Metro YMCA Association Advancing the Conversation on Race

By: Mollie Shauger | Friday, August 7, 2020 | News

African American friends running together outdoors. Credit: iStock

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges and its African American Network Employee Resource Group invite the community to join the Y for a series of free virtual events during August.  

“The Y is responding to the call to action by our communities. By coming together, we can learn from one another to address racism, inequities and disparities at an individual, organizational and societal level,” said Richard K. Gorab, President and CEO of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges.

The Y will host a free virtual program, “Starting the Conversation About Race and Racism - A Webinar for Parents and Caregivers” on Aug. 18 and 20, to provide families with some tips and tools on how to discuss race and racism with children during this time of worldwide unrest. Participants will have the opportunity to pose their questions to a group of panelists, including professionals in the fields of early childhood education and psychology.

The first program on Tuesday, Aug. 18 is geared toward families with children ages 5 and younger, and the second on Aug. 20 is geared toward families of children ages 6 to 13. Each session will be held from 8-9 p.m. and take place via Zoom. Registration is required to participate. To learn more about this program and register, visit

Later that week, the Metro YMCAs will hold its first Break the Silence Virtual 5K, enabling the Y to come together with members of the community to raise awareness about systemic racism and how we can work collectively to undo it. The 5K will take place from Aug. 21-24, and participants can choose the day, time, and course for their run. The race will be timed and runners can track their results using a mobile device app.

The race is free, however donations can be made to the Y to support future endeavors of the Metro YMCA’s African American Resource Network Employee Resource Group, such as staff training, community outreach, panel discussions, workshops, and staff development. Participants can also purchase a T-shirt to be shipped free to their address after the race. Learn how to join the Y for this event at

Race sponsors include Eastman Companies, Saint Barnabas Medical Center/RWJ Barnabas Health, Jeffrey Spaldi-Edward Jones, and North Jersey Entertainment. 

Both the panel and 5K are presented in collaboration with the African American Resource Network Employee Resources Group of the Metro YMCAs, which works to support the needs of African American employees within the Y movement, through career and professional development, training, and mentoring, so all voices can be represented in our organization.


Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.


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