Stand Against Racism

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The coronavirus has exposed and heightened historical racial disparities in our society and has spotlighted racism as a public health issue, particularly impacting Black children and youth of color in our public education and K-12 school system. Join YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee for a Stand Against Racism webinar on Education in a Time of Crisis. Hear from experts in Nashville’s K-12 schools and ask your questions as we examine the dual impact of racism and COVID-19 on our youth and how we can build towards an anti-racist future in our schools and beyond. Click here to register.

You will hear from:

Moderator: Sharon K. Roberson, President & CEO, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee

Panelist: Christian Buggs, Chair, Metro Nashville Public School Board of Education

Panelist: Kasar Abdulla, Chief Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity Officer – Valor Collegiate Academy

Panelist: Dwanna Kimbro, Girls Inc. Program Coordinator, YWCA Nashville & Middle TN

Panelist: DeeAnne Miree, Principal, Cambridge Early Learning Center

YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee offers facilitated conversations on racial justice and equity for any organization or group that participates in the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge. If you or your organization would like to have a facilitated conversation, please contact our Senior Manager of Social Justice & Advocacy at:

Join us on Nov. 19 for a panel discussion addressing the intersection of policing and racism, particularly highlighting policing of vulnerable communities of color in Nashville. This Stand Against Racism panel, presented by Regions Foundation of Tennessee, will address the level of distrust of police that exists in many communities due to the history of racism in America, especially in communities of color. We will also discuss ways that policing can be changed to address the concerns of individuals in our community about present policing methods.

Host & Moderator: Shan Foster Executive Director, AMEND Together and VP of External Affairs YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee

Panelists: Featuring members of the Policing Policy Commission and the Interim Chief of Police

Ashlee Davis, VP, Alliance Bernstein, Member Community Oversight Board|
John Drake, Interim Chief of Police, MNPD
Sabina Mohyuddin, Executive Director American Muslim Advisory Council
Juliana Ospina Cano, Executive Director, Conexion Americas
Larry Turnley, Violence Interrupter, Gideon’s Army

October 2020 – Domestic Violence in a Time of Crisis Webinar

For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, please join us for a Stand Against Racism Lunch & Learn – Domestic Violence in a Time of Crisis. This virtual panel discussion is presented by Regions Foundation of Tennessee and will examine how racism and domestic violence are intersecting forms of social injustice. Our expert panelists will discuss how domestic violence providers, services, and response systems are not immune to the individual, institutional, and systemic racism that pervades our society; thus domestic violence prevention and intervention strategies must address the effects of racism in order to establish community safety and accountability.

You will hear from:

Host: Sharon K. Roberson, President & CEO, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee

Moderator: LaToya Townsend, Director of Training, Outreach and Development, Metropolitan Government of Nashville-Davidson County’s Office of Family Safety

Panelist: Alexandra Chambers, Founding Member, Free Hearts; Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Ethics at Vanderbilt University

Panelist: Sparkle Johnson, Founder, SuperWomen Inc.

Panelist: Chay Sengkhounmany, Lead Immigration Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee

Panelist: Damien Talley, Director of Residential Services, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee – Weaver Domestic Violence Center

Today, we face two global pandemics – COVID-19 and racial injustice. At this intersection, nearly one-third of Black people in the U.S. say they know someone who has died from coronavirus.

Join us to address different levels of racism impacting healthcare. You will hear from experts in healthcare who lead fights for the health and well-being of Black people and people of color amid COVID-19. The event will be moderated by YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee president & CEO, Sharon K. Roberson and feature these panelists:

Celia EzidiegwuMD, Pharmacovigilance Physician at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals; Specialty: Preventive Medicine

Tanzye Hill, DT, M.Ed., Founder and Owner of Birth Manifesta, LLC

Betsy Swann, MA, Community Health Manager at Siloam Health

Consuela H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Executive Director, Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Associate Professor of Medicine, Meharry Medical College

Kinika Young, JD, Senior Director of Health Policy and Advocacy, Tennessee Justice Center

Click below to watch this Stand Against Racism – Healthcare in a Time of Crisis webinar.


Presenting Sponsor

Peace Sponsor

Past YWCA Stand Against Racism Events

Stand Against Racism Virtual Lunch & Learn | Voting in a Time of Crisis

Wednesday, June 24 | 12 PM – 1 PM


As the August and November elections approach, we must equip ourselves with the knowledge and tools to advocate for our most vulnerably positioned community members to have access to the ballot. View our virtual lunch & learn on the state of felony disenfranchisement in Tennessee, voter restoration campaigns, and what you can do to advocate for expanded access to the ballot.

This webinar features:

Host: Sharon K. Roberson, President & CEO, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee

Moderator: Charles Grant, Veteran Litigator, Baker Donelson

Panelist: Dawn Harrington, Executive Director, Free Hearts

Panelist: Brandon Tucker, Policy Director, ACLU of Tennessee

Panelist: Robert Sherrill, The Equity Alliance

Learn more about our social justice work and advocacy platform here.

Click below to view our Stand Against Racism Virtual Community Rally that took place on April 22, 2020.

Pledge Against Racism

As an individual committed to social justice, I stand with YWCA against racism and discrimination of any kind. I will commit to a lifetime of promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people in my community and in the world.

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 2020 Stand Against Racism is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Metro Human Relations Commission, and Vanderbilt Divinity School Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative.

2020 Stand Against Racism Event Schedule

Thursday, February 6, 11:30am – 1pm
Lunch & Learn: A History of Structural Racism in Nashville
Dr. Learotha Williams, Jr., Historian and Professor at Tennessee State University & Dr. Wendy Thompson, Vice Chancellor Tennessee Board of Regents

Thursday, February 27, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Educational Forum:  Music to Mobilization in a Racial Justice Movement REGISTER HERE
Dr. Yvonne Kendall, Musicologist; Ernest “Rip” Patton, Former SNCC Member & Freedom Rider, Patrick Dailey, Tennessee State University, Beverly Watts, Exec. Dir. TN Human Rights Commission (moderator)

Thursday, March 26, 11:30am – 1:00pm  POSTPONED (see above – June 24, 2020)
Lunch & Learn: Disenfranchisement, Voter Restoration, and a Path Towards Racial Justice
Dawn Harrington, Executive Director Free Hearts; Robert Sherrill,  The Equity Alliance; Brandon Tucker, Policy Director ACLU of Tennessee, Charles K. Grant, Veteran Litigator Baker Donelson (moderator)

Please contact YWCA Sr. Manager for Social Justice Hannah Cornfield for more information 615-983-5129 or

To learn more about our Social Justice & Advocacy work, click here.


TN HRC mhrc

Vanderbilt Divinity School’s Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative