Anyone can participate in Stand Against Racism, and anyone can organize and host a Virtual Stand Against Racism event. You can host a Stand on your own or with a group like your company, organization, or place of worship, and your Stand can be any size, and can even be a private event. Of course, during this time of social distancing we encourage people to host and participate in virtual events.
Individual events are great ways to spread YWCA’s Stand Against Racism message: together, we can eliminate racism. A community event can provide information, motivate activists, bring allies together, increase awareness about systemic and institutional racism in your community, and celebrate victories.
Host Your Own Stand
Want to host an event? Create a Stand Against Racism account to access the Stand Against Racism digital toolkit, designed to help you plan your event. The toolkit includes educational resources, promotional materials, and more. Once you’ve settled on a date and event, come back to register your event to gain access to a personalized event page! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Virtually convene a forum on an issue to educate voters about the important civic engagement or racial justice issues that are most pertinent in your community.
- Host a virtual film screening on racial justice issues that are important in your community, followed by a discussion led by a facilitator.
- Hold a virtual panel discussion with local leaders, advocates, experts, and community members.
- Make a poster/sign of relevant information from YWCA USA fact sheets, and share this new resource with organizations, businesses, and others in your community.
- Invite local elected officials to take the pledge to stand against racism. Then hold them accountable to create policies to address systemic and institutional racism.
Take action in your community and with your elected officials
Create a Stand Against Racism account to gain access to toolkits and materials to support you/your organization’s efforts to promote racial justice through civic engagement!
Contact your members of Congress
Encourage our elected officials to take steps to address institutional and system racism by improving access to the ballot and ensuring a full and fair census count. Act now and join us!
HERE ARE SOME WAYS WE CAN EACH PLAY A ROLE:
The census is a critical lever for power and justice. The results of the 2020 Census will determine the number of seats each state has in congress, shape the boundaries for voting districts, and determine how more than $675 billion in federal, state, and local funding supports communities around the country.
Throughout history, the U.S. Census has been used as a tool of exclusion, but we can reclaim it as a tool for equity, democracy, and justice. Historically, the census has been used as a tool of white supremacy, denying political representation, public resources and recognition of dignity to people of color. In the early decennial census’ of our country, enslaved people of African descent were counted as only 3/5 of a person and most Native Americans weren’t counted at all. The legacy of racist systems that have privileged white communities with access to capital and education have contributed to people of color consistently being undercounted in the decennial c. In the 2010 Census, 3.7 million African Americans and 3.8 million Hispanics were not counted. The faith community has a moral responsibility to dismantle white supremacy and further inclusion for all people. Ensuring everyone is counted in the 2020 Census is a matter of racial justice that is long overdue.
– Faith in Public Life, “Talking Points on the 2020 Census”
People of color are often more likely than white people to live in what the U.S. Census Bureau has determined are “hard-to-count” Census tracts. Each person must engage in the census process to ensure an accurate census count. A full, fair, and accurate census is essential to quantifying inequities resulting from institutional racism in communities and benchmarking communities’ progress towards racial justice.
Did you know? In 2019 the Trump Administration announced its intent to add a question to the decennial census regarding individuals’ citizenship. Public outcry was swift and vocal, with many concerned about the chilling effect that such a question would have on marginalized communities, particularly Latinx and immigrant populations. The issue eventually landed at the Supreme Court, where a 5-4 majority found the Administration’s rationale for seeking the citizenship data was “pretextual,” and therefore invalid. The 2020 Decennial Census moved forward without the citizenship question.
Engaging in the electoral process through voting, volunteering at the polls or on campaigns, and financially supporting candidates that represent the needs of your community makes an impact on who/whose concerns are represented and addressed in public office.*
Did you know? In the face of state-backed voter suppression mechanisms in Alabama, local, on-the-ground organizing and voter turnout mobilization efforts made a critical difference in the state’s Senate special election in December 2017, leading to increased turnout among Black voters – particularly Black women. Since 2008, Black voters had accounted for approximately 25% of Alabama’s electorate in statewide races; in the special election, that number jumped to 29%.
There are many ways to support marginalized individuals and communities in participating in the electoral process. Registering voters, providing transportation to and from the polls on election day, and educating your community on their rights are just a few of the ways you can enfranchise individuals, families, and communities.
Did you know? On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act (VRA) into law. This legislation aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court rolled-back the VRA’s provision that jurisdictions with a history of discrimination must obtain approval before changing voting rules, a process known as preclearance. This ruling had the effect of eliminating preclearance, ushering in a wave of efforts in states to restrict voting rights for people and communities of color. YWCA USA supports the passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore the full power of the 1965 VRA.
*501c3s are more limited than individuals in how they can engage in the electoral process. Please review YWCA’s GOTV Guide for a better understanding of what YWCAs can and cannot do as an organization