YWCA, Stand Against Racism
What is “The Stand Against Racism YWCA” today? The YWCA is movement that aims to eliminate racism by raising awareness through its annual event. All organizations across the United States are invited to become Participating Sites by hosting their own "Stand." Individuals are then invited to join any of the "Stands", where hundreds of thousands of people take a Stand against Racism...
In this assignment, I want to do an evaluation of a report or organization which is working on the racism matter. Researching I came across with a website “YWCA Standagainstracism.org” which for decades, have been working on my issue “Racism”. Looking at Social Medias, I come across to many articles or listened to many testimonies regarding racism matter. Formal racial discrimination was largely banned in the mid-20th century, and came to be perceived as socially unacceptable and/or morally repugnant as well[i]. According to different researchers, Racism is still one of the world’s major issues today[ii]. Many people are not aware of how much racism still exists in our schools, workforces, and anywhere else where social lives are occurring.
My goal is to evaluate the website effort, look the effects is having on the audiences, which others organizations are responding to YWCA call (Let stand against racism). I will also look at what activities or programs they have tried as ways of addressing racism issue. What efforts or initiatives have already occurred around this issue? As the website have Facebook pages, I will also look at it to see how many people are following the initiative, and what their points of view are.
Throughout his history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women. In 1858 was created the first association “Ladies Christian Association”, in New York City, US. In 1860 it has opened the first boarding house for female students, teachers, and factory workers in New York City, and early in 1866, the word “YWCA” was first used in Boston for the same purpose. Four years later, in 1870, in a YWCA Boston residence for girls, board members installed pulley weights on the back of closet doors, allowing girls from farms to continue to exercise in the city. Again 2 years later in 1872, the YWCA opened the first employment bureau in New York City. While the segregation was still alive through USA, the association opened his door to black people in 1889. The first African-American YWCA branch opened in Dayton, Ohio[iii]. Early in 1894 the United States of America, England, Sweden, and Norway together created the World YWCA, which today operates in over 125 countries. The YWCA is now operating in 39 states in USA. In the content the website show the history of racism and how the YWCA’s National movement back in 1970 tried to guide the process of eliminating injustices in employment, education, healthcare, housing, human services and other areas that affect the quality of an individual’s life. Throughout his history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women.
What is “The Stand Against Racism YWCA”[iv] today? The YWCA is movement that aims to eliminate racism by raising awareness through its annual event. All organizations across the United States are invited to become Participating Sites by hosting their own "Stand." Individuals are then invited to join any of the "Stands", where hundreds of thousands of people take a Stand against Racism.
Looking at the Website home page, it is clear that the website is working on fighting racism. It uses color orange which have the meaning of stimulating, vibrant, and flamboyant. While made up of red and yellow, it carries less aggression and fierceness than the color red due to its combination with the calming color yellow. From his home page, the website highlights using big words, with orange color on background, his main purpose: “Stand against Racism”. It also invite people to join the movement through different ways: Become a Participating Site, Look up a Participating Site, Visit the e-Store, Make a Donation, Join the Email List. It also shows how many people joined them during the past year 2013 (The 2013 Stand Against Racism took place on April 26, 2013). A total of 3,011 organizations participated in the Stand Against Racism in 39 states across our country. Over 310,000 people took a Stand Against Racism . On the Website, pictures are provides, and show how people are united together to raise the voices against racism. It also invites people to join them on Facebook.
For the organization, the goal number one is to bring people together from all walks of life - across the country - to raise awareness that racism still exists. His methodology of the Stand Against Racism is to bring together like-minded organizations that share in the vision of eliminating racism and celebrating the richness of diversity. By inviting community organizations to partner with them, their intention is to maximize the outreach of the mission, attracting hundreds of thousands of participants.
Through annual event, which takes place the last Friday of each April the organization host different activities to address the racism issue. Through his annual event, where different community organization take part, YWCA's Stand Against Racism addresses the root causes of racism and encourages conversations across diverse communities in the USA. Looking on the website, it relevant that thousands people respond very well to the invitation last year 2013.
The website “Purpose Statement” has noticeable and powerful words which let the readers know why it is time to act and do something. “Racism and discrimination hurt everyone and has had a profound effect on children and adults, our communities and our institutions. Today, we can look back on our history and examine the direction, development and effects of the enslavement of Africans, the dispossession of Indian and Mexican lands, the exclusion of Asians from immigration and citizenship as events that have shaped the current attitudes and actions supported by the power of law, institutional structures, and culture in this country. Race and the legacy of discrimination continue to affect our lives - whether in our everyday interactions with others at work, school, or in our neighborhoods and communities”[v]. It also highlight different forms of racism which can include but not limited to discrimination, Personal attacks of any kind, including violence written or verbal threats or insults, damage to property, including graffiti.
According to the website, today intention is not only to raise awareness of the issues of racism, it intend to affect real change in the lives of the family, friends and co-workers through a process that identifies and eradicates the barriers that divide people and that perpetuate racism and other forms of oppression. As individuals learn what has kept people apart, they will develop new ways of working cooperatively by creating new models of shared resources and perspectives. It concludes that the goal is not to pave the way for the future. It is to create the future - a better future for all.
Evaluating the content I can say that the organization has partially reached his objectives but Racism issue is also an issue that involves children not only adults, it would be better if the organization can do some concrete actions within school. I would suggest that it can be a good idea if the organization can take just small area like one school where Racism is more visible to take the aria as a pilot aria of action. I think that the initiative is good itself and that it would it be useful or beneficial if all people know and participate. It will be more effective if the initiative can be taken as national event where all people, school included participate. Having more people (310 000) to participate in one day event, can be taken as successful criteria. It shows that people are aware of the issue and are ready to contribute (To stand against racism). Looking at the Website contents, it does show concrete actions which took place in 39 States, but it doesn’t show the outcome of the efforts. It is very useful to have meetings and discuss about an issue, but I think that issue like Racism need to have actions and evaluation. It will be better if the website can show what about the outcome of their hard work after many decades of existence. After reading the Website content I end up with many questions such as how long the world will continue to face his major issue “Racism”. When it say that “As individuals learn what has kept people apart, they will develop new ways of working cooperatively by creating new models of shared resources and perspectives[vi]” It will better to show where different people with different races are working cooperatively during their daily bases. As it raise awareness that racism still exists, it will be good if it shows where the racism doesn’t exist or is less than before the action took place.
[ii] Goffe, Leslie. "USA: The Brigade Against Black History Month." New African 532 (2013): 16-19. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.
[vi] Look on website content