On Friday night, Charlottesville, Va. erupted as white supremacists carrying torches descended on the University of Virginia campus and marched to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument. Violent protests continued through the weekend and resulted in the deaths of one peaceful protester and two state troopers. In response, YWCA USA and YWCA San Francisco & Marin have issued the following statements:
STATEMENT BY YWCA USA INTERIM CEO CASEY HARDEN:
"We are outraged, yet not surprised, by Friday’s white supremacist march in Charlottesville. Every American, especially white Americans, must keep our country's ongoing legacy of racism at the front of our minds. Images of torch-bearing white supremacists may feel to some like a relic from the past being brought to life by a few extremists. However, we must trust Black women and other people of color when they say that these displays are indicative of daily racial injustices and threats that communities of color continue to face in the United States. What happened last night and today in continuing violent protests is an unacceptable display of hate and white supremacy that has no place in our communities. YWCA USA will not tolerate or normalize racism in any of its insidious forms."
STATEMENT BY YWCA SAN FRANCISCO & MARIN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JANE WINTER:
"Many of us came to work this morning, still reeling from the events in Charlottesville, NC and the ensuing political and social storm that erupted. At 63, I am old enough to vividly have been part of the violent divisions that racked our country in the 60’s and 70’s over civil rights, Viet Nam, women’s rights, environmental protection, and more. I believe that today’s divisions are not as deep or wide as they appear to be right now, but still what happened in Charlottesville could happen anywhere in America. The majority of this country is making the voices for equity and peace be heard over the voices of hate and evil. White supremacy must always be challenged, and I am proud of the megaphone that YWCA uses to promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for ALL. "
ABOUT YWCA: YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
YWCA San Francisco & Marin was established in 1878 and has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for nearly 140 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more: www.ywcasf-marin.org.org.