Stand Against Racism – No Hate No Fear
Stand Against Racism seeks to build community among those working for racial and social justice and raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. Our 2019 theme is No Hate No Fear – how racism and immigration intersect. We know that immigrant justice is racial justice, and that xenophobia, bigotry, and racism is continuing to impact the lives and safety of our communities.
The Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA and is part of the larger national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism. Race and the legacy of discrimination continue to affect our lives – whether in our everyday interactions with others at work, school, or in our neighborhoods and communities.The 2019 Stand Against Racism is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Human Rights Commission and Metro Human Relations Commission.
Please contact YWCA Sr. Manager for Social Justice Hannah Cornfield for more information 615-983-5129 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about our Social Justice & Advocacy work, click here.
2019 Community Partners
A VOICE for the Reduction of Poverty
Clergy for Tolerance
Coalition for Education About Immigration
Nashville Student Organizing Committee
2019 Stand Against Racism
YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee hosted the annual Stand Against Racism on Thursday, April 25 on the steps of the Historic Metro Courthouse and Public Square Park. Neither the threat of rain nor the NFL Draft (kicking off a few blocks away) could keep more than 100 advocates, supporters, and partners away from this annual gathering that builds community among those working for racial and social justice. The program was packed with prominent political leaders and Civil Rights icons, including Kwame Lillard, King Hollands, Gloria McKissack, and Ernest “Rip” Patton. The Freedom Rider led the crowd in a powerful rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Mayor David Briley and Congressman Jim Cooper urged the crowd to continue working towards justice and reducing racism and intolerance. YWCA was presented with a Metro Council Resolution for its social justice work, and YWCA President and CEO Sharon K. Roberson shared with the crowd how national policies can have a very real local impact during the public rally. This year’s Stand Against Racism theme was aptly titled No Hate No Fear – and examined the intersection of racism and immigration.
“In recent months, YWCA presented a series of community conversations where we heard compelling stories of the human cost of racism for very vulnerable people,” she said. “We learned that immigrant children are being separated from their parents right here in Nashville. These conversations served as a call to action for all of us to understand the moral imperative that we must treat all people with dignity and respect.”
Martesha Johnson, the first African American and woman elected to lead the Metro Davidson Public Defender’s Office, urged the crowd to speak up and speak out against racism and hate. Chris Echegaray with Metro Nashville Public Schools reminded the crowd that the “It City” of Nashville is being supported through immigrant labor. Co-founder of the American Muslim Advisory Council, Sabina Mohyuddin, made a passionate plea on how we can work together to eliminate racism.
“These systems are not just about our individual biases or fear of others or even ignorance, but it is about institutionalized methods of discriminating against people of color, immigrants, and Muslims,” said Mohyuddin. “In order to dismantle and eliminate racism, we must bring down all of these systems.”
The Metro Human Relations Commission and Tennessee Human Rights Commission co-sponsored the event and luncheon series. TN HRC Executive Director Beverly Watts led the crowd in the pledge against racism to close the event. MHRC board members Dr. Erin Pryor and Commissioner Kobie Pretorius attended the Stand Against Racism and joined Watts and the Civil Rights icons and speakers in the pledge.
2018 Stand Against Racism
YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee hosted the annual Stand Against Racism April 27 and 28 with a community rally in Public Square Park and a Youth-Led Forum at the Downtown Nashville Public Library. The Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism. More than 400 Stand Against Racism events were held across the country between April 27 and 29.
Mayor David Briley welcomed the crowd to the annual event that drew more than 200 people. Civil Rights Activist and retired educator Gloria McKissack shared how young people in the 1960’s sat down so we could all stand today. McKissack was part of the student movement from Tennessee A & I (now Tennessee State University) and Fisk University that integrated the lunch counters and other businesses across Nashville. Legal Aid Executive Director and YWCA Board Member DarKenya Waller urged the attendees to work together. “If Black or Brown people could have solved this problem by ourselves, we would have done so already,” she said.
The Friday rally included a look to the future, with remarks from Antioch High School senior and Girls Inc. club member Carol Salas. Singer Dara Tucker entertained the crowd and Southern Word Poet and Hume-Fogg High School student Bella Dotson shared a powerful spoken word piece. Two dozen community partners took part in an advocacy fair.
The first-ever, intergenerational Youth-Led Forum took place at the Downtown Nashville Public Library the following day. Planned by the YWCA’s Youth Empowerment Committee, the event kicked off with the Tennessee Titans’ Caravan. A panel discussion with players Jayon Brown, Corey Davis, and retired Titan Chris Hope, focused on character and working together to eliminate racism. Nashville 16 members Ethel Carr Crowder and Errol Groves joined the youth forum to share their experiences integrating Nashville Public Schools in 1957.
Activist and recent Fisk University graduate Justin Jones inspired the crowd with his words and a symbolic gift of stones from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. He had just returned to Nashville from the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama.
The Tennessee Titans were the presenting sponsor of the 2018 two-day event. The Metro Human Relations Commission and Tennessee Human Rights Commission were returning sponsors.