Advocacy & Racial Justice

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Community Voices Series

The Community Voices Series is a new program of YWCA Bethlehem that launched in January 2021. We look forward to providing the Lehigh Valley with monthly forums that blend education, awareness, and advocacy around the topics of racial justice and gender equity.

An Introduction to Allyship

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

The YWCA’s Empowerment and Justice Committee will host “An Introduction to Allyship” on Wednesday, May 26 at 5:00 pm. This is a perfect starting point to understand the definition, intent, and work of being an ally to marginalized individuals and communities. The Community Voices Series is committed to creating a safe space for courageous conversations and exploration of complex social issues. Connect, reflect, and learn with others who are committed to fostering equity and justice in the Lehigh Valley.

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Practicing Radical Self Care: An Act of Liberation

Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

We invite you to join YWCA Allentown, YWCA Bethlehem, Shanthi Project, NAACP Allentown/Lehigh Unit, the Bethlehem NAACP, the Allentown Human Relations Commission, and the Lehigh Valley community for a FREE virtual workshop. We offer this healing workshop as a strategic opportunity to reset our mind, body, and spirit for greater clarity and renewal. 

Self-care is a radical act of liberation because white dominance forces us (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are more acutely impacted) to disconnect from the mind, body, and spirit in order to survive oppressive systems. In this workshop, we will utilize our time together to: 

  • Expand our knowledge of what self-care is, why it is essential, and how it is a radical act of liberation. 
  • Engage in self-care practices to intentionally reconnect to our mind, body, and spirit as a form of healing justice. 
  • Cultivate the wisdom in our community around self-care practices that are grounded in our knowledge and lived experiences. 

We will also offer four separate break-out sessions focused on self-care practices in the areas of Mindfulness and Joy through Art MakingDrumming for Empowerment and WellnessMovement for All through Yoga and Qigong, and Racial Stress and Strategies for Fostering Resilience. These activities were designed primarily with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in mind, but anyone can draw inspiration from these practices and approaches. 

We look forward to being in community with you! 

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Past Events

Stand Against Racism Pledge

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities.  I am taking a stand against racism with YWCA. By taking the Pledge, I commit to “do the work” to make the Lehigh Valley a more safe, just, and equitable place for all.

Mindful of the continuing affliction of institutional and structural racism as well as the daily realities of all forms of bias, prejudice and bigotry in my own life, my family, my circle of friends, my co-workers and the society in which I live, with conviction and hope:

  • I take this pledge, fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end with a mere pledge but calls for an ongoing transformation within myself and the institutions and structures of our society;
  • I pledge to look deeply and continuously in my heart and in my mind to identify all signs and vestiges of racism; to rebuke the use of racist language and behavior towards others; to root out such racism in my daily life and in my encounters with persons I know and with strangers I do not know; and to expand my consciousness to be more aware and sensitive to my use of overt and subtle expressions of racism and racial stereotypes;
  • I pledge to educate myself on racial justice issues and share what I learn in my own communities even if it means challenging my family, my partner, my children, my friends, my co-workers and those I encounter on a daily basis;
  • I pledge, within my means, to actively work to support public policy solutions that prominently, openly and enthusiastically promote racial equity in all aspects of human affairs; and to actively support and devote my time to YWCA, as well as other organizations working to eradicate racism from our society.
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. I join YWCA in taking a stand against racism today and every day.

Stand Against Racism Pledge

Take the Pledge today and do better every day.
*This pledge has been adapted by YWCA USA from the Pledge to Eliminate Racism in My Life, YWCA Bergen County which is an adaptation of the Pledge to Heal Racism in My Life, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, April 10, 2006.
Donate to Racial Justice Programs

Empowerment & Justice Committee

YWCA Bethlehem’s Empowerment and Justice Committee promotes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) within the YWCA and in the broader Lehigh Valley community. The committee supports programming initiatives, social media campaigns, and community events that highlight our antiracism work and the work of partners who share our vision of a just and equitable world.  The Committee’s work helps to bridge our empowerment programs with our racial justice mission.

If you are interested in joining the Empowerment and Justice Committee contact Program Director Jen Wanisko.