Racial Justice

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2020: Convening Our Community

YWCA Glendale has been called upon by our community to process this historical moment of centering Black lives in the nationwide call for justice and an end to police brutality and racial inequality. Thank you for joining us on June 7th at Glendale City Hall for a Candlelight Vigil to honor the lives of Black women and men whose lives have been lost to police brutality and racist acts of violence and to commit ourselves to the urgent work of eliminating racism. Thank you to the youth leaders who organized the March for Black Lives: Gabrielle Scott, Natalie Kinlow and Ava Garcia and thank you to the vigil organizers: Tara Peterson, Tanita Fadyeyola-Ligons, Tasha Jenkins, Rebeca Andrade, Elen Asatryan, Kate Eberle, Ingrid Gunnell, Malcolm Johnson, Jennie Quinones Skinner, and Ardy Kassakhian.

You can read more about the event and view event photos here. 

A Statement from Tara Peterson, YWCA Glendale CEO on the Murder of George Floyd and the Pathway to Healing and Reconciliation

June 1, 2020 Words do not capture the immeasurable pain of this last week. We witnessed the brutal murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, while three other officers looked away and witnesses cried for help and an end to the brutality.  And we lost over 100,000 lives in our country to COVID-19, with a disproportionate percentage of deaths in the African American community. 

The YWCA Glendale joins with over 200 YWCAs across the country, united to answer the cry for justice, peace, and dignity for all.  We will continue to call for dismantling systemic racism and equal protection and opportunity under the law through our education and advocacy work. 

We invite you to be a part of this work – our work as a community and the work that is required of us all, as individuals. We are at a turning point. We must ask ourselves,  how do we want to emerge from this moment? What is our vision for a more equitable society? How do we build bridges? Can we sit with the discomfort of this moment so we can open our hearts and our minds to the deep and historical pain of communities who have been brutalized for so long? Do we have the courage to hold those in power accountable for their wrongs? How do we foster empathy and connection? Will we continue to look away from injustice? What does it mean to be an ally at this moment? How will we create welcoming spaces and opportunities to heal? 

The great Angela Davis once said, in a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must commit to be anti-racist. I’m asking Glendale to make that commitment. We are here to do this difficult work with you. This is our moment to step into our leadership and our collective humanity to create a Glendale where every member is valued and has the opportunity to thrive. Now is our time to dedicate ourselves to the work of eliminating racism. We invite you to join with us in holding and having necessary and hard conversations that move us forward. We invite you to join us for our upcoming series of virtual conversations on June 11th with our 2020 Legacy Luncheon Honorees and we invite you to the community candlelight vigil at Glendale City Hall, 613 E Broadway, Glendale, at 4:30PM on June 7th to process our collective grief.  As a 95-year old community organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, we invite you to lean on us and to partner with us to build the equitable world we all deserve and envision. 

Promoting equal protection and equal opportunity for people of color

YWCA’s commitment to racial justice and civil rights runs deep. Since the 1800s, Black and Native women have been providing leadership in YWCA’s movement and, because of the leadership of women of color, in 1946 YWCA began working for integration throughout the organization, adopting an “interracial charter” that established that “wherever there is injustice on the basis of race, whether in the community, the nation, or the world, our protest must be clear and our labor for its removal, vigorous, and steady.” That work culminated in the creation of YWCA’s One Imperative in 1970: To thrust our collective power towards the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary.

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.

2020 Stand Against Racism Campaign Goes Virtual

At YWCA Glendale the health and safety of our members and community are our top priority. In light of the COVID-19 public health crisis, YWCA Glendale has made the difficult decision to cancel our annual Stand Against Racism Roundtable event, originally scheduled for April 28, 2020 and shift the entire week of Stand Against Racism campaign activities to online and social media activities and actions. As a trusted community leader, we play a key role in educating our community about the intersection of racial and health inequities and this year’s campaign will focus on these critical issues. We cannot not allow the fears surrounding COVID-19 to serve as a vehicle for racism or xenophobia. We invite you to join with us to fight discrimination and stigma by taking a virtual #standagainstracism with our online, social media campaign, April 20th – 26th. Check out our toolkit content below; help us spread kindness and support each other during this difficult time.

Here’s how to participate:

  • Post, share and engage with our Stand Against Racism content

Download Instagram Graphics

Download Facebook Graphics

Sample COVID-19 Anti-Discrimination Posts:

  • During # ywca #standagainstracism week, let’s celebrate the frontline healthcare provider champions #DoingTheRightThing by providing stigma-free care to vulnerable populations
  • Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we. Join me in taking a #standagainstracism with #ywcaglendale
  • #Knowthefacts Coronavirus is disproportionately impacting the African American community #standagainstracism #ywcaglendale
  • COVID-19 Is Not an Equalizer: African Americans Are Dying at Higher Rates. It’s time to prioritize racial equity in community responses to the pandemic. #standagainstracism #ywcaglendale
  • COVID-19 highlights health disparities facing people of color. We have a moral imperative as a community to address racial inequities. #standagainstracism #ywca glendale
  • “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. #standagainstracism #ywcaglendale
  • Stop the silent spread, increase COVID-19 testing in communities of color. #standagainstracism #ywcaglendale

Download Fillable Signs

    • Take a photo or video of yourself holding the poster and what you’re doing to impact the 2020 census or election, and #StandAgainstRacism
    • Use one or all of the hashtags:
      • #StandAgainstRacism
      • #YWCAGlendale
      • #COVID19
      • #StopStigma
      • #VirusesDontDiscriminate
    • Tag YWCA Glendale
      • Facebook: @YWCAGlendale
      • Twitter: @ywcaglendale
      • Instagram: @ywcaglendale
    • Sample Social Media Posts
      • Racism is structural and institutional. That’s why I’m joining @YWCAGlendale to #StandAgainstRacism to eliminate racism in our communities.
      • I’m joining @YWCAGlendale’s #StandAgainstRacism campaign because I want to raise awareness about eliminating racism. Won’t you join us? Share a selfie and visit glendaleywca.org/what-were-doing/stand-against-racism
      • Together, we can continue to raise awareness about racial equity and the importance of supporting anti-racist efforts. Post your #StandAgainstRacism photo and share your thoughts to help raise awareness and inspire others!
      • Everyone deserves justice and equity. That’s why I’m joining @YWCAGlendale’s #StandAgainstRacism campaign to eliminate racism.
      • Working to eliminate racism is crucial to the health of our community. I believe each of us must keep doing our part until we achieve racial equity. I’m proud to join @YWCAGlendale’s #StandAgainstRacism campaign.
    • Tips for Your Stand Against Racism Photo
      • Make sure your camera lens is clean
      • If you are taking a group photo, make sure everyone’s face is visible
      • Make sure your handwriting on the sign is legible
      • Please do not display any shirts or signage that support or negate a political party or candidate

Thanks to all the community members who took the pledge!


Judee Kendall

Hasmik Burushyan

Elen Asatryan

Maria Yllescas

Neda Farhoumand

Megan Whipp

Hasmik Burushyan

Shirley Ann Hill

Elissa Glickman

Lisa MacCarley

Mercy Velazquez

Kathy Kottaras

Elizabeth Vitanza

Phyllis Kim

Susan Hunt

Norma Mower

Ingrid Gunnell

Linda Fiaga

Frank Douglas Ligons

Tanita Harris-Ligons

Tara Peterson

Kate Eberle

Bonnie James

Deborah Pasachoff

Vanessa Ynda

Sharon Weisman

Mia Porter

Alexa Rousso

Karen Green-Rose

Ronda Hammond

Cuqui Limon

Cynthia Maher

Elizabeth Sahagun

Jessica First

Daniel James

Magda Sellon

Toni Espinoza

Cynthia Kurtz

Shane Kinnison

Richard Bennett

Elizabeth Sadlon

Cheryl Scott

Todd Leonard

Jinette Simon




April 30, 2019 – Last year’s “Stand Against Racism” event at YWCA Glendale. The event provided safe and non-judgmental space for honest, reflective conversation with members of the community, including faith leaders from Glendale, Hollywood and Inglewood, and Los Angeles neighborhood council members from the foothills communities.The evening began with networking with local residents with opportunities for them to publicly join our pledge to Stand Against Racism.

We then transitioned into the program by having a “fishbowl” discussion with our speakers. Fr. Vazken Movsesian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, Rev. Sherri James of UP Church, Rev. Todd Leonard of Glendale City Church, Shant Sahakian of the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education, and Dannielle Johnson, CEO, of Donut Socialite. The conversation touched on topics such as Glendale’s racial history as “Sundown” town, fostering racial and ethnic unity in our schools, racial reconciliation and healing, and how to create racial and ethnic unity.


In the second part of the evening, participants were invited to join in on the conversation to reflect and talk about the difficult issues–all in the spirit that we are all fellow journeyers. As such, we also reminded ourselves, though it’s hard to remember sometimes, that we are more similar than we are different. Through this exercise we discussed how individual and institutional racism impacts us all, but we also explored ways to promote greater appreciation of racial and ethnic unity, and respect for diversity.

SAR 2019

Lastly, participants were asked to place on the wall their personal actions and actions they’d like to see YWCA take–in order to reaffirm our collective and individual commitments to #StandAgainstRacism.