Racial Justice

Encouraging Open Conversation on Racism

For more than a century, YWCA Central Carolinas has stood at the forefront of social change, justice and economic empowerment in Greater Charlotte. We are committed to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We carry on this long tradition of social action and advocacy to advance our mission – and you are a crucial part of this work. Your voice is critical as we build bridges and advocate for policies that bring our community closer together.

YWCA's Stand Against Racism

As a part of the national campaign of YWCA USA, each year YWCA Central Carolinas hosts a Stand Against Racism forum followed by a public pledging in Uptown Charlotte.

This year’s national theme, “No Hate. No Fear,” focused on immigration and racism, and the ways in which they intersect. We know that immigrant justice is racial justice, and that xenophobia, bigotry, and racism is continuing to impact the lives and safety of our communities. The violence and trauma enacted upon immigrant communities has become increasingly visible at the forefront of conversations on race, citizenship, and criminalization. Charlotte’s Immigrant community has been severely impacted and has seen an increase in arrests and deportations.

On Friday, June 14 from 11am-1pm at the corner of Trade and Tryon, YWCA continued to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our community. The 2-hour event featured music, poetry, dancing, conversation and distributing ‘Racism Hurts Everyone’ stickers to passers-by. YWCA collected pledges to stand against racism. And you can still pledge to take a stand by filling out the form below.

Stand Against Racism Pledge

Mindful of the continuing affliction of institutional and structural racism as well as the daily realities of all forms of bias, prejudice, and bigotry in my own life, my family, my circle of friends, my co-workers, and the society in which I live, with conviction and hope:

I take this pledge, fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end with a mere pledge but calls for an ongoing transformation within myself and the institutions and structures of our society. 

I pledge to look deeply and continuously in my heart and in my mind to identify all signs and vestiges of racism; to rebuke the use of racist language and behavior towards others; to root out such racism in my daily life and in my encounters with persons I know and with strangers I do not know; and to expand my consciousness to be more aware and sensitive to my use of overt and subtle expressions of racism and racial stereotypes;

I pledge to educate myself on racial justice issues and share what I learn in my own communities even if it means challenging my family, my partner, my children, my friends, my co-workers, and those I encounter on a daily basis;

I pledge, within my means, to actively work to support public policy solutions that prominently, openly, and enthusiastically promote racial equity in all aspects of human affairs; and to actively support and devote my time to YWCA, as well as other organizations working to eradicate racism from our society.

YWCA Central Carolinas is on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. I join YWCA in taking a stand against racism today and every day.

*This pledge has been adapted by YWCA USA from the Pledge to Eliminate Racism in My Life, YWCA Bergen County which is an adaptation of the Pledge to Heal Racism in My Life, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, April 10, 2006.

Advocacy

YWCA Central Carolinas is focused on these priorities in Charlotte:

  1. Economic Mobility – Upward mobility for children in poverty is more difficult in Charlotte than in any of the country’s 50 largest cities, according to researchers at Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley. Children born at the bottom of the income ladder have a 4 to 5 percent chance of reaching the top, the study found.
  2. Affordable Housing – As the nation’s third-fastest growing city, Charlotte is seeing home prices increase by as much as nine percent, contributing to longstanding concerns about affordability for working families.
  3. Racial Profiling – Officer-involved killings nationwide has further eroded trust between police and minorities. Though African-Americans make up less than a third of Charlotte’s driving-age residents, they are pulled over by police more frequently, receive more tickets and are the subjects of roadside searches twice as often as whites, according to a study by a UNC-Chapel Hill research team.

Racial Justice Forums

fo·rum or ‘fôrəm (n) – a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.

YWCA Central Carolinas hosts multiple racial justice forums every year where we invite people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and ages to our Park Road campus to have open conversations around challenging topics. The free community dinner events consistently draw capacity audiences and leave participants with an urgency to take action. After each forum, we collect feedback via anonymous online surveys. Participants frequently say the forums are extremely “eye-opening” and that they enjoy the candid conversations.

Our next forum – Hitting Close To Home: A Community Conversation About Immigration In Charlotte. We invite you for an evening of conversation on April 25 from 6-8 pm around immigration and how it has affected our Charlotte community. Our panelist will include Jorge Millares from Queen City Unity, Rachel Humphries from Refugee Support Services, Joey Haynes from Queens University of Charlotte, Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera from the City of Charlotte, Stefanie from Communidad Colectiva and Dr. M. Gina Navarrete from Charlotte Women’s March. Our moderator will be Judith Barriga from Norsan Media.

There will be light refreshments provided, so please register on our Events page.

Click here for a list of previous Racial Justice Forums.

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