Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, the CEO of YMCA, recently shared her insights with Forbes on how to empower women and end racial inequality on both the community and legislative levels.
On the community level, Dr. Richardon-Heron encourages individuals to create impact through non-profit work, to seek out leadership positions, and to support the YMCA's campaign to Stand Against Racism.
On a legislative level, Dr. Richardson-Heron advocates for work and family agendas that would advance women's economic stability, ratification of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and passage of the End Racial Profiling Act.
Thus, Dr. Richardson-Heron's interview sheds light on the intersectionality of different forms of oppression. Furthermore, her calls to action address both covert and overt (institutional) racism and sexism that still permeate our culture. Change is never easy, but tackling these challenges on local, national, and international levels will certainly help turn the tide.
Nonprofit organizations like the YWCA can make a significant impact by providing programs and services that meet the needs of individuals in their local communities while at the same time advocating for structural change. Both are critically important to advancing the needs of women and people of color. For example, a woman who is experiencing domestic violence needs immediate services such as legal assistance, housing, and safety planning. However, there is also a need for systemic change such as legislation that ensures firearms are removed from the home, reducing the risk of her dying at the hands of her perpetrator.