YWCA Greater Austin

Racial Justice

The YWCA supports policies that contribute to the elimination of racism. This includes but is not limited to policies that eliminate racial profiling, increase immigrant rights, retain and strengthen affirmative action, reduce hate crimes and result in increased education on racism and its elimination.

Read the YWCA USA Fact Sheet on Affirmative Action

Monthly Dialogues on Issues of Racism & Discrimination

Every last Friday of each month; 12:00-1:30pm

YWCA Greater Austin
2015 S IH 35, Suite 110
Austin, TX 78741

The YWCA Greater Austin believes that the best way to handle a difficult subject is through open, honest, productive conversation with many voices in the room.

Because racism and discrimination target marginalized populations, people of color, immigrants, and people who are undocumented, YWCA offers a space for the community to join and discuss these issues. The YWCA, with its mission to eliminate racism and empower women, hosts a monthly dialogue for frank discussions, reflection, and contemplation of the psychological and emotional impact that racism/discrimination have on the individual and the community. These discussions also offer the opportunity to engage with others, develop personal awareness, and make connections.

This free dialogue is open to all of the community. Bring your lunch and let’s talk!

Anyone interested in participating, please call Laura Gomez-Horton, LCSW at (512) 326-1222 to register or email at laura@ywcaaustin.org ; walk-ins are also welcome.

Note: If you are interested in bringing these dialogues to your organization, school, religious institution, etc., please send a message to VTICoordinator@ywcaaustin.org.

If you need special accommodations please call 512.326.1222. 

Continuing Education Series

For over 20 years, the Austin affiliate of the YWCA has been an accredited provider of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for licensed social workers (LM/LCSW), licensed marriage & family therapists (LMFT) and licensed professional counselors (LPC). For just as long, the YWCA has been dedicated to two monumentally important tasks with very few champions in the fight Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women.


Pursuing our commitment to implement racial and social justice programming in our daily work is an impetus of our Continuing Education Series. By offering educational and informative presentations by nationally-known speakers, mental health professionals, social workers, educators, school counselors, youth workers, and others working in social service organizations have the opportunity to gain new ideas on racial justice in our communities. The YWCA offers Continuing Education Units (CEU) to those attending these presentations.

Over the years, the YWCA Continuing Education Series has featured the following:

Understanding Power, Privilege & Oppression: Why Social Justice Issues Are Important in the Counseling Context
presented by former YWCA Board Member Smita Ruzicka, Ph.D., LPC-S.

Racism, Poverty & PTSD in the Wake of Katrina
presented by Jamey Cheek, Ed.D., LPC, NCC, Dawnovise Fowler, Ph.D., and Alberta Phillips, Austin American-Statesman

The Psychology of Hate
presented by Dr. Ricardo Ainslie, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas and a Fellow in the Charles H. Spence Centennial Professorship in Education

Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Middle-class Biases in Working with Diverse Populations
featuring Rita Pierson, Ed.D., LPC from the Aha! Process, Inc

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
featuring panelists Ann Kitchen, Executive Director, Indigent Care Collaboration; Shannon Jones, Assistant Director, Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Public Health Division; Marva Overton, Executive Director, Alliance for African American Health, Armando Rayo, Director Hands On Central Texas, United Way Capital Area and Melissa Smith, M.D. Medical Director, Seton Community Health Centers

For more information on how you can participate call 512/326-1222 or e-mail: VTICoordinator@ywcaaustin.org