Kurt Vonnegut wrote in his 1997 novel, Timequake, “Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”
We are fortunate to work in a community that often reminds us of this. On Thursday, YWCA Princeton raised funds to help those in need secure access to our programs through the Pearl Bates Scholarship Fund. Friends of YWCA Princeton, local businesses, and colleagues we’ve met through mutual advocacy efforts, came out to support and celebrate the legacy of Pearl Bates.
On Friday, Princeton youth led the climate strike in Hinds Plaza. Hundreds gathered to participate in the Global Climate Strike. That same evening was the opening reception of Art Against Racism, where we were proud to table alongside Not In Our Town and the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. At the beginning of the reception, Rhinold Ponder, a visual artist and activist, and the co-organizer of Art Against Racism looked out at the audience, a group of people of various backgrounds, ages, and identities, all gathered to unite for a common cause, and said “this is America.”
On Saturday, we spent the day tabling at the Princeton University Staff and Community Day with two volunteers, a college senior and a junior in high school who, at a hectic time in the school year spent hours of their free time informing members of the community about YWCA Princeton. We met a young woman from Raleigh, North Carolina who was visiting family and wanted to catch the Princeton vs Butler football game (go, Tigers!). She was so excited to learn about the YWCA, and said she would find a YW local to her back home.
These meaningful connections remind us that we are not alone. Today is National Voter Registration Day. We’ll spend the morning tabling at the ETS Cares Fair, and in the afternoon will be in the YWCA Princeton lobby helping people register to vote. In a few weeks, we’ll host the Beyond Pink Art Show that benefits the Breast Cancer Resource Center and celebrates the artwork of survivors. Later in October we will participate in the New Jersey Period Rally, which will follow the Week Without Violence, a national YWCA campaign, and we’ll partner with local organizations to raise awareness about gender-based violence. At each event we’ll be joined by others who care. We are not alone.