YWCA 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge

YWCA 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge
Liz Brieva
Feb 29, 2024
Social Justice

Thank you for taking the time to visit our GIRLS PLAY SPORTS website and blog. We are so happy you are here! This blog is a passion project with all kinds of information that we feel needs to be shared with others. GPS wants to be involved with having conversations and sharing experiences and information in order to create a stronger, more cohesive community.

During the summer of 2020, many people in our country were filled with passion for creating change. People were marching, protesting and standing up against police brutality, following the death of George Floyd. The ETHS Girls’ and Boys’ Volleyball Programs wanted to have conversations that mattered on a community level. We had backyard conversations; people brought beach chairs and towels and social distanced and we talked about issues that were impacting Black and Brown people in Evanston.

Then we went back to school and work and things got too busy to have more conversations. But, nothing has changed. Girls Play Sports has been thinking about the ways we can move the needle and create necessary changes so we can have a more thriving community. We think it starts with conversations about race. As Bryan Stevenson talks about in his TED TALK, our country needs to talk about the impact that slavery, Jim Crow laws, mass incarceration and racism have on our ability to move forward. He talks about the NEED to pay attention to suffering, poverty, exclusion, unfairness and injustice.

Just in the past year, there have been book bans and laws that have been implemented that control the teaching of Hard History. At Girls Play Sports, not only do we want to be a part of the conversation, we want to take the lead. We want to provide resources and have dialogues so we can make a positive difference in our community.

We have the privilege of working with young people and we get to encourage and motivate them through playing sports and through our work with the GPS Youth Advisory Board. We take this responsibility seriously. We want to stretch the potential of our organization by inviting you to read our blog, tap into the resources, and be involved in our monthly meetings talking about things that are impacting our community. We are grateful that you are here.

This month, we are offering a wide variety of resources. Please take a look, click on the links, and start a conversation with someone!



  • Olivia Ohlson: Cracker Jill Award Olivia Ohlson is a junior at ETHS and a member of our GPS Junior Advisory Board. Olivia has created and been involved with a wide variety of organizations that focus on service. Wherever she goes, Olivia shares her positive energy with others! Recently, Olivia was selected as one of the recipients of the Cracker Jill Award, which honors young women who are creating positive changes in the world around them! CONGRATULATIONS, OLIVIA! Olivia has been a part of GPS since she was in elementary school and now she serves on the GPS Youth Advisory Board, helping to create programming for middle school girls in the Evanston area. Olivia is committed to making the world a better place by creating programs such as Diversify Golf, where she trains young people of color to learn about and play the game of golf.


  • Evanston Rules Season 1 and 2
  • Evanstonians, Ron Whitmore and Laurice Bell interview community members and talk about “Evanston Rules.” It makes me wonder, what are Evanston’s Rules and how do we all abide by the rules of race and class in our community? They talk with a wide range of people who contribute to Evanston in many ways.


  • Bryan Stevenson’s TED TALK: “We need to talk about an Injustice”
  • Bryan Stevenson, author of Have Mercy and lawyer, founder and executive director of The Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, creator of the Legacy Museum and so much more, talks about the need to talk about race and injustice in our society. He talks about Germany’s ability to heal because they talk about the Holocaust in schools and have created museums that teach their history.




  • Have Dreams (resources for children and young adults with Autism)