Election Day is a day designed to effect change. Voting provides an avenue for guiding our future… and there are additional paths available within our own community to make changes. This Election Day, community members enjoyed a celebration hosted by ywca clark county’s Social Change Program. The Social Change Program is dedicated to preventing racism and other forms of oppression in our community through education and support. The Community Celebration increases civic engagement and rewards leadership in social change efforts.
Held at the Fairgate Inn, the Community Celebration featured live music, a multi-cultural fashion show, insight from local leaders, and recognition for Val Joshua and this year’s award recipients. The Val Joshua Racial Justice Awards are presented annually to individuals, businesses, or organizations who have demonstrated leadership working to eliminate racism and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people.
Luz Virgen Gonzalez received the Val Joshua Racial Justice Award for dedication to social change in Vancouver, evidenced by her participation with the Latino Community Resources Group as well as local events, labor, and businesses. Yarenni Mendoza and Ruth Ferguson each received a Youth Social Justice Award. Yarenni is a member of the Youth Philanthropy Committee, involved in the Bridge Builders Youth mentoring program and mentors youth in the schools and Latino Communities. Ruth is also a youth mentor and a member of many local social change and community-related organizations, including the Battle Ground Cultural Task Force and the Clark County Youth Commission.
“We were successful in bringing the community together to celebrate,” said Michelle Hurdle-Bradford, ywca’s Social Change Program Manager. “Students, government officials, business leaders and community members participated in the festivities. The event brought together different cultures and people interacting with each other as one community.”
The Social Change program hosts a number of social change workshops and events throughout the year. Contact Michelle Hurdle-Bradford at 360 906 9129 for more information on how you can get involved.