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Create a Community Without Racism

Racism as a Public Health Crisis:

Declaring racism as a public health crisis in Connecticut was an important first step in the movement to advance racial equity and justice.  YWCA Hartford Region proudly stood alongside statewide partners, allies and community champions calling for our state leaders to address racism as a public health crisis through declaration and transformative legislation. You helped for the push to pass Senate Bill 1, below is how this bill addresses racism as a public health crisis.

On June 3, 2020, more than 350 vehicles joined YWCA Hartford Region in a symbolic funeral procession that started at Hopeweill Baptist Church in Windsor before ending at the state Capitol. At the Capitol, a memorial service was held for George Floyd and far too many others who came before him. The community came together in peaceful protest to address the original pandemic afflicting the nation: systemic racism.

Addressing the crowd, Adrienne Cochrane, Chief Executive Officer, stated “We can’t talk about gender equity without talking about race. We understand it’s uncomfortable, but our job is not to make you comfortable. Our job is to make us all accountable and to talk about it. This is part of a beginning, a re-set for our community, the state and the country.”

View Adrienne's full remarks at this peaceful protest here:

YWCA Hartford Region is on a mission to eliminate racism.

The only way to succeed is to work together throughout the community to fight for racial and social justice and stand together against systemic racism. Blatant and subtle forms of racism and bigotry have no place in our society. YWCA Hartford Region is committed to ensuring human decency and respect prevail. Our vision is to create unlimited opportunities in our community. Opportunities that instill racial, social and gender equity in all we do.
Systemic racism is a driving force in social determinants within the black and brown community and a leading barrier to public health, economic and educational opportunities. In order to achieve equity, we must address injustices caused by racism and support actions at all levels to ensure equal opportunity for all.

Please join us TODAY! Take the pledge to end systemic racism in our community.


I understand the ongoing harm caused by racism in my community. I will no longer stay silent and pledge to do the following:

  • Reduce racial inequities by supporting public policy solutions that promote racial and social equity in all aspects of life (health, economic, employment and education).
  • Educate myself and commit to ongoing education on the ways racial inequity impacts people of color in my community; participate in helping to combat systemic racism.
  • Talk about it. Challenge and correct racist ideas, actions and behaviors, even if means having uncomfortable and difficult conversations.
  • Support YWCA Hartford Region’s advocacy agenda, which focuses on ensuring public policy changes aimed at equity across a broad range of issues, including economic, health, education, and racial and social justice. To learn more about our 2022 Advocacy Priorities, visit:
  • Sign up and stay connected with YWCA Hartford Region. Add me to your mailing list to learn more about the issues and how I can help advocate and stand against racism.

Take the Pledge

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To download a copy of the Pledge to Create a Community Without Racism, CLICK HERE


Thank you to so many who helped bring people together in peace on June 3, 2020 to begin the journey of recovery and action. It will take all of us. The event could not have been possible without the vision and leadership of Melinda Johnson, Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy at YWCA Hartford Region and Yvonne Renee Davis of Davis Communications.Together, we’re unlimited.

Community Leaders: Howard K. Hill and Buster Jenkins from Howard K. Hill Funeral Services; Brittany Yancy from United State of Women; Denise Best and Janice Fleming from Voices of Women of Color; brothers and sisters from the “Divine Nine” representing the nine historically black Greek letter fraternities and sororities; Alonzo Beckett from NE Video; Rodney Matthews of Exclusive Linez; and Ashlei Biggs.

Faith Leaders: Pastor David Massey from Hopewell Baptist Church; Pastor Ashley Johnson and Ronald Campbell from Urban Hope Refuge Church; Reverend Mia Douglas from Asylum Hill Congregational Church; Bishop John Selders and Pamela Selders from Moral Monday; Pastor Trevor Beauford from Union Baptist Church. 

Public Officials:  Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz; Mayor Luke Bronin; State Senator Douglas McCrory; State Representatives Joshua Hall, Brandon McGee and Bobby Gibson; Hartford City Council Members TJ Clarke and Wildaliz Bermudez; Connecticut Department of Public Safety Commissioner Brian Foley; as well as Nancy Serrano from the State Capitol.

Police and Fire Leadership: Hartford Police Chief, Jason Thody; Hartford Fire Chief, Reginald Freeman; Windsor Police Chief, Don Melanson; West Hartford Police Chief, Vernon Riddick; Connecticut State Capitol Police Chief, Luis Casanova; Lieutenant Anthony Pia and Sgt. Steve Austin, Hartford Police; State Capitol Police Lieutenant, Glen Richards.

Thank you to the Board and staff of YWCA Hartford Region And a special thank you to Ryan Cochrane for creating the memorial blanket in honor of George Floyd to be gifted to the Floyd family. 

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