YWCA USA is now accepting blog submissions from young women and girls of color under 21 as part of our 2016 Stand Against Racism campaign. Throughout the campaign, which is themed “On a Mission for Girls of Color,” we will highlight issues that impact girls of color such as racial profiling in school, access to safe play, and healthcare.
Want to share your story? Send submissions of 700 words or less by March 31 to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your submission is selected, we’ll feature it on YWCA USA’s blog and share it on our social media channels.
By Tralonne ShorterSenior Advocacy & Policy Associate for Racial Justice and Civil Rights, YWCA USA
On September 16th, I was honored to join hundreds of fellow social justice advocates who converged in Washington, DC for the conclusion of the NAACP’s “Journey for Justice March.”
For more than forty days, the cadre of marchers—an inter-generational, inter-racial mixture of faith leaders, laborers, and NAACP supporters— traversed 1,002 miles from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC, to raise awareness for a fair criminal justice system, restoration of voting rights, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.
Racial profiling has long been a crisis in our country stemming as far back to slavery when slave masters and police would use brutal excessive force as a method of control. The practice continued into Jim Crow when protestors would stage civil demonstrations opposing segregation and thrives today though institutional racism.
Before today’s camera phones captured the police racial profiling and killing of unarmed black males like Walter Scott, Mike Brown, Eric Garner; there was Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Sean Bell and most notably Rodney King. Though there were significant eye witnesses, only two police officers were convicted and served jail time for these brutal racial profiling practices.
The YWCA of Asheville is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. We offer programs that bridge gaps in education, health care, child care and earning power. The YWCA has been in Asheville since 1907 and currently serves more than 2,500 families a year.
Michael Brown in Ferguson, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Eric Garner in Staten Island, Yvette Smith in Bastrop, Texas, Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Detroit, Kathryn Johnson in Atlanta, the shooting of three young Muslims in North Carolina. The next few months will determine whether this heart-breaking litany of deaths becomes the catalyst for positive change in our society, or just another chance that passed us by.
By Tralonne Shorter Senior Advocacy & Policy Associate for Racial Justice and Civil Rights
Without question, immigration reform is one of the most pivotal civil rights issues of our day. Women are increasingly becoming the face of the immigrant population in the United States. They now make up 51% of the immigrant population; 100 immigrant women arrive in the United States for every 96 men. Unaccompanied child migrants fleeing violence in Central America are expected to reach 96,000 by the end of the year.
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