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Stand Against Racism

Stand Against Racism takes place annually in April and is a signature campaign of YWCA USA to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities and to build community among those who work for racial justice.

During YWCA’s 14th annual Stand Against Racism — on April 23-26, 2020 — we invite YWCAs and allied groups to organize events that raise awareness around racial justice issues that pose barriers to civic engagement for communities of color. Most importantly, we encourage you to explore how the tools of civic engagement can advance the work of justice in your community and empower people. 

Civic engagement is, and always has been, central to racial justice work.

Ensuring access to the ballot box and engaging marginalized communities in the political process are powerful tools for eliminating racism and creating a more inclusive democracy. Voter registration, protecting voting rights, and breaking down barriers to women of color running for and holding elected office are foundational to this work.

Civic engagement is most powerful when we value the full spectrum of civic life and when all community members have the power to choose how they’d like to participate. Each of us can stand against racism by engaging in our communities in a meaningful way. 

Our voices are heard by candidates, elected officials and policymakers when we engage in the electoral process. Our concerns are addressed when we vote for candidates that represent the needs of our communities. If our voices are blocked at the ballot box, then our concerns won’t be represented or addressed by elected officials in public office.  

Historically, voting rights were not open to all citizens in the U.S. It took years of struggle to expand the right to vote to include women, Black Americans, Asian Americans, Latinxs, and Native Americans.  

Steps we can take to remove barriers to voting for people of color include:

  • Expanding opportunities to register and vote, including automatic, same-day, and online voter registration;
  • Increasing access to early and absentee voting;
  • Helping voters obtain identification (where required).

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. 

The census is another 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.

Undercounting people of color and other hard-to-count groups means they have less voice and less power in the political process. Without a fair and accurate count of all in our communities, the communities most in need of Head Start, child care, domestic violence, nutrition, education, health, and other federal funding will be left without sufficient resources to provide critical lifesaving services, impacting individuals and communities for generations to come.  

Read more about the 2020 Census and the critical role you play in this important event here.

Join YWCA Tulsa and others across the nation by participating in Stand Against Racism events from April 23-26, 2020.

If you are interested in reading more, please visit www.standagainstracism.org.