YWCA Dayton is committed to advocating in areas that promote our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Currently, our Advocacy Committee focuses on supporting public education and promoting economic opportunities for women and girls of color in our community. The Committee is also engaged in advocacy efforts that support YWCA Dayton programming by promoting legislation that supports survivors of gender-based violence and encourages affordable housing.
What is racial justice?
1. A social justice orientation with a focus on dismantling the root causes of racism – such as institutional and structural policies and practices – rather than merely addressing the symptoms of racism (i.e., racial bias, racial prejudice, or racial stereotypes).
2. Requires a focus on, and a commitment to, the communities most directly negatively impacted by racism.
YWCA Dayton is committed to improving women’s economic security and removing barriers to women’s participation in the workplace, particularly those faced by women of color.
• African-American women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., with the rate of entrepreneurship growing 191.4% from 1997 to 2007. i
• From 2007 through 2016, nearly eight out of every ten (79%) of net new women-owned firms launched have been founded by a woman of color. ii
• However, women of color are less likely to get seed funding for a business due to a lack of access to networks and a lack of generational wealth. iii
• In Montgomery County, 29% of African-American families live below the poverty level, compared to only 9% of white families. xix
• In Montgomery County, 64% of black families with a female head of household and a child under the age of 5 live in poverty. xix
Gender-based violence impacts the lives of countless women and their families across the U.S. While women and girls of all ages, income levels, racial and ethnic communities, sexual orientations, and religious affiliations experience violence, women of color and other marginalized populations experience disproportionate incidents of gender-based violence, as well as increased barriers in seeking help.
• Black women experience intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white women, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. iv
• In an ongoing study conducted by Black Women’s Blueprint, 60% of black girls will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. v
• Native Americans are victims of rape or sexual assault at more than double the rate of other racial groups. vi
• Up to 55% of Asian Pacific Island women have reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. vii
• 48% of Latinas reported in one study that their partner’s violence against them had increased since they immigrated to the U.S. viii
• In Montgomery County, incidents of rape have increased while incidents of other violent crime have decreased. xix
• Less than half of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police. ix
YWCA Dayton is part of the largest network of women’s shelters and affordable housing programs in the country, with more than 1,400 programs nationwide. YWCA Dayton recognizes the intersectionality of poverty, domestic violence, and a lack of safe, affordable housing, and this combination’s undue impact on women, specifically those of color.
• 1 in every 4 homeless woman is homeless because of violence committed against her. x
• Over 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime. xi
• While approximately 21% of the population of Montgomery County is black, black men and women represent more than 45% of the homeless population. xvii
• A shortage of safe, affordable housing is the primary cause of homelessness in Montgomery County. xx
Girls of color are disproportionately impacted by gendered violence, harsh school discipline, and interactions with the juvenile justice system. YWCA Dayton is committed to educating the community on how to advocate within the education system and support our girls, specifically those of color, who are trauma survivors, ensuring they thrive.
• Black girls are suspended from schools at much higher rates than girls of any other race and white boys. xii
• American Indian/Alaska Native girls and Latinas are also suspended at higher rates than white girls. xii
• Suspension from school increases the likelihood of dropping out and having contact with the juvenile justice system. xiii
• Girls of color have the highest rates of confinement in juvenile facilities for non-violent status offenses such as truancy, curfew violations, and running away. xiv
• More than 90% of girls in the juvenile justice systems self-disclose trauma. xv
• In Montgomery County, nearly 3 in 10 black girls are not graduating from high school.
• In the 2015-16 school year, girls of color in Dayton Public Schools were three times more likely to receive an out-of-school suspension than white girls. xvii
• African-American females in Montgomery County are the most likely to be chronically absent from school. xvii
Learn more about homelessness and affordable housing in our local community.
Read the full report on the State of Black Dayton.
View the full Montgomery County Community Health Assessment.
Read Learn to Earn’s report on the state of Montgomery County’s public schools.
i The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses In The United States, Women’s Business Council Center for Women’s Business Research, 2009
ii Black Women: Ready to Lead, Hewlett, S.A., and green, T., Center for Talent Innovation, 2015
iii Diana Report Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital, Professors Candida G. Brush, Patricia G. Greene, Lakshmi Balachandra, and Amy. E. Davis
iv Women of Color Network Facts & Stats: Domestic Violence in Communities of Color- June 2006
v Black Women’s Blueprint, 2016
vi A Bureau of Justice Statistics Statistical Profile, 1992-2002: American Indians and Crime, 2004.
vii Asian Pacific Institute of Gender-Based Violence
viii Women of Color Network Facts & Stats: Domestic Violence in Communities of Color- June 2006
ix Lawrence, A Greenfeld et al. (1998). Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses
x 2017 National Law Center of Homelessness & Poverty, Preventing Domestic Violence Survivors From Becoming Homeless
xi National Center on Family Homelessness (2011), The Characteristics and needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness: Fact Sheet
xii “Civil Rights Data Collection, Data Snapshot: School Discipline.” U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issue brief No. 1 (March 2014) at p. 3
xiii Crenshaw, K.W., Ocen, P, and Nanda, J. Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Over policed, and under protected. African American Policy Forum Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy studies (2015) at p. 24
xiv Coalition for Juvenile Justice, Girls, Status Offenses and the need for a Less Punitive Approach, Washington, DC, 2013
xv Julian D. Ford et al. (2007). Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Critical Issues and New Direction
xvi YWCA USA Racial Justice Training Manual, June 2017
xvii The State of Black Dayton 2017
xviii Know the Gap, Close the Gap, Learn to Earn Dayton 2016
xix Montgomery County Community Health Assessment 2014
xx Homeless Solutions, 10-Year Plan, Montgomery County, Ohio