At YWCA Missoula, we are committed to building a more just world. Because of systemic racism, Black, Indigenous and other people of color that we serve in our programs face additional challenges when it comes to finding permanent housing and employment, getting an education, leaving a violent partner, encountering law enforcement, and accessing health care. The Racial Justice Initiative includes community outreach, education and partnerships, as well as internal training, to better address both immediate needs of program participants and the root causes of those needs.
The True Colors Training is a series of workshops created by YWCA Missoula and Empower Montana in an effort to address the unique challenges faced by BIPOC, as well as white allies taking action against racism. Both trainings invite community members to rethink race, history and community. The training helps participants develop skills to identify structures and systems, understand the role of racism within historical trauma, increase proficiency in implicit and linguistic racism, and create inclusive spaces. Stay tuned for upcoming dates for our next True Colors Training.
Racial Equity Report
In 2017 we developed the Montana Racial Equity Report to share with individuals and organizations across the state. Our hope is that, while not exhaustive, the quantitative and qualitative data researched and compiled in this report can serve as a useful tool in the development of racial equity programming for multiple organizations, and provide a clear and measurable picture of some of the significant challenges and needs faced by communities and people of color. Download the 2017 Montana Racial Equity Report.
Missoula Voices is a short documentary film created by YWCA Missoula’s Racial Justice Initiative in collaboration with student volunteers from University of Montana School of Media Arts. It features personal narratives of community members who have experienced discrimination in Missoula. It was originally screened at The Roxy Theater on May 3, 2018. Watch the film.
Additional Community Resources
All Nations Health Center
The All Nations Health Center provides a variety of services for the Missoula American Indian and Alaska Native communities, including diabetes medication management, immunization, testing, health promotion, disease prevention, chemical dependency counseling, mental health care, community services and transportation.
Native American Student Services (MCPS)
The Native American Student Services Department of Missoula County Public Schools helps Native American students achieve academically, culturally and socially, to graduate and to become successful lifelong learners. Numerous supports are available to students and families, as well as resources and information about the tribes represented by the students of the school district.
Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association
The Kyi-Yo Association works to bridge the faculty and students of the University of Montana with the communities of Missoula and surrounding areas. Extracurricular and community-building activities help unify and promote the cultural identity of American Indians / Alaska Natives.
The Montana Racial Equity Project
MTREP works with individuals, groups, organizations, educational institutions and businesses to promote and create opportunities to build equity and justice in Montana.
EmpowerMT works to create a more just and inclusive society by developing youth and adult leaders who work to end mistreatment, correct systemic inequalities and strengthen communities across Montana. EmpowerMT offers youth identity groups for BIPOC students, youth leadership programs to break isolation and build allies across group lines, and inclusive work trainings for businesses and organizations.
Montana BIPOC Mutual Aid Fund
A community fund created by BIPOC for BIPOC. Donated funds are redistributed to community members in need. Mutual aid is the exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit—in this case a healthier community. It is a form of financial solidarity with those struggling in our community through direct giving.
ACLU of Montana
The ACLU of Montana is committed to pursuing racial justice in all parts of society, including in the criminal justice system, in political elections, and in our schools and businesses. Primary efforts are directed toward Native American voting rights, education in Indian Country, and tribal legal issues.
Here Montana is a BIPOC outdoors program run through Missoula Parks and Recreation Department. The program works to bridge racial disparity in outdoor recreation and make it more accessible to Missoula’s BIPOC community by providing gear, information and community.