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YWCA Continues to Educate Throughout February

Written by on February 3, 2021

Photo courtesy to YWCA Facebook page

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- YWCA will be busy the entire month of February in order to educate people in the Bloomington-Normal and surrounding areas.


This month YWCA will be offering free virtual training to volunteers over the age of 18 that would like to become Stepping Stone Advocates. They would be trained to assist survivors of sexual violence, rape trauma, crisis techniques, listening and communication skills, medical and legal advocacy and more.


Volunteers will have to attend 40 hours of training via Zoom. The training started the Feb. 2 and will continue through Feb. 23. An important factor is for this information to be used in the careers and everyday lives of the Stepping Stone Advocates.  Director of Marketing and Public Relations at YWCA Christy Germanis says another goal for the new Stepping Stone Advocates is to help with taking hotline crisis calls after hours.


“We do have a 24 hour hotline so you will be able to take those hotline calls as well as help in the office or represent us at events,” said Germanis. “It is important for those who experience sexual violence to have that 24 hours hotline where they can call at any time would they feel like they need a little extra help. Sexual assault also can occur all hours of the day or night so the volunteers being able to go to the hospital and provide guidance to someone who’s who has experienced sexual violence is an absolute must.”


YWCA is nonprofit organization that strives to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.


Alongside the Stepping Stone training, the organization is providing virtual events to celebrate Black History Month. Staff members of YWCA will lead all the events.


One of the events is exploring climate justice. This session will expand more on how marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by climate change.


“This presentation will kind of explore why that is and what climate justice is. A lot of people haven’t heard that phrase before, so we want to educate people on what that is, who in our community is making a difference and what people can what role they can play to fight for climate justice,” said Germanis.


On social media, YWCA will be doing an awareness campaign focusing on Black History and listing off Black individuals that have impacted our society.


Lastly, YWCA will be reading Just Mercy and discussing systemic discrimination based on race and class in the justice system in conjunction with Illinois State University’s Center for Civil Engagement. There will be a huge discussion and one specifically with the organization February 22nd.


“We also have free copies of the book available for folks, so if they want to pick those up they can just email us or just stop by the YWCA,” said Germanis.


Germanis says the overall goal is to educate someone and expand the knowledge of those educated on certain topics without judgement. The organization will be providing safe place to come and ask questions.


“Eventually the overall goal is to eliminate Black history—because it’s history and these folks should be in the common conversation about history and this month is set aside because they aren’t and we want to make sure that they are,” Germanis.