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.
- Sign NCJW’s petition condemning police brutality.
- Join the NCJW delegation at the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (PPC) by using this link to join their virtual summer mobilization at 10:00 AM ET on Saturday, June 20, to highlight the crisis of poverty in America and the impact of COVID-19.
- Join a Protest. There are protests all over the country. Join them if you feel compelled to do something physical and if it’s safe for you. If you go, consider downloading and bringing a NCJW #BlackLivesMatter sign (or print and hang in your window)
- Donate essential items. To stay safe and healthy protesters, 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.
- Amplify voices of color. Support the Movement for Black Lives week of action on June 1-5. The Movement For Black Lives, and organizers mobilizing across the country, invite you to uplift and fight alongside those turning up in the streets and online.
- Start a salon or book club using the books, podcasts, articles, and movies below. Engaging in a difficult conversation and becoming even more self-aware is an important step towards being antiracist.
- Remember, this is ongoing work. Being anti-racist is not something to check off a box, but something to work towards every day. Continue to learn, discuss, and to name your failures and learn from them.
- 75 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
Articles and Sermons:
- 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
- Sermon: “2 minutes and 53 seconds Silence of that Scream #BlackLivesMatter” by Rabbi Sharon Brous
- Statement: The National Council of Jewish Women Voices Outrage and Demands Action Over George Floyd’s Murder
- Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good
- 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
Listen and Watch:
- 1619 (New York Times)
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- School Colors
Documentaries and Movies
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
- Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
PS- Did we miss a resource that has been useful to you? Send it our way at firstname.lastname@example.org