Our country is in pain – we are mourning the senseless murders of Black Americans including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. We continue to hear stories of violence against people of color at the hands of the government, the police, and average citizens. If you are angry, outraged, or heartbroken, you are not alone.
And since you are National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) advocates, we know you are already thinking about how you can make change in this difficult time. The Torah teaches, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” (Leviticus 19:16). We have a sacred obligation to speak out against racist systems, structures, speech and action, and to work towards a more just future. And as a diverse Jewish community that includes Black and Brown Jews and allies, it is our responsibility to be proactive and not passive. The work of making change can feel daunting, and first and foremost we must each make choices every single day to be anti-racist.
But, how? As NCJW advocates we are committed to antiracist work for the long-haul. To keep us moving forward during this frightening time, here are some helpful resources with some ideas of places to donate, educate yourself, and take action.
- Learn about the issues and the organizations. Check out Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, American Civil Liberties Union, and our own NCJW action page to learn more about racial justice movements and policy efforts, and to take action on the issues you care about.
- Amplify voices of color. Organizers mobilizing across the country, invite you to uplift and fight alongside those turning up in the streets and online. Read about What it Really Means to Amplify Black Voices. Support your local BIPOC-owned businesses. Follow and repost Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American & Pacific Islander activists on social media.
- Empower communities to vote. Get involved with Black Voters Matter, Voto Latino, and NCJW’s Vote Forward campaign to help turn out voters in midterm elections.
- Donate essential items. To stay safe and healthy, protesters might need hand sanitizer, masks, food, water, and small medical supplies. Find the local Mutual Aid group closest to you to see what’s needed or where best to drop off the supplies. Check out this database or search on Facebook.
- Voice your support for diverse federal judges. For our courts to work for all of us, they have to look like all of us. Get involved in the fight for a fair judiciary by helping to confirm fair, qualified, and independent judges who represent a diversity of experiences and backgrounds. Check out NCJW’s Courts Matter website where you can learn about the nominees and take action in support of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the US Supreme Court.
- Start a salon or book club using the books, podcasts, articles, and movies below. Engaging in difficult conversations and becoming even more self-aware is an important step towards being antiracist.
- Take action for reproductive justice. Reproductive justice is racial justice. The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act and the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) would lift coverage bans and abortion restrictions which disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and people of color seeking reproductive care. By urging your lawmakers to support the EACH Act and WHPA, you are taking a step towards a more equitable future.
- Remember, this is ongoing work. Being anti-racist is not something to check off a box, but something to work towards every day. Sign up for newsletters from Black Lives Matter and NCJW on network actions, program updates, and more to continue your involvement. Continue to recognize your own failings, learn, and discuss.
- 106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Anti-Racism & Jewish Resources
- Everyday Feminism’s Online Learning School
- Movement to End Violence’s “Racial Equity and Liberation Virtual Learning” recordings
- NCJW list of anti-oppression terms
- NCJW webinar: Weaponizing White Supremacy during COVID-19
- “Remember, No One is Coming to Save Us” by Roxanne Gay
- “Truth, Reconciliation and Repair in Engaging Racism” by Yavilah McCoy
- “I Helped Coin the Term ‘Jews of Color.’ It’s Time for a History Lesson” by Shahanna McKinney-Baldom
- “Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup” from Pretty Good
- How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism by Eric K. Ward
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- 1619, podcast (New York Times)
- Code Switch, podcast (NPR)
- Pod for the Cause, podcast (The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- School Colors, podcast (Brooklyn Deep)
- “2 minutes and 53 seconds Silence of that Scream #BlackLivesMatter,” sermon by Rabbi Sharon Brous (IKAR)
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Documentary, Netflix
- Dear White People (Justin Simien) — TV Show, Netflix
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Movie, available to rent
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Movie, Hulu
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Movie, available to rent
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Movie, Hulu with Cinemax
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Movie, Netflix
PS – Did we miss a resource that has been useful to you? Send it our way at email@example.com