We Stand Together Kick Off



 We Stand Together Kick Off Event at YWCA of Southern Arizona, 525 N. Bonita Avenue






  1. Full house (300 people? plus overflow room next door) in attendance at this We Stand Together meeting tonight at the YWCA. Pres of the Bd. stated that 900 reports of bias/harassment during 1st 10 days after General Election, FBI has reported 7% increase in anti-Muslim incidents. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild announced his “don’t wait to fight hate” initiative on his website, spoke of notifying TPD of any incidents, seek safe places, teach tolerance. TPD Chief Chris Magnus said that his dept. “welcomes diversity” that they are “unwilling to be an arm of the feds/immigration dept” re: undocumented workers, had “no tolerance for hate crimes”. Adam Ragan of SAAF spoke of past events when he failed to speak up against bigotry directed against gays, but now to “counter hate when you encounter it”. Imelda, a Hispanic immigrant asked the audience to stand if they knew people who were deported, Dreamers, refugees, immigrants suffered DV, human trafficking. She spoke of expansion/need for VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) in Congress, to be reauthorized in 2018. Debi Chess-Mabie of the Art Foundation related a recent incident where her 12 year old daughter and she were at a fundraising dinner, and a white man told her African American daughter “to serve the dessert” and how angry Debi became with that comment, but also the silence and lack of support at that event table. Robert Snyderman of Jewish History Museum said that training was needed for dominant group members to help targeted group members, be allies, fight institutional racism & microaggressions (what hateful things people say or do in everyday life). Showed video of minority people speaking to white people about their inappropriate “whiteness”. Michele Pitot of YWCA told about being the only white person in Oakland, CA taking a diversity class, recognizing her white privilege, discussed a ladder handout, to speak out against the “isms” we see. Various scenarios were shown on the screen overhead about a Muslim family getting a letter making them feel unwelcome in a neighborhood, and another scenario about a man speaking against trans people at a breakfast table. Audience members volunteered comments they would make for each scenario. CEO of YWCA Kelly Flyer wrapped up the session by saying that the YWCA of So. AZ has been fighting for human rights for almost 100 years, and will start up this effort in Jan. 2017. Bryan Davis of Jewish History Museum said he pledged to stop any people being rounded up, like the “righteous among the nations” did during WWII for Holocaust victims. He introduced Bertie Levkovitz, a Dutch survivor who was temporarily given to foster families to save her from the Nazis, while her parents and other relatives were saved by others. She said it made a huge difference for her family now 24 people, and that everyone needs to help others in similar situations. LD 9 State Senator Steve Farley in attendance tonight as well, has been doing welcome refugee work. Audience members were asked to sign up via email and to send a letter to U.S. Senator Jeff Flake in opposition of the appointment of Jess Sessions for Attorney General. Kristel Foster (TUSD Bd.) and former Rep. Victoria Steele present in overflow room.

Comments are closed.