CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Thursday marked a momentous occasion for the YWCA in Charleston. The organization hosted a big ribbon-cutting for the brand-new Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion.

The center is located on Elizabeth Street on Charleston’s East End. YWCA officials say the center will serve as a diverse and inclusive place where everyone can feel a sense of belonging.

It’s the first brick and mortar location for the program.

“We operate a lot of cultural celebrations, a lot of events and activities, our annual Race to End Racism. So, so this space would be a storefront for having conversations for racial equity and inclusion topics,” said Jennifer Goddard, CEO of YWCA Charleston. “The Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion, which is what we are doing a ribbon cutting for today, is really to put our mission right out on the street so people can come in and have conversations about all kinds of different topics. It’s a place where everyone belongs.”

The center acts as a safe space for people to share their truth, give education to others, and provide healing through storytelling. There is also opportunity for youth to engage in hands-on activities.