NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 13, 2023) – YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee is hosting its annual Stand Against Racism Community Rally and Advocacy Fair on Thursday, Sept. 28, at Public Square Park in downtown Nashville. This year’s theme, “Votes against Violence,” underscores the critical intersection of voting rights and gun violence.
Maryam Abolfazli, author, activist, and founder of Rise and Shine Tennessee, is the keynote speaker. Abolfazli played a pivotal role in organizing protests at the Tennessee General Assembly following The Covenant School murders in March and again at the Special Session of the Tennessee General Assembly last month. The event will feature spoken word by Nashville Youth Poet Laureate Lochlan Cook, a student at the Nashville School for the Arts, and a musical performance by Johna Jackson with the W. Crimm Singers.
“Our annual Stand Against Racism Rally will provide a platform to recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations at the forefront of the fight for voting rights and gun violence prevention,” said YWCA President and CEO Sharon K. Roberson. “Tennessee remains in the national spotlight due to the dedication of activists and citizens tirelessly working toward safer communities and amplifying marginalized voices.”
The YWCA Stand Against Racism Community Rally and Advocacy Fair will feature an array of voting rights and community groups and advocates, as well as gun violence prevention champions who will represent the connection between democracy and safety. This unity underscores the belief that safeguarding lives transcends politics, highlighting the collective effort to create safer, more inclusive communities for all. The YWCA will also present the Carrie Hull Award to longtime community leader, attorney and civil rights champion D. Billye Sanders.
The event is made possible through the generous support of The Harnisch Foundation and the Metro Human Relations Commission.
It serves as a powerful platform to engage the community in vital conversations surrounding racial justice and equity. It offers an opportunity for individuals and organizations to join forces and make a meaningful impact in the ongoing struggle against racism and violence while promoting the full participation in the election process.
For more information about the YWCA Stand Against Racism Community Rally and Advocacy Fair, please visit the event website or contact YWCA Senior Manager for Social Justice and Advocacy Stephen Watts via email.
About YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee
For 125 years, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee has helped women, girls and families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee build safer, more self-sufficient lives. YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Programs include domestic violence services, Girls Inc., AMEND Together, Dress for Success, the Family Learning Center, and social justice and advocacy programs. For more information, visit www.ywcanashville.com, follow us on Twitter @YWCANashville and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/YWCANashville.
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Michelle Mowery Johnson
Senior Director of Communications and Advocacy, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee