ALTON - YWCA Southwestern Illinois recognizes the community need for dialogue & education about racism and equity and has developed several 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 Community Conversation Circles and Book Talks propel us one step closer to getting there.

YWCA welcomes back Nana Becoat, YWCA Racial Justice Committee Chair, as she hosts another CommUNITY Conversation Circle. The book guiding the discussion will be The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. In The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America—the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife—is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

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YWCA invites the community to begin or continue their journey with us at the CommUNITY Healing Circle on Thursday, October 28 at 530 – 7:00 pm via Zoom. It is not necessary to read the book if attending the CommUNITY Conversation Circle. To register for the CommUNITY Circle, please use the following link Upon registration, a Zoom link will be emailed to all participants. The Circle is limited to 23 registrants.

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YWCA will host Book Talks on The Color of Law following the CommUNITY Conversation Circle on three Thursdays in November--November 4, November 11, and November 18 at 530 pm via Zoom. Registration for the Book Talks will be publicized and made available to all CommUNITY Conversation Circle participants. Participants will need to purchase their own copies of The Color of Law or request from the library.

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: 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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