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eliminating racism empowering women YWCA greater pittsburgh

Center for Race and Gender Equity

Promoting Equity, Educating Individuals, Advocating for Change

YWCA Position Statement - Dept of Justice Racial Profiling Guidance

Pittsburgh's Racial Demographics 2015: Differences and Disparities [Executive Summary] (PDF); University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, Center on Race & Social Problems

image description2017 Stand Against Racism

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Race & Gender Equity promotes awareness of equality issues, educates individuals, and advocates for change in communities throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Center supports and promotes the YW's national advocacy agenda and identifies legislative opportunities (federal, state and local) that advance YWCA’s focus areas of Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women.

Our work includes establishing partnerships with allies and coalitions; engaging grassroots networks; and hosting community forums, workshops, and trainings.  Our efforts are supported by the work of YWCA Equity Team and the Center for Race and Gender Equity Community Advisory Committee.

Promoting Awareness

The Center directs the planning and implementation of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s signature racial justice, inclusion, and equity events as well as educational programs that focus on disparities/barriers in criminal justice, gender equity, and other challenges. Programs and events include:

  • Racial Justice Awards: Promoting awareness of equality issues, educates individuals, and advocates for change in communities throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. 
  • International Women’s Day: Partnering annually with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh to mark March 8 with interactive events that focus on major contemporary issues confronting women and girls around the world.
  • Week Without Violence:  Challenging and inspiring people to bring to life the vision where all people are free to live with peace, respect, and opportunity. Since its launch in 1995, Week Without Violence has grown from a grassroots initiative to a global movement with women, men, and children from all fifty states and in more than twenty countries on six continents.
  • Stand Against Racism: Raising awareness that racism still exists in our communities and that it cannot be ignored or tolerated. A nation-wide movement initiated by YWCA in 2008, Stand Against Racism attracts tens of thousands of participants through community partnerships with more than 60 YWCA Associations.
  • Other Events/Activities: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast, National Voter Registration Day, Naturalization Ceremonies

Educating Individuals

The Center for Race and Gender Equity serves as a community resource on issues of Racial Justice, Inclusion, and Equity. We are available for focus groups and group facilitation; keynote addresses and conference presentations; and to develop and deliver training and technical programs for organizations, schools, and companies.  

Advocating for Change

We focus our advocacy work on these public policy areas:

  • Racial Justice, Inclusion & Equity: civil rights, voting rights; hate crimes: racial profiling, immigration reform; and race/gender disparities; and other areas of equity and inclusion
  • Health & Safety: Violence against women; human trafficking; women’s health and reproductive justice; and other community violence
  • Economic Empowerment & Education: Equal pay; minimum wage; increasing women’s income; early childhood education; job training/opportunities; and post secondary education

Key Partnerships

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Community College of Allegheny County
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Civil Rights Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association
North Hills Anti Racism Coalition
Pittsburgh Pirates
Prime Stage Theater Teen Dating Awareness Program
United States Attorney’s Office, Western District
World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Center for Race and Gender Equity Community Advisory Committee

Individuals from diverse sectors – including government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, and educational institutions – provide advice and feedback on the Center’s community outreach and advocacy work. 

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Employee Equity Team

Comprised of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh staff members, the Equity Team helps ensure alignment of our external work with our internal practices.

The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh works to influence change and inspire action.  We invite you to join our efforts - Become a Member today!

For more information, contact Program Manager Mell Steven Cosnek



The recent events of violence by white nationalist in Charlottesville is in opposition to YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s mission and core more

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