YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Launches Racial Equity and Innovation Centers, Powered by Reliant

Reliant will power Equity Centers to help solve challenges of inequity, intolerance and exclusion and fund continued COVID-19 crisis care programs


DALLAS (September 17, 2020) – The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas is pleased to announce it is teaming up with Reliant to create Racial Equity and Innovation Centers in 2021 across nine Dallas Y locations. A $100,000 grant from Reliant will help create the centers and support the Catalyst Initiative, the Y's COVID-19 response, which has supported thousands in our community with essential services.

The new Equity and Innovation Centers will expand upon the work the Y is doing to combat racial inequities with the ultimate goal of facilitating change for communities, organizations and individuals while increasing access to personal and professional development for marginalized populations. The rollout will include in- person Equity Centers at many Dallas Y branches and envisions mobile and online learning capabilities in the future. Rodrigua Ross, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is leading the creation and deployment of the Racial Equity and Innovation Centers and the Catalyst Initiative.

“It is consistent with the Y’s mission that we will lead in conversations about racial injustice and demand change in our communities. As COVID-19 has left people without food, childcare and created a blood shortage, the Y is there to support them. When people endure racial injustice and violence, as Black communities are suffering, we raise our voices and take action,” said Curt Hazelbaker, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. “At this time, we are called to do more. We must look closely at the present and demand a reality where race does not dictate health, longevity, safety or well-being. We are grateful Reliant is joining us in our efforts to enact real change across North Texas. When we come together, we can and will make our communities better.”

“Celebrating our differences and working to create equitable communities makes us all stronger. That is why we’re pleased to support the YMCA in powering Racial Equity and Innovation Centers throughout North Texas,” said Elizabeth Killinger, President of Reliant. “We’re committed to powering meaningful change and supporting progress in the communities where we live and work.”

Equity Centers

The Equity Centers will serve as a space to lead, organize, advocate and meaningfully connect with a shared focus of creating a more inclusive community. More than a place or program, the centers will serve the entire Dallas Y and its branches by seeking innovative ways to solve problems around inequity, intolerance and exclusion. Guided by a centralized Equity Center providing oversight and framework, the Y will focus on strategy development, leadership development and collective impact approaches that support eliminating racism, bias and prejudice.

The branch-based equity centers will focus on community-based programs, partnerships and events that result in the lifting up of unique and branch specific demographics adversely impacted by equity challenges.

The Catalyst Initiative

The Catalyst Initiative allows the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas to quickly facilitate and deliver essential services to the most vulnerable communities that are experiencing hardships due to COVID-19 or long-standing systemic challenges, like poverty and racism. The Catalyst Initiative meets that need by providing meal and food distribution, baby items like diapers and formula, emergency childcare for essential workers, learning loss prevention centers, pop up health care clinics and COVID-19 testing sites, among other services. Catalyst Initiative sites currently include the Moorland YMCA at Oak Cliff, Grand Prairie YMCA, Lake Highlands YMCA, Semones YMCA, White Rock YMCA, Park South YMCA, Richardson YMCA and School Aged Services in Irving.

Powered by Reliant

The Equity Centers and Catalyst Initiative efforts are being powered by Reliant through a donation of $100,000, consisting of a $50,000 commitment for two years. Both Reliant and the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas are looking internally and externally to strengthen and grow diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. This donation is part of Reliant and parent company NRG’s “Powering Change” initiative, which has committed $1 million toward organizations and initiatives that combat racial inequities, injustice and related violence.

Driven by the YMCA’s founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening the community for more than 135 years. The Y continues to demonstrate commitment to communities through exceptional volunteer work, charitable giving and memberships. The organization is proud of its affiliation with many notable corporate partners, including Reliant. These relationships not only further the Y’s mission and unite us around a shared goal to make our community a better place for all, but they also extend the impact of these efforts – allowing for a synergy accomplished only through collaboration. To support these efforts and the Y, please visit www.ymcadallas.org/supportthey.


About the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas serves thousands of men, women and children each year, regardless of age, income or background. Anchored in 21 North Texas communities, the Dallas Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. The Y ensures all people have equitable access to the essentials needed to become thriving members of the community. Daily, the Y bridges and fills individual and community needs as a catalyst for impactful change. The YMCA makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and thrive, with three areas of focus: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. To learn more or get involved in improving our local communities, have opportunities to make an impact and support your neighbors, please visit us at www.ymcadallas.org.


About Reliant

Reliant powers, protects and simplifies life by bringing electricity, security and related services to homes and businesses across Texas. Serving customers and the community is at the core of what we do, and the company is recognized nationally for outstanding customer experience. Reliant is part of NRG, a Fortune 500 company that creates value by generating electricity and providing energy solutions to more than 3.7 million residential, small business and commercial customers across the U.S. and Canada. NRG’s competitive residential electricity business, which includes Reliant, is one of the largest in the country. For more information about Reliant, visit reliant.com and connect with Reliant on Facebook at facebook.com/reliantenergy and Twitter or Instagram @reliantenergy. PUCT Certificate #10007.