JAMESTOWN – Dozens of community members stopped by the YWCA of Jamestown Thursday to take part in the YWCA Jamestown’s “Stand Against Racism” Pledge Signing event.
According to YWCA executive director Jacqueline Chiarot Phelps, the event was one of many held by YWCAs across the country to Stand Against Racism from April 25-28.
“The YWCA’s mission includes eliminating racism. It’s the fist part of our mission. So we were happy to come together today as part of the YWCA USA’s ‘Stand Against Racism’ to encourage this community to include all and to realize that we are one community and to eliminate racism,” Chiarot Phelps said.
The event also served as the kickoff to the re-start of YWCA’s Social Justice Committee, which will meet on the third Wednesday of each month, starting in May.
“Part of today’s mission was to kick off our Social Justice Committee and that will be restarting every third Wednesday of the month. So May 15 will be our first meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the YWCA, 430 North Main Street,” Chiarot Phelps said. “It’s open to the public. We believe that eliminating racism is a huge part of our community and we want to make sure that the community members who are engaged and excited to do that are included.”
Joining Phelps in speaking at the event were several local officials, including Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Hispanic Community Council chair Max Martin, Rev. Chloe Smith, and city councilwoman Maria Jones, who said that while the current national climate might make us think there are major problems to making racial justice a reality, ground is being gained locally in the Jamestown area.
“The city of Jamestown is like a lot of cities in America. We thought that we had gotten so far ahead with racism, but now, recently, we’ve seen all the negative things that the news can give to us. But you know what? There’s been a lot of work, and a lot of caring, and a lot of improvement in this area. Don’t be jaded by the news all the time and bout how bad things are. Things are good, they can be good, and I believe they can be better in the city if all of us here – everybody in this room – takes part in what the YWCA is trying to do here,” Jones said.
Anyone wanting to learn more about the YWCA and its its mission, as well as how to become a part of the Social Justice Committee can visit YWCAOfJamestown.com.