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.
Join the Conversation
- Racial Justice Book Club
- Racial Justice Facilitation Trainings
- Racism 101
- How to Talk with Kids About Race
In partnership with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, YWCA Northeast Kansas hosts 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 Regina Platt, YWCA Racial Justice & Advocacy Coordinator, and Miranda Ericsson, Readers Librarian at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.
In 2022, our book club meets online on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7:00 to 8:30 PM via the online web conferencing platform Zoom. Although it is preferable to have read the book prior to the sessions, please feel free to join even if you haven’t read the book. Stay updated about Racial Justice Book Club information, including receiving the meeting details and monthly Zoom link by clicking on the button below.
2022 Book Discussions:
May: The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett. This novel weaves the stories of two identical twins, whose lives start out exactly the same, but end up vastly different. “Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing.”-Provided by the publisher.
Join us on May 24 at 7:00 p.m. for a great discussion via Zoom.
If you don’t have time to read the book, here are some quick links to catch you up on the topic:
- Brit Bennett’s author website
- Book Review by NPR
- “Brit Bennett’s new novel explores the power and performance of race.” (New York Times)
- “Colorism and racial passing in The Vanishing Half” (Author Interview with Trevor Noah, The Daily Show)
Upcoming 2022 Reads:
May: The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
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.
Upcoming 2021 Dates: November 19th and December 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (must attend both sessions).
Time Commitment: 4 hours spread over two 2-hour sessions with a single cohort, or group of facilitators. There is a third session available to those interested in becoming active facilitators. All 2021 sessions will be virtual sessions via Zoom.
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 sessions.
What will you learn?
- Chapter 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.
- Chapter 2: Circle and Facilitation. Next, 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.
- Chapter 3: Practice Makes Practice. None of us will ever be perfect, but with practice we get better and better each time we facilitate. This third part is devoted to practicing your new facilitation skills. You will take turns acting as a facilitator and as a participant.
This class is limited to 25 attendees.
What Is Racism, Really?
Often people think of big, obvious examples, like racial slurs, KKK or Nazis, racial hate crime or not hiring someone based on their skin color.
But thinking about what racism IS and IS NOT is much more complicated than that.
This conversation explores the four levels of racism and how they stand alone and intersect with each other. Participants will also gain knowledge of how racism plays a role in everyday interactions, decisions, policies, procedures and laws within the U.S.
The next Racism 101 Seminar is scheduled for Friday, February 18th, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. The session will take place via Zoom.
Free Virtual Seminar: Stay tuned for future dates.
Join Racial Justice & Advocacy Director Regina Platt in this interactive, virtual seminar on talking with kids about race. Whether it’s your own kids, your classroom, or simply a child you care about, it can be tough to know what to say to them about race and when to have those conversations.
This seminar will offer participants a safe space to ask questions, raise concerns, and learn about resources and best practices for engaging children of all levels in conversations about race, racism, and racial justice.
Here are some common questions caregivers have on this topic:
- How do we teach kids about history without saddling them with pain, shame or guilt?
- How do we talk with them about the present and the future without creating a sense of hopelessness?
- How do we help young people grow into adults ready to take action and advocate for racial justice?
YWCA’s racial justice work is made possible in part by the generosity of Evergy and Kansas Gas Service, and their commitment to their core value of inclusion and diversity.