Racial Justice

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Join Us for Healthy Conversations

A Panel Discussion on the Poetry of Amanda Gorman
Wednesday, May 25
6:30 PM

424 N. Main Street
Greensburg, PA 15601


Coordinated by Dr. Michelle Toohey, the YWCA Racial Justice Committee is pleased to offer the second event in a program series titled Healthy Conversations. These presentations support the YWCA mission, “…promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”

The youngest poet to perform at a U.S. Presidential Inauguration, Amanda Gorman stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2021, and addressed a country traumatized by a pandemic and the January 6 insurrection. What seemed like simple verses on a page were brought to life through her gestures, facial expressions and the rhythm of her words.

After watching her performances and reading from her poetry anthology Call Us What We Carry, take part in a discussion about her message of hope and responsibility, “…our people diverse and dutiful / we’ll emerge battered but beautiful…”


  • Professor Christopher Davis, Professor of English at Westmoreland County Community College
  • Ruth Tolbert, Associate Pastor of the Greater Parkview Church and President of the Jeannette-Greensburg NAACP
  • N’Dia Smith (student presenter)
  • Gabrielle Skillings (student presenter)
  • Tomaso Contreres Barnette (student presenter)

Register via email at marketing@ywcawestmoreland.org, or by calling the YWCA at 724-834-9390.

Register by email or call the YWCA at 724-834-9390.


YWCA Awards Dr. Melissa Marks with 2021 Racial Justice Award

The YWCA awards this commendation to a community member or business, who has demonstrated commitment to racial equity through efforts to build community, raise awareness, and further racial harmony and inclusiveness. As a champion of racial justice, the individual or business have shown through actions a common vision for peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.

Dr. Marks was honored at the June 29, 2021 YWCA Annual Meeting.

For more than 150 years, the YWCA has spoken out and taken action to protect the rights of all women and girls.

Circles of Diversity

Circles of Diversity events encourage safe, open discussions helping participants to learn about each other and views on race and diversity. Events include an opportunity for women to socialize and develop friendships across racial lines. Please continue to check the website for more information about when our next event will occur.

Stand Against Racism

Stand Against Racism is a movement initiated by the YWCA in 2008 in order to raise awareness that racism still exists in our communities and that it cannot be ignored or tolerated. Our objective is to bring organizations together, who believe like we do, that united we can eliminate racism.

Racial Justice Award Recipients

1995 Sister Lois Sculco
1996 Marcia Pratt
1997 Peg Honey
1998 Carolyn Falcon
1999 Carlotta Paige
2000 Carol Calloway
2001 Rabbi Perman
2002 Serendipity Staff- GLSD
2003 Ruth Tolbert
2004 Marilyn Fox
2005 Michelle Toohey2006 Mary Catherine Motchar
2007 Norma Skillings
2008 Gbg Salem Middle School Art Dept.
2009 Carlene Williams
2010 Women in the NAACP
2011 Joyce Clohessy
2012 Wilda Kaylor
2013 Multicultural Diversity Awareness Task Force- Seton Hill University
2014 Bonnie Lewis
2015 Glenn Buzzard and Ray Charley
2016 Debra Mason
2017 Westmoreland Museum of American Art
2018 WCCC Black Awareness Committee
2019 Keisha Jimmerson
2020 Christopher Kent
2021 Dr. Melissa Marks

Click HERE for the Racial Justice Nomination Form