YWCA CEO Vanessa McDowell and Race and Gender Director Gery Paredes Vásquez on George Floyd, Madison’s protests, and the struggle for racial justice.

News Director Sam Buisman talked with the pair about the impact of recent protests on the larger fight to dismantle white supremacist power structures. Photo courtesy of YWCA Madison. Graphic: Sam Buisman.
Listen to the interview, recorded on 6/22/20 at 10:00 A.M., here.

Author: Sam Buisman

Since Memorial Day, protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd have rattled the United States and Madison with their cries for an end to police brutality and the dismantling of larger racially-inequitable systems. This tsunami of activism has flooded the streets of downtown Madison with so many thousands of protestors for so many nights that a once-in-a-century global pandemic has become the #2 story here on WSUM and on most news outlets across the country.

To better understand the activism we’re seeing in Madison and situate this moment in history within the centuries-long struggle for racial justice in the US, News Director Sam Buisman sat down with Madison YWCA CEO Vanessa McDowell and Race and Gender Director Gery Paredes Vásquez to draw on both their own involvement and experiences with these protests and the over 100-year history of activism from the Madison YWCA in interrogating these questions.

Listeners can find more information about the Madison YWCA on their website or Facebook page.

More coverage on Madison’s protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd is available in the WSUM News Archives.