YWCA Central Alabama joined YWCA USA’s national campaign, “Stand Against Racism,” to educate, advocate, and promote racial justice. Stand Against Racism is a four -day opportunity, April 25 – April 28, 2019, for members and various organization in the community to find an issue or cause that inspires them to stand against racism.
In recognition of this year’s Stand Against Racism initiative, YWCA Central Alabama tasked itself with the responsibility of educating change makers in our community about the various vehicles of racism and its history within our community. Through the YW’s Junior Board’s leadership, members of our Junior Board and staff embarked on a tour of Birmingham’s historic 16th Street Baptist Church on Friday, April 26, 2019.
16th Baptist Street Church was organized in 1873 as the first African American church in Birmingham. The church gained international attention and sympathy following the 1963 bombing that took the lives of four young African American girls—Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Denis McNair, and Carole Robertson.
The YW’s staff, Board of Directors, and Junior Board members concluded their tour with a “spark a conversation” lunch dialog to discuss the various exhibits and how their history affects our present-day lives and work. Some of the questions/topics discussed include:
a. Was there anything about the tour that surprised you or stood out to you?
b. The YWCA was here in Birmingham when the church was bombed. How is “eliminating racism” different in 2019 than it was in 1963?
c. How do you see the YWCA addressing its mission of eliminating racism?
d. What else can the YWCA do to eliminate racism in Birmingham?