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Stand Against Racism Events Kick Off For This Month

Randy Gorbman

The YWCA on Wednesday kicked off its annual Stand Against Racism. That’s an annual effort to build awareness about racism.

YWCA CEO  Jean Carroll says although the national stand against racism  day is usually held later this month, the local effort encourages activities by various groups all month long.

“We reach out to businesses, schools, houses of worship, organizations and government agencies  to  create greater awareness and to encourage conversations on race.”

Jennifer Leonard is the CEO of the Rochester Area Community Foundation.  She says the poverty facing parts of our region just adds to the frustration and anger that many people feel.

“We are only one incident away from being Ferguson.  In Monroe County you are three times or more likely to be in poverty if you are African American or Latino. This is not a problem limited to the city.”

Kathryn Castle is an official with UR Medicine, and she notes that because the University of Rochester is this area's largest employer, they have a special responsibility to facilitate conversations about race and diversity.

“These conversations and efforts are critical if we, as a community, are to continue to acknowledge the very  uncomfortable truth that racism remains a major problem in our society,” Castle told those assembled at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Organizations can participate in the Stand Against Racism in a number of ways including signing a pledge or hosting a diversity activity.

There will be a local event on the Stand Against Racism on April 24th, but officials encourage organizations to take part in activities all month long.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.