In the past few weeks, the world has seen a great deal of change. Across the US, Australia, Britain, Germany, France, and many other countries, thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the injustice in the United States and all around the world, against Black people, specifically calling out systemic racism and police brutality.
The JYCM Leadership Board had prepared a newsletter with board updates and other announcements but due to the recent unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the countless others killed by police, and in support of the many who have taken to the streets across the world to protest the injustices Black people face in this country, we have instead found it more important to pause our normal content and stand in solidarity with our Black community and amplify their voices.
Image by Leadership Board Member Bella Weksler, taken in Colorado last week
“Few of us realize that racism is man’s gravest threat to man, the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason, the maximum of cruelty for a minimum of thinking.” - Abraham Joshua Heschel
In Support of the Protestors
In the past few weeks, we have seen an explosion across America. In cities spanning from coast to coast, people have stepped up to protest the unjust treatment and murders of African Americans at the hands of the police. We at the Jewish Youth Climate Movement would like to voice our unequivocal support for those who have fought and are currently fighting to make America an equitable place, a place where these killings can never happen again. As Jewish people, we have a responsibility to aid those in need however we can. As the Torah states, “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” (Deuteronomy 16: 20). To our African American and other community members of color: we see you. We hear you. We stand with you. To our white community members: we must support our siblings of color not just at this time, but at all times. Below are some steps we can all take to pursue justice. Written By Leadership Boardmember Alex Tananbaum
1. Get Involved: there are hundreds of ways to join the fight around dismantling racism in America. Get involved, read, find opportunities to join. Check Out https://colorofchange.org/ 2. Show Your Fiscal Support: Regardless of fiscal ability you can support the BLM movement by donating or streaming videos. Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or stream some videos on youtube. 100% of proceeds go to various organizations. Make sure to turn off adblock and not to skip any ads. Shop at black-owned businesses. A starting list can be found here.
3. Show up: whether in person, over zoom, individually, or on the streets, democracy requires that you show up. Participate in Movement For Black Lives and stay connected for how to get involved.
4. Lobby for Racial Justice: Sign JYCM Young Person Statement of Solidarity here, and adult statement of solidarity here. You can find petitions to sign, politicians to call, and other resources here.
5. Educate Yourself: Watch 13th and When They See Us on Netflix to learn about police brutality and mass incarceration in this country. Follow @ihartericka on Instagram.
6. Reading: Race and Law: The Color of Law, The New Jim Crow, and Just Mercy
Middle Grade and YA books: Dear Martin, The Hate U Give, Jason Reynolds books,
A Black History Month Library on google drive with free ebooks and pdfs.
2020, Do Not Forget
We will never forget their innocence
We will never forget the names,
We will say them loud and clear,
For everyone to hear
We will never forget what we saw,
What we heard,
What we felt,
We will never forget our tears
We will never forget their tears
“I can’t breathe”
We will never forget our anger
We will never forget our sorrow
Or the hatred
Or the brutality
But this is a crash,
Of one wave
That started from 400 miles away
We are standing in a revolution A time to make change We will make our stance We will make everyone hear our cries Until there is no more hate But that will never happen Because hate never dies.
It’s a flame that never stops burning
Leaving its marks on everyone
But, oh yes,
I do have a dream that one day all people can stand together regardless of everything.
Except the content of our characters,
Without the fear of bullets and tear gas and suffering.
There are bad people in the world
But the definition of bad is not a color.
So stop with your racist stereotypes.
I could keep spilling out emotions forever
But all things must come to an end
But before I go,
Is what groups of friends say to each other because they have no white shield to protect them.
I don’t think about telling my friends to stay safe
because we both have a shield
passed from our ancestors
Written by Leadership Board Member Orly Bolan