This April, thousands of Bostonians took a Stand Against Racism, virtually

Stand wrap up blog

Thank you to the thousands, in Boston and beyond, who took part in our 2020 Stand Against Racism campaign. Our campaign spanned the month of April and inspired individuals and workplaces to take action to eliminate racism in Boston. We understand that everyone in our community has experienced changes as we have moved to physical distancing. We particularly appreciate that so many organizations and individuals, while adapting, remained committed to the important work of bringing light to the effects of systemic racism on our communities. Overall, 130 organizations and individuals signed up to host a total of 198 pledge boards and 97 conversations between an estimated 5,181 total participants.

Learn more about the 2020 Stand Against Racism campaign and how our partners took part:

Due to COVID-19, our 2020 Stand Against Racism campaign moved fully online 

When it became clear that Bostonians would be practicing physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked to move the 2020 Stand Against Racism fully online. We know that in times of great stress, it is as important than ever for us to practice solidarity and combat feelings of isolation. We also know that due to systemic racism, COVID-19 has disproportionally affected communities of color. With both of these in mind, Stand Against Racism provided participants with the opportunity to both create community and discuss race and racism, digitally.

Registrants participated in one or both of the following ways:

Burns & Levinson SAR Pledge Board
1. Participants filled out their own digital Stand Against Racism pledge board 

Upon registration, participants received a link to their own digital Stand Against Racism board, to share with their communities. Colleagues, friends, and/or family members filled these boards with their commitments to help eliminate racism in 2020. 

2. Participants convened and hosted a discussion around exclusive curated content

Upon registration, participants received access to our 2020 Stand Against Racism curated content. They gathered a group, such as their colleagues, friends, or family, to hold a virtual conversation around an article, book or video selected by YW Boston’s guest curators. Our curators come from diverse fields and are actively working to end racism in their communities and create a more equitable society for all. They chose content ranging from tips on discussing race with kids, the power gap in Boston, and the intersection of race and technology.

Check out our 2020 Stand Against Racism content curators:

130 registrants, and over 5,000 participants, connected virtually to commit to anti-racism

This year’s campaign included many organizations and individuals who have participated before, and a number who were new to the campaign. Check out a few of the highlights from this year’s campaign, with some of the photos and posts that participants shared.

We partnered to bring participants a number of new Stand Against Racism events

Moving Stand Against Racism online provided us with the opportunity to host a number of new digital events.

We held Lunch with Councilor Michelle Wu

We were thrilled to invite Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor At-Large and 2020 Stand Against Racism curator, to lead a virtual discussion on her curated content. Councilor Wu’s chosen content for this year’s campaign was “Is Systemic Racism A Public Health Crisis? Milwaukee Says ‘Yes’‘‘ by Meghna Chakrabarti. On April 24, 100 individuals joined “Lunch with Councilor Michelle Wu” to discuss the impact of systemic racism on public health. She specifically took a look at what it would mean for the City of Boston to declare racism a public health crisis. She also spoke about the overlapping effects of our two current public health crises: systemic racism and COVID-19. You can watch the hour-long discussion below:

Pariss Chandler took over Twitter and Instagram for a conversation about race + tech

2020 Content Curator Pariss Chandler, Founder of #BlackTechTwitter, joined us for our first ever social media takeover. On April 17, she took control of YW Boston’s Twitter and Instagram pages to lead a conversation about technology and racial equity. Pariss chose Joy Buolamwini’s TED Talk “How I’m Fighting Bias In Algorithms” and asked the following questions to our social media community: (1) Why is it important for teams developing software to be diverse?, (2) What are some of the dangers that technologies can cause for underrepresented communities?, and (3) How can we help avoid and/or call out algorithmic bias? New and existing YW Boston social media followers joined the conversation and discussed how to advance racial equity in the tech world. Check out some of the highlights of the conversation by clicking the following Tweet:

The Mel King Institute championed the importance of youth voices

We also partnered with participating organizations to bring new opportunities to their communities. For instance, The Mel King Institute is hosting their own Stand Against Racism panel discussion, “The Importance of Youth Voice,” on May 8th:

Building Impact invited the community to fill their public pledge board

Building Impact used a platform familiar to them to build their own virtual pledge board, open to their community to answer the question: “How will you commit to racial equity this year?” Find the board below and add your commitment:

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 2020 Stand Against Racism! 

Keep your learning, conversations, and action moving forward

Although Stand Against Racism month technically ended on Thursday, April 30th, our commitment to standing against racism should be year-long. We encourage you to take what you learned during this month-long campaign and turn it into meaningful action within your communities. You can utilize our 2020 Stand Against Racism toolkit to find helpful definitions and frameworks for advancing inclusion.

We at YW Boston are here to help you utilize your position within your community to make change. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and youth programming, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed. 

In particular, our InclusionBoston program has provided over 100 organizations with a structured way to openly talk about race in order to identify and address barriers to equity and inclusion. Using our advanced assessment tool and the latest research on behavioral and organizational change, we partner with organizations to create an action plan and provide them with the resources needed to drive lasting change. Our customized, evidence-based approach builds internal capacity and promotes cultural change while supporting organizations throughout their journey. YW Boston also offers one-day workshops where participants explore frameworks, develop knowledge, and engage in dialogue.

To keep learning about issues of racial + gender equity, including information about working remotely during COVID-19, find more articles on our blog.

To continue working to advance equity within your organization, learn more about InclusionBoston.

To build your skills as an inclusive leader, learn more about LeadBoston.