WOONSOCKET - YWCA Northern Rhode Island is taking a stand â€“ the Stand Against Racism initiative â€“ and invites local organizations to be a part of the effort.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization located in Montgomery, Ala., the number of hate groups operating in the United States has grown by 56 percent in the last eight years to nearly 1,000. The centerâ€™s Intelligence Report sites â€śimmigration fears and a failing economyâ€ť as the factors that have fueled the increase.
In response, the national YWCA created the Stand Against Racism to combat the spread of hate and intolerance and to honor and celebrate the richness of diversity.
In 2010, this national event attracted more than 2,000 partnering organizations that joined in by hosting local â€śstands.â€ť More than a quarter million individuals took part in this unified effort.
â€śToday, YWCA Northern Rhode Island is calling on all local organizations, corporations, churches and other houses of worship, government agencies and individuals in Northern Rhode Island to join with us by becoming a participating site of the 2011 Stand Against Racism,â€ť said Deborah L. Perry, YWCA Northern Rhode Islandâ€™s chief executive officer. â€śAny group of any size that believes in a society free of racism is invited to join us.â€ť
YWCA Northern Rhode Island and four area churches are holding 2011 Stands Against Racism:
n Saturday, April 30: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the 11th annual Free Family Health and Hearing Fair, held at the Elks Hall, 380 Social St., and sponsored by YWCA Northern Rhode Island and Quota International of Woonsocket.
n Sunday, May 1: 10 a.m. to noon at the Blackstone Valley Church of Christ, 141 Bear Hill Road, Cumberland, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at All Saints Catholic Parish, 323 Rathbun St.
Last night, events were held at Revival Deliverance Edification Center, Pawtucket, and at YWCA Northern Rhode Island and the River United Methodist Church, both in Woonsocket.
Any organization or group of individuals can become a participating site by signing up through the Stand Against Racism website at www.StandAgainstRacism.org.
Participation in the Stand Against Racism is free, and becoming a participating site is simple. The YWCA will provide all the necessary materials and documents, including a How to Run the Event template that can be customized to meet an organizationâ€™s needs. Events can be private or open to the public and may range from gatherings at a workplace to larger scale stands like rallies and marches.
More than 70 YWCAs throughout the United States will collaborate on this yearâ€™s Stand Against Racism.
For local information, contact Shanna Wells at YWCA Northern Rhode Island at (401) 769-7450 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.