Construct higher Toledo by way of motion: YWCA social justice problem


In Love, UT Senior Kush Baxter volunteers to raise people up in the community. You can make changes with the 21-day YWCA Racial Justice and Social Justice Challenge.

TOLEDO, Ohio – As Black History Month ends, work continues to end racism and achieve social justice for Toledo’s black and brown communities.

The goal is a better tomorrow and that starts today.

Kush Baxter, 22, is a senior completing a dual degree in corporate management and international business. The Chicago native from Illinois has been involved in a number of charitable projects in Toledo.

“I have almost a duty to help my church, to be a leader in my church, and to be a pillar in my church,” he says.

The passion for service grew out of a brotherhood. Baxter is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Epsilon Alpha Chapter.

He has participated in voter registration drives, fed people in need, looked after students and much more.

“I believe black history is based entirely on love and it is my right to bring that love to light.”

His volunteering in Toledo inspired him to give back in his south-facing neighborhood in Chicago, and his efforts included a dress campaign where he says donations were made to Saint Sabina Church.

Often times, a simple conversation can lead to real action within a community.

YWCA Northwest Ohio President and CEO Lisa McDuffie believes the root problem, what she calls structural racism, begins with dialogue. The Toledo Black Agenda was created to fuel these conversations. The document is designed to help individuals, organizations, and institutions understand and address the needs within the black community.

It addresses key issues such as education and criminal justice reform.

“The data doesn’t lie, the data tells the story, and the fact is that the story it tells is pretty bleak for people of color,” says McDuffie. “Most colored people will tell you that there is some kind of encounter every day that reminds you of the color of your skin.”

The next step beyond the manifesto is to bring people together to create a system for evaluating the effectiveness of the manifesto Toledo Black Agenda. In the meantime, the work on the ground continues with various organizations and individuals who are ready to make change now.

Baxter is determined to lead and lead the next generation.

“We’re in the same struggle, we all want to make the world a better place, so we do that with our actions,” he says.

Starting March 1, the YWCA is hosting a 21-day Racial and Social Justice Challenge. According to the organization, it is a “free tool that can be used to create time and space to develop more effective social justice habits, especially those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege and leadership. “

To register for the online challenge, click on Here.