YWCA NETN & SWVA statement concerning the death of George Floyd
The YWCA of NETN & SWVA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The mission statement is more relevant now than ever.
The senseless death of George Floyd is tragic and certainly does not embody the principles in the YWCA’s Mission.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr. Floyd’s family as they grieve his loss. We are also in prayer for our country that peaceful protest may continue without the fear of violence and destruction. As human beings we should not become complacent to the horrors of racism, hate and violence. Let us work harder to understand each other through dialog and listening before we hear of another senseless act.
In the words of Mother Teresa “If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
We pray that one day we will all treat one another with dignity, and respect and that we will live in peace.
Kathy Waugh Kathy Feagins
Racism is a deeply rooted disease that still lingers in our society. As part of our mission to eliminate racism, we have identified ways to work toward healing discriminating mindsets in our region and in the next generation. We implement an anti-bias curriculum in our Children’s Center and Tech Gyrls afterschool program to help the youth we serve celebrate their own uniqueness and develop into individuals who are loving, kind, and accepting of the differences in others.
The first annual Bristol MLK Jr Day event was held in 2018 as a partnership between the YWCA NETN and SWVA and the Bristol Train Station. In 2019, the Appalachian Peace Education Center became a partner with the Bristol event. The MLK Jr Day celebration is an opportunity to deepen our community experience by remembering the person behind the holiday and to acknowledge all that he stood for and encouraged in others. The event begins with a community march in Tennessee (YMCA) and Virginia (First Christian Church) and participants convene at the Bristol sign before entering the Train Station for a program.
Click on links below to access video clips from 2018 and 2019 celebrations:
“Racism, Sexism, Classism Day” at YWCA NETN and SWVA
In celebration of the annual international YWCA Week Without Violence campaign in October, the YWCA sponsors the Bristol Youth Leadership “Racism, Sexism, Classism Day” with sessions on racism, sexism and classism provided by ETSU Equity and Diversity Education Program covering the notion of privilege and disadvantage, King University Social Work Department, on Unconditional Positive, an Inclusion and Diversity Consultant on Implicit Bias and the YWCA facilitates an experiential activity around the issue of classism and dialogue about social justice and the importance of open-mindedness. The goal of the day is to catalyze a desire for change in the students and inspire them to commit to eliminating racism, sexism and classism in their communities.
We are growing our Regional Racial Justice Resource Database to be a one-stop shop where community members can find information about any and all organizations, calendar of events, membership groups, and resources that help promote racial justice in our region.