By LINDA M. LINONIS
Take a Stand Against Racism by participating in events planned in the Valley.
The YWCA of Youngstown, 25 W. Rayen Ave., will sponsor a panel discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday “meant to start a dialogue on racism,” said Varada Bhide, communications coordinator.
This is the first such program offered by the Valley YWCA but it has been held nationally. Bhide said the topic fits with the YWCA’s mission “to eliminate racism and empower women.”
Bhide said talking about the issue is the best way to address how to do something about it. The YWCA has invited area organizations to register at www.standagainstracism.net/registration.php; 19 have done so.
“There will be a call to action as well,” Bhide said. That will include signing a banner to be displayed at the YWCA.
The panel discussion is free and open to the public.
William J. Blake, director of Student Diversity & Programs at Youngstown State University, will be moderator. Panelists will be Ana M. Bobby, co-interim director and manager of operations at Maag Library; Bobbie Ann Dunn, instructor, Human Development and Family Services, Pennsylvania State University; Carla Baldwin Fields, assistant prosecutor, juvenile court, Mahoning County; Tammy King, associate dean, criminal justice and forensic sciences, YSU; the Rev. Lewis Macklin, pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church; DeAndre Radcliffe, YSU Student Diversity Council president; and the Rev. Jim Ray, former director of Protestant Campus Ministry at YSU.
The Rev. Mr. Ray said racism is a “real concern” because “the systems we have in place now don’t serve everyone.”
A march for Stand Against Racism will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 10 E. Commerce St. Sponsors are ACTION (Alliance for Congregational Transformation Influencing Our Neighborhoods), Mahoning Valley Association of Churches, Ohio Prophetic Voices and Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative.
“We feel strongly that prayer is the way,” Rose Carter, ACTION executive director.
Carter, associate minister at Greater Friendship Baptist Church, said racism “is not worse in the Valley, but it’s still alive.”