Undoing Racism Alliance
On Thursday, April 27, 2017 WJCS in partnership with the YWCA pledged to stand against racism. Taking the stand is another major step in the undoing racism work in which WJCS has been engaged for more than a decade.
The Stand Against RacismTM is a movement of the YWCA which brings together like-minded organizations that share in the YWCA’s vision of eliminating racism and celebrating the richness of diversity. By inviting community organizations to partner with them, the YWCA believes it can expand the impact of this vision and attract hundreds of thousands of participants.
This April marks YWCA's 10th annual Stand Against Racism. The signature campaign provides opportunities for issue education, advocacy, and community building amongst those engaged in racial justice work. Go here to see the Pledge Against Racism.
“WJCS is proud to join the YWCA in fighting the deleterious effects of racism,” said Alan Trager, CEO, in making the announcement. “We are committed to this cause in our agency and in serving all individuals in our community.”
WJCS also encourages staff, partners and community members to become familiar with the pledge and take a Stand Against Racism.
The pledge is an accompaniment to the work WJCS began 15 years ago to address racism. A committee of staff and senior management began education and training sessions to raise awareness of racism and its effects and many staff members have participated in the three-day Undoing Racism Workshop offered by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. In addition, the WJCS Undoing Racism Alliance Committee also conducts annual the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorations.
The 2017 commemoration included presentations by three students from the WJCS Margaret's Place program at White Plains High School who had initiated a "Black Lives Matter" march and addressed in verse issues affecting them and their community. Previous tributes have featured local elected officials, rabbis and religious ministers from the Westchester community.
Most recently, the Undoing Racism Alliance Committee has been conducting quarterly Lunch & Learn sessions on various topics related to racism and how to address it. The lunch sessions usually involve a selected topic -- sometimes shown in a video or other material -- and a robust discussion of topics such as being Color Brave, Microaggressions, Unconscious Bias and Structural Racism. Surveys from staff attending the sessions have indicated that the Lunch & Learn sessions are valuable and stimulating interest in further discussion and action.
The Committee has compiled a list of materials used in presentations and discussions and included here for further reading.
For people who are interested in knowing what they can do to fight racism, the Southern Poverty Law Center offers some ideas in Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide.