WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Three Utah mothers are on a mission to raise awareness for social justice and take a stand in solidarity with communities of color.
The Utah Moms for Racial and Social Equity is an organization compromised of Abby Dizon-Maughan, Cristina Woods, Rachanee Guinyard Berg. On Monday, July 6th the organization will hold a family-friendly march and rally beginning at West Jordan City Hall through Veterans Memorial Park.
With the recent climate of racial injustices throughout the country, including Utah, there has been a myriad of protests and demonstrations, while most of the protests have remained peaceful, several were not. Group co-founder Dizon-Maughan says it was important to have a demonstration where the public can make their voices heard in a safe, family-oriented atmosphere “we started this as a means to give our families a safe platform so everyone can participate” says Dizo-Maughan.
The group wants to convey a message for people of color to know they are loved and have allies, as well as teach children to stand up for injustice in ways the doesn’t invoke violence. As a minority in Utah, the founders of this group have had their own experiences with prejudice and racism, but through the organization and events such as peaceful demonstrations, they hope to build principles of acceptance, acknowledgment, and equity into their communities.
Co-founder Rachanee Guinyard Berg says until the recent tragedy involving George Floyd and others, she had remained fairly silent regarding racial issues in America. “I’ve always been silent as a minority in Utah, but I now feel compelled to stand up for my children. There comes a time where we can no longer stay silent, and I’ve reached that point” said Rachanee.
This is not just a mom group, 13-year-old Noah, son of co-founder Abby Dizon-Maughan plays a vital role in the organization as well as helping with the social media accounts. “The community feedback has been largely supportive and encouraging, a lot of people are feeling educated, while there are some who may not agree with everything we stand for, but about 95% of feedback has been positive,” says Noah. With racial divide remaining as a hot button topic in the current climate, 13-year-old Noah says these are large issues in our country and everyone should be addressed on an educational level in schools at some point, “It’s better to start early than late because people are more likely to pay attention early-on” says Noah.
Utah Moms for Racial and Social Equity says they have more future events in the works following the kick-off March and Rally on Monday. Anyone young or old of any gender is welcome to be apart of helping spread the message of anti-racism and diversity in the communities. Co-founder Cristina Woods adds “change starts at home and with our youth, that’s part of our mission statement, we want to encourage families to instill change in their homes first.”
Change is inevitable and Utah Moms for Racial and Social Equity says they believe the message their sending is at the forefront of history. Their group is a safe and welcoming platform for those who want to inspire change throughout Utah and beyond. “It’s a safe place to have those hard conversations because we must have these uncomfortable conversations, change won’t come if we continue to ignore our past, and the lasting harms the past has caused for people of color” said Woods.
Those attending Monday’s rally are encouraged to bring family members but to practice social distancing and to wear a mask.