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 find an issue or cause that inspires them to take a #StandAgainstRacism and 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 from this public health perspective 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.
The 2021 Stand Against Racism is over, but here are some ways you can Stand Against Racism year-round:
Today, being aware of the continuing affliction of institutional and structural racism as well as the daily realities of all forms of bias, prejudice and bigotry in my own life, I take this pledge,
I pledge to look deeply and continuously in my heart and in my mind to identify all signs and vestiges of racism; and to expand my consciousness to be more aware and sensitive to my use of overt and subtle expressions of racism and racial stereotypes;
I pledge to educate myself on racial justice issues and share what I learn in my own communities even if it means challenging 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;
And in this extraordinary time of a worldwide pandemic, as we see the disparities in how this crisis impacts those who have been marginalized, I pledge to continue focusing attention on inequities which have systematically limited the lives of many, until transformation takes place.
I am fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end with a mere pledge, but I join with YWCA 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.
YWCA USA’s 15th annual Stand Against Racism campaign took place locally on April 21-22, 2021. Our theme was “From Declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis.” This video is from a conversation we hosted on April 22, 2021:
- Eileen Hogan Heineman, Manager of YWCA Equity Institute Community Outreach
- Evonda Thomas-Smith is former assistant director, Illinois Department of Public Health
- Tiffany McDowell, Director, YWCA Equity Institute
This year, from April 21 – May 12, 2021, we invited you to embark on the 21-Day Stand Against Racism Challenge, which is designed to create dedicated time and space to learn about racial equity and build more effective social justice habits. Do it on your own, or do it as a group within your organization.
Those who registered receive an email with challenges such as reading an article/blogpost, listening to a podcast or watching a short video, reflecting on personal experience, and getting to know people and organizations who do anti-racism work. Participation in an activity like this helps us to:
- discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our communities
- connect with one another around these issues
identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination
This is an exciting opportunity to dive deeply into racial equity and social justice. We hope you will join us!
What inspired YWCA’s 21 Day Challenge
The 21-Day Equity Challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. (#BlackMind) and co-developed with Debby Irving, and Dr. Marguerite Penick (#DiverseSolutions). The plan has been adopted by Organizations, Associations, and Corporations all over the nation/world. Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. is the Director of the Privilege Institute in Green Bay, WI. Dr. Moore created the Challenge to not only help people better understand issues surrounding equity, inclusion, privilege, leadership, and supremacy but also to do so in a way that would build a habit of learning by stretching it over 21 days. We are excited to be offering you this 21-DayChallenge in partnership with Dr. Moore.
We also want to thank Food Solutions New England for inspiring this initiative and adapting an exercise from Dr. Moore and Irving’s book into the interactive 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge, which they launched in 2014. We also want to thank YWCA Greater Cleveland, YWCA Walla Walla, and the City of Evanston Sustainability Initiative for generously allowing us to adapt their resources for our local association.
About Stand Against Racism
Stand 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.