Stand Against Racism

Stand Against Racism

According to BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), U.S. residents experienced an average of 250,000 hate crime victimizations each year from 2004 to 2015, and while a majority of those were not reported to the police, nearly half (48%) were motivated by racial bias during the 5-year aggregate period from 2011 to 2015. The presence of 17 active hate groups across the state of New Jersey, is testament to the fact that racism and white supremacy continues to operate in our communities and that now, more than ever, is the time to stand up together in the fight against it.

Stand Against Racism, popularly known as the STAND, was founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton in 2007, and is now a signature campaign of YWCA USA. The STAND’s purpose is to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. This campaign is one part of YWCA’s larger national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism.

The theme for the 2018 STAND is Our Power, Our Mission, Our Future. We believe that everyone has a role to play in civic engagement – everyone can take a STAND. This year we innovated the STAND to make it meaningful for all of our community members throughout the year, through the following range of upcoming civic engagement activities.

2018 STAND Past Events

STAND Summer Series

This past summer, YWCA Princeton concluded the 2018 Stand Against Racism series with a summer calendar of events which included three talks followed by discussions with community members and a free movie screening. The talks, held in YWCA Princeton’s Bramwell House, included a discussion by Tennille Haynes, director of the Carl A. Fields Center at Princeton University, on Racism in Higher Education, Toni-Anne Blake, Board member of VolunteerConnect, on The Black Immigrant Experience, and Kimme Carlos, founder and executive director of the Urban Mental Health Alliance, on Racism and Generational Trauma. The summer ended with a free screening of Standing on my Sisters Shoulders followed by a discussion held in partnership with the Princeton Public Library and Not in Our Town Princeton.

Click her to learn more

Intergenerational Discussions on Race

When: October 2017 – March 2018

As a lead up to the stand, YWCA Princeton along with Corner House organized a series of five discussions on topics related to systemic racism. Each session comprised of attendees from varied walks of life, and was were led by a moderator.

NEXT GEN Stand Against Racism Happy Hour 

When: Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 5:00 PM
Salt Creek Grille, 1 Rockingham Row, Princeton, NJ 08540

The NEXT GEN Board took a Stand Against Racism with a Happy Hour, where community members were invited to meet, mingle and network with like-minded individuals who support the YWCA’s mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. They were also asked to join the hundreds of thousands of people across the country in taking the Stand Against Racism pledge, and learn about other Stand Against Racism events planned for April.

Poster Making Competition

When: April 1 – April 23, 2018

This contest was open to Princeton area teens to design a poster inspired by the Stand Against Racism Pledge and / or the 2018 theme, Our Power, Our Mission, Our Future. The first prize was won by John Liang, a junior at Princeton High School for his poster titled ‘Colorblind’. Two runners up winners received $75 each. 

Stand Against Racism: Thought Provoking Talks 

When: Thursday, April 26, 2018, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
YWCA Princeton

YWCA Princeton along with local partners hosted a social justice workshop featuring four distinguished speakers who spoke about their personal experiences with racism, and how it affects people and the world today. The second half of the Talks lead into small facilitated discussion groups to come up with solutions to the questions posed by the speakers at the end of their talks.

The facilitators are: Linda Oppenheim and Simona Brickers (Not in Our Town Princeton), Fatima Mughal (Central Jersey Coalition for Justice), Michelle Minter (Princeton University), Thomas Parker (Princeton Civil Rights Commission), Toni-Anne Blake (Volunteer Connect), Lyn Azarchi (Kidsbridge), Heidi Wilenius and Lynn M. Kaiser (Hope Rises Up), Jill Franco (LGBTQ+ activist, educator, and consultant), Lauren Sgro (Junior League of Greater Princeton), Talitha-Koumi Oluwafemi (Mercer Street Friends), Donna Maywar (YWCA Princeton)

Art Show

When: April 27, 2018, 4:00 PM
Princeton Public Library.

A jury chose the winners of the Poster Making Competition at the Art Show. 

The first prize was won by John Liang, a junior at Princeton High School for his poster titled ‘Colorblind’. He said, “The enumeration of the various positive, strong traits on the poster and their identification as ‘colorblind’ show that people of any skin-tone and ethnicity are confident, dignified, beautiful, strong and amazing.”

Works from the competition will be exhibited at the YWCA Princeton from June – August 2018, and everyone is welcome to view them.

Open Mic and Youth Rally

When: April 27, 2018, 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Where: Hinds Plaza, Princeton

Winners of the Poster Competition were announced, and featured speakers and poets assembled for an open mic and youth rally. Everyone was invited to sign the Stand Against Racism pledge banner.

Stand Against Racism was founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton in 2007. It quickly grew to a national presence by 2010, when an additional 80 YWCAs across the nation took a Stand. Over 2,000 organizations across 39 states joined in the Stand Against Racism. This phenomenal success attracted well over 250,000 participants and earned the endorsement of five U.S. Governors. The event has been widely featured by local ABC, NBC, CBS, and other networks.

The 2,000 community sites included United Ways, Chambers of Commerce, State Governments and other municipalities, universities and colleges, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, houses of worship, schools, civic associations, nonprofit organizations, hospitals and others.

Here is a history of how YWCA Princeton has taken a STAND:


YWCA Princeton’s 10th Annual Stand Against Racism had the theme Women of Color Leading Change.

A Legislative / Community Leader Breakfast was held on April 27, with speakers including Dr. Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman, Winona Guo, Priya Vulchi, Elisa Neria, Leticia Fraga, Adiana Abizadeh, Fern Spruill for Shirley Satterfield, and Clara Love, followed by a Youth Rally on April 28 at Hinds Plaza.

Press Coverage: Planet Princeton


Elected officials and community leaders joined the YWCA Princeton at The Nassau Inn on April 29 for the Stand Against Racism breakfast meeting! The meeting began with a presentation from Lenora Green, the Executive Director of the Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy at ETS, who made a strong argument for the 2016 theme: On a Mission for Girls of Color!

Updates from our community partners, including the Princeton Public Library, Not in Our Town, LALDEF – The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Princeton Human Services Commission, Princeton YMCA Committed and Faithful Princetonians, Corner House, NJ/GAIA affirmed the call for systemic change, while also celebrating the progress that has been made since our very first STAND in April of 2007.

At the end of the day, community members were called to join Princeton’s youth at Hinds Plaza to support a grassroots demonstration for racial justice. View the picture gallery from the rally here.


The 2015 Stand Against Racism campaign served as a time to focus on local, state, and federal level advocacy to end racial profiling. YWCA Princeton supported legislation that banned the practice of racial profiling at the federal, state, and local levels. To that end, YWCA Princeton joined hands with the Mayor’s office and local organizations such as Arts Council of Princeton, Corner House, The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, The League of Women Voters, Not In Our Town, Planned Parenthood of Mercer County, Princeton Community Housing, Princeton Human Services Commission, Princeton Public Library, local schools, places of worship, and many others to connect with policymakers, to implement policies that eradicate racial profiling.

As the federal government’s involvement was vital to ending racial profiling practices by law enforcement in communities of color, YWCA Princeton hosted a Legislative Breakfast and Press Conference where community members were encourage to contact their Congressional delegation and ask them to pass the End Racial Profiling Act. Individuals were also urged to register to vote, follow YWCA USA statements on racial justice and share them on social media.


April 7 – 13
New Jim Crow Read-Out: Excerpts from Michelle Alexander’s, The New Jim Crow were read aloud by distinguished readers, to let listeners know more about the current US prison policy and its impact on the African American community.

April 19
“Salute” Film Screening: This award-winning film recounted the role of a white man in a defining moment of the American civil rights movement, the Black Power Salute, at the ‘68 Olympics.

April 26
Immigration Reform Presentation: Special guest, Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, Sr. Lecturer, Princeton University was the keynote speaker on a presentation on National Immigration Reform. This was followed by a community gathering, with Princeton Merchants Association, Not in Our Town (NIOT), and other organizations at Hinds Plaza.


Judith Hutton, CEO of the YWCA Princeton, and Debra Raines, Director of Mission Advancement at the YWCA Princeton, joined together to host the 2012 Stand Against Racism. This event attracted over 2,200 partnering organizations that became participating sites by hosting local “stands”. Over 300,000 individuals took a stand against racism by attending one of the participating sites.

Participants were invited to join the YWCA Princeton in a special video viewing of “The Princeton Plan: 50 Years Later”, which is a historical account on what it was like to be a part of the Princeton school system in 1948, six years before Brown v. Board of Education, when Princeton integrated two schools in the Borough of Princeton – Witherspoon School for Colored Children and Nassau Elementary School.

Special guest speakers, Shirley Satterfield and Henry Pannell, who were part of the first class to integrate in the Princeton School system shared their experiences. “Although many of the students, administrators, teachers, and parents from the days of the “Princeton Plan” are no longer around, we are fortunate to have an opportunity to hear from Mr. Panell and Ms. Satterfield, who were second graders in 1948, as they give an account about a time in history that was different from the way things are today,” shared Debra Raines.

“We got along with no problem with the students, it was the teachers that needed to be sensitized because the perception was that the African American or “negro” which was the term used back then, students were not on the same level as the white students.”, Ms. Satterfield recalled. “It may have been an integrated school system but we were not treated equally.”


2011 Stand Against Racism event at Palmer Square, Princeton
2011 Stand Against Racism event at Palmer Square, Princeton

Participants were invited to stand against racism by paying homage to a select group of Glen Acres’ residents who chose to take a “stand” in the 1950s when racial prejudice was overt and pervasive.

Glen Acres: A Story in Black and White” a documentary film, allows us to take a look at an important “…experiment of sorts…”. A panel discussion and words from filmmaker Diane Ciccone followed immediately after the film presentation. The event was held at the Mercer County Library in Lawrenceville.

Special Remarks by World YWCA General Secretary, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda opened hearts and minds to new perspectives and the richness of diversity.

There were over a quarter million participants and over 2,000 partnering organizations comprised of individuals, churches, community groups, and businesses including General Motors, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Paychex, Inc., Time Warner, and the City of Rochester. And there endorsements by U.S. governors as well.


YWCA Princeton Staff at 2010 Stand Against Racism

By 2010, STAND Against Racism took a national foothold with over a quarter million people across thirty-nine states and more than 2,000 partnering organizations participating. Endorsements were received by five U.S. Governors and events were covered by major networks, including ABC, CBS, and NBC, as we all other smaller networks throughout the country.




Princeton Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman, left, presented YWCA CEO Judy Hutton, center, with a proclamation recognizing the YWCA’s history of commitment and service to the Princeton community; joining them is Cynthia Mendez, Executive Director of Princeton Human Services.

The 2nd annual Stand Against Racism, sponsored by the YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton, was held on Friday, April 3 2009.

Joining in the STAND for the first time were 13 additional YWCA Associations – Bergen County, Binghamton, Brooklyn, Essex and West Hudson, Hartford Region, Jamestown, Mohawk Valley, Niagara, Tonowanda, Troy & Cohoes, Ulster County, White Plains & Central Westchester and onkers.

It also attracted more than 300 partnering organizations and 30,000 participants, representing 64 municipalities, ranging from school children to elected officials, executives of large corporations, and church leaders, who joined together at 323 “participating sites” in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut to rally against racism, promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people in their respective communities.


YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton participated in the 1st Stand Against Racism on April 12, 2008, along with 60 participating sites, representing 10 municipalities. There were an estimated 5,000 participants. Guest Speaker was Rev. Carlton Branscomb of First Baptist Church in Princeton

2018 Stand Against Racism Mission Committee

Adriana Abizadeh, YWCA Princeton Board Member
Maria Armington, YWCA Princeton Board Member
Michelle Aurich, YWCA NEXT GEN Board Treasurer
Linda Blackburn, Princeton Prize in Race Relations Board Member
Katie Bruce, YWCA NEXT GEN Board Secretary 
Laurel Cameron, YWCA Princeton Board VP at Large
Betsy Garber, YWCA Princeton Board Member
Ayesha Hamilton, Hamilton Law Firm PC, Councilwoman in West Windsor NJ
Katrina Homel, YWCA NEXT GEN Board Co-President
Judith Hutton, CEO, YWCA Princeton
Melanie Lowe Hoffman, Program Facilitator Corner House
Samantha McGraw, YWCA NEXT GEN Board Co-President
LaKitha Murray, YWCA NEXT GEN Board Vice President
Kathleen Nash, YWCA Princeton Board Member
Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman, YWCA Princeton Board President
Alice Small, YWCA Princeton Board Member
Nell Talman Haughton, YWCA Princeton Board Member
Anita Thomas, YWCA Princeton Board VP at Large

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We invite you to take the Stand Against Racism pledge, along with hundreds of thousands of people across the country, join us this week during YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism – and every day.


Mindful of the continuing affliction of institutional and structural racism as well as the daily realities of all forms of bias, prejudice and bigotry in my own life, my family, my circle of friends, my co-workers and the society in which I live, with conviction and hope; I take this pledge, fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end with a mere pledge but calls for an ongoing transformation within myself and the institutions and structures of our society.

I pledge to look deeply and continuously in my heart and in my mind, to identify all signs and vestiges of racism; to rebuke the use of racist language and behavior towards others; to root out such racism in my daily life and in my encounters with persons I know and with strangers I do not know; and to expand my consciousness to be more aware and sensitive to my use of overt and subtle expressions of racism and racial stereotypes;

I pledge to educate myself on racial justice issues and share what I learn in my own communities even if it means challenging my family, my partner, my children, my friends, my co-workers and those I encounter on a daily basis

I pledge, within my means, to actively work to support public policy solutions that prominently, openly and enthusiastically promote racial equity in all aspects of human affairs; and to actively support and devote my time to YWCA, as well as other organizations working to eradicate racism from our society.

YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. I join YWCA in taking a stand against racism today and every day.

*This pledge has been adapted by YWCA USA from the Pledge to Eliminate Racism in My Life, YWCA Bergen County which is an adaptation of the Pledge to Heal Racism in My Life, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, April 10, 2006.