Just after 1 p.m. on April 24, Evanston-ians of all ages made their way to Ridge Avenue to stand in solidarity against racism.

Lining Ridge Avenue along with YWCA Evanston/North Shore staff and supporters were representatives from dozens of Evanston organizations and institutions. Participants included Baker Demonstration School, Benedictines for Peace, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, Chiaravalle Montessori School, the City of Evanston, Curt’s Café, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Evanston Community Foundation, Evanston Fire Department, Evanston Police Department, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 – Dawes School, Dewey Parents, and Lincoln, Oakton and Washington schools – First Congregational Church of Evanston, the entire McGaw YMCA staff, Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, Northwestern University – Alumni Relations & Development Dept., Associated Student Government, Chicago Field Studies Program, Medill School of Journalism, Neighborhood and Community Relations Dept., Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion and Women’s Center – Ridgeville Park District, Rotary International, Roycemore School, St. Andrew’s Pentecost Episcopal Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, St. Matthew Episcopal Church, St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Unitarian Church of Evanston and others who came on their own.

At 1:45 p.m. residents voiced their support in the fight against racism with a pledge. “I take this pledge fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end by me reciting this pledge. It requires an ongoing transformation within me, as well as in the institutions and structures
of our society,” they said.

The annual Stand Against Racism is a campaign of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism. Founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton (both in New Jersey,  the Stand Against Racism
quickly grew to a national presence by 2010, when an additional 80 YWCAs across the nation, including YWCA Evanston/North Shore, began participating.

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.