Engage in Racial Justice Resources - engage in social justice
LO TA’AMOD AL DAM REY’ECHA – “Do not stand idly by.” JCRC believes in making our voices heard on issues of vital importance to the Jewish community and the communities in which Jews live. One of these issues is racial justice. Here you will find an evolving list of resources to learn more and find ways to engage in the pursuit for racial justice in Western New York and beyond. If you would like to learn more about our work, or reach out to get involved, we would be honored to hear from you.
Please contact Rachel Beerman, Racial Justice Coordinator at rachel@buffalojewishfederation.org.
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What to Read


Books
Non-fiction
fiction
For Teens
For Kids

What to Listen to


Podcasts

Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

Discussions on racial disparities, policy, and equality with a key focus on How to Be an Antiracist and understanding how to uproot racism in society and within ourselves.

Seeing White

Fourteen-part documentary series by John Biewen, featuring Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika that looks at where the notion of “whiteness” comes from and why it has led to white-identity politics and police brutality.

Code Switch

Journalists of color host fearless conversations about race and explore how it aimpacts all aspects of society.

The Ezra Klein Show

Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Fight Over US History on Apple Podcasts

What to Watch


movies
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13th

A Netflix documentary that explores the history of racial inequality within the criminal justice system.
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Just Mercy

A film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama.
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Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School

A documentary confronting the criminalization and miseducation of African American girls that has led to increasing high school dropout rates and increase into the juvenile justice system.
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The Hate U Give

Inspired by Angie Thomas’ YA novel, 16-year-old Starr Carter’s world is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Kahlil, by a police officer.  His death is a national headline, resulting in protests and pressure on Starr to speak out about what really happened that night.
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Becoming

A Netflix documentary on Michelle Obama’s life, hopes, and connections with others.
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I Am Not Your Negro

A documentary envisioning the book James Baldwin was never able to finish about the personal accounts of the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Selma

A historical drama film based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches.
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Whose Streets?

A documentary on how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown led to the uprising in Ferguson.
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Fruitvale Station

A drama starring Michael B. Jordan about the killing of Oscar Grant.
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American Son

A drama about an estranged interracial couple who reunite to help find their missing teenage son.
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The Central Park Five

A documentary about the 1989 case of five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman.
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A Class Divided

A Frontline documentary about a teacher’s 20-year experiment in teaching third graders about discrimination.
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LA 92

Twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence and looting in Los Angeles, LA 92 immerses viewers in that tumultuous period through stunning and rarely seen archival footage.

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WHO WE ARE: A CHRONICLE OF RACISM IN AMERICA

Interweaving lecture, personal anecdotes, interviews, and shocking revelations, lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.

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Marshall

This biopic of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice, centers on his pivotal work in a sensational case as an NAACP lawyer.

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Summer of Soul

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion.


TV Shows
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When They See Us

A Netflix miniseries about the Central Park Five, five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in 1989.
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The Wire

A series about the narcotics scene in Baltimore that tackles key issues such as corrupt public officials, poverty, and drug abuse.
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Dear White People

A Netflix Original Series that follows black college students navigating cultural biases, injustice, activism, and politics at an Ivy League university.
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Black-ish

This sitcom follows the Johnsons, a wealthy black family L.A., addressing President Donald Trump’s election, police brutality, racial slurs, and social and racial justice.
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Insecure

This comedy series follows the friendship between two black women that touches on social and racial issues of the contemporary black experience.
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United Shades of America

This series follows comedian and political provocateur W. Kamau Bell as he explores communities across America to understand the unique challenges they face.

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The Underground Railroad

After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad beneath the Southern soil.

Jews of Color

Jews of Color are members of the Jewish community who, in addition to identifying as Jewish, also identify as one or more non-white racial or ethnic group. This section’s resources are for Jews of Color, their friends, families, co-workers, and the Jewish community at large to offer connections, support, joy, and understanding.

Opportunities to Act


Confessions of the Heart

Over the Month of Elul, before the Jewish High Holidays which encourage individual and communal reflection, take part in Confessions of the Heart, a racial equity challenge offered by Jewish Emergent Network. The challenge consists of 30 days of anti-racism reflection, discovery, action, and transformation through a daily regimen of readings, videos, podcasts, and calls to action through daily prompts and two virtual communal conversations.

Jewish Multiracial Network

Become involved with the Jewish Multiracial Network, an organization that supports Jewish diversity throughout communities via capacity development, community development, community empowerment, and social capital. You can participate by signing up for the JMN newsletter, attending a JMN event in your area, volunteer with JMN, or go to the annual retreat.

Congressional Black Caucus

An organization that is committed to using the full Constitutional power, statutory authority, and financial resources of the federal government to ensure that African Americans and other marginalized communities have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

Racial Justice Action Challenges

○ The WNY 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge

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Read and discuss Jewish texts for a d’var torah on Racial Justice.

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START DISCUSSION ABOUT RACE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

Encourage them to read and discuss books and articles about race.

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Vote

Register to vote in future elections. For information on how to register to vote, see who is on your ballot, and apply for absentee voting, click here.

 

Report incidents of racism or antisemitism here:

Racial Justice Sub-Committee


The Racial Justice Sub-Committee grew out of the recommendations from the Racial Justice Working Group in February 2021.

Another recommendation was to engage in Jewish Federation of North America’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion(JEDI) program. Jewish Buffalo is one of the inaugural cohorts in the JEDI program which began in May 2021. This year-long intensive program focuses on education as a means to engage and ultimately empower the Jewish community on racial equity in our Jewish and larger community. JEDI will be rolling out a curriculum for cohort communities to use. For more information, click here.


Sub-Committee Members:
  • Corey Auerbach, Chair
  • Deborah Goldman, JCRC Chair
  • Rabbi Ori Bergman
  • Marc Brown
  • Adam Fogel
  • Brenda Freedman
  • Hannah Gabelnick
  • Amy Heumann
  • Risé Kulick
  • Rene Petties Jones
  • Harvey Sanders
  • Samantha White
  • Shelly Yellen,
    BJF President and ex-officio
  • Mara Koven-Gelman,
    Director
  • Rachel Beerman,
    Racial Justice Coordinator
  • Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein,
    Rabbinic Consultant
  • Rob Goldberg,
    CEO Buffalo Jewish Federation
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More Resources


To learn more about Racial Justice, visit these websites:
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The Dream Corps

The Dream Corps demands justice for George Floyd, accountability for the officers charged for his murder, and federal legislation for police reforms and commits to building opportunities for Black and Brown communities.
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The NAACP

The NAACP’s mission is to ensure political, educational, social, and economic equality and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination.
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Dēmos

Dēmos uses research and analysis to assist grassroots organizations in creating solutions that will create a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity.

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Brennan Center for Justice

Brennan Center for Justice is a non-partisan law and public policy institute that works to defend democracy, reform justice, and protect the constitution.
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Color of Change

Color of Change creates advanced solutions for racial justice that address the root of the problem. They build campaigns that hold police accountable and change the rules and structures that allow officers to escape consequences.
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National Museum of African American History & Culture

National Museum of African American History & Culture provides tools and guidance to inspire conversations about race.
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Jews of Color Initiative

Jews of Color Initiative is a national effort that strives to build and advance the professional, organizational, and communal field for Jews of Color. It focuses on grantmaking, research and field building, and community education to respond to racial injustice.
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Be’chol Lashon

Be’chol Lashon, Hebrew for “in every language,” strengthens Jewish identity by raising awareness about the ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity of Jewish people and experience around the world.
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The Buffalo Urban League

The Buffalo Urban League works to empower African Americans, other minorities, and disadvantaged individuals to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights.

For more racial literacy resources visit:

Engage in Racial Justice

by Jewish Together

Listen, Learn, & Act

by JCRC of Greater Washington