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 passionate leaders as speakers.
Yesterday on July 5, 2018, we officially 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. The event was attended by several members of the Princeton area community, local nonprofit organizations, Princeton University and the YWCA Princeton Board.
“The idea was that its continuing and that people of different generations are experiencing racism at different levels and that’s what makes our mission relevant,” said Dr. Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman, YWCA Princeton Board Member as she introduced Tennille Haynes at the beginning of the session.
Over the next two hours, Tennille Haynes proceeded to discuss how several institutions of higher education such as Princeton University, were not even 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. With participation from the group, and some personal anecdotes, she discussed the disadvantages students of color face on campuses, and the role faculty has in the experience of these students. She ended the talk with an encouragement to the room to “be that one person to change someone’s life” and help guide students of color towards a future they may not imagine for themselves, but certainly deserve to have. Watch the entire session here: Part 1 and Part 2.
One of the highlights of the night were the reflections at the end. Several attendees of the discussion said they were enthused that discussions like these were finally happening, and that these needed to happen more often. YWCA Princeton NEXT GEN Board member Alison Simi who was in attendance at the session said, “I’m a white person who went through ten years of higher education, six of them at Princeton, and I have never had a discussion like this. It’s simply not presented to me. Let’s keep talking about it. Let’s do it – at school!”
Upcoming Stand Against Racism Discussions
The Black Immigrant Experience with Toni-Anne Blake, Board of Directors, VolunteerConnect
When: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Racism and Generational Trauma with Kimme Carlos, Executive Director and Founder of Urban Mental Health Alliance
When: Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Both events will be held from 7PM – 9PM at the YWCA Princeton’s Bramwell House Living Room (59, Paul Robeson Pl, Princeton, NJ 08540). Please RSVP at RSVP@ywcaprinceton.org or call us at 609-497-2100 ext. 383 to attend these and to stay updated of upcoming Stand Against Racism events.