Boston Stands Against Racism
YWCA Boston (http://www.ywcaboston.org/), a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, today announced its promotion of the national Stand Against Racism day on April 30, 2010. The national civic engagement project will raise awareness that racism still exists in our communities and that it should not be ignored or tolerated.
To date, more than 30 Greater Boston companies, schools and community organizations have signed on, each developing its own April 30 effort or “stand” to promote diversity. Participating sites include, among others: Neighborhood Health Plan, Holland&Knight, Boston Public Health Commission, Simmons College, Codman Square Health Center, Pine Manor College, Roxbury Youth Works, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Wellesly High School, Hay Group, Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, Franklin Hill Boys& Girls Club, Massachusetts Conference of the United Church o f Christ, and Mass College of Art.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization located in Montgomery, Alabama, the number of hate groups operating in the United States has grown by 54% in the last eight years (there are close to 1,000 active hate groups in the United States today). Hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people. They promote hate, hostility, and sometimes violence. In Boston, racially and ethnically motivated hate-crimes have risen by 39 % over the last three years.
In response, YWCA Boston has joined 70 other YWCAs to promote the April 30th Stand Against Racism to combat the spread of hate and intolerance, and to honor and celebrate the richness of diversity.
In 2009, the program attracted over 300 partnering organizations that became participating sites by hosting local “stands.” Over 30,000 individuals took a stand against racism by attending one of the participating sites and sending a strong message. Participants ranged from school-age children to elected officials, executives of large corporations, church leaders, and others.
“Today, YWCA Boston is calling on all local organizations, corporations, houses of worship, government agencies and individuals in greater Boston to join with us by becoming a participating site of the 2010 Stand Against Racism,” said YWCA President & Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Ferrell-Jones. “Any group of any size that believes in a society free of racism is invited to join us.”
Any organization or group of individuals can become a participating site by signing up through the Stand Against Racism web site: http://www.standagainstracism.org/. A participating site will host its own Stand Against Racism event at their own location (which can be private or open to the public). Participation in the Stand Against Racism is free and becoming a participating site is very simple. The YWCA will provide all the necessary support materials and documents. No matter what shape the “stand” takes in each participating site, all activities will echo the theme “racism is unacceptable.”