Now, more than ever, we must stand against racism or sit in silence against freedom.
Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History have signed the pledge to join YWCA’s Stand Against Racism campaign. Launched in 2007, the YWCA calls for companies, organizations, and average citizens “to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities,” according to their website. The 2018 theme is “Our Power, Our Mission, Our Future.”
The YWCA has advocated for policy changes in support of legislation like the Racial Profiling Act and equitable measures to increase justice and economic empowerment within communities of color. It is because of everyday citizens coming together to improve the quality of life and rights for people and communities impacted by racism that lead the way for this annual re-commitment for change.
Chaz Kellem, Senior Director of Advocacy for Race and Gender Equity for the YWCA of Pittsburgh, said the non-profit initiates the work of ending racism through the support of volunteers and community partners, but that is only one step in bringing awareness to the impact racism has on the city.
“It’s important for diverse individuals and groups like Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History to take a part in Stand Against Racism – because racism harms everyone when it inhibits a just and equitable society,” Kellem said. “We need community allies and supporters to assist in helping community members, staff members, and everyone be empowered members of our community.”
The national campaign focuses on three key tenets: serve, elect, and organize. National partners and civic groups can serve by volunteering and choosing careers in public service in order to improve the quality of life for the communities they serve. They are encouraged to organize voting initiatives, fund candidates, and host community forums. Also, neighbors and civic groups can organize and share needs and ideas to build a better community while holding elected and appointed stakeholders accountable.
The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History continue to commit to the eradication of racism and provide civic opportunities for local residents and tourists to engage with our diverse and inclusive exhibitions and outreach programs.
Want to be artfully inspired to stand against racism?
- The Carnegie Museum of Art currently houses the archives of Charles Teenie Harris, an African American photographer who captured black servicemen during World War I and the black urban experience in Pittsburgh.
- The Carnegie Museum of Natural History can walk you through the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians, an exploration of four distinct indigenous tribes and their relationship with the natural world.
On Friday April 27, the YWCA of Pittsburgh invites the community to join their staff in a silent vigil and hold signs stating “I’m with YWCA. I STAND AGAINST RACISM.” To participate or host your own event for Stand Against Racism, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://standagainstracism.org/ and sign the pledge.