Join the Discussion on Unlearning Systemic Racism | OPEN Virtual Town Hall Hosted by African American YMCA CEOs


If you are ready to begin or further your journey toward unlearning systemic racism, this virtual town hall is for you. All Y staff, volunteers, members and community members are welcome.

In striving to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all both within and outside of the Y, we at the Summit Area YMCA humbly invite all within our community to join in this virtual town hall conversation hosted by African American YMCA CEOs as we explore the topic of unlearning systemic racism. All are welcome to join in this discussion about the Y's collective role in moving our country forward during this critical time.

Join us as we dive deep into understanding how systemic racism is affecting all of our communities, as well as how we can achieve greater equity for all when we work to unlearn these systems. You'll hear from a dynamic lineup of speakers who will share knowledge and tools for rethinking how we lead our communities toward greater equity. We believe unlearning systemic racism is key to the success of all of our YMCAs, and there is no organization better positioned to address inequities in our communities and our country than the Y.


Please register to join us:

Virtual YMCA Town Hall: Unlearning Systemic Racism
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. CST  (4-hour event) 
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Questions? Email



We are excited to announce six special guests who will be joining us for the virtual town hall on Unlearning Systemic Racism. We are confident this dynamic group of speakers will lead us in a thought-provoking and highly engaging conversation that will challenge us to understand our role - both as individuals and as a socially responsible organization - in moving forward this crucial work.



U.S. Senator Kamala Harris

Growing up in Oakland, Sen. Harris has spent her life fighting injustice and advocating for those who could not defend themselves. After earning an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, she began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. In 2003, Sen. Harris became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. After two terms, she was elected as the first African-American and first woman to serve as California's Attorney General. In this role, she won a $25-billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, defended California's landmark climate change law, protected the Affordable Care Act, helped win marriage equality for all Californians and prosecuted transnational gangs that trafficked in guns, drugs and human beings.

In 2017, Sen. Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. In the Senate, her mission remains unchanged: fighting for the rights of all communities in California. Since taking office, she has introduced and cosponsored legislation to raise wages for working people, reform our broken criminal justice system, make healthcare a right for all Americans, address the substance abuse epidemic, support veterans and military families and expand access to childcare for working parents.



Steve Kerr
Head Coach, Golden State Warriors

Entering his sixth season as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr has guided the club through five of the most prolific seasons in NBA history with a list of accomplishments that includes three NBA championships, five-straight NBA Finals appearances, the NBA's single-season wins record (73), an NBA Coach of the Year award (2015-16) and the franchise's highest winning percentage over a five-year span. Kerr, who won five NBA championships during a 15-year playing career, now owns eight championships as either a player or coach, becoming the first to win three NBA titles as a player and three as a coach. Kerr owns 30 years of NBA experience as a player, coach, television analyst and front office executive, including a three-year stint (2007-10) as president of basketball operations and general manager for the Phoenix Suns.

Kerr earned a degree in general studies from Arizona in 1988 and serves on the board of directors for Peace Players International, an organization that uses basketball as a means to bridge cultural gaps in areas of conflict.






Mayor Steven Reed

City of Montgomery, Alabama
Steven L. Reed is the 57th mayor of the City of Montgomery.

As Montgomery County's first African American and youngest elected probate judge, he has expanded access to representation, improved facilities and modernized the office to better serve the community.

Mayor Reed has made drastic improvements to mental health services and the administration of other areas. In addition, he stood up for the rule of law in a legal challenge to former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over marriage equality. Mayor Reed serves on the boards of the River Region United Way, the Metro Board of the Montgomery Area YMCA, Trustmark Bank and Valiant Cross Academy. He is also the moderator at Community Congregational United Church of Christ, as well as an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.




Dr. Kimberley Richards

The People's Institute for Survival & Beyond

Dr. Kimberley Richards' quest for learning and experiencing culture and different environments has taken her to study theater arts, education, fabric arts, international organizing, anti-racist practice, spiritual practice and more in The Gambia, West Africa; South Africa; London, England; Holland; Brazil; Puerto Rico; Canada; and almost every state in the US.

Dr. Richards is a graduate of Clark College in Atlanta where she majored in education and theater. She also holds a master's degree in education from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, and completed her doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh as a Lilly Endowment Fellow in 1995. She currently serves as interim executive and core trainer/regional organizer with the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond.




Daniel Hill

Pastor, Author of White Awake; White Lies; and 10:10: Life to the Fullest 

Pastor Daniel Hill is the founding and senior pastor of River City Community Church located in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. The vision of River City is centered on the core values of worship, reconciliation and neighborhood development. Formed in 2003, River City longs to see increased spiritual renewal, as well as social and economic justice by demonstrating compassion and alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God.
Prior to founding River City, Hill was part of a series of startups in the 90s before serving for five years on the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in the suburbs of Chicago. Daniel earned his bachelor's degree in business from Purdue University and his master's in theology from Moody Bible Institute. He also holds a certificate in church-based community and economic development from Harvard Divinity School and is a Doctor of Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.








Nate Burleson

Former NFL Player and Sports Commentator

Nate Burleson played 11 years in the NFL as a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. During his time as a Viking, Burleson reached over 1,000 receiving yards and is the only player in NFL history to have three punt returns of 90-or-more yards.

Burleson joined CBS Sports in May 2017 as a studio analyst for the CBS Television Network's pre-game show, "The NFL Today." In addition, he contributes to CBS Sports Network's Sunday pre-game show, "That Other Pregame Show." Burleson also serves as an NFL Network analyst on "Good Morning Football" and as a correspondent for the entertainment show, "Extra Extra."

A native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Burleson resides in New Jersey with his wife, Atoya, and three children, Nathaniel, Nehemiah and Mia Pearl.




Norman Wright

EVP/CCO, Optum Health

As executive vice president and chief customer officer at Optum, Norman is responsible for improving quality, service and performance across all customer interactions and channels. Previously, Mr. Wright was responsible for leading global operations across Optum, delivering solutions grounded in affordability, global scale and quality. Prior to joining Optum in 2013, Norman was the managing director of client experience for Citigroup's consumer operations in North America. Wright was also a partner with the consulting firm Accenture, where he led a practice in call center transformation for the financial services and retail industries. Before Accenture, he led customer care at Home Shopping Network. Norman also managed call center operations and technology at Fidelity Investments, GE Capital and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Norman has a bachelor's in political science from Swarthmore College. He currently serves on the United Health Foundation Board and Charitable Giving Committee, as well as the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities General Board.



Kevin Washington 

President and CEO, YMCA of the USA

Kevin Washington became president and CEO of YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) on Feb. 1, 2015. He is the 14th person and first African American to lead the Y Movement in the U.S. A 41-year Y professional, Kevin is a widely-recognized and respected leader in the Movement and has a deep devotion to the Y's mission, cause and core values.

He came to Y-USA from the YMCA of Greater Boston, where he served as president and CEO from 2010 to 2014. There, he expanded membership and access by reducing rates and increasing diversity and engagement among the board of directors to reflect the community more accurately. Mr. Washington also implemented a childhood-education quality initiative that is still benefiting thousands of children and families throughout eastern Massachusetts.






About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve over 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.