Earlier this year, along with local partner organizations, YWCA Princeton hosted it’s 11th Annual Stand Against Racism campaign, popularly known as the STAND. This event 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.
The 2018 STAND began as a collaborative effort with Corner House, with a series of discussions ‘Intergenerational Talks on Racism’, continued with a poster contest, the Thought-Provoking Talks, and a youth rally. The unanimous feedback of almost everyone who attended these sessions to continue hosting more discussions to raise awareness around the issue of racism, prompted us to put together a Stand Against Racism Summer Series of discussions with community leaders as speakers.
On July 5, 2018, we kicked off our Summer Series with a talk by Tennille Haynes, Director of the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding at Princeton University. The topic for the discussion was Racism in Higher Education. Haynes discussed how institutions of higher education such as Princeton University, were not made for students of color, as reflected by the experiences of the students of color right from the admissions processes to their day-to-day life on campus. Watch the entire session here: Part 1 and Part 2.
The second event, held on July 10, 2018, was led by Toni-Anne Blake, Board member of VolunteerConnect and revolved around The Black Immigrant Experience. She said, “We have to recognize that we are all in this together… understand that racism exists in our every single day. Understand that where you are coming from might make you see it differently or not see it at all, but it doesn’t make any less of a reality for me or your neighbor.” You can watch the entire session here.
Our last discussion was held on July 19, 2018 with a discussion with Kimme Carlos, founder and executive director of The Urban Mental Health Alliance, on Racism and Generational Trauma. Carlos discussed how trauma and its effects are often overlooked in urban communities and what we can do to change that. She also discussed how race and racism affects the day-to-day experiences of many people of color.
She said, “When I walk into a room? What’s the first thing people see? They see the color of my skin. They don’t see that I’m 5’11”, they don’t see that I’m female, they don’t see that when I open my mouth I speak quite intelligently. They see a black woman because it’s always about race when you are a person of color.” Watch the session here.
The summer series will culminate with a free screening of Standing on My Sister’s Shoulders in partnership with Not In Our Town Princeton. Standing on My Sisters Shoulders tells the story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the women who made it possible. The screening will be followed by a short discussion. This event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Princeton Public Library Community Room and light refreshments will be provided. The film runs an hour and the event will run from 7 – 9 PM.
For more information about the Stand Against Racism campaign, visit www.ywcaprinceton.org/STAND