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YWCA draws community together to join
national day to Take a Stand against Racism

by Yvonne Lopez - Morton

To bring people together to eliminate racism, Spokane’s YWCA will host a community gathering for Take a Stand against Racism Day from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, April 29, in the Y atrium at 930 N. Monroe St.

In addition, a story time for children and parents is set at 10:30 a.m.

The day is part of a movement of YWCA’s across the nation.

Coordinated locally by Grant Stancliff, the Y’s outreach and education associate director, and by the Y’s Racial and Social Justice Committee, this event will involve people from more than 24 churches, schools, universities, businesses and other organizations to celebrate diversity in the community and engage participants in acknowledging and discussing racism.

The discovery of an explosive device along the route of Spokane’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March last January reinforced the Spokane YWCA’s desire to bring people from many walks of life together to address racism.

“It’s an opportunity for community organizations to bring their staff together and converse about racism and the recent bomb incident,” said Grant.

“This incident, and its unmistakable connection to race and racism, makes the event even more important,” he said. “We saw racism in our community and want to speak up. This day will give people a vehicle to do that.”

Many businesses that have not traditionally taken a role in dismantling racism have signed up, he said.

“Usually the same individuals and groups address these issues in Spokane.  We value them,” he said,  “but it is encouraging to see new people talking about this for the first time.”

Grant hopes the day after Take a Stand against Racism Day, people will move from reaction to the backpack bomb to issues like neighborhood structure, slurs, hiring practices and lack of job opportunities for youth of color.

“Maybe we still have an open wound, but at least we are taking a step to start the healing,” Grant said.

For information, call 326-1190, visit