Racial Justice: Responding to the Moment and Beyond
The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have once again brought to the fore issues of systemic racism within this country and raised critical topics for our children/students. In our effort to support educators, we share this collection of resources with the recommendation that they be viewed through three intersecting but distinct lenses that we believe can help frame our learning and action.
- Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof: Education in Pursuit of Racial Justice
How does the Jewish tradition and community manifest and actualize its value of Tzedek, Justice, in relation to racism and related societal inequities?
- Diversity and Jewish Education
What is the diversity within our Jewish community and how do we improve/increase education about and the engagement of ALL individuals within our community?
- Engaging with Complexity in Jewish Education
How do we help our learners develop the skills to consider, engage with, and respond to complex topics and questions?
If you have comments, questions, or other resources to recommend, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reflecting on George Floyd’s Death and Police Violence Towards Black Americans | Facing History and Ourselves
This Teaching Idea is a guide for teachers to begin conversations with their students about George Floyd’s death and the events that surround it. Such conversations are always difficult for teachers to facilitate, and distance learning presents added challenges to teaching sensitive material.
- Reading with Be’chol Lashon: Let’s Talk About Race | Be’chol Lashon/GlobalJews.org
Let’s Talk About Race, written by Julius Lester, helps children better understand themselves and others. Appropriate for ages 4-8. Included is a link to a video reading of the book, a Discussion Guide for children focusing on Jews of color, and a worksheet template for children.
- The 1619 Project | New York Times Magazine
Marking 400 years since slavery first began in America, the series of articles, podcasts, and teaching resources, led by MacArthur Genius Award recipient Nikole Hannah-Jones “examines the ways the legacy of slavery continues to shape our country.”
ARTICLES TO DISCUSS | Voices of Color
- ‘Believe us’: Black Jews Respond to the George Floyd Protests, in Their Own Words | JTA | April Baskin, Anthony Russell, Yitz Jordan and Tema Smith with Josefin Dorsten
- Try to See Me | Kenny Kahn | Jewish& is a blog by Be’chol Lashon in My Jewish Learning
An assistant principal at Monte Vista High School in Danville, CA, Kenny has been involved with Be’chol Lashon since its founding and was the co-director of their camp.
- The Black Jews Are Tired | Chris Harrison | Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
A writer and editor for audacious hospitality at the Union for Reform Judaism and a fellow in its 2018 JewV’Nation Fellowship’s Jews of Color Leadership Cohort.
- Authoritarian State or Inclusive Democracy? 21 Things We Can Do Right Now | Eric K. Ward
Senior Advisor with Race Forward and Executive Director of Western States Center and writes on the intersection of Anti-Semitism and White Supremacy.
- Talking About Race | The National Museum of African American History and Culture
An online portal to help teachers, families, individuals, and communities talk about racism and commit to being anti-racist.
For Educators, Teens, Families, and Our Community
- Do Something.Org and Spaces for Teens to Speak Up for Justice
A not-for-profit exclusively for young people and social change, DoSomething’s millions of members represent every US area code and 131 countries.
- Teens Resist: Learn About It. Then Take Action
All of our staff are teens. We have writers who have applied and been accepted. Any student from 8th-12th grade can apply.
- Racial Injustice: 5 Ways Jewish Teens Can Stand Up, Speak Out and Take Action | by Rachel Fredman for the Jewish Teen Initiative
- Publications of Jewish Teen Women around Race | J Girls Magazine
- Why My Hair Falls the Way it Does | by Makeda Zabot Hall
- Black Swan vs. White Swan | by Ela Solmson
- The Color of Water: A Discussion of Personal Identity in America | by Gali Davar
For Families with Young Children
- Pinterest Boards Collections by The Jewish Education Project ECC and Family Engagement
- What is Jewish About Respecting Differences? | PJ Library
- Books for Kids About Anti-Racism | Book Revue, a local bookstore (with online shipping)!
- 31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance | Embrace Race list curated by The Conscious Kid and American Indians in Children’s Literature.
- 10 tips for teaching and talking to kids about race | EmbraceRace with MomsRising
- 100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say To Your Child To Advance Racial Justice | Raising Race Conscious Children | Sachi Feris | RaceConscious.org
- Talking to Children About Racial Bias | Ashaunta Anderson, MD, MPH, MSHS, FAAP & Jacqueline Dougé, MD, MPH, FAAP | healthychildren.org
- Anti-Biased Leaders in Early Childhood Education: A Guide to Change
- Stages of Children’s Racial Identity Development | Louise Derman-Sparks
- Anti-bias Article and Pledge | Living Our Commitments: A Pledge to All Children and Families | Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards
- Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children's Books
Rather than just a list, this guide helps to layout what to look for and consider.
- How Black Art Can Spark Conversations with Children | PBS
Dr. Aisha White is the director of the P.R.I.D.E. (Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education) Program at the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.
Talking to Children
- Talking to Kids About Police Violence | Repair The World
A guide and resources for children of different ages.
- On COVID, protests, and supporting our kids! | EmbraceRace
Their recent newsletter highlights some of their most important resources. EmbraceRace was founded in 2016 by two parents (one Black, the other multiracial Black/White) to gather the resources and create the community they needed to meet the challenge of raising children in a world where race matters.
Articles/Media to discuss
- As a Jew of Color, I Need More People in My Community to Speak Up | Haaretz
An interview with Yehuda Webster, Rabbi Sandra Lawson, and April Baskin
- The Power of “We” | Yavilah McCoy | JTS Gleanings and eJewish Philanthropy
Yavilah is CEO of the Diversity consulting group, DIMENSIONS Inc., and was a presenter at our Jewish Futures Conference on Power to the People.
- Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us | Roxane Gay | New York Times Opinion
- Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People. | Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor | New York Times Opinion
- From Christian Cooper to George Floyd: A Letter To White Parents | Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs | Romper
- "This Is Why We Kneel" | Music Composed by LBT Music Director Charles Dickerson III, Music Performed by Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles & Men's Chorus
- Why Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Hopeful | The Ezra Klein Show
“I can’t believe I’m gonna say this,” he replied, “but I see hope. I see progress right now.” For those of us who read Mr. Coates, this is not his usual stance. The author of Between the World and Me on why this isn’t 1968, the Colin Kaepernick test, police abolition, nonviolence, and the state, and more.
For all of us: Other Resource Collections
- Independent Google Doc collections of resources
- Scaffolding Anti-Racism Resources
A thoughtful resource list that scaffolds anti-racism resources for white people and provides a framework for white identity recognition and development. Includes Stages, Resources, and What To Do Next. Author credits listed.
- Anti-Racism Resources: Compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klei.
This is particularly useful as a curated list of diverse media (appropriate for high school+).
- Anti-Racism & Jewish Resources: A collaborative document including suggestions and edits by Gabby Switzer, Jared Jackson, Ikenna Maduno, Gavi Welbel, Hannah Joy Sachs, Hannah Isaacs, Trudy Morse, and many more.
- Justice in June: Compiled by Autumn Gupta and Bryanna Wallace (joint Twitter @Autumn_Bry) with engagement options divided by 10/25/45 minutes per day.
- Scaffolding Anti-Racism Resources
For all of us: Singular/Exemplar Resources
- Avodah: In Memory of George Floyd | Statement and educational/action resources
- Torat Chayim: Statement on the Death of George Floyd (includes links to The 2020 Uri L’Tzedek Anti-Racism Campaign)
A new association of pluralistic and progressive Orthodox Rabbis.
- JEWTINA y Co.
An organization and website that foregrounds the stories and experiences from the Jewish-Latinx community (appropriate for teens+).
- Judaism Unbound Podcast: Episodes on Social and Racial Justice
- Mike Brown Niggun - Koach Baruch Frazier
Dr. Koach Frazier, a black Jew, was one of Avodah’s featured speakers. Posted by Rabbi Micah Shapiro of Penn Hillel: “As a Jewish community, we must not stay silent for so many reasons, just one being the profound presence of black Jews in Jewish life. My colleague and teacher Koach Baruch Frazier puts into melody what words are unable to express: communal resilience, collective grief, determination for a country that doesn't trample over black and brown bodies.”
- Ben & Jerry’s
An example of what corporations are capable of if they are willing to take a stand. Teaching and learning with these resources can be powerful for teens and adults (and lovers of ice cream).
This collection of resources will continue to be updated in the days, weeks, and months to come. If you have comments, questions, or other resources to recommend, please send them to email@example.com.