Respectful, honest dialogues about race, that’s what organizers of the first annual YWCA Stand Against Racism Panel hope to inspire.
Representatives from the city of Rochester and Monroe County proclaimed Friday Stand Against Racism day in honor of the YMCA’s efforts.
Keynote speaker and President of the National YWCA Doctor Dara Richardson-Heron says everyone should take personal responsibility to speak up when they observe racial injustice.
She urges people to be brave in their conviction to speak up.
“It has to begin with respect,” said Richardson-Heron, “a respect that we are different in many respects, but our differences should not define us.”
President of the University of Rochester Joel Seligman says the country has made improvements in regard to race.
“Race is the American Tragedy,” said Seligman. “It is an issue of fundamental consequence to our country's history and to our future.]
Seligman says in an era with increased residential segregation, inner city poverty, and what he calls “wobbling” support of diversity in admissions to higher education by the Supreme Court.
The YWCA advocates for others in the community to participate in discussion about race and racism during the month of April.