YMCA Sponsored Resources


Language is ever-changing. This glossary should be used as a guide to help better understand and highlight the diversity of the many individuals in our community. Generationally, words have held significance, value, and offense for different groups, and this glossary strives to bridge the gaps between current meanings, previous usage, and new terms to support various identities. For individuals to show up as their most genuine selves, the Y must be intentional with creating space to allow participants, members, staff, and volunteers space to self-identify and share different dimensions of their diversity.


As community tensions rise in the wake of multiple acts of police violence, the veil of how racism is embedded in our society is removed. The Y is an organization focused on addressing the most critical needs of our community and dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for all. As such, we must begin to address how to undo racism and become “anti-racists” at an individual, organizational, and societal level. We seek to more effectively lead as an anti-racist, multi-cultural organization, yet as we embark on this journey together, we do so with humility, fully cognizant that as a local and national institution we have so much more work to do.

Anti-racism is the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Antiracism tends to be an individualized approach and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.  (Definition by Race Forward)

We invite all Y communities to take this journey with us and begin to unpack what it means to be an anti-racist. We know that the first step includes unlearning previous notions and educating ourselves as individuals committed to this journey. We encourage you to begin your individual anti-racism educational journey with us by diving deep into understanding racism from its origins to its impact on society today.


Change leadership towards creating a more inclusive community requires deep personal understanding and reflection. This personal development is needed to build organizational commitment and a culture of inclusion that will positively impact our communities.

Take Harvard’s Implicit Association Test to assess where you are at in your anti-racist journey and begin taking courses around diversity, inclusion, and equity. This can include personal learning (books, movies, podcasts, etc.) or formal training spaces. We suggest the following opportunities to get started.

Formal Trainings: 

  • Undoing Institutional Racism Workshop: from the YMCA of The People’s Institute Undoing Racism Workshop is an intensive workshop designed to educate, challenge and empower people to “undo” the racist structures that hinder effective social change. The training is based on the premise that racism has been systematically erected and that it can be “undone” if people understand where it comes from, how it functions and why it is perpetuated.

Books to Read: 

  • Stamped from the Beginning by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • The People’s History of the United States by Dr. Howard Zinn
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • White Awake by Daniel Hill
  • So, You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olou
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by PaolTo Freire
  • Colonialism in Global Perspective by Kris Manjapra
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? By Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Movies/Shows to Watch: 

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay)
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton)
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay)
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.)
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay)
  • United Shades of America
  • American Son
  • I am not your Negro (Raoul Peck, James Baldwin)
  • Black in Latin America (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)

Podcasts to Listen to: 

  • 1619 (New York Times)
  • About Race
  • Code Switch (NPR)
  • Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
  • Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
  • Pod for The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
  • Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
  • Pantsuit Politics Podcast Organizations to Follow & Additional Resources:
  • People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
  • Race Forward
  • Be the Bridge
  • Teaching Tolerance
  • Anguish and Action – Obama Foundation
  • Anti-Racism Resources
  • Talking About Race – National Museum of African American History & Culture
  • Anti-Racism Toolkit
  • Anti-Racist Resources
  • Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
  • White Awake Resources