(A reminder that this is a personal blog and is independent of any organizations with which I am associated.)
It’s a Jewish virtue to cultivate שמיעת האוזן shmiat ha-ozen (an attentive, listening ear). All the more so when someone says, “I can’t breathe.” It is our obligation to hear, even (especially) when it’s uncomfortable. Listen not in order to respond, but listen in order to hear. It’s a step on the path of Bryan Stevenson’s charge to “get proximate.”
There are lots of voices to hear and lift up, always. As you do your own listening/reading, please share those voices with your friends and family and with me. Post them in the comments below, or at least somewhere, so others can hear too.
Here are six voices I’m listening to this week, and I encourage you to do the same:
1. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
2. Rafi D’Angelo
3. Jamil Smith, with Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby
4. Courtney Ariel
5. Chris Harrison
6. Keedron Bryant
Plus: Take Action
I invite you to join me in making a donation to Know Your Rights Camp, an organization founded by Colin Kaepernick whose mission is “to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.” In recent months, they’ve been collecting and distributing resources to Black and Brown communities more vulnerable to the coronavirus, and most recently they are teaming up with defense lawyers to provide legal assistance to those arrested while protesting injustice in Minneapolis. Donate to support these important efforts here.
I also invite you to visit the NAACP’s #WeAreDoneDying Campaign. There you can learn more about these issues, as well as to join me in contacting your representatives to demand justice for George Floyd and broader legislative reform.