April 2, 2019—Through a grant of $11,500 from Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, YWCA Bergen County Racial Justice Task Force will bring Undoing Racism® training by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond is a national and international collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation.
Participants in the June 17, 18, and 19 training will be key stakeholders from diverse nonprofits, County agencies, faith-based organizations, and grassroots community groups. The focus will be on understanding where racism comes from, how it functions, why it persists, and how it can be undone.
Through dialogue, reflection, role-playing, strategic planning, and presentations, participants will be challenged to analyze the structures of power and privilege that hinder social equity and learn how to be effective organizers for justice.
According to the most recent data available from the FBI, there were 495 hate crime incidents reported in New Jersey in 2017, which is a 76% increase from the previous year and the fourth highest total in the nation. “In light of recent hate crimes that have plagued our state as well as the many we have seen on the national level, YWCA Bergen County was inspired to seek out concrete practices to address racism. We were introduced to the Undoing Racism workshop about 5 years ago and immediately knew we wanted to bring it to our community,” says YWCA Bergen County CEO Helen Archontou. “This training allows participants to engage in a comprehensive exploration on how racism shapes our institutions and communities. Our goal is to create change agents that will return to key sectors of our community to help us foster social transformation. We are grateful to have a County Executive in Bergen that doesn’t just talk about making change but puts dollars behind his commitment to eradicate racism.”
As the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond states, “Persons who work in institutions often function as gatekeepers to ensure that the institution perpetuates itself. By operating with anti-racist values, networking with those who share those values, and maintaining accountability in the community, the gatekeeper becomes an agent of institutional transformation.”
“Bergen County is proud to partner with the YWCA to help combat racism,” says Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco. “At a time when some seek to grow division between people of different beliefs and backgrounds, both here in the United States and around the world, it is more important than ever that good people compassionately seek out those who are different, learn about each other, and become friends. There is more that unites us than divides us. There are more of us pursuing peace and love than those who pursue hatred and violence. Bergen County’s greatest strengths is our diversity, and this new partnership will help strengthen our county, our communities, and our overall quality of life.”
Learn more about YWCA Bergen County, our Racial Justice Task Force, and Racial Justice initiatives by visiting ywcabergencounty.org/racial-justice or contact Jessica Monaco-Copell, Racial Justice Coordinator at [email protected] or 201-881-1755.
About YWCA Bergen County
YWCA Bergen County (ywcabergencounty.org) is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We are one of the area’s largest providers of childcare services, a recognized leader in health and wellness programs, and operator of healingSPACE, Bergen County’s only Sexual Violence Resource Center. Celebrating a century of commitment to our community, today we improve the lives of thousands of women, girls, and their families withthe generous support of our donors. Follow YWCA Bergen County on Facebook (@YWCABergenCounty), Twitter (@YWBergen), Instagram (ywca_bc), YouTube (ywcabergencounty), and LinkedIn.