When a person hears YWCA or Young Women’s Christian Association, they think of the long-standing notion of a Christian movement working for the empowerment, leadership and rights of women, young women and girls in more than 100 countries. But it turns out the YWCA in America has updated its mission. Now, first and foremost, it is dedicated to eliminating racism (at least as far as their website statements and according to their Trade Name Filing in the Ohio Secretary of State records).
On the surface, eliminating racism sounds like a noble cause but why does it take first place at the Young Women’s Christian Association? On their website, YWCA explains their new, first place, mission;
“We designed our new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) training and consulting services to educate individuals, small groups, and organizations on how to recognize and combat racial injustice. These interactive trainings promote racial literacy, help you understand racism as a systemic problem, and teach you how to be anti-racist strategically, actively, and effectively.”
A program within the YWCA is “Activists and Agitators”. In a description they say, “YWCA Columbus created Activists and Agitators with the belief that anyone and everyone can be an agent for social change”. They continue with, “We challenge you to take a stand against racism. If we all commit to intentional, anti-racist, direct action and harm reduction, our collective impact will be profound.”
The Activists and Agitators YWCA program has had many noteworthy “Program Participants” such as author Austin Channing Brown. A quote from Austin Channing Brown in her book, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, is “The moment Black Americans achieved freedom from enslavement, America could have put to death the idea of Black inferiority. But whiteness was not prepared to sober up from the drunkenness of power over another people group. Whiteness was not ready to give up the ability to control, humiliate, or do violence to any Black body in the vicinity—all without consequence.” This does not sound, to me, like a fair assessment of America.
Another “Program Participant” and past board member is the Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt. With the soberness and dignity of a Judge she is quoted in Court News Ohio as saying, “If you don’t understand how race, class, poverty, sexual orientation, having insurance affect that person, you might not even get the terms of that probation correct.” I guess Justice isn’t supposed to be blind anymore.
The donors like the board of YMCA Columbus, reads like a who’s who of powerful noteworthiness. They include BIG banks, energy, and insurance companies. In one case, AEP (American Electric and Power) donated $1,025,000 to YWCA Columbus between 2013 and 2017 according to a report at energyandpolicy.org. In the same report Elfi Di Bella of YWCA Columbus said money raised would be used for HVAC improvements at the YWCA’s Griswold Building, and to support the services the organization provides to the community. She also said AEP’s energy efficiency programs would be useful for the newly renovated building. But, honeybook.com has that venue listed as, “the newly renovated Ballroom at YWCA Columbus is a wedding venue unlike any other. Our historic building has been upgraded to include contemporary amenities, giving the space a modern yet vintage vibe. Hosting your special day in the Ballroom offers a unique experience!” I suppose that is one way to serve the community.
So, the YWCA now offers what they call Racial Equity Training 101. It’s a 50-minute training video for individuals or groups at the low-low cost of $25 per person. In the description they say, “Who this training is for: Everyone who wants to learn how racism runs through the structures and institutions we all take part in, and how to act as an agent of positive change”. Additionally, in this video they claim you will learn;
-“History: How racism has informed centuries of American law and policy, specifically in housing and policing”
-“Practice: Actions, tools, and strategies to minimize harm through repair and reduction, and to intentionally practice anti-racism”
-“Companion guide: Reflection questions and exercises to help process the information and deepen learning”
-“Resource guide: More information, recommendations, and concrete actions to continue your journey to social justice”
I have not spent the money to watch this video because I have had to endure these trainings mandated by my employer. Words like “systemic” and “anti-racist” when used to talk about “Social Justice” are key words for Critical Race Theory (CRT). These programs tell people that America is and always was racist at its core and promotes negatively perceived stereotypes to identify an entire race of people like “white-privilege.”
Critical Race Theory promotes a victim mentality for people of color. How is that Christian? How is teaching people that America always was and is racist supposed to be Christian? How is minimizing and villainizing an entire race of people Christian? How is the literal judging of people based on race Christian? When and why did the Young Women’s Christian Association lose its Christian values?
I am writing this knowing that if my employer finds out what I have written, I will likely be fired. I won’t be fired just because of what I have said but also because they are a major contributor to YWCA Columbus and have a representative on their Endowment Trust Board. I have spent a majority of my life living in socio-economically depressed areas and I can and have seen how this type of racial rhetoric is dangerously destructive and has no business in an organization that claims Christian values or, for that matter, in any peaceful and civilized society.
Slavery in America is the scar of sin that America–and almost every other nation and culture in human history–will always bare. It should not be negated or minimized. However, a simple Google search will show anyone that America was just following the “science” of its day. Unlike God’s love, America is not and will never be perfect. But with God’s love, I like to think all things are possible.