Different Locations. Shared Experience. A Community United.

The challenge we faced as we thought about our annual Stand Against Racism  the week of April 20, 2020 was “How can we get people interested in doing something like this on their own, without the benefit of standing along the sidewalks with hundreds of others?

We need not have worried. From our own YWCA staff members leading a virtual reading of the pledge, to folks across police and fire departments, library staffs, neighbors, municipal employees – people across Skokie and Evanston got creative!

Some individuals read the pledge on their own – even one of our young Flying Fish swimmers! Staffs held online zoom discussions about the disparity of the impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities, and what that should mean for all of us going forward. Some blocks of residents all came out in front of their own houses at the same time and read the pledge, led by the loudest neighbor, or the one with a bullhorn. Some staffs created messages, spelled out one letter per person, and shared those across social media and their websites. Teachers read books with anti-racism themes to their students across their e-learning platforms.

And, as always, YWCA Evanston/North Shore reminded folks, through OUR social media and website, that we have resources to help all of us become serious about understanding the social structures that create disparities. If nothing else, this global health crisis has shown very clearly what we have always known: we may all be experiencing the same storm, but our boats are of VERY different quality. And until we change that reality, our work to stand against – and eliminate! – racism will not be complete.

Here’s what we asked people to do, something you can do any week of the year!:

Take the Pledge with YWCA Evanston/North Shore

About Stand Against Racism

Photo from Stand Against RacismStand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities.

Founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton in 2007, Stand Against Racism quickly grew to a national presence by 2010, when an additional 80 YWCAs across the nation, including YWCA Evanston/North Shore, took a Stand. Over 2,000 organizations across 39 states joined YWCAs in the Stand Against Racism. This phenomenal success has attracted well over 250,000 participants and earned the endorsement of five U.S. Governors. The event has been widely featured by local ABC, NBC, CBS, and other networks.

The Stand Against Racism takes place each year on the last Friday in April.  Thanks to the thousands of people who joined us for the 2019 Stand in Evanston and Skokie!

Does standing together for 15 minutes eliminate racism? Of course not. But it does allow us to see the broad range of people in this community who are committed to working toward that goal. We need each other's support to stay in the struggle, to have the hard conversations, to do the self-assessment necessary to transform ourselves and our community.
Eileen Hogan Heineman, Mgr., Equity Inst. Community Outreach

Who participates in the Stand Against Racism? People like you.

Take the pledge with Skokie residents who took a Stand Against Racism
Thousands joined us for the 2019 Stand Against Racism in Evanston

2019 Stand Against Racism participants included:

In Evanston:

  • Baker Demonstration School
  • Benedictines for Peace
  • Beth Emet, The Free Synagogue
  • Chiaravalle Montessori School
  • City of Evanston
  • Curt’s Cafe
  • Evanston Chamber of Commerce
  • Evanston Community Foundation
  • Evanston Fire Department
  • Evanston Police Department
  • Evanston/Skokie School District 65
    • Dawes School
    • Dewey Parents
    • Lincoln School
    • Oakton School
    • Orrington School
    • Washington School
  • First Congregational Church of Evanston
  • McGaw YMCA
  • Moran Center for Youth Advocacy
  • Northwestern University
    • Alumni Relations & Development Dept.
    • Associated Student Government
    • Chicago Field Studies Program
    • Medill School of Journalism
    • Neighborhood and Community Relations Dept.
    • Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion
    • Women’s Center
  • Ridgeville Park District
  • Rotary International
  • Roycemore School
  • St. Andrew’s Pentecost Episcopal Church
  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
  • St. Matthew Episcopal Church
  • St. Nicholas Catholic Church
  • Unitarian Church of Evanston

In Skokie:

  • Downtown Skokie
  • 7900 Tripp Block Club
  • Skokie Fire Department
  • Skokie Human Relations Commission
  • Skokie Park District
  • Skokie Police Department
  • Skokie Public Library
  • Skokie School District 68
    • Highland School
  • Skokie School District 69
    • Edison School
    • Lincoln Junior High
  • Skokie School District 73.5
    • McCracken School
    • Middleton School
  • Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center
  • Village of Skokie

Read local press coverage from the 2018 Stand Against Racism.