This year, our Stand Against Racism Campaign centers around a new theme, We Can’t Wait: Equity and Justice Now!
Our country was founded on the idea of building a government of the people, by the people, for the people. More than two hundred years later, this vision has yet to be fully achieved. Through generations of civil rights activism have led to important gains in legal, political, social, educational, and other spheres, the forced displacement of indigenous peoples and the institution of slavery marked the beginning of a system of racial injustice from which our country has yet to break free.
We say enough is enough.
Swim Against Racism
This event is in conjunction with YWCA’s signature campaign, STAND AGAINST RACISM, which raises awareness of the impact of institutional and structural racism and builds community among those who work for racial justice and the STAND AGAINST RACISM CHALLENGE (previously the 21 Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge).
The YWCA Aquatics Program is proud to host a 1 mile, ½ mile and 500 yard distance swim meet challenging swimmers to their personal best time or to simply set the goal to complete one of these distances.
YWCA is excited to announce the launch of the Stand Against Racism (SAR) Challenge in April 2022. The SAR Challenge is an official national initiative of YWCA USA. Previously known as the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, this is the same program developed by YWCA Greater Cleveland in 2019.
The Stand Against Racism Challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. Participation in an activity like this helps us discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our community, to connect with one another, and to identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.
This year YWCA has created a challenge app that presents the challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience and more.
YWCA Lower Cape Fear wants to thank and acknowledge Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., Debby Irving, and Dr. Marguerite Penick for their leadership in the field of racial equity as exhibited in their 21 Day Racial Equity and Habit Building Challenge and the movement they helped to initiate. YWCA’s content is independently designed, written, and curated by YWCA staff as part of racial equity and social justice programs offered to the community.
Watch YWCA’s 11th Annual Stand Against Racism Event
STAND AGAINST RACISM PLEDGE
Mindful 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, my family, my circle of friends, my co-workers, and the society in which I live, with conviction and hope:
I take this pledge, fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end with a mere pledge but calls for an ongoing transformation within myself and the institutions and structures of our society.
I pledge to look deeply and continuously in my heart and in my mind to identify all signs and vestiges of racism; to rebuke the use of racist language and behavior towards others; to root out such racism in my daily life and in my encounters with persons I know and with strangers I do not know; 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, within my means, to actively work to support public policy solutions that prominently, openly, and enthusiastically promote racial equity in all aspects of human affairs; and to actively support and devote my time to YWCA, as well as other organizations working to eradicate racism from our society.
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. I join YWCA in taking a stand against racism today and every day.
*This pledge has been adapted by YWCA USA from the Pledge to Eliminate Racism in My Life, YWCA Bergen County which is an adaptation of the Pledge to Heal Racism in My Life, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, April 10, 2006.
Theme: From Declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis
YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s 11th Annual Stand Against Racism campaign took place April 22-25, 2021. This campaign focused on the myriad of racial justice issues that impact the health and safety of communities of color. Most importantly, we invited our community to explore how From Declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis can advance the work of justice in our community and empower people of color.
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.
Watch the 2021 Stand Against Racism here.
Theme: Civic Engagement (Participation in U.S. Census and Elections)
This year we took our 10th Annual Stand Against Racism virtual to spread our mission, not the virus.
We rallied and reached over one thousand people on social media who promoted, shared and supported Stand Against Racism.
This year’s campaign focuses on CIVIC ENGAGEMENT with an emphasis on its central role in racial justice work. We know that change starts at the local level, and civic engagement is most powerful when we value the full spectrum of civic life and when all people have the power to choose how they would like to participate.
Each of us can Stand Against Racism by engaging our communities in a meaningful way.
Theme: No Hate. No Fear. Immigrant Justice is Racial Justice
Over 300 people joined us for our 9th Annual Stand Against Racism! We marched and rallied in solidarity with local officials, partners, sponsor agencies and members of our community.
Hosted by Amanda Fitzpatrick of WWAY TV 3 and joined by guest speakers Vanessa Gonzalez, Ricki Nelson, Victoria Velazco, and Rhonda Sekhmet-Ra, these women shared their reflections on the 2019 theme, “No Hate. No Fear. Immigrant Justice is Racial Justice.”
Attendees signed the Pledge, enjoyed treats from Pelican’s SnoBalls and Tasty T’s Food Truck, with music and entertainment provided by Bigg B of COAST 97.3 WMNX. Thank you to everyone who attended and to our committee that made it all happen. We can’t wait to see you at next year’s event – our 10th Annual Stand Against Racism!
Theme: Our Power, Our Mission, Our Future
Civic engagement is a powerful tool for eliminating racism. In fact, it is the one tool that disenfranchised groups consistently rely on to create a more representative democracy. While we can use this tool in a variety of ways, from acts of civil disobedience to serving on the school board, laws have been changed and communities have been empowered when community members dedicate their time to doing something for the greater good.
Defined as working to make a difference in communities through both political and non-political activities, civic engagement addresses public concern and promotes a better quality of life for community members.
For many, the term “civic engagement” refers only to voting, but civic engagement is a much larger body of work. That full breadth of work is important because voting alone cannot create systemic change. Throughout American history right up through the present, voting has only been accessible as a privilege, and not a true civil right. Voter suppression remains a very real challenge for many marginalized communities.
The hard work of ensuring communities can and do get out to vote is so important. But this work is best coupled with meeting the day to day needs of those communities through direct service, raising awareness on the issues that impact their lives most and advocating for policy change. Civic engagement is most powerful when the full spectrum of civic life is valued and all community members can choose how they’d like to participate.
Each of us can stand against racism by engaging in our communities in a meaningful way.