Now more than ever, we need to stand against racism.

There has never been an excuse for racism in any form, yet it still exists in South Carolina, although it is a better state than it was 50 years ago.

It is hard to believe that we are still fighting for equality in our schools even though the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling outlawed a separate but equal doctrine for students.

So why do we still have a “Corridor of Shame” where black schools are falling apart and have trouble getting equal public funding?

It's hard to believe that we are still fighting for equality in the justice system, where twice as many black men go to jail as white.

So when an unarmed young black man is shot, we are right to have rallies in cities far from the shooting.

This year's “Stand Against Racism” event, organized nationally by the YWCA, is more important than ever.

We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with one another as the human chain is formed at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge on Friday to demonstrate that we form a community whose bonds are strong.

There are two events this week, and both are worth attending.

First is a “Stand Against Racism” Potluck lunch Thursday at 10 Storehouse Row in North Charleston.

The purpose of the event is to break bread with others and unite as a community.

That will happen 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and is free. Just bring a dish.

If you want to participate, call 747-0480 or visit www.paofsc.org.

At 3:30 p.m. Friday, folks will gather at the St. Julian Devine Community Center, 1 Cooper St.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley will kick off the event that will feature speakers and entertainment and culminate in the human chain.

“While it is important that we go about our daily lives in private commitment against prejudice, recent events have provided tragic reminders for why we must come together as a community to address bias,” says Kathleen Rodgers, YWCA Greater Charleston executive director.

“The YWCA Stand Against Racism is an important day to make a public affirmation that prejudice and discrimination are not acceptable at any time or in any place.”

To register as a participating school, organization or work site in the national observance or to become a link in the human chain, go to www.ywca.org/charlestonsc and click on the Stand Against Racism icon.

For more information, call 722-1644.

While the two days of events are likely to make a strong presence in our community, prejudice and racism are something we need to combat in our own way every day.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557.