ywca greater cleveland

Racial Inclusion Initiative

why racial inclusion

While a great deal of progress has been made around race and racism, all of us continue to be deeply impacted by interpersonal, systemic and structural racism. Research shows that race relations substantially influence culture in organizations and communities. The YWCA Racial Inclusion Initiative works with organizational leaders to explore the concept of race and address racism in workplaces and communities. Lingering, often implicit, individual, systemic and structural biases interplay and contribute negatively toward organizational and community cultures.

Through workshops, organizational consulting and community-based advocacy, the Racial Inclusion Initiative provides leaders with the resources needed to implement positive organizational change.


YWCA ChangeMakers is a dialogue-based workshop series focused on racial equity and inclusion. A group of 15-20 participants meet over four half-day sessions to engage in candid conversations about race and racism. Participants leave the program with a greater understanding of the complexities of race and racial disparities in the whole of their lives: personally, interpersonally, within community, in the workplace, and in society at large.

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stand against racism™

Stand Against Racism™ is a movement of the YWCA with the goal of bringing people together from all walks of life - across the country - to raise awareness that racism still exists.

The methodology of Stand Against Racism™ is to bring together like-minded organizations that share in our vision of eliminating racism and celebrating the richness of diversity. By inviting community organizations to partner with us, we maximize the outreach of this mission, attracting hundreds of thousands of participants.

Through our annual event, which takes place the last Friday of each April, the YWCA's Stand Against Racism™ addresses the root causes of racism and encourages conversations across diverse communities in Greater Cleveland.


Erica Merritt, Associate Director, Leadership & Inclusion Initiatives
Phone: 216-881-6878 ext 233
Email: emerritt@ywcaofcleveland.org


Erica Merritt
Associate Director,
Leadership & Inclusion Initiatives

Women's Leadership programs:

 Racial Inclusion programs:


Percentage of 2013 Women's Leadership Conference participants who stated they will attend again next year.


The number of women Fortune 500 CEOs.


We provide transformative services in three focus areas. Get involved!