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April 22, 2019
CHANGEMAKER: Esther Huynh, YWCA Lancaster
“Coordinating school-aged kids to run puts our work in perspective. These kids are getting the confidence they need in life by completing something as meaningful to them as the Race Against Racism, both in the reason and the physical endurance. Something they may not get to do otherwise.”
Q: How does your organization engage with the community to make an impact?
A: One of the biggest ways we make an impact is through our events, one of the most successful being our Race Against Racism (RAR), which takes place on the last Saturday in April every year. It is the longest consecutive running RAR in the country and brings more than 3,000 people together in one morning, rain or shine. The Race Against Racism funds YWCA Lancaster’s Social Justice and Advocacy programs, and supports those who seek peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Q: Why is it so important for people to support the Race Against Racism, add their voices to help social justice, and be advocates for positive social change?
A: We all know that one race isn’t going to change the social and racial inequities in our City and our community. But, when individual members of our community—parents, coworkers, neighbors—participate in this race and learn more about the YWCA and its services, the hope is that they begin to learn more about the different and unequal ways that people are treated—ways they’re treated for reasons that can’t be changed like skin color, family make up, number of parents raising children, etc. And that’s what social justice is. We all need to understand what diversity, equity, and inclusion really mean, and work toward those ideals for all who are marginalized. This should happen in our homes, our institutions, our workplaces, and neighborhoods.
Esther Huynh, Assistant Director of Early Learning Development, YWCA Lancaster, sparks social change and empowerment through her work with school-aged children during the Race Against Racism and the Kids Fun Run.