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Equity Summit 2021

Redistributing Power to Build Liberated Communities

2021 Equity Summit logoMay 13-14, 2021
9 am – 2 pm CDT

Increase your knowledge base. Hone your skills. And be part of a growing community at our sixth annual Equity Summit!

Our theme is “Redistributing Power to Build Liberated Communities” and we’ll focus on strengthening the skills and knowledge of all of us who are committed to doing equity work in our local communities — no matter where we are.

The Summit includes two days of workshops, with over 25 presenters and 14 workshops. Featured panel discussions are:

  • Media as a Tool for Organizing with Glenance Green, Dr. Kimberly Ellis (Dr. Goddess), and Maudlyne Ihejirika
  • Communities Creating Their Own Liberation with Bela Moté and Darnell Shields

One of the many workshops you may be interested in is about H.R. 40, which has been in the news recently. This discussion will feature Evanston Ald. Robin Rue Simmons and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky sharing a conversation on reparative justice legislation at the national level.

Leslé Honoré, the Blaxican Poet, artivist, and author of Fist & Fire, will deliver our closing keynote.

Wherever you are in your equity journey, you’ll want to be part of this compelling event!


$125 Individual Registration
$60 Emerging Equity Advocate


Summit Goals

  • Equip participants with increased knowledge and skills to actively promote equity
  • Strengthen the community of individuals doing this work

Schedule of Events

(All times listed below are Central Time)

Thursday, May 13

9:00 – 9:15 AM: Opening

9:30 – 11:30 AM: Breakout Session A
(click here to view breakout sessions and presenters)

12:00 – 1:30 PM: Featured Panel Discussion: Media as a Tool for Organizing with Glenance Green, Dr. Kimberly Ellis (Dr. Goddess), Maudlyne Ihejirika

The role of media in protests and revolutions has garnered considerable attention in recent years. We have seen an increased use of social networking media such as Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok to help organize, communicate and ultimately initiate advocacy campaigns and street actions. Media is being used to inspire and motivate individuals to go from the comfort of their homes to the streets, even during a global pandemic. Our panelists will discuss ways that various forms of media have been used to shift power to local, grassroots leaders to create social movements.

1:30 – 2:00 PM: Networking and Discussion

Friday, May 14:

9:00 – 11:15 AM: Breakout Session B
(click here to view breakout sessions and presenters)

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Networking and Discussion

12:00 – 1:30 PM: Featured Panel Discussion: Communities Creating Their Own Liberation with Bela Moté and Darnell Shields

In order to achieve true equity, resources need to be allocated appropriately and communities should determine the best use of those resources to meet their needs. During this featured panel, members of Marshall Square Resource Network and Austin Coming Together, two collective impact initiatives, will describe their models of collective impact and resource sharing and discuss opportunities for imagining new structures for sharing and distributing resources among communities.

1:30 – 2:00 PM: Closing: Leslé Honoré

Unable to take part in all or part the 2-day Summit?

Videos from the entire Summit (including breakout sessions) will be available to all registrants online for three months.


The 2021 Equity Summit is funded in part by a grant from Healing Illinois.

Non-Profit Partners:

Connections for the Homeless
Evanston Community Foundation
Evanston Public Library
Evanston Scholars

Non-Profit Equity Partner Registration Package

We are offering a Nonprofit Equity Partner registration package, which allows 5 or more members of your organization to attend the Equity Summit at a discount, plus space in our Exhibitor area (online) to share information about your organization.

We will recognize and thank all organizations represented at this important community event, and we hope to include you and your organization on this list. Secure space for your team today!

$500 – Up to five complimentary Summit registrations; commit to promoting the Equity Summit to your network; organization name listed on website and platform.

Contact us at equityinstitute@ywca-ens.org if you’re interested.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Your generous contribution allows us to provide discounted registrations.

$5,000 – Five complimentary Summit registrations; recognition in featured panel discussions; organization logo (if appropriate) on marketing materials, linked profile on event platform.

$2,500 – Three complimentary Summit registrations; recognition in featured panel discussions; organization logo (if appropriate) on marketing materials.

$1,000 – One complimentary Summit registration; organization logo on marketing materials.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Trimmy Stamell
Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations

Our 2020 Equity Summit

450 people attended our first virtual Equity Summit, Transformation in the New Decade, held June 25 and 26, 2020. The Summit featured:

  • New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie being interviewed by WBEZ Chicago South Side Reporter Natalie Moore (left below) on this moment in time: why George Floyd’s murder created this state of reckoning in our country and where we go from here.
  •  A panel discussion on Transforming Our Systems: What COVID-19 Reminds Us about Race and Next Steps with YWCA Equity Institute Director Tiffany McDowell, Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, retired Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Evonda Thomas-Smith and Executive Director of the Latino Policy Forum, Sylvia Puente. 

Watch the videos below:

Featured speakers Jamelle Bouie and Natalie Moore
Transforming Our Systems: What COVID-19 Reminds Us about Race and Next Steps

About our annual Equity Summit


YWCA Evanston/North Shore has a deep and abiding commitment to working on issues of economic, gender and racial justice; particularly in the places where these systems of oppression overlap each other. There is little doubt that the systemic oppression of people of color in the United States remains painfully alive. Even when we do not want to see it or speak of it, deep in our core, we are quite aware that:

  • the rules and standards that govern our lives are skewed in favor of some and against others;
  • power and opportunity are distributed inequitably;
  • the basic rights of citizenship are unequally available; and
  • race and racism shape each of the previous points.