YWCA Southeast Wisconsin
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April 2017

By Martha Barry, PhD, Racial Justice Director, YWCA Southeast Wisconsin


Stand Against Racism

What does it mean to take a stand against racism? How does one think about taking a stand against a system so deeply embedded in our culture?

Taking a stand against hatred, bigotry, discrimination, and violence, requires courage. Courage requires us to face things with the knowledge that, we may not be able to overcome the obstacle, but we cannot sit by idly hoping it will go away.

Think about someone facing a terminal illness. We know they are fighting to stay positive for their loved ones and themselves. They follow doctor’s orders about medical protocol. They do their best to take care of themselves while facing their illness. Once it is clear nothing else can be done, they face their impending death, not necessarily with resignation, but resolve. Some would say they face it with courage.

Wikipedia defines COURAGE as “the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.” We must learn to confront the agony and pain of racism. Confronting racism requires knowledge, understanding, resolve and courage: The courage to speak up when we hear a racist comment in meetings, on social media, in our neighborhoods and workplaces.

We won’t end racism by simply interrupting the hurtful, racist remarks we hear in our personal and work spaces. But it definitely won’t end unless we face our friends, family, and colleagues with the courageous truth about the impact of racism.

Join us on this journey. Our third annual Stand Against Racism is highlighted in this newsletter.
Find your courage. Join us and take a stand!

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The 2038 Racial Justice Blog includes monthly insight from YWCA staff and community members working for a more just and equitable Milwaukee. Learn more about our 2038 goal.