Dear YWCA Family,
We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, and every other life lost at the hands of systemic racism. YWCA leadership continues to be outraged by the violence and deaths of people of color in America due to brutality and marginalization of those in power.
Together, over 200 YWCA's across the county unite to answer the cry for justice, peace, and dignity for all.
To view our full statement, click here.
A National Reckoning
Racism is woven into the fabric of our history. While expressions of racism have changed considerable over the course of American history and some of the more overt manifestations of racism are no longer acceptable, people of color still face and deal with the very real effects of individual, institutional and systemic racism on a daily basis.
For those who do not personally experience racism on a daily basis, racism in twenty-first century America (and all over the world) can be harder to see than in the past. To eliminate racism we must have the tools to see it, to name it and to act to interrupt it.
We must get up and do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls and people of color the way we do:
Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.
On Sunday, May 31 more than 35 YWCA staff, board and family members joined thousands of community members and local leaders in a peaceful protest march through Downtown Lafayette. From the Tippecanoe County courthouse to the police station the streets were filled with people holding signs, demanding and envisioning a future free from violence. Mayor Roswarski, Mayor Dennis and Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly addressed the crowd.
YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. We know that we cannot do one without the other. Eliminating racism is essential for the full realization of women’s and civil rights and to achieve the YWCA mission mandates of peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.
What You Can Do This Week
Attend an Online Training: If you have ever felt uncomfortable having conversations about race and racism with those closest to you, the folks at Greater Lafayette SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) are holding an online training on Thursday, June 4 at 6:30 pm to help navigate having tough conversations with the ones you love. To learn more about the training, visit their event on Facebook.
Space for Black Healing: Local Black organizers from The Collective, a group of local BIPOC organizers and activists, are creating an online space for Black healing and community building on Friday, June 5 at 6 pm. The event will be led by a Black counseling psychologist and facilitated by local organizers. Learn more about the event, and how to RSVP here.
Read a Book: Standing against racism is a lifelong journey, which starts by acknowledging the roots of racism in the US, the systems that perpetuate and uphold racism, and what you can do about it. Choose a book from our Stand Against Racism Reading List to start or deepen your journey.
Cultivate Your Social Media: What does your social media look like on a daily basis? Is your feed filled with people that predominately look like you? Take some time to view the hashtag #amplifymelanatedvoices on your preferred social media platform to find accounts and people to follow whose experiences are different than your own but intersect with your interests.