Passing a Sundown Town Resolution in Glendale, California
In September 2020, YWCA Glendale and Pasadena made national, statewide, and local news, advocating for the successful passage of a historic Sundown Town Resolution; this was the first resolution of its kind passed in California and the third in the country. Historical documents, public accounts and newspaper articles demonstrate that Glendale was a sundown town for a majority of the 20th century, in which Black workers were asked to leave the City by sundown or face violence by police or community members, were excluded from residing or purchasing property in Glendale through discriminatory language in property deeds and covenants, and were made to feel unsafe due to the presence of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party who maintained active chapters and headquarters in Glendale. Following the murder of George Floyd, YWCA and the Coalition for an Anti-Racist Glendale drafted a Sundown Town resolution that puts on record the history of Glendale’s formal policies and culturally enshrined practices of racism and anti-Blackness. As research was presented to City staff, they commissioned their own historical report which additionally outlined the City’s extensive history of redlining. On September 15th 2020, the City report and the Coalition’s Resolution were presented at City Council and the historic Sundown Town resolution was unanimously passed. This passage has inspired and ignited social action from neighboring former Sundown Towns. In December 2020, Burbank, CA unanimously passed its own Sundown Town Resolution. Community advocates in former and neighboring Sundown Town, La Cañada Flintridge are now working to pass their own resolution.
Sundown Town Resolutions have three key elements: a city must acknowledge its past, apologize for the harm done, and atone for the effects of this harm. The resolution is a tool for advocacy, holding cities accountable for the impact of their histories of racism and providing an opening for advocates to present innovative solutions to address these harms.
Resolution Media Coverage
Building a Coalition for an Anti-Racist Glendale
YWCA Glendale and Pasadena in partnership with Black in Glendale formed the Coalition for an Anti-Racist Glendale in June 2020, building upon the momentum of June 2020’s historic march and vigil to center Black lives in Glendale. The Coalition is comprised of committed community members, activists, educators, students, parents and faith leaders dedicated to addressing systemic racism and inequities in our community. The Coalition is currently focused on using the Sundown Town Resolution as an advocacy tool to address institutionalized and systemic racism in the areas of housing, policing, and employment in the City of Glendale.
The Coalition has advanced the following successful resolutions, initiatives, actions, events, and proclamations to address and raise awareness of issues of racial inequities and social injustices in Glendale:
- June 2021: Introduced Model and Advocated For the Establishment of a Tenant-Landlord Advisory Body in the City of Glendale/Glendale Housing Authority. Motion to Establish Body Successfully Passed.
- May 2021: Held Glendale’s Inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Walk (held on anniversary weekend of the murder of George Floyd)
- January 2021: Introduced Proclamation to Officially recognize January 18, 2021 as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the City of Glendale
- January 2021: Advocated for and Successfully Moved City of Glendale to Make the City Manager Hiring Process Open and Led by an Outside Hiring Firm
- Fall 2020: Member Participation in Glendale Reflectspace’s RECKONING: Racism and Resistance in Glendale exhibit, which debuted in February 2021
- September 2020: Passed Historic Sundown Town Resolution
21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge
While the Coalition for an Anti-Racist Glendale works to create systemic change to advance racial equity in Glendale, our 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge is designed to support individuals in understanding and addressing interpersonal racism and bias. From January 18th-February 7th 2021, YWCA Glendale and Pasadena ran its inaugural 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, designed to help people better understand how racial inequity and social injustice impacts our community. The challenge provides participants with daily tasks via email that include activities such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, and reflecting on personal experiences. By addressing issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership we can connect with others to identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination. The Challenge will be offered once a year and the content of each day’s activities will be housed on the Challenge website so individuals can participate at any time.
Stand Against Racism
YWCA’s approach to racial justice goes beyond changing hearts and minds. We strive to transform communities, systems and public policies and through our annual Stand Against Racism campaign. Structural racism plays a large role in determining the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and affects people’s access to quality housing, education, food, transportation, political power, and other social determinants of health. Understanding and addressing systemic racism from this public health perspective is crucial to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities, and to improving opportunity and well-being across communities. Our collective efforts can root out injustice, transform institutions, and create a world that sees women, girls and people of color the way we see them: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable. Our 2021 SAR campaign engaged our community in addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis and called on our community to Stop AAPI Hate.
STAY TUNED: UPCOMING RACIAL & GENDER JUSTICE TRAININGS AND CONSULTATION SERVICES
EXISTING YWCA RACIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES:
YWCA Minneapolis Inc.lude™ Diversity and Inclusion Consulting