On Thursday, we shared the following message with our community in reaction to the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests around the country.
We hear you. We know we need to do more. We have not shown up for racial justice as we know the Tribe 12 community expects and deserves. Starting now, Tribe 12 is deeply exploring our own deficiencies as an organization in regards to combating racism. Our inaction has been harmful to the Black community and Jews of Color. It is our turn to do teshuva (the Jewish tradition for repentance by returning to a higher state), to transform our complacency into righteous and redemptive action. We have a lot to do. We will not always get it right, but we will not give up. Our ancestors said, “It is not our job to complete the work, but neither are we free to desist from it”. Today we commit to doing the work.
Over the past few days, our team has taken direction from Black voices, both locally and nationally, to shape our short term response and plan for a long term response. Here are some of the things we’re committing to today.
- Amplify anti-racism resources: We begin by sharing this document of Anti-Racism & Jewish Resources crowdsourced by racial justice leaders across the country including Jared Jackson, founder of Jews in ALL Hues and a 2011 Tribe 12 Fellow. We will continue to share resources like this in our communications.
- Amplify Black voices: We are committed to using our social media to amplify Black voices at the direction of @jessicawilson.msrd and @blackandembodied who started the #AmplifyMelanatedVoices campaign. We have been, and will continue to, share content from Black writers typically without our own commentary.
- Patronize Black-led businesses: Through our established programming, we see opportunities to redirect some of our funds to black-owned businesses and racial justice nonprofits. Examples include donating to a racial justice charity of the winner’s choice at one of our virtual trivia nights; purchasing our next book club selection from local Black-owned bookstore Harriet’s Bookshop; or committing to order food for future in-person events from Black and Mobile, a black-owned food delivery service.
- Convene our community to contribute to Black-led organizations: A Giving Circle is a group of people who come together to pool their money and make a group decision about what charity they want to support. Our staff has been trained by the national organization Amplifier and has run dozens of these circles. In the next two weeks, we will convene a circle of 20s and 30s who will select a Black-led non-profit organization or community fund. Each participant will be asked to contribute $10 or more to the pool of funds. To learn more, email Davinica.
- Encourage involvement in and contributions to Black-led organizations: While we learn and do our own work, we have heard from our community that people are looking for racial justice organizations, actions and causes to support but are overwhelmed by the choices of how to help and who to help. In the month of June, we are offering free 90 minute virtual conversations with our staff of trained community guides who will take you through a structured exploration of your personal values, your views on impact and giving, and what you uniquely bring to the table. By the end of this conversation, we hope that you have clarity about what tangible action you can immediately take. To learn more or select a time for a conversation, email Danielle.
- Create a long term plan: By June 30th, 2020, we will present a plan to our board of directions for a complete reevaluation of our organization’s role in racial justice. If our goal is to create an equitable, accessible, and inclusive community, that work starts with us, as an organization and as individuals. The plan may include an audit of ourselves and our organization, setting equity goals, and significant education and training at all levels of our organization (thank you to Avodah for your guidance on these elements so far). All pieces of this reevaluation will be implemented by racial justice educators and consultants who are from the Black community.
We want to hear from you now.
What do you think of our plan? What are you encouraged by? Where did we miss the mark? While we would love to hear from everyone, we will prioritize the feedback of Jews of Color and the broader Black community first and foremost. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts with our full team.