Y WE ACT
Many of the issues addressed by YWCA Greater Cleveland – homelessness, addiction, poverty, mental illness – are founded upon and fueled by racism and social injustice. YWCA is committed to advocating for policies that acknowledge structural racism and sexism are at the heart of many of our current crises and must be addressed directly if prospects for women and girls are to improve.
To learn how the YWCA network is making an impact on the national level, visit YWCA USA’s Action Center. You can learn about our federal policy goals and make your voice heard by signing a letter to your Representative or Senator. The 117th Congress represents a critical opportunity to address core issues that impact the needs of women, girls, and marginalized communities. YWCA is working with Congress and coalition partners to ensure that Congress passes legislation in the following areas:
- Safety from domestic and sexual violence
- COVID-19 recovery
- Child care
- Racial justice
- Mental, behavioral, and emotional health
- HB 322 and HB 327 – These bills limit teachers’ ability to teach difficult subjects such as the history of racism in this country and its continuing impact. They will also limit the growth that comes from learning about other’s life experiences and have nothing to do with protecting Ohio’s children. While it can be uncomfortable to acknowledge the issues in our country, it is necessary to better ourselves and the next generation. Critical Race Theory is not about blame, but rather bettering and improving ourselves for a better America. Please reach out to your State representatives and let them know you do not support this legislation.
- Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis
- In November of 2019, YWCA Greater Cleveland partnered with First Year Cleveland to host “400 Years of Inequity: A Call to Action” a national summit commemorating the start of chattel slavery in 1619 and its enduring impact on health, economic and educational inequities in America. The summit closed with a call to action – declare racism a public health crisis. With the support of YWCA and other community organizations, in summer 2020, the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials declared racism a public health crisis and committed to making real systemic change. These declarations represent an important governmental acknowledgment of racism and its continued impact.
- We are now serving on a working group made up of leaders from several community organizations in Cleveland, including the NAACP, infant mortality activist groups Birthing Beautiful Communities and First Year Cleveland and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland to make recommendations and advise policymakers and city officials on improving racial disparities in Cleveland.
- Ending Youth Homelessness
- A Place 4 Me – AP4M is a collective impact initiative of 30 partner organizations that coordinates the planning and implementation of local efforts to improve outcomes for young adults aging out of foster care or experiencing homelessness. We achieve these goals through convening, system assessment, planning, using data to drive decision-making, and by partnering with young adults to lead our advocacy efforts. We work to promote racial equity in the youth homeless system.