YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley | Special Events

The Great Race Against Racism

The Great Race Against Racism 2021

For 25 years, YWCA has hosted hundreds of community members annually for Diversity Day and the Race Against Racism. This event is a celebration of diversity and YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

YWCA is proud to launch our first, virtual Great Race Against Racism taking place NOW and all February during Black History Month. Participants can still take part by downloading the interactive "GooseChase” app on their mobile device and racing to collect points by visiting locations throughout Knox and Anderson Counties that have significance to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our community.

Check out some highlights from the Race:

The Great Race Against Racism locations:

Austin East High School

Cal Johnson Recreational Center

Greater Warner AME Zion Church

Knoxville College

Odd Fellows Cemetery

Speedway Circle Neighborhood, Burlington

Frieson Black Cultural Center

Wheat Community Burial Ground, Oak Ridge

Misson Partners

The Great Race Against Racism Mission Partners are living out and working the mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for ALL. See below for our 2021 Mission Partners and keep your eyes peeled for their GooseChase challenges when the Race begins!

AAUW of Knoxville

The Knoxville Branch of AAUW began as a branch of the Southern Association of College Women in 1903 and became a branch of the American Association of University Women in 1921. The Knoxville Branch of AAUW provides opportunities for networking, fellowship, development of leadership skills, involvement in the community and continuing support of AAUW’s goal of equality for women, education and self-development over the life span. Many of our members have held positions as officers in the local branch, state, and region. On the other end of the spectrum, we have members who only have time to attend their favorite interest group. Your degree of involvement in the local branch depends on you.

Mission: The American Association of University Women promotes equity for women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change.

Bridge Refugee Services, Inc.

Founded in 1982, Bridge has welcomed refugees from around the world, more than 2,500 since 2009. Recent clients have come from from Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Cuba and Jamaica. In fiscal year 2019 the organization resettled 186 new refugee arrivals and 53 secondary migrants—refugees who moved to East Tennessee from other parts of the U.S. We serve a total of about 400 clients each year.
Bridge assists primarily with case management services, assisting new arrivals with housing set-up, school enrollment, connection to healthcare and other services and finding employment. Additional programs include intensive case management for clients who suffer from significant medical or life issues and youth mentorship program and community garden programs. Bridge serves local clients for up to five years after their arrival in the U.S.
Additionally, Bridge provides services to asylees, victims of human trafficking, and Special Immigrant Visa holders, who provided support to the U.S. military in war zones.

UTK Center for Global Engagement

Reporting directly to the Office of the Provost, the Center for Global Engagement works to lead, coordinate, and support the university’s strategies for global education, research, and engagement. Their responsibilities include: developing and managing international partnerships; welcoming and assisting international students and scholars; providing education abroad opportunities for our students; and creating international and inter-cultural programming for the campus and the broader community. With a staff numbering more than 35 individuals, CGE is organized into seven major units: Asia Engagement, English Language Institute, Global Research Office, International House, International Student and Scholar Services, and Programs Abroad.

Centro Hispano de East TN

Centro Hispano, a welcoming community center, serves as a resource and gathering place for families of all backgrounds to feel like they are an integral part of Tennessee. Centro Hispano has served Knoxville for more than 15 years. Centro educates, develops enterprising leaders, and contributes to the strength of our city by actively investing in Latinos. Centro works together to fulfill the vision that if one person succeeds, we all succeed.
Centro loves to see the community gather to learn and help each other thrive. Centro continually discovers ways to create effective programs that are culturally aware and relevant to the people we serve. Mission: Centro promotes empowerment and civic participation through education, workforce development, youth and family engagement, and community-strengthening initiatives. Centro is the leading resource for East Tennessee’s Latino community and the leading resource for East Tennessee regarding the Latino community.

Family Justice Center

The Knoxville Family Justice Center building is reported to be the original Vine Middle School from the early 1920s until the 1960s. Today, it is home to services that save the lives of many experiencing domestic violence. Mission: The Family Justice Center is to facilitate a coordinated and comprehensive approach to family violence through collaboration, education, and advocacy. The Family Justice Center makes the process a little easier for survivors of domestic violence by hosting many resources under one roof. Inside the Knoxville Family Justice Center, you will find representatives from the Department for Children Services, The McNabb Center, Knoxville Community Development Corporation, Knox County District Attorneys, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, and YWCA!

Katatra Vasquez

Katatra Vasquez is not only a 2019 YWCA Tribute to Women Honoree in the Technology, Innovation and Research category but she also a dedicated community volunteer, mother and successful author. Her book titled "Atomic Hope: Our Words and Our Spaces" is a Cultural Travel Activity Guide through the unique "secret city" or Oak Ridge.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission

The MLK Commission's first community-wide service was held in 1988 at the Greater Warner Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church. Over the years, the Commission continues to serve as the largest consortium of MLK events in East Tennessee. We strongly believe that all Americans should have the opportunity to celebrate the rich heritage bestowed upon us by Dr. King and we strive to keep the dream of Dr. King alive for everyone. Mission: To reaffirm and reflect upon the American ideals of freedom, justice and peace. To that end, we pledge to work inclusively with community partners to: Lift and live principles of non-violence, equality and love; Tell the stories of the struggles; and Provide education and leadership training for adults and youth.

The Office of Multicultural Student Life, UTK

The Office of Multicultural Student Life is housed in the Frieson Black Cultural Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Multicultural Student Life is dedicated to promoting a welcoming and inclusive campus environment while advocating for traditionally marginalized students by providing academic support, multicultural education, identity exploration, leadership development, and diverse and innovative programming through collaborative partnerships. We strive to assist in the retention and graduation of students who are empowered to positively impact a global society.

Volunteer East Tennessee

We believe that the most powerful force is the individual who has realized their power to do good. Volunteer East Tennessee serves the nine county region of Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union Counties with the goal of promoting ways to serve and improve the communities of East Tennessee.
Mission: Volunteer East Tennessee inspires service by equipping organizations and mobilizing volunteers to connect with one another and strengthen communities.

Special Thanks to Our 2021 Sponsors

Diversity Sponsors

Peace Sponsors

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Equality Sponsors

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Media Sponsor