Since our inception, DJJ strives to be a committed partner to the Black Lives Matter movement. Our very first action as an organization was a Hanukkah vigil after the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Due to long-term organizing locally and nationally and the consecutive killings of Breonna Taylor (Kentucky), Ahmaud Arbery (Georgia) and George Floyd (Minnesota) we find ourselves in another such movement moment -- a moment ripe with possibility and rife with challenging questions.
As our sister organization in the Twin Cities, Jewish Community Action, recently wrote:
“What does it look like to "show up" in this moment? How do we respond to such violence? And how do we do it in the midst of a pandemic that’s disproportionately infecting and killing people of color? A virus that itself embodies the same racism and systemic injustice that killed George Floyd?”
To help fight systematic racism, we have to understand it first. That’s why we want to help you educate yourself and have created a list to learn more about racism and how you can approach supporting the movement in respectful and impactful ways.
- Volunteer for Protest Support - (Jail Support, Legal Observing, and Remote Opportunities)
- Offer legal representation for protestors.
- Donate to sustain local work for racial justice: Detroit Justice Center, Michigan Liberation, Black Youth Project 100 Detroit
- Display a BLM sign on your lawn and distribute to friends & neighbors. You can purchase one here or here.
- Encourage your congregation to display a large “Black Lives Matter” banner on their property. We understand this can be a difficult conversation - if they are willing to consider it, DJJ is available to provide learning resources and practical support.
From Black authors and leaders:
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge.”
- Ibram X. Kendi’s anti racist reading list
- "Authoritarian State or Inclusive Democracy? 21 Things We Can Do Right Now" by Eric Ward
- Watch 13th by Ava DuVernay for free on Youtube. It's a documentary that examines the U.S. prison system and looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.
From Jewish perspectives:
(Photo from "Believe us: Black Jews Respond to the George Floyd protests, in their own words")
- "Jews of Color and the Policing of White Space" by Rebecca Pierce
- "'Believe us’: Black Jews Respond to the George Floyd protests, in their own words” By Josefin Dolsten
- Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (NY) Jews4BlackLives Ritual Toolkit
- Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (NY) Shavuot4BlackLives
For Jewish institutions:
(Image from "A Racial Justice Framework and Guiding Principles")
- A Racial Justice Framework and Guiding Principles created by the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable
- If you are a Metro Detroit Jewish institution who is looking for more guidance, please reach out to DJJ staff member Allie Zeff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources for white allies
(Image from @mireillecharper)
- "5 Ways White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence" from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
- "10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship" from Mereille Charper
- "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo
How to speak to children about racism
(Image from "Children's books to support conversations on race, racism, and resistance")
- Resources for teachers to discuss police killings and protests.
- Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism, and resistance
What does defunding the police mean?
(Image from "How I Became a Police Abolitionist")
Learn more about Defunding the police and Police & Prison Abolition
- “How I Became a Police Abolitionist” by Derecka Purnell (The Atlantic)
- “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police” by Mariame Kaba (New York Times)
- Frequently Asked Questions on Police and Prison abolition from MPD150
- “Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore May Change Your Mind.” (New York Times)
- Abolition 101 webinar by Organizing Black (add time stamps) https://www.facebook.com/OrganizingBlack/videos/688607628538713/
- Baltimore County Justice Coalition “A Community Conversation About Defunding The Police”: https://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyJusticeCoalition/videos/655881335014237/
The racist history of policing
- “How racist policing took over American cities, explained by a historian” by Anna North (Vox)
Alternatives to Calling the Police
- “Alternatives to Calling the Police”- A resource created in DC for helping folks think through situations where you might not call the police and some existing alternatives to police
- “Alternative for Calling 911 in Baltimore” - A resource created for Baltimore residents.
Differentiating between reforms that reinforce the role and power of policing and steps towards abolition
- Graphic - “Reformist Reforms vs Steps to Abolition” from Critical Resistance
Do you think there's something important we missed? Let us know! Email Blythe at email@example.com