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Racial Justice

Empowering Economically
YWCA Madison / Racial Justice

Racial Justice Programs

Women and people of color who participate in our training programs gain tangible job skills and access to employment fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented.

Racism affects all of us, regardless of what we look like. The elimination of racism is an on-going process that requires persistence, commitment, and continuing dialogue between individuals and groups. The YWCA is committed to helping individuals, organizations, and companies in the Madison community improve race relations and find ways to eliminate racism through constructive dialogue and meaningful action. The YWCA achieves these goals through:



Looking at culture through the lens of race, the YWCA offers this educational training to broaden intercultural and interracial awareness and to improve intercultural and interracial communication.

This workshop explores the role that culture plays in communicating and resolving (or escalating) conflicts across racial lines. With a focus on racial and ethnic diversity in the United States, participants in this workshop will learn about verbal and non-verbal communication and conflict styles.

This introductory-level workshop leverages multiple learning strategies, including: interactive activities, discussion and a film screening. Through a combination of techniques, participants will learn more about themselves and the role culture plays in our everyday interactions and how to navigate these interactions with conscious and culturally appropriate ways.


By examining and assessing how racism impacts and is perpetuated at the structural level, participants and organizations develop a critical consciousness which is the basis for action planning and implementation regarding the elimination of racism and creating multicultural organizations.

This workshop is an external examination of how racism is embedded in the historical legacy of the United States in our laws, economy, housing markets, and institutions, including our criminal justice and educational systems. By considering this historical legacy, participants come to understand the impact that past policies still have on our society today.

This intermediate-level workshop utilizes the Race: The Power of an Illusion film series from PBS. By asking, “What is this thing called ‘race’?”, a question so basic it is rarely asked, Race: The Power of an Illusion helps set the terms that any further discussion of race must first take into account. These highly interactive workshops culminate in strategic planning and policy analysis to help people apply these ideas to their individual lives and their organizations.


This programming focuses on advancing and enhancing the knowledge of people committed to challenging racism in the United States. Through shared self inquiry and analysis, we explore race-based privilege and its impact on and cost to every member of our society.

This session offers the opportunity for internal reflection through a combination of constructive dialogue and interactive activities. This workshop includes a screening of Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible. The stories highlighted in the film are insightful, poignant and speak to the subtle and overt behaviors stemming from bias that take many forms: personal, interpersonal, cultural, institutional and systemic.

This advanced-level workshop is intended for participants who acknowledge that racism is a real and pervasive force that can be subtle or unintentional, but is no less impactful on our community. Participants will examine the role that privilege has played in their lives and explore how their privilege can be harnessed for positive change and meaningful action.

Certificate Program

For an intensive and cumulative learning experience, the YWCA offers a Racial Justice Certificate program for participants who attend all three of the Racial Justice course levels and complete reading and online assignments between the courses. We recommend, but do not require, that participants attend the courses in order of their levels (ie: 100, 200, then 300).

Participants who would like to achieve a YWCA Racial Justice Certificate will be asked to complete the online curriculum, preferably before the first session. After enrolling in the Certificate Program, participants will be given a link to all of the required readings. Assignments include approximately 20-30 pages of reading following each session and the expectation that participants will reflect on both classes and readings in a journal. Certificate program participants will be required to attend an additional hour of discussion on their final class session to review journal entries with fellow certificate program participants.

Creating Equitable Organizations

In “The Business Case for Racial Equity” (2013), the Kellogg Foundation states: “research has shown that businesses with a more diverse workforce have more customers, higher revenues and profits, greater market share, less absenteeism and turnover, and a higher level of commitment to their organization” (p. 5). We invite you to partner with the YWCA Madison to cultivate a thriving and diverse organizational culture. YWCA Madison offers a variety of training opportunities to help companies create more culturally-competent workplaces. Training can be customized for your organization and covers a variety of topics, including: basic cultural competency and cross-cultural communication skills, understanding racial inequalities and disparities, and exploring the roles we can all play in advancing equal access to opportunity. We tailor the length and intensity of training to fit your organization’s needs. Some popular options include half- or full-day trainings, Creating Equitable and Inclusive Organizations training (see below), or consultation appointments with your staff to assist them in developing tools for ongoing programming. YWCA provides local businesses with the tools needed to create sustainable diverse workplaces, for more long term partnership options please click here.


Well-intended diversity initiatives often fall short of desired outcomes. While increasing awareness, most don’t create significant, sustainable organizational change. In this training, employees will explore the Multicultural Organization Developmental strategic organizational change model to learn how businesses can create inclusive organizations through systemic, long-term culture change.


YWCA Madison offers Equity and Inclusion Partnership opportunities for organizations who are working on internal capacity building around being an inclusive and equitable workplace. One of our partners, Group Health Cooperative, was featured in the following video clip around the work they are doing as a partner with the YWCA through a 3-year Sustainer level partnership. We are excited to partner with other inspiring organizations in our community who are starting amazing equity work.

Services and Fee Schedule


Included in training:

  • one half-day session for 25 or fewer participants
  • planning phone call or meeting with key leadership prior to training
  • one facilitated follow-up meeting with the Change Team to discuss your organization’s inclusion plan

Non-profit Organization: $1,500*
For-profit Organization: $2,500*


Included in package:

  • all benefits listed above PLUS:
  • one follow-up training developed in consultation with your Change Team (see the YWCA Madison’s Racial Justice trainings Levels 100-300 for sample training ideas)
  • one planning phone call or meeting with key leadership prior to follow-up training

Non-profit organization: $2,500*
For-profit organization: $3,500*

For more information, contact Interim Race & Gender Equity Manager, Naomi Takahashi at 608.257.1436, option 2.

*Groups larger than 25 people can be accommodated for an additional fee. Contact the Interim  Race & Gender Equity Manager regarding cost.

Request more information about this training and potential training dates using our contact form.

Workshop Calendar


All sessions will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at YWCA Madison’s Empowerment Center located at 2040 S. Park Street. Purchased individually, each workshop is $100. Attend all three levels and save $50.

  • Communicating Across Cultures: Level 100—March 1, 2018 (Part 1) / March 8, 2018 (Part 2)
  • Deconstructing Racism: Level 200—April 5, 2018 (Part 1) / April 12, 2018 (Part 2)
  • Exploring Privilege: Level 300—May 3, 2018 (Part 1) / May 10, 2018 (Part 2)


All sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at YWCA Madison’s Empowerment Center located at 2040 S. Park Street. Purchased individually, each workshop is $100. Attend all three levels and save $50.

  • Communicating Across Cultures: Level 100—June 12, 2018
  • Deconstructing Racism: Level 200—June 13, 2018
  • Exploring Privilege: Level 300—Jun 14, 2018