By Donte Hilliard Director of Mission Impact, YWCA USA
What would it take for us to experience just ONE Week Without Violence? What practice and policy changes would need to be implemented to make one Week Without Violence possible?
We know that not all violence is physical or visible. The YWCA seeks to educate the public about the full spectrum of violence that impacts the lives of women, girls, people of color and their communities. By referring to the “spectrum of violence,” we acknowledge that there are many types of violence in the world, and not all of these types of violence are acknowledged or responded to equally—especially as these forms of violence impact the lives of women, girls and people of color.
By Katie Stanton Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA
The YWCA Week Without Violence™, held annually every third week in October, is a signature initiative created by YWCA USA nearly 20 years ago to mobilize people in communities across the United States to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs. Each year, YWCAs all around the country host local Week Without Violence™events and create a public dialogue about violence, in all of its forms.
For our blog carnival this year, we asked: How we can come together to #workagainstviolence?
By Amy Hunter
Director of Racial Justice, YWCA Metro St. Louis
What’s going on in Ferguson?
We have failed as a community to treat each other as kin. This is apparent in the way this incident was handled. If Mike Brown had been Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson’s son, he would still be alive. This is not about breaking the law, or being under the suspicion of breaking a law. Every adult, at some point of their lives, likely has broken the law, but it doesn’t have to cost a life. We have a judicial system to assess crime and punishment. The situation in Ferguson, where there is mistrust of that authority, exposes the issues that are deeper and more systemic, like failing educational systems, profiling, and the lack of trust between people that are different from one another. Today Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said there may be “bumps in the road” ahead. No doubt. How we navigate those “bumps” will be key.
By Donte Hilliard, Director of Mission Impact, YWCA USA
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – U. S. Declaration of Independence 1776
YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. – Adopted by the General Assembly, 2009
If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it. – Zora Neal Hurston
From left: YWCA Queens HSE Students Umme Sheuli, Moises Churio, Adrian Lezcano, Director of Center for Education & Career Services Stacy Mckelvey, Communications & Outreach Associate Jane Lee, and HSE Student Erick Menendez at the Apollo Theatre in New York
Eliminating racism is at the center of the YWCA’s mission. That’s why each year local associations participate in Stand Against Racism, a campaign and ongoing public conversation about race and equality. On April 25, the YWCA USA will support our local associations and their activities to unite to Stand Against Racism.
Get involved! Participate in YWCA USA’s Stand Against Racism blog carnival.
This year, we want to know: How are the lives of women impacted by racism?
February was Black History Month and March is Women’s History Month. My own limited life experience convinces me that both Black History Month and Women’s History Month are good ideas. I grew up in the ’50s and early ’60s in a small town that had one black family living there. I never interacted with that family. Consequently, I grew up knowing nothing about black people. I had no idea of the contributions they make or the lives they lead. I saw blacks in stores or on the street, but since they were not a part of my world, the only information I had was the racial stereotypes and prejudices of my family and friends.
Violence begins with oppression, and oppression is motivated by power. In society, there is one specific group that holds power: white men. This is not to say that all white men purposefully maintain positions of power over other groups of people; rather, this power is a privilege that was rewarded them at birth, simply for being born a white male.