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STATEMENT ON RACIAL JUSTICE FROM THE CKS BOARD OF TRUSTEES (June 2020)

06/15/2020 11:31:43 AM

Jun15

צדק צדק תרדוף (Justice, justice shall you pursue.)—Deuteronomy 16:20
“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”—Fannie Lou Hamer
 
To our CKS community,
 
We write to you with heavy hearts as our country grapples with the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others going back and reverberating through generations, families, and communities.
 
As the Board of a congregation under the banner of Reconstructing Judaism, we take seriously our responsibility for Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and being a place that is welcoming to all. We therefore feel it is important for us to be vocal and clear about where we stand in these times. 
 
We mourn and grieve the murders of Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor, and Mr. Arbery. We are deeply disturbed by a system that continues to allow this to happen.
 
We stand against racist violence, hate, and white supremacy in all its forms. We stand against using military force against unarmed, nonviolent protestors. We stand against systems that continue to treat people differently based on the color of their skin. We believe that Black lives matter.
 
We stand in support of and alongside our Black congregants and community members. We want you to know that we see you, we value you, we are here for you, and we love you.
 
For those of us who are white, it is incumbent on us to be upstanders when we see our Black siblings hurting. We can speak out against racism and break down racist systems in our daily lives. We can listen, read, research, and learn. We can do better.
 
We believe that it is time for us to evolve from being just a warm and welcoming congregation to being an actively anti-racist one as well.
 
Starting now, we will embark on a journey of examining what this might look like for us. With the help of Reconstructing Judaism’s racial justice framework, we will challenge ourselves and our committees to create an environment where anti-racism can take hold, grow, and thrive. In the shorter term, you may start to see new book titles in our shop and new topics for Zoom discussions. For those who want to start learning more right now, we have attached an introductory resource list. Stay tuned for more details, and please let us know if you want to participate in helping us grow as a community in this way.
 
We know the fight for racial justice, which has been going on throughout the entire history of our country, is far from over, and we are committed to being a part of it. We are hopeful that this is a moment that will allow us to open our eyes, hearts, and minds, so we can continue to learn and create a more just world for all.
 
CKS Board of Trustees
June 2020

Sun, April 18 2021 6 Iyar 5781