Why Do We Take a Stand?

21 Apr

The YWCA’s Stand Against Racism brings people together to raise awareness that racism still exists and can no longer be tolerated. This April is the 7th years we’ve held the Stand in Asheville, and we’re proud that Buncombe County is one of the most active sites – with currently over 70 participating sites and 29 different public eventsMs. E

We are truly appreciative of the community’s support of the YWCA and the Stand Against Racism initiative. Here are some examples of solidarity with the YW Stand:

A-B Tech Community College and the YWCA partnered to bring a community-wide Stand Against Racism kick-off event on Thursday, March 26. The event included Jacquelyn Hallum as the keynote speaker, a panel discussion of community leaders including Beth Maczka, and a host of information tables representing the the organizations that comprise or the Racial Justice Coalition.

The College’s value of inclusiveness and its strategic plan priority, cultivate collaborative relationships to promote and increase a culture of diversity among students, faculty, staff and community stakeholders, speak to A-B Tech’s commitment to doing this work,” says James Lee, Workforce Outreach Coordinator at A-B Tech.061

A-B Tech wants to bring people of all races, classes, and states of employment together — the unemployed, under-employed and employed, as well as decision-makers who can offer employment opportunities. The activities were designed to help participants understand how racism impacts employment and have discussions about solutions and best-practices.”

WNC Adoption Resources hosted filmmaker and Korean adoptee, Barb Lee – who grew up in WNC – to Asheville, for a day-long workshop based on her films’ ‘Adopted’ and ‘Adopted: We Can Do Better.’ The event explored parenting a transracial family, fostering positive identity formation, clarifying parental intentions, and navigating the politics of adoption.

ChristyChristy Tate, Co-Director of WNC Adoption Resources says: “WNC Adoption Resources is an organization dedicated to increasing awareness, education, and support for adoptive families, many of whom have adopted transracially and must address issues of racial identity and racism. We hope that by encouraging dialogue about racial issues with help from individuals such as Barb Lee and her colleagues –  who have personal as well as professional experience and knowledge –  that we will raise consciousness, sensitivity and understanding, which will promote action for positive change. We feel that by taking part in the Asheville YWCA Stand, more of us will know about, have access to, and support programs that will help bring peace to our families, communities, and world.

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop in conjunction with the Stand Against Racism, will create an in-store display of books featuring characters of diverse races and ethnicities. The Saturday morning story time (for ages 3-7 years) will focus on diversity and there will be giveaways of Stand Against Racism buttons and stickers.

“Books are often the first way that children encounter new situations, different places, and different kinds of people,” says Leslie Hawkins, owner of Spellbound Children’s Bookshop. “We look forward to the annual Stand Against Racism as an opportunity to remind parents and other caregivers that books play an important role as both mirrors and windows. For that reason, we are also using this year’s Stand as an opportunity to support the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. Children of all colors and backgrounds need to see themselves reflected in books they read, and they also need to see characters who don’t look like them at all. We sometimes hear customers say ‘I don’t think my child will relate to that book’ when shown a book featuring a character of a different race. That’s doubtful, first of all, as there is always common ground, and if you really think that’s true, then you should be making a concerted effort to introduce your child to people of different races and backgrounds in books and in everyday life. After all, we should all be able to relate to each other’s stories, shouldn’t we?”

Asheville-Buncombe County Relations Council has been an instrumental community partner for the YWCA and the Stand Against Racism imitative, in embracing responsibility for equity and inclusion.

“When working to address discrimination on a community level, it is imperative that community members collectively work towards resolving issues,” says Lucia Daughtery, Executive Director of Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council. “We see the Stand Against Racism Initiative as an opportunity for Asheville and Buncombe County to clearly and publicly state our commitment to ending racism, through participation in concrete collaborative action.”

Two upcoming Stand events include:

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You can view the full list of Stand sites on our website at http://www.ywcaofasheville.org/stand.

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