YWCA is on a mission to Stand Against Racism

We take a Stand Against Racism every day by raising awareness about the impact of institutional and structural racism and by building community among those who work for racial justice. The annual YWCA Stand Against Racism, which occurs the last week of April, provides the opportunity for communities across the United States to unite their voices to educate, advocate, and promote racial justice.

We know that structural racism plays a large role in determining the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age. These factors affect people’s access to quality housing, education, food, transportation, political power, and other social determinants of health. Understanding and addressing systemic racism in each of these structures of our society is crucial to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities, and to improving opportunity and well-being across communities.

Our collective efforts can root out injustice, transform institutions, and create a world that sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.

There are many ways that organizations and individuals can stand against racism. How are YOU working to transform our institutions and systems? We’d like to hear from you, so we can work to support each other’s efforts to root out injustice.  Once you decide what your organization will do, go to: www.standagainstracism.org to register your event, and have access to a toolkit of materials that will help in your planning.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2022 Stand Against Racism!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in the 2022 Stand Against Racism in Evanston, Skokie and Wilmette! Your presence helped to build community awareness of systemic racism and showed the power that people have when they come together. If you missed our Keynote Speaker, Loretta J. Ross, you can view the recording here.


As you gather with others, please talk about these questions before or after sharing the pledge, possibly reaching out to someone you don’t know:

        1. What is one inequity you see in your community, workplace, school or house of    worship? Are there steps you and others could take to impact that issue?  How can you get those steps started?

        2. How do/can you use your voice to influence others about issues of racial equity?


Our Pledge

Aware in 2022 of the ongoing existence and destructive consequences of institutional and structural racism, as well as the daily realities of all forms of bias, prejudice and bigotry in my own life,  

  • I pledge to examine how I am complicit in systems of oppression and how I contribute to maintaining them.
  • I pledge to educate myself on the myriad ways race impacts power and advantage and to share what I learn in places I have influence, even if it means being uncomfortable and challenging myself, my family, my partner, my children, my friends, my co-workers and those I encounter on a daily basis. 
  • I pledge to actively support public policy solutions that openly and enthusiastically promote racial equity in all aspects of human affairs, by voting in local, state and federal elections, contacting my representatives from School Boards to Congress, to push for change, and especially by supporting grassroots BIPOC-led initiatives.
  • I pledge not to be deterred from this work because I understand that, especially in times of challenge like a pandemic, those who are most impacted are those who have been historically oppressed.

Racism will not be ended by a pledge, but I join with YWCA Evanston/North Shore in calls for an ongoing transformation within myself and the institutions and structures of our society, by taking a stand against racism today and every day. 

We want to hear from you! Record a video of yourself telling what you do to stand against racism in your community. These videos will be used to share actionable steps toward racial equity.

Record Now

Check out the videos below to see how the Moran Center for Youth Advocacy and Rep. Robyn Gabel stand against racism!

Print out our Stand Against Racism sign, or create your own! Post a selfie on Facebook with the hashtags #StandAgainstRacism #YWCAens and tag YWCA Evanston/North Shore — or send your photo to equityinstitute@ywca-ens.org.

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.

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