by Karen Singer
Posted June 23, 2017 (Remarks made at Race Against Hate, June 18, 2017)
Promoting civil rights and racial justice are at the heart of the YW’s mission. For 18 years, the Race Against Hate has brought together thousands of people from across our region to send a powerful message that we are united in our commitment to end racism, hate and intolerance throughout our communities.
Unfortunately, we are reminded daily that crimes motivated by racial hatred, religious and political intolerance continue, and have actually risen over 20% since the year began. And on a daily basis, people are denied their basic human rights because of their race, gender, religion or sexual identity. We must continue to make progress safeguarding these rights, which is even more challenging in a broader environment of hate mongering and fear. It is up to ALL of us to continue and increase our efforts to create equitable communities.
Before you leave today, please visit the YWCA tent in the middle of the field to see what you can do to join us as we work towards equity and justice for all.
As most of you know, the Byrdsong Family created this race to honor Ricky Byrdsong, husband and father of three who was killed by a white supremacist in Skokie on a June day like this 19 years ago. Their courage in creating the Race, and their confidence in giving the Race to YWCA Evanston North Shore, has helped bring our community together year after year and, as Sherialyn Byrdsong has said, turn tragedy into triumph.