The YWCA of Rochester, New York has an annual drive to “spearhead the local effort for the national Stand against Racism every April.”
Poet Robert Frost once asserted, we should “never be bullied into silence.” His words parallel the efforts of the YWCA of Rochester (New York) and Monroe County; the Y is asking the community at large to speak up and take a stand against racism.
David Mancuso is the YWCA’s Marketing and Communications Manager, and he acknowledges the strength of his commitment to the YWCA and its various programs. “I feel very strongly in the mission of the YWCA of empowering women and eliminating racism,” Mancuso says. “Every day is different for me, but I provide marketing and public relations support for all of the services of the YWCA.”
He explains that, “the goal of the Stand Against Racism is to bring together like-minded organizations that share in our vision of eliminating racism, empowering women, and celebrating the richness of diversity.”
This awareness-building undertaking targets many audiences. “We reach out to businesses, schools, houses of worship, organizations, and government agencies, to encourage conversations about race,” Mancuso adds. “Organizations host a Stand by signing up online and hosting an event, either public, or private.”
The YWCA enables individuals and groups to help improve racial attitudes in communities by doing something as simple as signing a pledge or as involved as hosting an event.
Mancuso says, “Organizations can participate in a number of ways, they can sign a pledge; have a discussion over coffee or lunch with a group or person of a different faith or race; or host a diversity activity. And participating is free! Organizations are invited to become participating sites by hosting their own ‘Stand.’” Those interested in participating can sign up by visiting the Stand website.
Clearly, the YWCA is a proponent of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s belief that “everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”