YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley

Racial Justice

Advancing Racial Justice

The Mission: YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

YWCA is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation and has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for nearly 160 years. Today, we continue that priority. YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley believes that we cannot empower all women unless we also work unequivocally to eliminate racism.

Through education, advocacy, and community collaboration we can work toward advancing social justice and our mission of eliminating racism. YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is committed to working on issues of gender equality, economic inequity, and racial justice. We will continue this work until inequity is eliminated, institutions are challenged and transformed, and the world uplifts women of all races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and disabilities. Will You Join Us?

"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."

-Audre Lourde, American writer, feminist, poet, and civil rights activist

This work must start from within. YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley holds itself accountable to continuing to uphold our full mission through community partnerships, continued education, and internal committees and workgroups, as shown below.

Board Engagement: Racial and Social Justice Committee

Mission: The Racial and Social Justice Committee will work to develop and implement policies and programs that support our anti-racist mission. This includes an intentional commitment to training and development activities for our employees, supporters, and clients, as well as partnerships with other organizations to support communities of color.

Vida Khavar, Committee Chair

Hannah Brinson, Chief Strategy Officer

Susan Edwards, YWCA Board Member

Phyllis Driver, Previous YWCA Board Member

Rachel Haverkamp, Interim Chief Executive Officer

Nakeisha Jackson, YWCA Board Member

Dawn Michelle Foster, Previous YWCA Board Member

Jane Palmer, YWCA Board Member

Courtney Potts, YWCA Board Member

Nikitia Thompson, YWCA Board Member

Staff Engagement: Racial Justice Internal Workgroup

Mission: The YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley is committed to the work of racial and social justice. YWCA recognizes and acknowledges the conscious effort and work that needs to be done to dismantle structural racism and xenophobic ideologies. Though cross-agency collaboration and community engagement, we pledge to take the steps to being an anti-racist agency by listening, recognizing our bias, and implementing equitable policies. We are dedicated to creating space for empathy, grief, healing, and advocacy, while providing opportunities for training, growth, and purposeful action.

Fatima Ahdaoui, Victim Advocate for the Immigrant and Refugee Population

Marian Billingsley, Victim Advocacy Program Coordinator

Hannah Brinson, Chief Strategy Officer

Ally Diaz, Director of Social Services

Rachel Haverkamp, Interim Chief Executive Officer

Lauren Lindback, Director of Victim Services

Kendrick Tate, GameChangers Mentor Coordinator