Towards Thriving – 12/10/20

Towards Thriving Cover

December 10, 2020

Banner that says "YWCA is on a mission" in all caps in orange and black lettering

The YWCA of Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other crimes as well as those in immediate crisis.

The YWCA of Lewiston-Clarkston is dedicated to empowering women, eliminating racism, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. It is committed to building a strong community by actively promoting the value of diversity and the right to a life free from violence, poverty, and oppression.

We are a non-discriminating agency that provides services regardless of race, gender, color, national origin, gender identification and orientation, creed, age, marital status, mental or physical disability or socio-economic status. Our service area covers over 15,000 square miles with services in Nez Perce, Lewis, Idaho & Clearwater County in Idaho along with Asotin & Garfield Counties in Washington.

Services provided by the YWCA Lewiston-Clarkston include advocacy for victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault, women’s support group, children’s support group, childcare for clients, Sue Wheel safe shelter, Extended Housing Program shelter, Visualized Independence Program, and community education to community members of all ages.

In the past nine months we have continued to serve victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse regardless of what Stage the pandemic has left us in. We have a 24 hour crisis line (800-669-3176), continue to lodge clients in our Extended Housing Program, Visualized Independence Program, and through hotel lodging, as our Sue Wheel Shelter has been closed, due to its communal living layout. We know that Domestic and Sexual Abuse has not stopped due to the pandemic, and for many victims has become worse.

You can connect with the YWCA Lewiston-Clarkston by visiting our website for more information, ways to get involved, become a member, or donate. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Amanda WilhelmDirector of Community Engagement

YWCA Lewiston-Clarkston

The Trans Epidemic Continues

Chae’Meshia Simms. Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos. Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells. Yunieski Carey Herrera. Shaki Peters. Riah Milton. Johanna Metzger. Neulisa Luciano Ruiz.

black heart with a period after on a gray background

These are but some of the 40 transgender women, nearly all Black and Latinx, who we have lost to murder in 2020, along with countless others internationally. Each with their dynamic lives, struggles, aspirations, hearts, souls. All taken from us too soon simply for being their most authentic, vulnerable, divine selves.

In a year marked by compounding existential threats to our nation and world, it can feel difficult to fit yet another epidemic into our societal discourse and our collective mourning hearts. Yet lest we forget to honor those we sisters and siblings have lost, this year and in all years past, as we simultaneously strive for greater justice for their needless deaths.

Black Trans Lives Matter. Period.

And at the hands of whom? Primarily cisgender men whose deeply ingrained toxic masculinity, misogyny, fetishization, transphobia, and fear cannot tolerate the existence of people like us. And the greater systems to blame? The normative, binaried, patriarchal, capitalistic, white supremacist, colonized millieu which lamentably defines mainstream America and Westernized cultures more broadly. But it doesn’t have to stay that way anymore.

The voices and perspectives of victims and survivors must be centered. The solutions are multidimensional, complex, and will take time to unravel. But, as the COVID crisis has taught us all, enough is enough: it is possible to create a world in which all people, trans and gender diverse people included, live fully and thrive, rather than merely survive.

May we commemorate all those who came before us. We must be loud and vocal in protecting trans folks, particularly Black and brown transfemmes most vulnerable to homicide and suffering. We must Add The Words and pass other legislation recognizing and protecting queer and transgender rights. We must persevere through crippling hardship. We must continually come together as a cohesive community and work toward mitigating the oppressive powers weighing down on our bodies, minds, souls, and spirits. We must remember to take radical care of ourselves and others. We must co-create a new paradigm in which gender liberation allows everyone, not just trans and gender diverse people, to feel safe, accepted, and welcome to be their truest self. For what greater joy is there than that?

The endless murders must stop. The needless suffering must end. As a transfemme of color, I implore each and every one of you to join me in this revolution, using our collective voices, centered in love, to engender a gender liberated world.

In the words of Black trans activist and organizer Raquel Willis: “People on the margins have even more resilience inside of us than we could ever imagine. Our community will never truly be free until the most marginalized of us have full control of our narratives and livelihoods.” (Her Trans Obituaries Project and 13 Steps to End Violence Against Trans Women are both highly recommended; @raquel_willis)

Black Trans Organizations

  • The Okra Project: a collective that provides resources and meals to Black trans people
  • Transgender Law Center: a trans-led organization that works to change policy and law in order protect and advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people
  • Marsha P. Johnson Institute: a project of the Social Good Fund, working to protect and defend the rights of Black transgender people.
  • Lavender Rights Project: a legal rights organization which provides low-cost civil legal services and community programming to LGBTQ+ people as well as other marginalized communities

Trans Youth Resources

Jyoni Shuler, MSW Intern

Three Things to reach out to me for:

  • To talk trans youth mental health research, resources, and interventions
  • To discuss the intersections of restorative justice, decolonization, environmentalism, and mindfulness
  • To swap favorite plant-based recipes!

Housing Preservation Program


The Housing Preservation Program is aimed at helping renters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis. The Housing Preservation Program (HPP) is available only to Idaho renters and provides assistance not only for rent, but utilities as well.

If you know anyone who needs assistance, please share this information with them.

Informational flyer

To learn more about the Housing Preservation Program and its eligibility requirements, click here or go to

A call-line (1-855-452-0801) is available to applicants in need of assistance with submitting an application. You may be able to assist applicants by making a phone available for call line access, providing internet access, scanning documents and/or submitting documents to IHFA via fax.

The following resources are available for you when messaging your clients. If there is anything else we can provide to assist with this effort, please let us know by emailing

Training & Events

Community Legislative Advocacy Day

Saturday, December 12th on Zoom from 7:30-2:30 PST/8:30-3:30MST

Join Legal Voice, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Add the Words, and other organizations (confirmations pending) for an advocacy summit in preparation for the 2021 Legislative Session. We’ll share best practices for how a proposed piece of legislation works its way through the Idaho Statehouse a ‘la school house rock style, how to advocate for yourself with legislators, and how to craft compelling testimony. Additionally, you’ll get updates from local community organizers and hear about the issues we will be advocating and pushing for during the 2021 legislative session.

Now, it is more important than ever for all of us to be united. All of our work is interconnected, and we have a better chance of advancing human rights in Idaho if we do it together. This training is free and will be held via Zoom due to the pandemic.

Register here!

The History of Birth Control

Access to birth control is an essential part of health care today. Without birth control, our world would look very different — but what was done in order for the creation of birth control to take place? Come learn the true history behind the creation of the birth control services that we use today, and what the future looks like.
This is a free, virtual event. To join this event, you must register at the link here. The day of the event, a PPVNH Field Organizer will email you the link to join in on our event. This is a statewide virtual event that can be accessed from anywhere in the state (or beyond).
ASL will be provided.

Reproductive Coercion Panel

Thursday, December 17th from 3-4PST/4-5 MST

Reproductive and contraceptive coercion is a common form of intimate partner violence, so why is it not talked about more?
Join legal professionals, LGBTQ+ activists, youth activists, and medical providers as they discuss what reproductive and contraceptive coercion is, how it shows up in our communities, and what actions we can take to move toward true reproductive health access, justice, and freedom for all.
This is a statewide virtual event that can be accessed from anywhere in the state (or beyond).
To join this event you must RSVP here.
After you RSVP, you will be emailed a secure link from a PPVNH Field Organizer to join on the day of the event. Please download the Bluejeans app on your phone or computer, or join with your computers browser in order to join successfully.
ASL will be provided.

Idaho Coalition Store Materials

Engaging Voices Website Store*** ALL material orders are currently on hold, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. ***

Reminder that shipping for all material orders made by Programs on the Idaho Coalition website store is FREE of cost, please use the below coupon for all orders.

Visit the online store to view current Idaho Coalition materials available for order. For store questions, please contact Lacey Sinn.

Coupon Code