Residents participate in Stand Against Racism


Julia Esparza/Daily Senior Staffer

Members of Evanston episcopal churches and Interfaith Action of Evanston stand along Ridge Avenue. The participants created signs to show support for the YWCA’s Stands Against Racism event.

Julia Esparza, City Editor

Evanston residents stood along Ridge Avenue on Wednesday afternoon to participate in the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism event.

The annual event aims to raise awareness about the institutional and structural impacts of racism. About 20 Evanston organizations participated by lining the sidewalks from the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center to the Ridgeville Park District.

Tiffany McDowell, the director of the Equity Institute at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, said she is happy that so many community groups participated in the event in a show of support.

“It’s a great way to show solidarity and to show that as a community we are against racism and were standing for equity and inclusion and being a welcoming city,” McDowell said.

McDowell said she people learn about the support available to them through the YWCA. She said her work at the YWCA involves finding strategies and resources for people and organizations to teach them how to become allies in the fight against racism.

As cars drove along Ridge Avenue, drivers honked their horns and yelled out of their windows in shows of support for the participants. Around 1:45 p.m., community members began reading the stand against racism pledge.

“I take this pledge, fully aware that the struggle to eliminate racism will not end by me reciting this pledge,” participants said. “It requires an ongoing transformation within me, as well as in the institutions and structures of our society.”

Students and teachers from Roycemore School left their classrooms with handmade posters and stood along the sidewalk and recited the pledge.

Lynne Greene, a teacher at Roycemore School which sits on Ridge Avenue, said she the pledge and the event helps teach her students about the importance of standing up for something you believe in.

“Otherwise things get buried under the carpet,” Greene said. “In this way there is no way they cannot know that this is important because there are people out here besides them.”

Greene said the event is important because it brings attention to the fact that racism is still present and still deserves attention. She said it is sad that this type of event is still necessary but through her students, she hopes to change that.

Joining the event, members of Evanston’s episcopal churches stood with signs reading “Equality 4 all.”

Donna Richardson, lay minister of social justice and outreach at St. Marks Episcopal Church, said the representatives from the church participate in the event each year in a show of support for the community.

“We want to see an end to racism and by being out here I hope we can contribute to the fight,” Richardson said.

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Community members participate in YWCA Stand Against Racism