Racial Justice

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For a More Just and Equitable Southeast Wisconsin

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin is a part of the national movement of over 200 YWCA’s working to eliminate racism. Our commitment, like our national organization, runs deep. While the YWCA has been working in Milwaukee since 1893, addressing issues facing women, our mission has been refined to focus on the challenges of racism and civil rights.

History teaches us that women of color have often been at the apex of important changes. The suffragette movement saw women of color working to address their voting rights while white women fought for their own rights, ignoring the needs of black and brown women.

Progress comes slowly. In order to address racism, in all the places where we witness its oppressive power, we need people who understand it, can address it and challenge it. We will end racism when more people, particularly white people, understand the importance of taking action to intervene and change racialized outcomes impacting people of color in work, personal and structural settings.

We recognize the challenges facing our community. We know that being in denial of the history and impact of racism will not change outcomes in our community.

Our approach is to transform the landscape of our region to address racial inequities in their many forms (criminal justice, education, health, housing, employment).

Take a look at our vision  and framework for a more just and equitable Southeast Wisconsin.

Racial Justice Framework

Our Impact

Unlearning Racism: Tools for Action©

This six-part workshop series examines the history and impact of racism and what learners can do about it.

Conversations on Race

This six-part series will help you discuss and break down racial bias. This is an opportunity to learn about the history and impact of racism and what you can do about it.

Workplace Consulting

We offer tailored training to hiring managers and leadership teams at businesses, universities, nonprofits, and churches throughout the region.

Racial Justice Blog & Newsletter

Our monthly blog and newsletter includes candid thoughts, relevant information and insightful resources that focus on racial justice issues in Southeast Wisconsin and beyond.

Our Approach

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin studied the disconnect between job providers and job seekers using the Community Readiness Assessment, an evidence-based tool that measures attitudes, knowledge, efforts and activities, and resources in the business community to address employment issues.

The evidence reveals that Milwaukee employers are vaguely aware that something can be done to address our pressing employment needs for people with limited soft skills and/or challenging work histories.

We’ve engaged a healthcare cohort to discuss how employers review and evaluate job seekers, HR hiring practices and retention strategies.

Assessment interviews were done in hospitality, healthcare, construction, manufacturing and finance. Additional cohorts are being formed for hospitality and manufacturing.

  • We bring people together to learn from one another while sharing information and knowledge via
    • book clubs
    • panel discussions (for example: Stand Against Racism, Talk-Back Tuesdays and Thoughtful Thursdays)
    • An Annual An Evening to Promote Racial Justice


  • Unlearning Racism: Tools for Action©. Our six-part, 24-hour education series offered in Milwaukee and Racine affords participants the opportunity to learn about the impact, history, manifestations, whiteness, and addressing racism in one’s sphere of influence. We invite people to collaborate with classmates on their next steps in addressing issues in their neighborhoods, workplaces, and community.
  • Other educational programs cover racial implicit bias, microaggressions, and whiteness / white privilege. These offerings vary from 45 minute to 4 or more hours and allow participants to learn more about racism in a focused session.

  • We offer tailored programs designed to address the needs of your organization, business, nonprofit or collective. This consulting can begin with an assessment of where the organization is currently seeing racial inequities from their own data or knows that issues exist and need assistance addressing them.