Stand Against Racism hopes to educate, advocate, promote racial justice

YWCA Central Carolinas will host its annual Stand Against Racism event Friday.  Stand Against Racism is a national opportunity for communities across the United States to unite their voices to educate about, advocate for and promote racial justice.
This is the 13th annual Stand Against Racism, and the YWCA is raising awareness and highlighting the injustices faced by immigrant communities. Through this annual campaign, the YWCA invites communities to find an issue or cause that inspires them to take a stand against racism.
The YWCA's Stand Against Racism will be held at the intersection of Trade and Tryon in Uptown Charlotte, a crossroads for people of all walks of life.
People will be asked to write a pledge about how they will work to eliminate racism and offered bright orange stickers that read, "Racism Hurts Everyone," which they continue wearing on into their day. 
The YWCA hopes the stickers will spark conversations that might never have happened otherwise.
“I have many hopes for our city as it relates to racial equity, but we have a great deal of reconciliation work to do,” Kirsten Sikkelee, CEO of YWCA Central Carolinas, said.  “We have neighborhoods that we need to desegregate and affordable housing we need to build or subsidize or rehabilitate.”
Individuals will also be able to sign a pledge to take a stand against racism in their everyday lives. YWCA has a goal to collect 250 pledges in honor of the city’s 250th anniversary.
“Many people across our community who could simply ignore such disparities are troubled by them, paying growing attention, listening better, being better allies, and that gives me hope,” Sikkelee said.
YWCA Central Carolinas’ objective is to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen the community.
“At the end of the day, we hope every passerby will remember YWCA as not just a place, but a movement for racial equity, and that they are invited and encouraged to be a part of that movement,” Sikkelee said.
The informational event will have various multicultural performances as well as connecting to the racial justice community at work in the Queen City.
Partner organizations and performances include:
  • The Charlotte Women's March sharing information about the psychological impacts of adjusting to a new culture and what happens to families when a member is deported.
  • The League of Women Voters of Charlotte Mecklenburg will be registering individuals to vote.
  • The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will be sharing information on books to read about racial and social justice topics.
  • The NC Brazilian Arts Project will perform the capoeira, a Brazilian martial art form that is combined with dance invented as a defense by slaves.
  • Thundering Waves Martial Arts will be performing a Chinese lion dance.
  • There will be a Native American drum circle.
  • YWCA instructor Drew McClain will lead a kickboxing demonstration.
  • YWCA youth learning coordinator Montrell Brooks will perform spoken word poetry.
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at