The mission of YWCA Minneapolis is to eliminate racism, empower women and girls, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Since 1891, YWCA Minneapolis has been living our mission. As a leader in the field of racial equity, we empower communities and workplaces to stand against racism, embrace new perspectives and promote justice for all people.
Our mission is a bold one. We envision a world of opportunity. We believe the integrative, multifaceted nature of our work is vital to address the complex nature of racism in our community.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered at the knee of an officer of the Minneapolis Police Department. George was just 46 years old: a father, a son, a brother, a fiancé and a member of our community. Moments like this offer striking clarity that systemic injustice and racism are ever-present and they bring to the forefront why the mission to eliminate racism is ever more crucial.
We’re in a watershed moment, one that YWCA Minneapolis was made for. YWCA dares to lead in this moment; we will embark on a path forward to demand action and dialogue around racial inequities and injustice.
The need is great. The solution isn’t simple. With your support, we will make a long-lasting difference in our community through a multi-pronged approach engaging individuals and communities and working within systems of power to dismantle inequities for a more just Twin Cities. Together we will change the status quo and continue our long-standing work to open doors for all.
We will Be the Difference.
For 20 years, our YWCA Midtown location on Lake Street has served as a fixture in our community. To serve our neighbors in the aftermath and condemnation of the murder of George Floyd, a pop-up distribution center was opened at our Lake Street location to provide food and hygiene supplies serving on average, 600 families a week.
In just its first month open in June 2020, 17,000 meal kits were distributed and community members filled over 1,700 volunteer shifts. The need for this emergency community support continues to rise and we are committed to resourcing this distribution throughout 2021.
Having conversations about racism is difficult, messy and uncomfortable. No matter who we are, each of us is at a different stage in our racial equity journey. We make it a point to have these conversations in a way that is accessible to all through monthly racial justice workshops held for members, volunteers, staff and the larger community.
YWCA provides facilitator training to individuals with the desire to facilitate meaningful conversations with family, colleagues, faith communities and neighborhoods.
As a mission-driven, nonpartisan organization, YWCA Minneapolis is committed to being a resource and an advocate for the community through civic engagement and education. We’re proud to help members of our community make their voices heard and become impactful advocates for positive social reform. Key advocacy and public policy efforts in the coming year will focus on upcoming local, state and federal elections in November and mobilizing census participation.
YWCA Minneapolis has been providing racial equity consulting services since 2002, working to eliminate inequities on interpersonal, institutional and systemic levels. Our Inc.lude™ Equity and Inclusion Consulting empowers businesses and organizations to build more inclusive and productive workplaces for all employees. The demand for our Inc.lude consulting services continues to grow. Fees for these much-needed services will be available on a sliding scale to ensure access to all businesses and organizations, regardless of budget or sector. We are committed to collaborating with new partners at universities, within the judicial system and local nonprofits to join us in creating a more equitable workforce.
Our largest and most visible community events are YWCA Minneapolis Forums on Racial Equity. Held throughout the year, these events empower community members to challenge the structures that uphold racial inequities. Our signature events, It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race™ and It’s Time to Act!™ engage nearly 2,000 individuals annually; through a virtual platform, these events can reach many more — positioning YWCA Minneapolis as a national leader in the field of racial equity to facilitate change and generate meaningful action in the workplace and community.
Disparities start early and so do their consequences. YWCA provides high-quality, nationally accredited early childhood education to more than 675 children, regardless of race, economics or culture and prepares them for success in school and life. By investing in Minnesota’s children early, we prepare young children for success and create a more equal footing from the start.
To support youth during the pandemic, YWCA Minneapolis began offering dynamic online classes and activities to connect with the 1,200+ girls and youth served each year. This includes distance learning support, STEM projects at home and weekly mentoring office hours. Young people were also given the chance to socialize meaningfully with health and wellness modules, social media challenges, e-social hours, cooking contests and more. In the coming year, YWCA Minneapolis will work to bolster our Girls and Youth programs both virtually and in small in-person groups to serve families holistically, ensuring whole and healthy families in our community.
YWCA Minneapolis believes in the urgency of now: we must embrace change to sustain the momentum toward inclusivity, equity and opportunity.
We want YOU to join us as a fierce champion to help carry justice from our doors, into the power structures that determine the future.
We need you to Be the Difference.