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21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge

Content for YWCA York’s 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge is available through the end of 2021. Register: Click HERE

The Challenge is designed to use dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.

We are sharing a glossary of terms developed by the YWCA as part of our racial justice toolkit. The Challenge is designed for people at all stages of understanding, so this may be helpful to some. Click HERE

Take our pledge to END racism with your family, friends and contacts: Click HERE

Content warning: Some of the material can be difficult and challenging for participants. Learn more about the impact of racial trauma: Click HERE


Eliminating racism. Empowering Women.

YWCA York is not just an organization…we are a mission-driven collective, ready to serve our community with open minds and hearts. Using an intersectional approach and mindfulness techniques, the goal of our work is to eliminate racism and empower women. This demands that we show up to advocate for the end of inequities and oppression that many groups and individuals experience in our community.

In 2021 YWCA York will begin an internal equity initiative to review our own operating policies, hiring practices, governance and leadership structures, and the delivery of our programs and services to diverse populations. Internal accountability is a requirement for an organization dedicated to this work.

YWCA York has been leading change since 1891. JOIN US. Your voice is critical. We cannot do this work alone. We invite the community to engage in an exchange of ideas with us and be part of the solutions we generate together.



Creating a Better York

YWCA York offers deep and meaningful discussions led by skilled facilitators using the Courageous Conversations model. Everyone is invited to share in respectful and candid conversations that benefit our community. It is through dialogue, even when it’s uncomfortable, that healing and change can take root. Monthly offerings are highlighted in the Events section of the website.

YWCA York takes an interactive and reflective approach to teaching about bias, oppression, privilege, and the “isms” that exist in our society today. Our programs are designed to equip participants with the tools they need to create a more inclusive environment. The 21 Day Racial and Social Equity Challenge deepens participants’ understanding of inequities and inspires them to take action to dismantle systemic racism.

Be a part of the change you want to see in the world! Contact us at info@ywcayork.org to learn about the options for conversations and presentations. Download YWCA’s racial justice overview that includes our theory of change and civil rights legacy. Click here.

It Takes Two to Make a Change

The 2021 YWCA York Race Against Racism unites our community as we run, walk, stroll, or cheer along a 5K route in support of our mission of advancing racial justice in York County and promoting PEACE, JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND DIGNITY FOR ALL.

The proceeds from this event support the important work that we do in our community to create change and allow us to offer much of our programming for free. Invite your family, friends, and coworkers to join in this virtual 5K and share photos on social media! REGISTER AND LEARN MORE HERE

Thank you to our presenting sponsors:

Promoting Justice and Freedom

The important mission of YWCA York’s Racial Justice Committee is accomplished through a collaborative approach that seeks to create bridges between individuals, community organizations, faith-based organizations, businesses, schools and colleges.

Activities in the community focus on a range of topics pertaining to race, privilege, equality, and civil rights. This committee meets every other month throughout this year. Contact us at info@ywcayork.org if you would like information about joining this committee.

YWCA York is a proud participating organization of the Confronting Racism Coalition (CRC), a community action group of people looking to create a more equitable York County. For more information on the CRC, visit www.confrontingracism.org

Emerging Leaders

YWCA York participates in the regional Leadership Summit: Dialogues on Race. This program is held in the fall and aimed at student leaders in grades 8-12 with an interest in making changes in their schools and communities. Five student leaders are selected by each school district to engage in deep conversations about race, culture, and justice at a 4 1/2 hour training held at York College of Pennsylvania. Our talented and motivated volunteers help facilitate these meaningful experiences. Schools provide transportation to the college.

If you are interested in learning more about our racial and social justice work with schools, contact us at info@ywcayork.org

Gender Equity Advocate

The 2020 recipient of the Dorrie Leader Advocacy Award is Jane Tucker, co-founder of ACCESS York.

Jane was one of the primary forces behind the establishment of a domestic violence shelter in York in 1980 and she remained on the board for many years. Her own journey as a young wife and moth

er, able to leave her first abusive marriage and begin a new life, gave her the courage to help others. ACCESS York merged with YWCA York in 2008.

Read more about Jane Tucker and ACCESS York’s 40th anniversary: Click HERE

The History of the Award

In 1995, YWCA York created the Dorrie Leader Advocacy Award to recognize women advocates for social issues. The award honors YWCA York volunteer achievement, the support for our advocacy agenda, and YWCA York’s mission of peace, justice, and dignity for all people.

Dorrie Leader dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights, the empowerment of women, and advocating for social justice. Mrs. Leader served as YWCA York’s board president i

n the early 1950s before going on to serve on the National Board of YWCA USA from 1958 to 1976. She was present in 1963 at the March on Washington, accompanied by her two oldest daughters, to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak of his dream for America.

She shared that dream, and was steadfast in her commitment to help achieve it nationally and here in York. Her fierce advocacy for racial justice undoubtedly laid the groundwork for YWCA’s prioritization of the elimination of racism as national mission work.

Past Honorees

Meg Brubaker, Carla Christopher, Rev., Ruthe Craley, Cynthia Dixon, Helen Elfner, Traci Foster, Deborah Gable, Ramona Kinard, Rev., Dorrie Leader, Genevieve Ray, Delma Rivera, Delma Rivera Lytle, Stephanie Seaton, Doris Sweeney, Jane Zarfoss and Jerri Zimmerman.

Collective Impact

The Racial Justice Community Assessment (RJCA) is a questionnaire designed by YWCA York to understand the current, racial justice services available, where there are gaps, and opportunities to enhance coordination and effectiveness among organizations doing racial justice work in York, Pennsylvania. The RJCA was also designed to strengthen unity and collaboration among organizations involved in racial justice work; therefore, this report was written to share the information collected with the York community.

A special thank you to the York County Community Foundation for their support of this project! YWCA York Racial Justice Assessment Report 2019: Click HERE

We are currently gathering information on organizations and individuals offering racial equity programs and services through the month of March. Add your information: Click HERE