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Racial Justice

YWCA Clark County is committed to racial justice by working to eliminate racism and other forms of oppression through education, awareness and engagement. By increasing civic engagement toward the elimination of racism and oppression, we can create respectful living, learning and working environments that build inclusive communities.

We recognize that racial justice requires a community effort, and we applaud those in Clark County who advocate for racial justice through their leadership and community involvement. Annually, we recognize those leaders of peace, justice, freedom and dignity with the Val Joshua Racial Justice Awards. We also have joined more than 500 groups across the country to participate in an annual nationwide Stand Against Racism.

Welcome to YWCA Clark County’s Racial Equity Community Needs Assessment, a comprehensive endeavor rooted in our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote justice for all. This report serves as a pivotal exploration into the needs and challenges faced by BIPOC communities in Clark County, spotlighting racial disparities within various social contexts.  Through meticulous analysis and community engagement, this assessment signifies our resolute commitment to fostering an inclusive and just society, where every voice matters.

This assessment underscores the essential connection between eliminating racism and empowering women, highlighting the barriers faced by BIPOC women due to intersecting discrimination based on race and gender. Our collective effort in dismantling racist structures and fostering racial equity is a step toward creating a safer, more harmonious community for everyone. With profound gratitude to our supporters, including the Community Foundation of SW Washington, and the invaluable input of diverse stakeholders, this report is not just a documentation of needs but a call to action. Let us join hands, confront challenges, and work together to build a community where every individual is valued, heard, and empowered to thrive.

YWCA Clark County would like to acknowledge that we are on the lands that were and continue to be occupied by the Indigenous peoples of the Lower Columbia River. The people still exist, practice their cultural and spiritual ways and continue to live on these lands. Since time immemorial these lands were honored and respected by the people who occupied them. In acknowledging that the people have continued to remain on or near these lands; it is equally important to acknowledge these lands we are on today remain sacred as they always have. YWCA Clark County also acknowledges that it was 400 years ago that the first enslaved Africans were stolen and forced to participate in the colonization of America and beyond. We acknowledge that institutional racism has deep roots which are still impacting the Black community today, and the ongoing struggle for reparations inspires our ongoing work.

YWCA Clark County Land Acknowledgment

YWCA Clark County would like to acknowledge that we are on the lands that were and continue to be occupied by the Indigenous peoples of the Lower Columbia River. The people still exist, practice their cultural and spiritual ways and continue to live on these lands. Since time immemorial these lands were honored and respected by the people who occupied them. In acknowledging that the people have continued to remain on or near these lands; it is equally important to acknowledge these lands we are on today remain sacred as they always have.

YWCA Clark County also acknowledges that it was 400 years ago that the first enslaved Africans were stolen and forced to participate in the colonization of America and beyond. We acknowledge that institutional racism has deep roots which are still impacting the Black community today, and the ongoing struggle for reparations inspires our ongoing work.

Val Joshua
Val Joshua

The Val Joshua Award was originally given to Val Joshua to recognize her life-long commitment and work toward the elimination of racism in 1989.

Today, we give two awards to recognize people in our community who are working toward ending oppression, the Val Joshua Racial Justice Award and the Youth Social Justice Award. The awards are presented annually to individuals, groups, businesses, or organizations who have demonstrated leadership in working toward eliminating racism and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.

To view a list of previous winners, click here.

SAR Challenge LogoThe Stand Against Racism Challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege and leadership.

2022’s Stand Against Racism Challenge launched with the theme “We Can’t Wait: Equity and Justice Now!”

Learn More