STAND Against Racism: Sparking Change

Holly Beaston

YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County

Event Location

175 N. Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY 14604
United States

Event Date/Time:

  1. Wednesday, April 14, 2021
    9:00am — 2:00pm

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YWCA STAND Against Racism is an annual event focusing on a community- wide experience with YWCA’s fight for racial justice and equity for all. Past year’s STAND events have featured large community breakfasts with keynote speakers, educational opportunities as well as a 2019 March Against Racism.

In 2021, YWCA is partnering with United Way and other key non-profits to build on the momentum of the 21 Day Equity Challenge to offer a day to “Spark” change through dialogue and critical self-reflection while providing actionable items within two tracks:

  1. My role as an individual change agent
  2. My role as an organizational change agent.

The “Sparks” will be designed so that participants can attend both sessions.
Sparks are unique as they create space to build a relationship with a “Spark Partner” – an accountability partner, someone outside of the individual’s organization modeled after the highly successful YWCA Person to Person (P2P) curriculum. Over the past few months YWCA has seen a significant increase in requests to bring back the P2P program—which matched Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) with a White counterpart with the goal of meeting monthly to discuss a provided guided set of questions about race and equity and then convene quarterly to discuss in larger cohorts. This year’s STAND event will create and hold space for Spark Partners to follow up on equity focused goals with the intention of holding each other accountable as they develop and implement their Change Action Plan.


YWCA has partnered with United Way and other local non-profits to build on the momentum of the recent 21 Day Equity Challenge in which 110,000 Rochester community members established personal understanding, commitment and reflection on issues of inequity in our community.

We envision STAND Against Racism: Sparking Change 2021 as a one-day event with “Sparks” of inspiration and conversation.
We see two tracks of focus: the Individual and the Organizational. Experiences throughout the day would include the following in addition to cellphone push notifications throughout the day to ignite reflection and action.

  1. Spark 1: Ignite the Fire – Morning Inspirational Keynote
  2. Spark 2: Feed the Fire – Plan of Action
    • A. An Individual Experience focusing on critical self-reflection and health culminating with a “Top 10” list of action items to spark change within the participant’s sphere of influence. This individual experience will include the matching of “Spark Partners” outside of their organization to create a system for monthly meaningful conversation using the YWCA’s Person 2 Person thought questions on race and equity as well as the monthly 21 Day Challenge extension curriculum.
    • An Organizational Experience focusing on a panel of local CEOs/ Leaders to share how they are dismantling institutional and systemic barriers within their organizations to create an equitable workplace environment. This will culminate in the pairing of Spark Partners for follow up and an Organizational Equity Toolkit for CEO’s/ Leaders with actionable items to impact change.
  3. Spark 3: Fan the Flame Message
    a. At end of the closing inspirational message all participants would be asked via push notification to STAND wherever they are to reflect on their chosen action items and their commitment to change. At the end of the push they are asked to reach out to their Spark Partner in solidarity.

For More Information Contact

Holly Beaston


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