The YWCA Evanston/North Shore is calling on all individuals to take a bold Stand Against Racism on April 27 by lining Ridge Avenue in Evanston from Howard Street to Wilmette on Friday from 12:45 to 12:55.
“The persistence and pervasiveness of racism divides our community and creates disparities in education, healthcare, economics and other institutions affecting the quality of life,” stated Karen Singer, CEO of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “Our strength comes from numbers – that’s why we are asking people to come out and join any of the 35 organizations that have partnered with us!”
According to Eileen Heineman, Racial Justice Program Manager at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, over 35 local organizations have already signed on to participate in the Stand, including Omega Pi Ps Fraternity, Evanston Community Foundation, Oakton School, St. Francis Hospital, St. Nicholas Parish, North Shore United Way, Childcare Center of Evanston, Second Baptist Church, Pope John XXIII School, Washington School, Unitarian Church of Evanston, Evanston Coalition for Latino Resources, Interfaith Action of Evanston, the City of Evanston, various groups from ETHS, Immigrant Advocacy Project, Sojourner Covenant Church, Lake Street Church, St Mark’s Episcopal, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Evanston History Center, the Flying Fish Swim Team, Evanston Quaker Meeting, Baker Demonstration School, Evanston Area Black Catholics, PeaceAble Cities Evanston, Roycemore School, Evanston Public Library, and various student groups at Northwestern University. Says Heineman, “the Civic Center will empty and line Ridge on their block, and we hope to have a small band group from ETHS playing there as well.”
Organizations that have registered to participate (registration is free at www.StandAgainstRacism.org), will receive bookmarks with the Stand Against Racism pledge on them. At about 12:50, everyone will read the pledge together up and down Ridge. Participating groups are encouraged to bring a banner of some type with their organization’s name on it, letting the rest of Evanston know they are join the YWCA in standing against racism.
“Our school’s culture is to be inclusive and treat every single person with dignity, so we are really enthused to join with the YWCA Evanston/North Shore in standing against racism,” says Mrs. Rosalie Musiala, Principal of Pope John XXIII School in south Evanston. “The teachers have been weaving the theme into their lessons, and our upper grade students will be studying the Civil Rights movement in conjunction with this. We think it’s really important for the community to actually see Pope John XXIII students, staff and parents standing AGAINST racism, and FOR inclusion.”
Individuals in Evanston will be taking a Stand Against Racism simultaneously with others throughout the country. The Stand Against Racism movement is a collaboration of over 100 YWCA Associations nationwide and their 2,000 community partners. In 2011, over a quarter million people took a Stand Against Racism, and that number is expected to increase in 2012.
Participants will commit themselves to a lifetime of promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people in their community and in the world. This powerful, unified, effort will help raise awareness that racism hurts everyone. Participants of the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism range from preschool-age children to elected officials; from executives of large corporations to church leaders; and many others. Racism affects everyone.
“If you believe in a society free of racism and discrimination, join us,” said Karen Singer “Together, we can eliminate racism.”
For more details about the Evanston Stand Against Racism, visit www.ywca.org/evanston or call Eileen Heineman, Racial Justice Program Manager at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-864-8445 ext. 158. Information about the national Stand Against Racism can be found at www.StandAgainstRacism.org.
The YWCAs in America have a rich history of advocating for racial justice. Throughout our history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, civil rights, labor practices, and the empowerment of women. Today, we not only intend to raise awareness of the issues of racism, we intend to affect real change in the lives of our family, friends and co-workers through a process that identifies and eradicates the barriers that divide us and that perpetuate racism and other forms of oppression. The Stand Against Racism is an annual event. More information available online: www.StandAgainstRacism.org.
About the YWCA Evanston/North Shore:
The YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women has been put into practice in the Evanston/North Shore community since 1931. Today, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore focuses on ending violence against women and children; nurturing women’s economic empowerment and leadership; fostering racial, gender and economic equity; and empowerment through aquatics. For more information, please visit their website at: www.ywca.org/evanston.