The YWCA believes racism is a woman’s issue. We can’t empower all women until we eliminate racism and discrimination. Because of prejudice, the women of color we serve in our other programs face additional challenges when it comes to finding permanent housing and employment, getting an education, leaving a violent partner, encountering law enforcement, and accessing health care. YWCA Missoula’s Racial Justice Initiative is committed to being an educational community resource for people of color and white allies who are dedicated to addressing racism in our community.

Community Education

The True Colors Training is a series of workshops created by YWCA Missoula and Empower Montana in an effort to address the unique challenges faced by people of color, as well as white allies taking action against racism. Both training invite community members to rethink race, history, and community. The training helps participants develop skills to identify structures and systems, understand the role of racism within historical trauma, increase proficiency in implicit and linguistic racism, and create inclusive spaces.

The training creates a safe and comfortable space for participants to discuss difficult themes. YWCA Missoula and Empower Montana seek allies and people of color who have witnessed and experienced racism and seek to both better understand and work toward racial justice.



Racial Equity Report

In 2016 and 2017 we developed the Montana Racial Equity Report to share with individuals and organizations across the state. Our hope is that, while not exhaustive, the quantitative and qualitative data researched and compiled in this report can serve as a useful tool in the development of racial equity programming in throughout multiple organizations, and provide a clear and measurable picture of some of the significant challenges and needs faced by communities and people of color. Download the 2017 report below.

Film Project

Missoula Voices is a short documentary film created by YWCA Missoula’s Racial Justice Initiative in collaboration with student volunteers from University of Montana’s School of Media Arts. It features personal narratives of community members who have experienced discrimination in Missoula. It was originally screened at The Roxy Theater on May 3, 2018.


If unlawful discrimination has occurred against you, the Human Rights Bureau will help you take legal action in district court. To contact the Human Rights Bureau, call (406) 444-2884 or (800) 542-0807.

Montana’s discrimination laws can be found in the Montana Human Rights Act and in the Montana Governmental Code of Fair Practices. These laws make it unlawful to discriminate in credit, education, employment, financing, housing, governmental services, insurance, and public accommodations on the basis of:

  • Age
  • Familial Status
  • Marital Status
  • National Origin
  • Physical or Mental Disability
  • Political Beliefs or Ideas
  • Race/Color
  • Religion/Creed
  • Sex (including pregnancy, maternity and sexual harassment)

Additional Resources

All Nations Health Center
830 West Central,
Missoula MT 59801
Telephone: (406) 829-9515
Fax: (406) 829-9519

The All Nations Health Center provides a variety of services for the Missoula American Indian and Alaska Native community, including diabetes medication management, immunization, testing, health promotion, disease prevention, chemical dependency counseling, mental healthcare, community services, and transportation.

Indian Education Program Missoula County
The District is actively committed to developing for all students an understanding of American and Montana Indian people and their histories, as well as fostering respect for their respective cultures. Because of the unique position and place in American history, the American Indian peoples’ role in the development of the United States (with emphasis on the experience of the Montana Tribes) shall be included wherever appropriate in the instruction of MCPS students, in accordance with the state constitution and state standards.

Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association
The purpose of our organization is to bridge the faculty and students of the University of Montana with the communities of Missoula and surrounding areas. Through extra-curricular activities and community building, we will engage others in our cultural traditions in order to unify and promote the cultural identity of American Indians/Alaska Natives.

The Montana Racial Equity Project
The MTREP  works with individuals, groups, organizations, educational institutions, and businesses to promote and create opportunities to build equity and justice in Montana.