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Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of the YWCA USA that runs April 28th –May 1st. This year, our theme is On A Mission for Girls of Color. The campaign is designed to build a strong community and partnership between those who are working to achieve racial and social justice and also raise awareness about the negative impact that institutional and structural racism has on today’s society.

Why are we focusing on girls of color? Girls of color are often overlooked in conversations about racial justice and gender equity, where conversations can focus predominantly on boys of color and white girls. In fact, girls of color struggle with the effects of both racism and sexism. Girls of color face intersectional, unique challenges, including disproportionate trauma and violence, excessive discipline at school, the sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline that punishes girls who have already been victimized, and unequal access to educational opportunities. This year, Stand Against Racism is about bringing people together for girls of color. We are raising awareness about the specific, unique struggles that girls of color face every day, and raising the question: how can we create change? We are on a mission for girls of color. (Read more here)

Last year our CEO and President Martha Kamber sat down with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams for an honest conversation about race in America, in light of the recent surge in exposure of conflict between police and communities of color.

This year, we sat down with Nadia Lopez, Mott Hall Bridges Academy Principal to address important questions: what are the root causes of racism? and how does implicit bias affect girls of color specifically?

In part II Nadia gives her take on what can be done to create positive opportunities for girls of color and how we can make our schools a safer place for girls of color.

YWCA Brooklyn believes that the institutional and structural inequities that perpetuate racism and social injustice must be addressed vigorously and systematically, by raising awareness, pursuing public policy advocacy and involving individuals in programs. While encouraging discussion is a good start, we know that structural and institutional racism cannot be chipped away one conversation at a time. Discussions can help, but they should be complemented with programs that raise awareness about racism and train individuals as well as organizations to stamp it out. YWCA Brooklyn is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. This campaign is one part of our larger national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism.

Please sign the pledge to Stand Against Racism with YWCA!!