YWCA Lower Cape Fear launches third annual Stand Against Racism Challenge

In less than a week, on April 4, YWCA Lower Cape Fear will launch its third annual Stand Against Racism Challenge.
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 9:01 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - In less than a week, on April 4, YWCA Lower Cape Fear will launch its third annual Stand Against Racism Challenge.

The first year this challenge was launched in the Lower Cape Fear Region, back in Spring of 2020, it was following the death of George Floyd. The program was initially developed by YWCA Greater Cleveland, but it has since been adapted nationwide.

This year, the national YWCA USA organization has launched a challenge app that participants can download.

The Stand Against Racism Challenge is four weeks long and is open to everyone. Those who participate will be provided with daily challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, or reflecting on personal experience. This is all in an effort to help people connect with one another, and to identify ways to eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination in our communities.

“It’s our mission, this is what we do. This is what we get up every day to do — is to eliminate racism and empower women and families,” said Velva Jenkins Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Lower Cape Fear. “We cannot do this without providing these resources, these challenges, the information to our community. But this is what we do every day.”

The challenge will look a little different this year compared to the past two years because of the app launched by the national non-profit organization. In years past, YWCA Lower Cape Fear chose the content included in the challenge for our area, so it focused on local history and local topics.

“When we did it the first and second year, we really focused on Wilmington history and Wilmington-related topics that involved racial inequity and social injustices,” said Grace D’Angelis, Marketing & Community Engagement Manager for YWCA Lower Cape Fear. “We had, you know, a prompt that brought people to the 1898 monument.”

They also had participants watch “Wilmington on Fire,” a documentary about the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, and listen to podcasts and engage in prompts from local historians.

This year, since it’s more of a global challenge, the content is not as localized. This year’s challenges will be centered around four main topics: Critical Race Theory, Reproductive Justice, Living Wage, and Film and Television.

“A lot of people hear Critical Race Theory or hear living wage and don’t fully understand or comprehend what that means and how it relates to them personally and their neighbors and community around them, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn, take a deep dive into those and see and feel how those topics impact and relate to you and those around you,” D’Angelis said.

Jenkins and D’Angelis said this challenge has created and fostered important conversations in the community.

“It gives us so much hope on how much we can do as an organization being the largest and the oldest women’s movement in the community and in the nation — we’re just so excited about our purpose and our place in the community,” Jenkins said.

In addition to the challenge, Stand Against Racism is a campaign throughout the month of April. YWCA Lower Cape Fear is hosting a number of events in conjunction with that campaign.

Potluck for Peace will be back in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. That will take place Thursday, April 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Wrightsville United Methodist Church on Harbor Island. The event is free and open to the public. You can RSVP here.

YWCA Lower Cape Fear will also host its first ever Swim Against Racism Distance Swim Meet. That will be on Sunday, April 24 from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the YWCA Lower Cape Fear Aquatics Center. Participants can register here.

This year’s theme for the Stand Against Racism campaign is ‘We Can’t Wait: Equity & Justice Now.’

Those who want to participate in the challenge can register and download the Stand Against Racism Challenge app by clicking this link.

Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.