Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:21 pm
A response to studies showing persistent racial disparities in the region, the two-year grant will allow YWCA to expand its racial justice education programs.
According to a 2016 report from the National Urban League, Milwaukee has the largest gap in unemployment between blacks and whites, and the second widest income gap in the nation, according to a YWCA news release.
“We know the bad news,” said Martha Barry, racial justice director with YWCA, regarding the National Urban League study.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s 2015 Vital Signs report included similar findings, suggesting that sharp racial and ethnic disparities persist in numerous indicators of regional vitality, the release said.
“Unfortunately these are just a few of many studies with similar findings” said Paula Penebaker, president and CEO of YWCA Southeast Wisconsin. “YWCA finds these disparities unacceptable as do many of our supporters. I’m thankful to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation for recognizing this need in our community and making racial justice a funding priority.”
The grant will allow the YWCA to build the capacity necessary to increase its racial justice education and learning opportunities, the release said.
“Signs of economic growth and vitality are evident across our region, yet below the surface of that good news, we see that many in our community are not able to share in the benefits of our rising economy,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Because our research shows us that uneven access to opportunity affects communities of color disproportionately, it’s critical that philanthropy invest in partners like the YWCA as they use their expertise to educate our community and address the root causes of these racial inequities.”