As an organization focused on addressing the most critical needs of our community and dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for all, the Y must begin to address how to undo racism and become “anti-racists” at an individual, organizational, and societal level. We seek to more effectively lead as an anti-racist, multi-cultural organization, yet as we embark on this journey together, we do so with humility, fully cognizant that as a local and national institution we also have much work to do.
Anti-racism is the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts. (Definition by Race Forward)
This resource and initial suggested steps below serve to provide ways that Y staff, volunteers, leaders, members and community members can implement to begin their anti-racism journey at an individual and organizational level.
The Y is made up of people from all walks of life who are joined together by a shared commitment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Our Diversity Wheel is a key to understanding all the dimensions of diversity. To be truly inclusive and welcoming to all, it is critical to understand the many factors that make up and influence an individual and his or her personality. Our Y staff are trained with this very wheel, and our programs and services revolve around the understanding and respect of all dimensions of diversity.
Learn: Take Harvard’s Implicit Association Test to assess where you are at in your anti-racist journey and begin taking courses around diversity, inclusion, and equity. This can include personal learning (books, movies, podcasts, etc.) Here are some useful resources to support your learning.
Racial Equity Glossary: Learn the terms to improve your knowledge and usage of terms relating to advancing equity.
Unlearning Systemic Racism: The Y’s African American CEOs hosted a series of virtual town halls on Unlearning Systemic Racism from a host of knowledgeable, passionate and influential speakers on the devastating intergenerational impact of racism and the need for us to work to dismantle the systems designed to divide us and rebuild sustainable ones to achieve equity for all. Access anti-racism and equity resources and tools, as well as recordings from previous town halls, to help us all consider and act on the role we can play, individually and collectively, to address the racism and racial inequities that affect us all each day.
Invest: Personally, invest in local communities of color including people of color run non-profits, business, and grassroots organizations.
Act: Continue your learning journey past the current situation, don’t let this be a one-time instance. Join a local anti-racist community or grassroots organization (such as Be the Bridge) to continue your learning, respond to instances of injustice in your local community, and stay involved in local politics.
Sustain: Don’t stop the conversation after media stops covering instances of racism – talk to your friends and family about race, even if they are uncomfortable. Encourage open mindedness, transparency and practice Listen First skills in these important discussions.
An Anti-Racist Reading List: 20 Highly Rated Nonfiction Books by Black Authors
20 recent non-fiction books, memoirs, and histories on the topic of race, written by Black American authors. While by no means a comprehensive list, these books are a good place to start.
Antiracist Reading List by Ibram X Kendi via the New York Times
This list by Ibram X Kendi, one of theleading scholars in racism and founder of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University and the BU Center for Antiracist Research covers topics related to race and biology, ethnicity, body, culture, bahavior, color, whiteness, blackness, spaces, gender, and sexuality.
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo
How to Be AntiRacist | The Search for Racial Equity by Professor Ibram X. Kendi
Arthur On Racism: Talk, Listen and Act by PBS KIDS
How to Model Anti-Racism for Children by PBS Kids for Parents
Courtesy of the Asian Pacific Islander Leadership Network
Everyday we see in the news how racism in plaguing our society in deep systemic ways – and also in individual actions. Although, as individuals we may not be able to fully address the systemic root causes of racism – we can do our part to stop racist, xenophobic hate speech and biased remarks.
We have compiled a few key tools and resources in partnership with the Y-USA DIG team for you to use to stop racist comments both in person and online. We hope that you utilize these resources to learn better ways to stop racist attacks.
Interrupt Hate & Bias
This tool, adapted from the Teaching Tolerance, “Speak Up at School” resources, outlines four key steps that you can take to speak up when you hear racist or discriminatory remarks when witnessing in public or with someone you might know. Print this resource to remind yourself of the steps, share with staff working directly with members or youth participants.
Countering Hate & Bias
This tool, adapted from Teaching Tolerance, outlines unique steps and considerations you can take to create a safer environment online when responding to racist or harmful language being perpetrated via online platforms. elf harm or suicide. Learning ways to intervene online, can create a safer environment and mitigate the impact of hateful language. Try using these four strategies when addressing online hate and bias.
Speak Up At School – How to Respond to Everyday Prejudice, Bias, and Stereotypes
In partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
This one-hour, interactive training will start by talking about the types of disrespect that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now — from microaggressions to violence. You’ll learn what to look for and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening. Sign up for free training and learn more.
In response to continued police violence against black communities and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, Hollaback! Is offering this free, one-hour, interactive training to train people on how to safely intervene in the face of police violence and anti-black racism using Hollaback!’s 5d’s of bystander intervention. Sign up for the free training and learn more.
In honor of pride month, Hollaback! Is offering a free training to address LGBTQ+ harassment and violence. We’ll talk about how microaggressions, harassment, and violence show up in the LGBTQ+ movement and what you can do to stop it. Sign up for the free training and learn more.
As the first Diversity, Inclusion & Global Innovation Network of New Jersey, we strive to continuously welcome and engage all people from all diverse groups of the community through welcoming, inclusive practices on a daily basis. We are also an equal opportunity employer and welcome individuals from all walks of life to join our Y family to work together to bring about meaningful, positive change in our communities. We believe in the strength of community and supporting our neighbors for a better tomorrow, for a better us.
When we say that the Summit Area YMCA welcomes everyone, we mean it. As an anti-racist organization that stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, we acknowledge the racism and societal injustices that the black community faces on a daily basis and vow to be a part of the solution towards dismantling systemic racism and helping to ensure that every individual in our community has access to opportunities to learn, grow and thrive. While we know that our Y history is not perfect, we acknowledge the importance for continued education, discussion and understanding in order to achieve true equity and equality, as well as accountability, for all Y staff, members and volunteers.
As always, our Y core values of honesty, respect, responsibility and caring are embedded in all that we do and will continue to drive how we use welcoming and inclusive practices to engage all people from all diverse groups of the community each day. We believe in the strength of community and supporting our neighbors for a better tomorrow, for a better us. Our Y family are actively working together to bring about meaningful, positive change in our communities.