CEOs of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, Tri-County Area, York County, and Lancaster are partnering to launch a statewide racial healing initiative, Unite to Heal PA, across Pennsylvania January 18th, 2022. These associations define racial healing as the acknowledgement of past wrongs and recognition of the lasting effects of racial trauma on individuals, institutions, and communities of color. The collaborative is calling on individuals and institutions to recognize racism as a public health crisis in a first step toward healing. The initiative will be facilitating conversations across the state in the months to come and invites the public to participate.
“One of the critical aspects of declaring racism a public health crisis is that one- it addresses the individual within the collective and two- the impact of the collective on the individual. We can see the patterns of racism and what it means in terms of access and how it has played out in our communities. When we start to recognize the role, racism has on our public health we can see the impact on the individual, therefore we can place the responsibility on the individual but we as society must come together to address this issue” shared Angela Reynolds, CEO of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.
The work will require truth telling, the acknowledgement of one another’s humanity and a renewed call for people to work together to transform systems through collective action leading them closer to healing and progress.
“Looking at health disparities that impact Black and socio-economically disadvantaged Americans across this country really helps us understand how racism and discrimination have placed them at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts. Critical disparities exist in housing, health, education, and the criminal justice system creating barriers that impact Black families and their ability to equitably access resources, build wealth and social mobility“ shared Stacey Woodland, CEO YWCA Tri-County Area during a recent Community Now Panel discussion hosted by YWCA Lancaster.
The Initiatives’ primary tenant is to facilitate healing conversations that will inspire people to work together toward healing define what solutions will work in their own communities. By actively partnering with organizations and residents across communities in Pennsylvania, the collaborative hopes to begin to mitigate the lasting effects of racism and racial trauma in marginalized and underserved communities.
The regional collaboration of the Pennsylvania YWCA Racial Healing Initiative is poised to be the catalyst in Heal to Unite PA. For more information or learn how to give time, talent, or financial support please contact UTHPA@ywcatricountyarea.org