Diversity Dialogues

YWCA Northeast Indiana celebrates a community that embraces the inherent dignity of all people. To encourage awareness and acceptance of diversity, YWCA Northeast Indiana’s Level Up Council hosts Diversity Dialogues, where we bring in panelists and guest speakers to help lead the community in compelling conversations on interesting topics important to our community. We do our best to ensure a variety of perspectives and topics that provoke deep thought.

Nurturing the People

Join us on Thursday, August 22nd for our next Diversity Dialogue, Nurturing the People! Recognizing that some communities in need experience gaps in accessing care and services, we will examine the work of those who work to provide supplemental forms of nourishment in our community.

The event will take place from 12-1:30pm at the Allen County Public Library (Main Branch) in Meeting Room AB. This event will also be available via livestream. We hope to see you there!


Save the date for our upcoming 2024 Dialogues

November 14, 2024 – Community Centered Care
The identity of communities are changing. Individuals and institutions often struggle to adjust. This month’s dialogue will highlight the work of community agencies and how they have adjusted to our community’s ever-changing needs.

Find recaps of past events below

In June 2024, our topic was For a Better Future. For our children, learning does not happen only inside the classroom. This month’s topic will explore the resources our community offers in aiding the mental, emotional, and social development for our children. “Chief” Condra Ridley will start us off with some storytelling and personal history. We will then hear from from Erick T. Baker and Rev. Angelo Mante about their work. Find a recap of the event here.

In March 2024, our topic was Women’s WorkMarch is Women’s History Month and this dialogue highlighted work being done by some incredible women who are crossing cultural barriers to contribute to community building and belonging. Julie Sanchez started the conversation sharing about her business in coaching professional women of color. She engaged with Clydia Early, owner of BIPOCA Incubator and Gallery, about cultivating diverse talent. Next, Rebecca Reeder hosted a Q&A with the local community group “Sister 2 Sister”, a group of local women who get together and discuss cultural differences. Find a recap of the event here.

In November 2023, our topic was Thanksgiving & Diversity. We explored the history of cultural diversity in our community. Our celebration included artistic expressions provided by a group of creators from diverse cultural backgrounds. Our Guest Speakers were Adilene Dyer (Jewelry Lady), Diane Young (Artist), DJ CoCo KC (Renaissance Woman), Marco Gonzalez (Photographer), and Poetic Truthz (Spoken Word Artist). Find a recap of the event here.

In August 2023, our topic was Criminalization & Race: No More! We spent some time discussing how the lens of criminality has been associated with some racial groups. We explored some positive approaches for building community and moving away from models focused on criminality to models focused on building positive and enriching opportunities for community investment and involvement. Our Guest Speakers were Heather Guy (Racial Justice Coordinator, YWCA Northeast Indiana) and Amos Norman (District Executive Director, YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, Renaissance Pointe YMCA). Find a recap of the event here.

In May 2023, our topic was Housing & Race and we focused on historic and ongoing race based challenges in affordable housing, as well as what innovative solutions are out there to support every family and individual in being able to locate safe, affordable housing. Our guest speakers were Gemma McClendon (Licensed Real Estate Broker, Century 21 Bradley Realty, Inc.), Javier Mondragon (Founder/CEO, Bridge of Grace Ministries), and Jennifer Rutkowski-Smith (Homelessness Strategy Manager, United Way of Allen County) Watch the recording here.

In February 2023, our topic was Health Care & Race and we looked at disparities in the healthcare system and how we as a community can make improvements to overcome those, as well as how we can promote positive health outcomes for ourselves, our neighbors in our community, and people we serve. Our guest speakers were Antoinette Francher-Donald, Aisha R. Arrington, and Antionette Johnson. Watch the recording here.

In September 2022, our dialogue was “Disparities in Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, & Substance Abuse Incidences.” YWCA staff led a dialogue about the services that are available and how to ensure that services and supports in the community support people from historically disenfranchised racial groups who are more vulnerable to crimes and who may not want to turn to the police or legal systems for support. Watch the recording here.

In May 2022, we talked about the reasons for and impact of the generational wealth gap. We learned how we can impact the wealth gap in areas such as finances, banking, education, employment, job creation etc. Speakers included Pat Ashton, Rachel Blakeman, and Kibwe Cooper. Watch the recaps for each speaker in the links above! Thank you to Indiana Tech for sponsoring this event!

In February 2022, for Black History Month, YWCA Northeast Indiana convened a panel of organizations that have worked towards racial justice and equity locally to discuss what has been done, and what needs to be done, and how people can engage. Join us for a panel discussion, Q&A time, and suggestions for action steps we can all take. Watch the recording here.

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