It’s Time to Take Action
By: Emily Navarro
We each have our own reasons for standing against racism in this country. We may be standing against injustices toward others we see in our communities, actions and words we’ve seen or heard, or even because of situations we’ve experienced ourselves. But the fight against racism did not begin overnight.
To understand the impact of racism we must first understand its history; from white superiority to colonization, racism has been around for centuries. The idea of race was created to magnify the differences of people, with the belief of superiority of one skin tone over another.
With this belief came discrimination, hostile and aggressive behaviors directed at people based on their race, ethnicity, religion and cultural background and pre-judgements of an individual. But more than that, racism came with the belief of oppression; oppressing a person, a neighborhood, a school, a culture all because of the different color of their skin.
While this is a small snippet of the history of racism we cannot ignore that these beliefs, oppressions, stereotypes, prejudices and discriminations of racism are still prevalent today. But just because we cannot change history, does not mean we cannot do everything in our power to change, not only the present day, but also the future. Because change can only be acquired if people from every background take the necessary steps for it to take place.
Taking a Stand
At YWCA, Stand Against Racism is a national opportunity for communities across the United States to unite their voices to educate, advocate, and promote racial justice. Through this annual campaign, we invite communities to find an issue or cause that inspires them to take a stand against racism. On April 25, 2019, YWCA Clark County held its annual Stand Against Racism event.
The event brought together community partners and panelists and 130+ attendees from a variety of different backgrounds, races, and religions, to speak on a common goal: working together to support justice, safety, and opportunity for all communities throughout Clark County. Throughout the conversation panelists provided intimate stories and experiences, along with powerful and valuable suggestions of the steps we can all embark on to demand immigrant and racial justice to ensure we do not let history continue to repeat itself.
What are the steps that you can take to help eliminate racism in your everyday?
Begin by learning about racism, how it began, how it is still interwoven in our country today, and address the biases that may show up. Then take a look at yourself and your actions; examine your own thoughts, your words, and hold yourself accountable.
Addressing and identifying racism and biases in yourself is the first step to taking a stand for people of all racial backgrounds.
Then do something! Treat all of those around you with kindness, celebrate and honor different cultures and races, speak up when you see racism happening, and actively expose yourself, and those close to you, to cultures and experiences different than your own. Vote on acts that support the ending of racial profiling and discrimination, or write to your representatives, because, remember: They work for you.
Even the smallest of actions still contributes to the bigger movement of standing against racism. Although racism may run deep in our history, it doesn’t have to continue forward in our future.
Check out some of our events that also #StandAgainstRacism.