In 2009, Rabbi Alana wrote an article for My Jewish Learning about this week's parashat, expanding on how the words of Deuteronomy provide a Biblical case study for holistic, non-hierarchical global justice work. Check it out here!
Rabbi Alana's piece excellently articulates the "case" for community organizing; if there's a river with dangerous toxins coming down it, we spend our energy targeting the source upstream rather than continuously cleaning up the effluent. R. Alana's writing also echoes Vic Rosenthal's explanation to DJJ leaders at our retreat from several years back about the true purpose of organizing: the goal is not simply to win individual campaigns, but to advance the community's understanding of larger issues of power, justice, and equality.
Finally, this piece is a perfect companion to our proposed work on water issues -- when folks hear "water shutoff", they might think of the isolated components of the racist, disempowering water crisis going on in Detroit: individuals, homes, bills. BUT when folks hear "public health crisis," all of a sudden, the issue becomes bigger, broader, interconnected, and something that could affect them, too.