In Solidarity We Build

YWCA Virtual Racial Justice Summit

From June 23 to 24, 2021

YWCA USA is excited to host "In Solidarity We Build," a Virtual Racial Justice Summit and Gala. In partnership with local association leadership, leading organizations, and other key stakeholders, the Summit and Gala are intended to inform and motivate our community to advance a critical component of our mission – eliminating racism.

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Why Attend?

In the midst of a growing demand for national reckoning around racism and systemic change following the fierce uprisings in defense of Black lives, YWCA continues to stake our ground at the intersection of race and gender. We continue to be uniquely poised to address the real and plentiful obstacles faced by American women, girls, and people of color.

Through this summit, YWCA USA aims to move from reckoning to resolution. Through a series of thoughtfully crafted plenaries, paneled discussions, fireside chats, and breakout sessions, we hope that our network will build solidarity through our collective power to help identity issues, form strategies, and reimagine solutions for dismantling systems of oppression and creating a more just and equitable society for people of color.

CEO Elisha Rhodes

Message From

Elisha Rhodes

Interim CEO and COO of YWCA USA

Welcome, friends, to YWCA USA’s Racial Justice Summit and Gala  which we’re centering around the theme “In Solidarity We Build.” Our summit and gala will take place in partnership with local association leadership, leading organizations, and key stakeholders, all in pursuit of informing and driving us to realize our mission of eliminating racism.

We have been deeply inspired by the herculean efforts and collective power of the YWCA network to answer the cry for justice in the communities we serve every day — efforts to eliminate racism, to break down barriers at its systemic source, and to raise up and defend the lives of people of color. But these efforts have been more than inspiring — they have been galvanizing. 

YWCA USA has long had our ear trained in the direction of the clarion calls for justice. And we have long positioned ourselves as leaders in this field. But we know deeply how no one organization or entity can go it alone.

Friends, we need a community of support to support our communities. “In Solidarity We Build” is essential for the current moment. Join us — all of us.

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Roy Austin

Vice President of Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel, Facebook

Mahogany Browne

American Poet Curator, Writer, Organizer, & Educator

Jodi-Ann Burey

Disruptor, Speaker, & Writer

Maria Cardona

Head of Public Affairs Practice and founder of Latinovations, Dewey Square Group

Charlene Carruthers

Political Strategist, Community Organizer, & Author

Monique Carswell

Director, Center for Racial Equity,

Monique Dorsainvil

Director of Public Policy, Facebook

Sarah Eagle Heart

Social Justice Storyteller, Consultant, & Activist, Women's March

Marguerite H. Griffin

Director of Philanthropic Advisory Services, Northern Trust

Maria Imperial

CEO, YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester

Dr. Keita Joy

Life & Business Coach, Success Uncensored

Erika Lee

Professor, Author, Historian

Margaret Mitchell

President & CEO, YWCA Greater Cleveland

Ebonne Ruffins

Vice President of Local Media Development, Comcast

Ebony A. Thomas

Racial Equality & Economic Opportunity Executive, Bank of America

Deran Young

Founder & Executive Director, Black Therapists Rock


Women of Distinction Logo
Women Of Distinction

The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards Gala was established to celebrate, recognize, and honor women, girls, and organizations for their work and impact in racial justice, advocacy and civic engagement, and women’s empowerment.