YWCA Tampa Bay is devoted to eliminating racism and embracing diversity. From our early-education World of Difference® curriculum to our participation in Stand Against Racism and Week Without Violence, we strive to celebrate diversity and encourage progress in our community in all our endeavors. Please check our site frequently to learn about new programs and services in this area and what YOU can do to help. To become a volunteer or to donate to our programs, please click here. To find out how you can further this important mission in your every day life, please read on.
What can you do to fight hate and eliminate racism?
- Act - Do something. In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance - by the haters, the public and, worse, the victim. Decency must be exercised, too. If it isn't, hate invariably persists.
- Unite - Call a friend or co-worker. Organize a group of allies from churches, schools, clubs and other civic sources. Create a diverse coalition. Include children, police and the media. Gather ideas from everyone, and get everyone involved.
- Support the victims - Hate-crime victims are especially vulnerable, fearful and alone. Let them know you care. Surround them with people they feel comfortable with. If you're a victim, report every incident and ask for help.
- Do your homework - Determine if a hate group is involved, and research its symbols and agenda. Seek advice from anti-hate organizations. Accurate information can then be spread to the community.
- Create an alternative - Do NOT attend a hate rally. Find another outlet for anger and frustration and people's desire to do something. Hold a unity rally or parade. Find a news hook, like a "hate-free zone."
- Speak up - You, too, have First Amendment rights. Hate must be exposed and denounced. Buy an ad. Help news organizations achieve balance and depth. Do not debate hatemongers in conflict-driven talk shows.
- Lobby leaders - Persuade politicians, business and community leaders to take a stand against hate. Early action creates a positive reputation for the community, while unanswered hate will eventually be bad for business.
- Look long range - Create a "bias response" team. Hold annual events, such as a parade or culture fair, to celebrate your community's diversity and harmony. Build something the community needs. Create a web site.
- Teach tolerance - Bias is learned early, usually at home. But children from different cultures can be influenced by school programs and curricula. Sponsor an "I have a dream" contest. Target youth who may be tempted by skinheads or other hate groups.
- Dig Deeper - Look into issues that divide us: economic inequality, immigration, and homosexuality. Work against discrimination in housing, employment, education. Look inside yourself for prejudices and stereotypes.
Tolerance, the important step is to begin...
(source: Ten Ways to Fight Hate, (c) 2000 The Southern Poverty Law Center)