Training Institute

Building Capacity for Social Change

YWCA Greater Austin is committed to implementing racial and social justice programming in our daily work. The Training Institute provides a space for education, personal growth, and professional development that builds capacity for social change. Offering educational and informative presentations by mental health professionals, social workers, educators, school counselors, youth workers, nationally-known speakers, and others working in social service organizations, provides the opportunity to disseminate new ideas on racial justice and equity in our communities. 

The Training Institute includes the provision of continuing education units for licensed professionals, as well as personalized organizational training for community entities seeking to address equity issues in their work. 

YWCA Greater Austin's Training Institute is a regionally recognized training site for students completing their licensure requirements in social work and counseling.


YWCA Greater Austin's first documented education and training experience dates back to 1920. Since then its course offerings have evolved to meet the changing realities of the Greater Austin community. The Volunteer and Training Institute promotes racial justice and civil rights by building capacity both within YWCA Greater Austin and in the Greater Austin community to address the root causes of gender and racial injustice from the personal to the professional and institutional. 

Request a Training

As an equity centered nonprofit, YWCA Greater Austin creates personalizable professional development opportunities based on the specific need of the requesting organization. Could your organization benefit from training that addresses the root causes of gender and racial injustice? One that explores intersectionality, mental health topics, or ethics?

To request a training, complete the form here.

Available Trainings

Name Description
Mental Health First Aid Skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues, steps to take in order to connect individuals to mental health resources, and awareness about how to appropriately respond to an individual experiencing a mental health crisis or issue. This is an 8-hour (minimum) course which can be presented in one day or broken into sections over multiple days.
Non-violent Crisis Intervention This program is considered the global standard for crisis prevention and intervention training. With a core philosophy of providing for the Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security of everyone involved in a crisis situation, the program's proven strategies give human service providers and educators the skills to safely respond to various levels of risk behavior while balancing the responsibilities of care.
Mindfulness Through Art When the mind is at peace and given space to wonder, beautiful things can result. There may be painting and/or other messy mediums involved so please wear or bring comfortable clothing that you don't mind getting a little messy. This workshop will incorporate simple mindfulness and art practices to promote relaxation and creativity.
Culture Shock This training will provide an overview of culture shock and help service providers understand and learn to support clients in the four distinct phases and manifestations thereof: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and adaptation.
Opening Up the Dialogue This workshop serves as an opportunity for people to begin to embrace a culture of openness and thoughtful conversations around difficult subjects. People often have difficulty discussing issues associated with the "elephant in the room." It can be challenging to bring up differences in age, ethnicity, and/or experiences related to social/systemic oppression, social justice, and intersectionality. Special consideration is given to organizational dynamics, worker/client relationships, and self-awareness. The YWCA Greater Austin believes that the best way to handle a difficult subject is through open, honest, productive conversations with many voices in the room. The workshop will involve experiential exercises, group interactions, and large group discussion.
Oppression in the Session A focus on public policy change is crucial in addressing structural racism and sexism. The possibility for change is always present. Understanding which values touch constituencies and how to define those in ways that build momentum is necessary to ensure that our democracy is defined in ways that benefit all.
Trauma and Oppression Trauma is a psychological dimension of oppression, which is the systemic abuse of power. This workshop will explore how institutionalized oppression creates and re-creates powerlessness and trauma, how it manifests at different levels of a community, how to identify challenges to having conversations about oppression and learn ways to address them.
Gender Analysis and Mainstreaming Gender mainstreaming is a strategy to achieve gender equality. It is shorthand for saying that the impact of all policies and programs on women and men should be considered at every stage of the policy or program cycle - from planning to implementation and evaluation. This workshop familiarizes participants gender mainstreaming and gender analysis through best practice and case studies from around the world, by focusing on specific sectors or policy areas.
Systemic Solutions for Racial Equity This workshop focuses on the concept of structural racialization. It explores and emphasizes the processes by which institutions and systems create and maintain racism and helps identify tools for equity-based solutions to create change.
Exploring Systemic Privilege and Microagressions This workshop evaluates systemic power dynamics and imbalances. It provides tools to identify and remedy subtle/hidden barriers inherent that are codified through existing and acceptable policies and procedures.
Addressing Intersectionality This workshop examines influential, interlocking dimensions of social identities that shape institutions, dynamics, processes, and cultures. It draws on a variety of sources to understand how social identities set-up power dynamics in different environments and systems, thereby impacting the lived experiences of vulnerable/marginalized communities.
Know Thyself: Identifying Patterns of Oppression This workshop guides participants through an honest discussion and assessment of the barriers that exist within an organization that inhibit equity and access and how individuals contribute to the continuation of these barriers. Participants will begin to develop ideas around addressing the barriers and integrating social equity as part of the organizational culture.
Power Dynamics & Eliminating Racism: A Multi-dimensional Community Endeavor Engaging racial justice work consistently involves sustained community engagement. Building community power to effect structural change involves identifying where power relations need to shift. Learning objectives: understanding the role every individual plays in sustaining power dynamics, engaging in self-diagnosis of power, and understanding how to identify and develop strategies to begin to shift power dynamics that do not support racial justice.
Self-Regulate to Co-Regulate: A Trauma-Informed Approach to De-escalation Polyvagal Theory, the science of feeling safe, will be examined as a way of understanding how our sense of safety or lack of safety influences our behaviors. Participants will gain strategies to invite self-regulation in times of dysregulation and learn how a grounded nervous system invites a sense of safety and calm in others for co-regulation. 
Working With Diverse Populations from a Trauma-Informed Perspective This workshop will build awareness of self by inviting individuals to look explore the domains of identity, biases, beliefs, and assumptions.  We will discuss what is trauma and how it might present in diverse populations. There will be experiential exercises, group discussion, and presentation of information.
Open Minds, Open Hearts: Trauma-Informed Group Facilitation This multi-part training will explore how to create trauma-informed group spaces, as facilitators, which take into consideration not just personal trauma responses, but also collective, historical, and intergenerational trauma responses.