YWCA is a recipient of a Healing Illinois grant from the Illinois DHS. YWCA recognizes the community need for dialogue and education about racism and has developed  programs to generate deeper healing and transformative interactions among races. As the legendary civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis said, “We’ve come too far; we’ve made too much progress to stop or pull back. We must go forward. And I believe we will get there.” 

“YWCA Healing Grant activities propel us one step closer to getting there,” a press release states.

The next Awareness Session will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 6, via Zoom.  

“Please join us as we study and discuss how we are socialized to think and act out our perceptions concerning race,” the press release states.  “We will learn and discuss the historical context and our current individual expressions and reactions to privilege.  This session will illuminate participants’ implicit bias and how it impacts our perception of the world.  Implicit bias is part of being human and it functions in our lives to help us understand our position in the world and the position of others. Join us in unpacking how implicit bias forms from the cycle of socialization and how we can manage our personal biases.” 

This event will be facilitated by Jennifer Hernandez, a veteran special ed teacher of 15 years.  She has primarily taught students with emotional disturbance, mental illness, and incarcerated youth in secondary alternative settings.  In the last three years of her tenure in special education, Hernandez was a special ed administrator in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.  She was a witness and student advocate in the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown and the community in trauma.  She worked as an ally as the community responded with activism and the creation of Black Lives Matter. 

Hernandez completed her doctorate in 2013 from University of Missouri St. Louis in educational leadership and policy studies with a minor in social justice.  The crux of her doctoral research included the critical analysis of racialized policies that facilitate the school-to-prison nexus.  Hernandez began teaching pre-candidate teachers as an assistant professor in the School of Education at Quinnipiac University. She is teaching at SIUE  in the Secondary Program for Teaching and Learning.  Dr. Hernandez focuses on anti-bias/anti-racism training for in-service educators and teacher candidates to address racism and all forms of oppression in public education.


This awareness session will last approximately two hours.  Attendance is limited to 25, so early registration is recommended.  To register for this free event, visit https://tinyurl.com/rr4hdw67.


It is also possible to register for these events by calling YWCA at (618) 465-7774 or emailing info@metroeastywca.org.



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