Virtual Series / January 18 – April 12 / Every Other Monday / 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Week of Action / April 19 – 24 / A Sphere of Influence for Each Day

Take the pledge to Stand Against Racism!

In 2021, YWCA Cortland expands its participation in YWCA USA’s April Stand Against Racism initiative.

Kicking off at our annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Monday, January 18, the months-long event opens with a movie viewing and moderated discussion. The Stand Against Racism Series will continue with a book discussion and a five-part conversation every other week through Monday, April 12.

The event continues with public-facing activities taking place each day during the Stand Against Racism Week of Action, April 19-24. See the full schedules for the Series and the Week of Action below.

This event is free to the public and aims to raise awareness about how it takes all of us to promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Letter from Kelly Tobin, Executive Director

Supporters Who Have Pledged to Stand Against Racism

Event Program

Racial Justice Reading and Watching Lists

Testimonials about the Stand Against Racism Series


Stand Against Racism Series

presented by the Center for Racial Justice, and supported by the City of Cortland, the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Cortland Forward

Virtual Series / January 18 – April 12 / Every Other Monday / 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Jan 18 / Movie viewing of White Like Me by Tim Wise with moderated discussion. This movie presents an overview of racism and white privilege.

Feb 1 / Book discussion from excerpts of Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence by Derald Wing Sue. The book presents scenarios that examine why it is so hard to talk about racism.

“A Courageous Conversation About Racism,” a five-week teaching series with PowerPoint slides, videos, and full-group and small-group discussions.

Feb 15 / Part One: The history of racism and how white supremacy became the norm.

Mar 1 / Part Two: The experience of colonization and removal for North American Indigenous people, the experience of slavery for persons of African descent, the history of the post-slavery era of Jim Crow through mass incarceration, and the unjust impacts of racism toward people of Asian and Hispanic descent.

Mar 15 / Part Three: Implicit/Explicit Bias; Stereotypes, Then and Now; Microaggressions and how historically oppressed peoples hear them; and, white privilege.

Mar 29 / Part Four: The various aspects and characteristics of white supremacy culture.

Apr 12 / Part Five: The difference between being a non-racist or an anti-racist, and strategies for being an anti-racist ally.

Rev. Gary Smith, Director of the Center for Racial Justice, will moderate the Stand Against Racism Series along with co-presenter Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams. The series will take place virtually every other week on Mondays from 6:30-8:30 p.m., with some sessions possibly ending early. Please register, and we will send a link to you before each session. You can join the series at any time.

Register for the YWCA Cortland Stand Against Racism Series

Stand Against Racism Week of Action

Please join with YWCA Cortland and others across the country for Stand Against Racism. Our collective efforts can root out injustice, transform institutions, and create a world that sees women, girls, and people of color the way we see them: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.

Week of Action / April 19 – 24 / A Sphere of Influence for Each Day

Mon, Apr 19 / Personal / Watch a video of the Check Your Privilege Finger Exercise and read the article Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and reflect on the different ways white people and people of color experience the world. Share the content with your networks.

Tue, Apr 20 / Civic / Watch Cortland Common Council meeting at 7:00 p.m. during which Mayor Tobin will read a resolution to demonstrate support of an equitable Cortland by promoting the Cortland County YWCA’s “Stand Against Racism” week, April 19-24, 2021. Thank your Council Member and Mayor for taking a stand against racism.

Wed, Apr 21 / Community / Read stories from your neighbors about experiences of racism and white privilege in the Cortland community. Share them with your networks.

Thu, Apr 22 / Business / Look for local businesses displaying the Stand Against Racism poster and thank them for taking the pledge. Share photos on social media and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Fri, Apr 23 / Action / Show your commitment to racial justice. Take the pledge to stand against racism. After you take the pledge, you will have access to social media graphics that we hope you will use and share.

Sat, Apr 24 / Education / Attend a live book reading for local youth, ages 5-12, by SUNY Cortland students featuring authors of color. Share your must-read lists for all ages and tag us on social media.

Stand Against Racism (SAR) is an annual YWCA USA campaign. It is one part of our larger national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism. Founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton in 2007, SAR quickly grew to a national presence by 2010 when an additional 80 YWCAs nationwide participated. The SAR campaign takes place every April across the U.S.

Take the pledge to Stand Against Racism!

2021 Stand Against Racism Sponsors:

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor

Plan First Technologies

Special thanks to YWCA Cortland’s 
2021 Persimmon Partners:

Sue Sherman-Broyles Licensed Salesperson Yaman Real Estate