Stand Against Racism 2019 | Thursday, April 25, 2019
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!
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: 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.