Stand Against Racism Programs Planned During April

AMHERST, Mass. – A series of activities and programs kick off April 14 as part of the Stand Against Racism awareness campaign at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

For the past three years, UMass Amherst has joined the YWCA in its national Stand Against Racism (SAR) movement, which aspires to eliminate racism by bringing together like-minded organizations, holding educational workshops, and engaging participants in awareness campaigns through social media outlets.

All of the events are being held on the UMass Amherst campus and are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

“I Stand Against Racism because …” Instagram campaign, April 14-18. Participants can complete the statement for the Instagram campaign and get buttons and wristbands to show their support at The Spot in the Student Union lobby between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

A Stand Against Racism table will be at the kick off for the Earth Day Festival on the Goodell lawn on Tuesday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At 7 p.m., Robert Bullard, the “father of environmental justice,” will give the Earth keynote, “Building a Diverse Movement for Environmental Justice and Sustainability,” in Mahar Auditorium.

Tim Wise’s film “White Privilege” is being shown on Wednesday, April 23 at noon in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Sut Jhally, professor of communication.

On Thursday, April 24, an Identity Bias workshop led by the NAACP’s Amherst chapter is being offered from 5-7 p.m. in 201 Wilder Hall. Participants will be led in an interactive exercise that focuses on self-reflection to build coalitions to contribute to a stronger, just society.

Also on April 24, everyone is welcome to participate in designing a banner for the silent walk on the following day. Art supplies and refreshments will be provided at the session in 102 Wilder Hall from 7-9 p.m.

Stand Against Racism Day will be observed on Friday, April 25 with a silent walk from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The walk starts at Haigis Mall and ends at Wilder Hall. Refreshments follow.

From 1-2:30 p.m. several workshops and sessions are being offered:

  • “How to Interrupt and Address Microaggressions,” 201 Wilder Hall. Staff from UMass Amherst’s Center for Multicultural Advancement for Student Success (CMASS) will lead the workshop exploring how microaggressions affect individual and community experiences. Special focus will be given to identifying, interrupting and addressing forms of racial and gender microaggressions whether they impact the individual or group. Participants will learn to be engaged leaders in addressing microagressions on campus and in home communities.

  • “Learn Different Forms of Racism/Discrimination and Students’ Rights” from staff of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, 102 Wilder Hall.

  • Case study competition: “A Hostile and Unequal Climate for Ethnic Minority Student Scholarly and Financial Support,” 005 Wilder Hall. Four teams of three students each will provide their best solution to a case study. A panel of five judges will award first, second and third prizes on posters and 15-minute presentations.         

Additional sessions run from 2:45-4:15 p.m.:

  • “That’s Messed Up! Intervening when It’s not Right,” 201 Wilder Hall. Women of Color Leadership Network staff will discuss how to respond to jokes or behavior that is offensive.

  • “Why Racism Hurts White People,” 102 Wilder. Professor John Bracey examines how racism and white entitlement have economic costs for all Americans. A short video and discussion will follow.

The closing ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. in 201 Wilder and includes the case study competition results, a performance by Phallacies, a reading of the Pledge to Stand Against Racism and a group photo.

The Stand Against Racism series is sponsored by the CMASS, the Women of Color Leadership Network at the Center for Women and Community, the Stonewall Center, Student Activities and Involvement, Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, Center for Health Promotion, UMass Dining, Commonwealth Honors College, Sustainable UMass, Black Student Union, Social Justice Education Program, the Coalition to End Rape Culture and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst.