YMCA of Greensboro and the NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad Launch Community Initiative in Collaboration with the Partnership Project, Inc., and the Racial Equity Institute

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Organizations launch The 8:46 Series aimed at educating the community about systemic racism

[GREENSBORO, NC – JULY 31, 2020] — Inspired by the recent tragic events that have launched a worldwide movement, the YMCA of Greensboro and the NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad have partnered to launch a community initiative called The 8:46 Series. The project will educate and equip the community with a foundational understanding of the issue of systemic racism. The organizers aim to reach a minimum of 846 community members and hope to inspire future collaboration of like-minded individuals and/or entities who are working toward meaningful change in our community.

“We’ve all witnessed the tragic events that have unfolded in our society, and we have been overcome with grief and frustration. The name of this initiative references the painful eight minutes and forty-six seconds during which George Floyd’s life was taken, as we’ve seen 8:46 become a powerful symbol for the fierce urgency in which we need to address the issue of systemic racism,” said Rhonda Anderson, President/CEO at the YMCA of Greensboro. “The Y promotes a culture free from bias and injustice, and we are dedicated to removing institutional and systemic barriers that result in oppression and racism. But we cannot do it alone. We are grateful to have partners in our community who have joined with us to launch this important initiative.”

The 8:46 Series will leverage the Racial Equity Institute’s “Groundwater Approach” as the platform for a 3-hour webinar; the Groundwater metaphor is designed to help the community internalize the reality that we live in a racially structured society and understand that to solve these “groundwater” challenges, we need to develop “groundwater” solutions.

"We're living in a remarkable time because so many people's eyes are being opened to issues that have negatively affected our friends and neighbors for a long time," says Ivan Canada, Executive Director of NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad. "What's even more remarkable is how many people are swiftly moving beyond this new awareness to ask, 'What can I do to be a part of the solution?' NCCJ is honored to partner with YMCA of Greensboro to help answer that question by providing this first step for our community to begin the long, hard work of creating lasting and systemic change across all sectors. Taking this initial step will set us on the path toward improving the lives of so many people in our community. These are real, tangible actions we can take to create more compassionate communities for all of us - not just some of us.”

There will be six sessions of the webinar, with a maximum of 150 participants each. Participants would engage in one virtual session of their choice. Additionally, participants will be provided with opportunities for action after the webinar. The cost is $40 per participant. Limited financial assistance is available. The first session is scheduled for August 19 at 1pm.

Current sponsors include Liberty Hardware, Weaver Foundation, Kontoor Brands, American National Bank & Trust, First Bank, Cone Health Foundation and Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. The organizers are also seeking additional sponsors.

To register or to find additional information about the program, visit www.ymcagreensboro.org/846.

About the YMCA of Greensboro
The YMCA of Greensboro was founded in 1889 with a mission to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Through its eight branches and YMCA Camp Weaver, the YMCA of Greensboro is strengthening the foundations of our community by offering a warm and friendly environment where people of all ages, races, faiths, beliefs, and physical and financial abilities participate in worthwhile programs and meaningful experiences that make a positive difference in their lives. For more information on the YMCA of Greensboro, please visit www.ymcagreensboro.org.

About the NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad
The NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad is a human relations organization that works to build communities free of bias, bigotry and racism by promoting understanding and respect among all cultures, races and religions. For more information on NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad, please visit www.nccjtriad.org

About the Partnership Project, Inc.
The mission of The Partnership Project, Inc. is to establish structures that respond to, empower and facilitate communities in defining and resolving issues related to racial disparities. For more information on the Partnership Project, Inc., please visit www.thepartnershipproject.org

About the Racial Equity Institute
The Racial Equity Institute is an alliance of trainers, organizers and institutional leaders who have devoted themselves to the work of creating racially equitable organizations and systems. The REI helps individuals and organizations develop tools to challenge patterns of power and grow equity. For more information on The Racial Equity Institute, please visit www.racialequityinstitute.com


For more information, contact:

Emma Brown (YMCA of Greensboro)
emma.brown@ymcagreensboro.org or 336.327.4021

Erika Rain Wilhite (NCCJ of the Piedmont Triad)
ewilhite@nccjtriad.org or 336.272.0359 x 150