The YWCA of Asheville invites the community to join in taking a Stand Against Racism. Over 60 YwCAs throughout the country will be participating in the annual movement, which “aims to eliminate racism by raising awareness that racism still exists in our community and that it can no longer be ignored or tolerated.”
The program’s culminating event will be held at Aston Park on Friday, April 30, starting at 4 p.m. The family-friendly gathering, featuring booths sponsored by participating businesses, hospitals, schools, houses of worship and government agencies, will offer educational information about combating racism in our community. In addition, local rock/garage-pop/honky-tonk band Mad Tea Party will perform ukulele-infused tunes and special guest Celeste Redmond will read from selected works of poetry that focus on the issues of race and equality.
Here is round-up of other Stand Against Racism happenings:
Thursday, April 29
• The Mountain Area Health Center presents “The State of Black Asheville Reviewed,” a community discussion with Dr. Dwight Mullen, professor of political science at UNCA. The lecture will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at MAHEC’s Thomas Bacon Lecture Hall, 501 Biltmore Ave. Info: www.mahec.net.
Friday, April 30
• ABIPA presents a film screening of Unnatural Causes, described as “a movie about the impact of race and class on health.” A community conversation “exploring the questions: Is inequity making us sick and What are the connections between healthy bodies, healthy bank accounts and skin color?” will follow. Held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at ABIPA headquarters, 39 A. South Market St. Info: 251-8364.
• The Buncombe County Department of Health and Health Partners will show a video broadcast of Dr. David Williams’ keynote address at the 2009 Dr. Charles E Blair Health Equity and Parity Conference in Asheville. Williams is a “Harvard scholar and a leader in the national health equity movement, [who] offered the keynote lecture ‘A Time for Action.’” The broadcast will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Health Department’s office, 35 Woodfin St. Info: www.healthpartnerswnc.org.
• Throughout the day, the Pisgah View Community Peace Garden asks volunteers to join them in the garden. Robert and Lucia White will be on hand to talk about “the joys and struggles of building community in a racially maligned community.” Volunteers are welcome from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The garden is located at 9D Granada Street. Info: 505-9300.
• The Asheville Jewish Community Center invites the community to “Songs of Freedom & Creation of Interactive Mural,” with Penny White of the Children of Maccabi Academy and Shalom Preschool from noon to 12:30 p.m. At 4 p.m. children are welcome to participate in a “Stand Against Racism Shabbat.” The JCC is located at 236 Charlotte Street.
• Rabbi Batsheva Meiri will lead a Shabbat service featuring a special sermon on racism at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth HaTephila, 43 N. Liberty St. Info: www.jcc-asheville.org.
Click here for a complete list local events and happenings.
The YWCA also asks that participants consider what they can you do to combat racism in their daily lives. Here are a few of their suggestions:
• Notice what ethnic groups are missing from your workplace, your neighborhood, church and social groups.
• Become aware of what assumptions you may have about other ethnic groups. Make a list of them and commit yourself to counteract or unlearn them
• Speak up when you hear a racist remark.
Together, we can make a difference!