The YWCA of the Greater Triangle’s Racial Justice Initiative aims to empower women and eliminate racism through dialogue, action and advocacy. Luckily, the ambitious goals are being taken on by a team that includes two women who have been challenging people to address racism head-on for many years. Crystal Hayes and Julia Dawson met in college where they began their advocacy work in favor of racial justice. In the beginning, Hayes, an African-American woman from New York, rejected the idea of a friendship with Dawson, a white Southerner who is about 10 years her junior. Eventually, their shared passion for bringing an end to racism brought them together – first as partners in activism, then as pals.