YWCA of Silicon Valley

The YWCA Silicon Valley Takes a “Stand Against Racism”, on April 30

Over 250,000 individuals across the country expected to Take a Stand


San Jose, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/28/2010 -- The YWCA Silicon Valley is calling on all individuals to join us in taking a bold Stand Against Racism on April 30 by partnering with the YWCA. Our goal is to unite our community in a bold demonstration that delivers a clear message that racism can no longer be ignored or tolerated.

“The persistence and pervasiveness of racism divides our community and keeps individuals from achieving success in education, economics, employment, and quality of life,” stated Keri Procunier McLain, CEO of the YWCA Silicon Valley. “Our strength comes from numbers – that’s why we are asking people to come out and join us.” Events sponsored by our YWCA include a partnership with Silicon Valley Faces to bring Building Connections, a four week program to all YWCA Silicon Valley childcare centers. This program utilizes fun, age appropriate activities to explore individual similarities and differences. “The Building Connections program helps participants develop a positive sense of self-worth, value and celebrate differences in others, and be proactive in interrupting prejudice when they see it. SV FACES is proud to be partnering with the YWCA Silicon Valley to bring this program to the community,” said Pat Mitchell, Executive Director of Silicon Valley FACES. Other events will be hosted throughout the YWCA’s Programs, including its TechGYRLS® and Project Inspire Programs.

The YWCA Silicon Valley’s commitment to eliminating racism originates with its Board of Directors and weaves throughout the Agency. Each month, the Board of Directors, with assistance from the YWCA Social and Racial Justice (SARJ) Committee, spends a portion of each monthly Board Meeting exploring issues surrounding racism. “We have uncomfortable dialogue about the effects of racism in our community. We try to challenge our beliefs in order to create real change in the community,” said Helen Hayashi, YWCA Board President. “The YWCA continuously evolves our programs and services to help our community increase tolerance and embrace diversity.”

Individuals in Silicon Valley will be taking a Stand Against Racism simultaneously with others throughout the country. The Stand Against Racism movement is a collaboration of 71 YWCA Associations nationwide and their 2,000 community partners. Over 250,000 people are expected to take a Stand Against Racism. Participants will commit themselves to a lifetime of promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people in their community and in the world. This powerful, unified effort will help raise awareness that racism hurts everyone. Participants of the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism range from school-age children to elected officials; from executives of large corporations to church leaders; and many others. Racism affects everyone. “If you believe in a society free of racism and discrimination, join us,” said McLain. “Together, we can eliminate racism.”

On April 20, 2010 the world lost an unwavering champion of justice and freedom. Dr. Dorothy Height, eulogized as "the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement" by President Obama, passed away at the age of 98 after a lifetime of courageously fighting for equality for women and people of color in the United States. On April 30, during the 3rd Annual Stand Against Racism , the YWCA Silicon Valley pays special tribute to Dr. Dorothy Height.

For more details or to look up a participating site, individuals are encouraged to visit http://www.StandAgainstRacism.org.

Background: The YWCAs in America have a rich history of advocating for racial justice. Throughout our history, the YWCA has been in the forefront of most major movements in the United States as a pioneer in race relations, labor union representation, and the empowerment of women. Today, we not only intend to raise awareness of the issues of racism, we intend to affect real change in the lives of our family, friends and co-workers through a process that identifies and eradicates the barriers that divide us and that perpetuate racism and other forms of oppression. The Stand Against Racism is an annual event. In 2010, it is a collaboration of 71 YWCA Associations nationwide, managed by the YWCAs Trenton and Princeton in New Jersey.

The mission of the YWCA Silicon Valley is to empower women, children and families, and to eliminate racism, hatred and prejudice. The YWCA of Silicon Valley serves nearly 18,000 Santa Clara County residents each year, and has provided services in Santa Clara County for more than 100 years. The YWCA provides programs in the areas of sexual assault intervention and prevention, counseling services, domestic violence, child care, youth programs, family services, and social and racial justice. The YWCA of Silicon Valley is located at 375 S. 3rd Street, San Jose, CA 95112. For more information about the YWCA of Silicon Valley, contact (408) 295-4011 or visit http://www.ywca-sv.org.