Racial Justice/Advocacy

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YWCA Greater Memphis 2018 – 2020
Policy and Advocacy Priorities

The YWCA Greater Memphis advocates for public policy solutions to improve the lives of women and their families and create safer, healthier, more equitable communities in the Midsouth. Working in collaboration with partners, we will advocate for the following issues to advance our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. We also will monitor and educate stakeholders on policy issues that impact women and girls in our state. The following areas are our primary focus:

 Closing the Wealth Gap

The Midsouth MSA is the poorest in the nation, and Memphis tops the list for child poverty in the nation. Poverty reduction transforms the lives of individuals and families, moving them from crisis to self-sufficiency; it also has the potential to be an economic engine. Instead of high poverty rates being a drag on the local economy, efficiencies in services and targeted investments can boost economic growth. A growing income gap and the presence of persistent poverty in our communities constrains economic opportunity for everyone. The key to our economic prosperity is poverty reduction and the YWCA Greater Memphis advocates budgets and tax policies that invest in education, advance economic empowerment and training opportunities, and, create a strong safety net.

Ending Domestic Violence 

The YWCA Greater Memphis is focused on working to end domestic violence and empower victims by partnering with local agencies and through our membership and active participation on the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic Violence. The mission of the Coalition is to end domestic and sexual violence in the lives of Tennesseans and to change societal attitudes and institutions that promote and condone violence, through public policy advocacy, education and activities that increase the capacity of programs and communities to address such violence.

Promote Equal Justice and Civic Engagement 

We will advocate for the elimination of institutional racism in government, schools, businesses, healthcare and the courts. The YWCA Greater Memphis will support initiatives to eliminate policies and practices within our criminal justice and educational systems that criminalize and disenfranchise women and girls of color and other marginalized communities, including immigrant communities.

Tennessee has one of the lowest voter participation rates in America. The Midsouth forfeits millions of dollars due to low voter participation and census completion. We will take an active role in supporting voting rights, and educating and encouraging participation in the 2020 census.

For more information, contact Marquepta Odom, Executive Director at modom@memphisywca.org.