ALTON - YWCA is a recipient of a Healing Illinois grant from the Illinois DHS. YWCA recognizes the community need for dialogue & education about racism and has developed programs to generate deeper healing & 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.

Our next Awareness Session will be held on Saturday, March 6 at 2 pm via Zoom. Please join us as we study and discuss how we are socialized to think and act out our perceptions concerning race. We will learn and discuss the historical context and our current individual expressions and reactions to privilege. This session will illuminate participant’s 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.

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This event will be facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Hernandez. Dr. Jennifer Hernandez is 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, Dr. 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. Dr. Hernandez completed her PhD in 2013 from UMSL 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. Dr. Hernandez began teaching pre-candidate teachers as an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Quinnipiac University. She is currently 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.

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This awareness session will last approximately two hours. Attendance is limited to 25 persons so early registration is recommended. To register for this free event, please go to this link

It is also possible to register for these events by calling YWCA at 618.465.7774 or emailing us at

Established in 1918, the YWCA tailors programs to meet the unique needs of our communities, as aligned with three key national platforms: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls.

YWCA is proudly sponsored by Alton Memorial Hospital, Morrissey Contracting Company, Inc., and Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery.

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