Honoring the Legacy of John Lewis; A Call to Action from YWCA Glendale’s CEO Tara Peterson

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Honoring the Legacy of John Lewis; A Call to Action from YWCA Glendale’s CEO Tara Peterson

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“Be bold. Be courageous. Stand up. Speak up. Speak out and find a way to create the beloved community, the beloved world, a world of peace, a world that will recognize the dignity of all humankind.”
-John Lewis (February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020)
Dear beloved community,
Like many of you, today I watched the funeral service of Congressman John Lewis – freedom rider, civil rights leader, and the conscience of the U.S. Congress, whose advocacy and call for justice was instrumental to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. As YWCA Glendale engages in the work to build a more just and equitable Glendale through our newly established Coalition for an Antiracist Glendale, I am holding the work of Congressman Lewis at the front of my heart and mind. John Lewis inspired us to be better – to be courageous in naming and standing up to racism, intolerance and injustice. He understood deeply that the work to achieve racial equity and systemic change is a marathon and not a sprint. He understood the importance of acknowledging the harms of the past in order to move forward and build a beloved community. He maintained hope and practiced peace in the face adversity. And he centered joy in his work.
Today, I invite you to join me in honoring Congressman Lewis’ memory and legacy in the following ways:
  • REGISTER TO VOTE
  • PARTICIPATE IN THE 2020 CENSUS
  • STAND UP TO RACISM, INTOLERANCE AND INJUSTICE
I leave you tonight with John Lewis’ love letter to those on the frontlines of the social change taking place today:
” Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.”
With gratitude and dreams for a more equitable Glendale,
Tara Peterson
Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Glendale