February is Black History Month, a time to honor the rich history and contributions of the innumerable African-Americans who have risen from adversity in order to contribute
knowledge, skills and inventions to American society and beyond. African-American history is one filled with stories of people who have thrived in spite of decades of slavery, legalized segregation and systemic racism.
Black History Month was first established in the 1920s to encourage the coordinated teaching of the history of African-Americans, who are too often overlooked or deliberately
ignored in mainstream curricula.
A few weeks ago a friend called me to share what she deemed to be very disturbing news. “Today is a terrible day,” she moaned. “I found my first gray hair!”
“Guess it’s time to find a good hair colorist!” I replied without thinking.
Recently I was reminded of our exchange as my YWCA York colleague and I chatted about our agency’s upcoming Girls on the Run season – our biggest yet. Throughout the fall, our staff and volunteers will work with hundreds of pre-teen girls to encourage self-confidence, positive body image, and an appreciation of health and fitness.
By Rick Azzaro, LCSW, Chief Services Officer YWCA York
In a time of broad and pervasive disagreement on a variety of social issues, most of us agree that all forms of sexual violence are despicable. Most of us are not rapists or child sexual predators. Most of us don’t believe that we will be a victim of sexual assault. We also don’t believe our family or friends will fall prey.
Yet all of us will know a victim, and all of us are susceptible to the influence of a rape culture in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices and media excuse, tolerate or even condone sexual violence.