

What sets YWCA Northeast Kansas apart from many other nonprofits is our commitment to comprehensive social services, combined with our dedication to creating a more just world through advocacy and community education.

You can learn more and follow along with actionable steps you can take to stand against racism, empower women, and advocate for the most marginalized by joining our Facebook group: YWCA Northeast Kansas Advocacy Cafecito.

YWCA Facilitators are committed to racial justice work. As an active member of the movement to promote positive race relations, facilitators carry the responsibility of promoting a safe environment for all participants to share personal experiences and opinions regarding the topics of race and racism.

Our next Racial Justice Facilitation training series will be scheduled soon. Check back here or sign up for our E-News for updates. All of the sessions will be held at the YWCA Northeast Kansas.

Time Commitment: 7.5 hours spread over three 2.5-hour sessions with a single cohort, or group of facilitators.

Group Training: It is important for community building and continuity of learning that you complete your training within a single group.

Cost: The training is FREE if you are able to commit to attending all three sessions.

What will you learn?

  • Session 1: Getting Together. In the first of the three sessions, we will focus on “getting together,” both literally and figuratively. Get to know one another as individuals and as racial justice advocates. We will also “get together” in terms of our racial justice philosophy. Learn about the philosophy and models used at YWCA Northeast Kansas to talk about racial justice and examine common missing bricks you’ll come across in your facilitation work.
  • Session 2: Circle and Facilitation. In the second session, delve into the benefits and origins of circle dialogue. Learn the mechanics of the circle and using the talking piece. Get into the role of the facilitator and learn the traits that are beneficial and detrimental to facilitation.
  • Session 3: Practice Makes Practice. So, none of us will ever be perfect, but with practice we get better and better each time we facilitate. This third session is devoted to practicing your new facilitation skills. You will take turns acting as a facilitator and as a participant.

To sign up, contact Kathleen Marker, CEO: kathleenm@ywcaneks.org. This class is limited to 25 attendees.

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