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.

The focus of our annual Equity Summit is 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 2021 Summit (held in May) included two days of workshops, with over 25 presenters and 14 workshops. Featured panel discussions were:

  • 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

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

Thanks to all who joined us in 2021!

(Note: If you registered for the 2021 Summit, workshops will be available to you on the Summit platform for three months following the Summit.)

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

Non-Profit Partners:

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

Previous Summit highlights:

  • 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

Mother and childOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

ALL DONATIONS made in October to support survivors of domestic violence will be MATCHED by an anonymous donor.