In a sentence or two, what does your organization do for the community?
YWCA Miami’s mission is to eliminate racism and empower women, promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We envision a world of equal opportunity, and we’ve committed ourselves to the work of justice for over 100 years in South Florida. We combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement and the health and safety of women and girls. Everything for HER.
2020 has been a year that community matters more than ever. How has your organization responded?
Despite these challenging times, your YWCA has stuck to its three core values – courage, compassion and commitment – to continue to standing for equity and showing up for every woman.
Together with our national partners, we are on the front lines of educating and advocating for racial justice, equal pay, immigration reform, voting rights and many other issues that impact women, girls and people of color. Locally, we’re using our platform to bring us closer to a world of equity and human decency through campaigns such as our YWeCount census campaign, which mobilizes the community to complete the Census 2020, and our 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, which asks you to dedicate 21-Days to collective education on the fundamental of racial equity and social justice issues.
Additionally, we have acted boldly and quickly to adapt to the new environment and shifted our programming and resources virtually to ensure access to the most vulnerable during the pandemic. We’ve continued to engage students with virtual learning activities as part of our early education program, actively set appointments and continued educating over 400 of our breast health clients, connected our clients with economic support to survive job loss, bolstered academic success when schools were forced to close and distributed meals.
What is your organization’s unique place in the fight for racial justice?
Fighting for racial equality is at the core of what YWCA does. Our Racial Justice Framework empowers South Florida communities of color with equitable access to healthcare, economic and educational services. This includes the following:
- Economic Prosperity
- Health Access
- High Quality Early Education Equity
- Youth Global Education
- Justice & Human Rights support through safe havens in Dade/Broward Courthouses
- National Policy Awareness and Advocacy
- Leadership and Empowerment Development
- Community Convening
These programs have been in place for over 100 years, serving over 3.1 million marginalized people in Miami-Dade County and beyond.
What’s on deck for the future?
We are continuing to expand our services to those beyond Miami-Dade County in order to touch the lives of thousands more women, girls, and people of color across South Florida.
We’re also excited to launch the “21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge” on June 29 based on the notion that it takes 21 days to change a habit. It was introduced last year by YWCA Cleveland and their impact and success with the campaign has become a model for YWCAs nationwide. We are honored to present the challenge to South Florida as a way to encourage shared learning, discussion, action and change in our community.
The challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. For more information, and to register to be a part of the challenge, please visit here.
If you had to line-item for the community the 3 top things the organization needs, what would they be?
- Advocates & Allies: YWCA’s incredible sponsors, partners and volunteers provide critical financial and staffing support for the programs in our Racial Justice Framework. We want you to add your voice as a person, volunteer, group, partner, corporation, foundation, organization or government institution in order to further the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women all over South Florida. If you’re interested in making a lasting impact on your community, join YWCA here.
- Action: Join YWCA in keeping our collective commitment to justice in our South Florida community strong by taking the following actions now:
- Sign our pledge to Stand Against Racism
- Sign the petitions for Justice for George Floyd and Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Get registered to vote; make your voice heard and elect officials that represent your values
- Complete the Census 2020 and encourage your neighbors and colleagues to spread the word.
- Share the voices/stories of POC on social media; Follow us at @ywcamiami
- Donations: YWCA is a voice for the most marginalized across South Florida. When you support YWCA Miami, you amplify the voices of people of color, women and girls, and fulfill our shared mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Any contribution will help support and fund our organization’s programs that support this vision. To make a donation, please visit the donate tab on YWCA-Miami.org.