By Tracie Isaac –
The YWCA has announced the return of its “Stand Against Racism” event, which the organization will hold Thursday, April 12, beginning 8 a.m., in the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
During a recent press conference, community leaders and partner organizations shared their support for continuing conversations and activities around race and ethnicity in our community.
According to YWCA officials, the program aims to build a stronger Rochester community.
“The Rochester Area Community Foundation is continuing our fruitful partnership with the YWCA, and the efforts around race in our community,” Simeon Banister, partner organization representative and vice president of community programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation, stated. “We recognize at the Rochester Area Community Foundation that race and inequity is the single largest challenge in our community right now. It is significant, it is important and it’s critical that we deal with the challenge. The reason why is that we know that racism mars the human spirit. We know that racism and inequity undermine human relations, and we know that there is a moral imperative to intervene. But, beyond that, racism and inequity undercut our regional economical development. It wreaks havoc on public expenditures, it raises taxes, and it makes us less vibrant and attractive to outside investments. Racism is bad for people, and racism is bad for business. We have to do something to abate it. We are proud to continue to partner with the YWCA to do something about it, and to bring partners together so that we have the capacity to break the scourge of racism in our community. We invite you to join us on April 12, and take a stand against racism.”
A multi-cultural mass choir of students from SOTA (School Of The Arts) opened the press conference with a soul-stirring rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” followed by additional remarks from Jean Carroll, president and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County.
Carroll said the group’s annual “Stand Against Racism” initiative is a community-wide event to build awareness around race and ethnicity.
As a result, the YWCA reaches out to businesses, schools, higher education, houses of worship and government agencies to create greater awareness, and to encourage conversations about race and ethnicity.
Organizations may also take a “stand” by signing up online and hosting an event, either publicly or privately, Carroll said.
Following the initial breakfast, which will feature a panel discussion with several well-known panelists during the event, there will be eight workshops focused on issues related to race, equity, institutional racism and empowerment.
The YWCA will celebrate its “Stand Against Racism” throughout the entire month of April.
Visit www.ywcarochester.org for additional information regarding the event.