A local organization is encouraging residents to help eliminate racism this week in three North Shore towns.
The annual YWCA Evanston/North Shore will Unite Against Racism Tuesday-Thursday, April 25-27, in Skokie, Wilmette and Evanston, respectively.
The Wilmette event will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 26, on the Village Hall Green at 1200 Wilmette Ave., where a community discussion will precede a demonstration from Skunkworks Dance, 1111 Central Ave.
According to a release from the YWCA, the events are designed for communities to acknowledge racism, and its detrimental effects and pledge to work together for racial equality.
“Unite Against Racism is our annual initiative to build on the sense of community among people who are passionate about eliminating racism,” said Tiffany McDowell, director of the local YWCA’s Equity Institute. “Though we have changed the name this year, the goal is always the same — to raise awareness and activate change.
“The Unite Against Racism neighborhood rallies have been powerful tools for getting people’s attention, and the talk-back activities create space for participants to discuss important issues around racism and oppression in our communities.”
The event was launched in 2007 on the East Coast under the name Stand Against Racism. The name recently was changed because, according to the press release, the word “stand” “evoked feelings of ableism and disempowerment.”
“Unite,” the release continues, is more relevant to the event’s intentions of inclusion and inspiration.
The Skokie event will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, at Skokie Village Hall, 5127 Oakton St., and the Evanston version is set for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 27, along Ridge Road, starting at YWCA Evanston/North Shore, 1215 Church St.
The YWCA operates the Shop For Good resale boutique at 1107 Central Ave. in downtown Wilmette. The shop is offering reusable rally signs for Unite Against Racism participants.
“I am thrilled to participate in this year’s Unite Against Racism,” said Cherese Ledet, the local YWCA’s CEO. “Prejudice and hate are learned behaviors that we must acknowledge and unlearn. The more we stand in solidarity, listen to and amplify the voices of those that experience racism, and continue to educate, we can remove the power from those that continue to perpetuate racial inequities and begin to heal as a society.”
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