Mae Wood, Staff Writer
April 29, 2016
Grab your neighbor’s hand and hold tight because the Greensboro YWCA is forming a human chain and needs Guilford College students to be the links.
The YWCA USA, Inc. is the largest and oldest multicultural women’s organization in the world, and its chapters are stationed in countless cities throughout the United States, taking initiative to combat racism and empower women. One chapter exists in Greensboro and there is an event coming up.
From April 28 to May 1, the YWCA will hold various events across the country for their annual Stand Against Racism campaign. Here in Greensboro, on April 29, the YWCA plans to hold an event where they have invited local organizations, schools and businesses to form a human chain on Wendover Avenue, a notoriously busy street, advocating for women of color.
In the media, the discussions about the impacts of both institutional and structural racism toward women of color have been prominent. The YWCA is holding this event in order to add to that conversation and, hopefully, further its development to promote national growth and equality.
Healthy Youth Manager Mary Coyne Wessling for the Greensboro YWCA is a representative helping run the event. She has high hopes for the amount of local support that the event will receive and the impact that the human chain will have on the community.
“I think that any effort to speak out against racism is best explained when people can see a physical manifestation of that effort,” Wessling said. “We believe that if you put people of different sizes, shapes, ages, colors, ethnic backgrounds and heritages all together … I don’t think anything speaks louder.
“I think by holding hands and forming a chain, we’re showing the cars going by that we can all coexist, and we can all be respectful and care about one another. Holding another’s hand is a sign of strength in numbers as well as unity.”
Kalah Dumas, a sophomore, current Blacks Unifying Society treasurer and a Multicultural Leadership scholar, commented that she foresees the event being powerful because of the impact it will have for women of color.
“Guilford students should, and I’m sure will, get involved with this event,” Dumas said. “That’s what I love about us. We may be a small school, but we do have connections, and we know how to get our voices heard.”
Jessica Canar, a sophomore and current Hispanos Unidos de Guilford president, claimed that Guilford will stand in solidarity with organizations also fighting to empower women and end racism, especially in North Carolina.
“We will help other groups by standing in solidarity to these injustices,” Canar said. “We will take further action by not only protesting but having faculty and staff, administration and the board of trustees receive letters with demands we want to see and continue with this movement even after the semester ends.”
Join local organizations, schools, citizens and the YWCA in their human chain on April 29 on Wendover Avenue to combat racism and empower women so that everyone might receive equal opportunities.