On Friday April 27th, hundreds of thousands of people stood together in the fight against racism. Joining them were Strong Women, Strong Girls Boston Program Managers Kenyora Johnson and Mikki Pugh. In cities and towns all over the country, organizations and individuals hosted events, screened films, held lectures, gathered in public demonstrations, read poetry, and played music, all in an effort to bring awareness to the ongoing existence of racism. This annual nation-wide cause, known as The Stand Against Racism, is a movement of the YWCA that aims to bring people together in an effort to both raise awareness that racism still exists, as well as highlight our continued efforts to eradicate it.
In a local event hosted by the Boston YWCA along with the Boston Foundation and Holland & Knight, keynote speaker Dr. Emmett G. Price III asked the audience to take this call to action very seriously. He implored us to not only stand together figuratively as part of this important campaign, but to work to cultivate the immense courage, integrity, and endurance it takes to actively take a stand against racism and discrimination whenever and wherever we see it. This, he admitted, is not always easy.
Pointing to the young members of the Josiah Quincy School band who kicked off the event, Dr. Price presented music as a way to bridge gaps between us. Music creates a language of its own, he explained, separate from the politics and stratification of our daily lives. It is a different language that allows us to create more meaningful connections with others.
As I listened to spoken word performances by two high school women that concluded the event, I was struck by the bravery and confidence it takes to truly stand up against discrimination in our daily lives. Whether it’s through words, music, or direct actions, we all have a responsibility to work towards a better, more just humanity in whatever way we can.
How have you stood up against racism lately? What are some concrete ways you can work to end racism in your school, community, or social circle?