Gain Perspective from Dr. Hedy Lemar Walls
As we celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday, June 19, let’s take a look at the history of this holiday and what it means today. Two years, six months and 18 days after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 to inform the last enslaved African Americans in the United States that they were finally free. Even though Juneteenth symbolized the official end of slavery, generations of African Americans continued to face inequality, racial discrimination, violence and the creation of new laws that prohibited safety, inclusion and economic progress. Learn more about the Y of the North’s commemoration of Juneteenth - Commemorating Not to Forget on Thursday, June 17.
This past year we have seen firsthand in our state that Blacks are disproportionately affected by systemic racism from George Floyd’s murder to the pandemic’s economic and health disparities. In our equity journeys, we have learned about the incredible resiliency African Americans have and the invaluable contributions they have made to our country. Juneteenth is a day for celebration of African Americans. It is also a time for us to recommit to our own personal efforts to create a more equitable future for all in our community.
Whether it is the Equity Leadership Institute, Transformational Workplace Culture series, custom training, free online classes or more, the YMCA Equity Innovation Center of Excellence is here for you to intentionally engage in thought-provoking experiences and resources that will expand your knowledge and skills. We hope you will join us as you continue your equity journey.
Check Out Break Your Bias
The YMCA Equity Innovation Center of Excellence is partnering with Preston Kelly, a brand, marketing and advertising agency, on Break Your Bias, a new thought-provoking online experience that encourages people to dismantle their internal biases by challenging their mental models through virtual learning experiences that address their preconceived notions.
Experience Enlightening Videos
Celebrate Juneteenth with the National Museum of African American History and Culture and listen to Rochelle Rice singing the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Read Noteworthy Books
Learn more about why the United States incarcerates more of its residents than any other nation. In Prisons Make Us Safer, journalist Victoria Law explains how racism and social control were the catalysts for mass incarceration and have continued to be its driving force. This is a guide for all who are interested in learning about the cause and rise of mass incarceration and what we can do about it.
Meet the Team
Meet the UnitedHealth Group Equity Innovation Center Staff. Learn about the diverse stakeholders from all sectors that help us develop a common understanding of the ever-changing world around us.
Strengthen Our Community Together
With your support, the Y is making an impact right now for you and your neighbors. See the many ways in which we are making a difference.
Learn More About Cultures in Our Community
Check out this guide to being an ally to transgender and nonbinary youth from the Trevor Project. It can be tough for transgender and nonbinary people to bear the burden of educating others about their lived experience and the first step to becoming an ally is to learn more.
Explore Organizations Increasing Equity and Becoming More Inclusive
Learn about how researchers from the University of Minnesota are establishing an understanding on what they really need to do and think about as they are beginning to develop a research project to ensure equity, inclusion and empathy before they start to collect data and do research.
Join our Healing Circles
YWCA St. Paul, in partnership with our UHG Equity Innovation Center, invites community members living, working and/or fellowshipping in the Midway area of St. Paul to join Healing Circles, a supportive, facilitated space to affirm African American culture, community and lived experience, and to share dialogue and feelings to promote health and well-being.