April 23, 2021

A Stand Against Racism Reflection

Thank you to everyone who joined us for YWCA Spokane’s annual courageous conversation.

On April 22nd, we held Stand Against Racism 2021: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis. There were performances of rap, song, and spoken word by local artists and a panel of experts in the field of nursing and public health. The panelists shared perspectives from their professions and their lived experiences as they unpacked racism in the context of public health.

YWCA Spokane Board member, Shari Clarke, PhD who acted as one of the hosts for the event, wrote the following reflection piece about the experience. Read more of Shari’s writing on her website: Diversityetc.com

Today was a good day. The past year has been fraught with unforeseen horrors. A global pandemic that stopped a nation and put fear in our hearts.

Black and Brown innocence became target practice for police brutality. Asian Americans were (wrongfully) singled out as the conceivers and initial transmitters of Covid-19, which has to date killed over three million people worldwide.

But today in spite of a 3-week trial in which we relived the televised lynching of George Floyd, 10 miles away in the same state Daunte Wright was murdered by a police officer who allegedly meant to tase him but somehow shot him confusing her gun for the taser-another young Black male senselessly killed.

I have described my beloved country as a killing field, a Wild Wild West with law and order nonexistent. The color of one’s skin is a visual always present threat. Every man, woman, and child is fending for themselves and for survival primarily against those who have sworn to protect and serve. Yes, it has come to that.

But today was a good day. The dynamic members of the Race & Social Justice Committee of the YWCA of Spokane stood together and stood strong asking the community to Stand Against Racism. This year, the YWCA is addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis. In an evening that offered thought-provoking poetry, rap, gospel, and musical harmonies, the event both entertained and informed.

The celebration of local artist was a delight for the event attendees in the midst of dark realities. The tough constantly challenging topics of racial discrimination, inequities in housing, health care, education, nutrition, transportation, and socioeconomic levels were discussed and lead by a skillful moderator and a thoughtful, insightful panel.

The YWCA has asked that we take the pledge and stand with them, please do so here. Let’s make every day a good day and eliminate racism.

By Shari Clarke, PhD
Vice President for Diversity and Senior Diversity Officer for EWU

Thank you Dr. Clarke for sharing your perspective with us!

Whether you were unable to attend or wish to re-watch the event, the full recording is available for viewing below.

Step into Action!

Download & Share Action Steps

Working to eliminate racism is an ongoing process that will take the continuous efforts of us all. Below are action steps you can take to keep the momentum going.

1. ADVOCATETake The Stand Against Racism Pledge

2. LEARNSign Up For YWCA’s 14-Day Equity Challenge

3. GROWGet Involved With Local Organizations

Learn more about how you can take action after Stand Against Racism.

Take Action

By: Briana

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