First Steps in an Exodus from Racism

In the mid-20th Century, the Exodus story (neither Charlton Heston nor Christian Bales, but the second book of the bible) became part of the underpinnings of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Today, as a new civil rights movement evolves, how can we use the ancient Exodus narrative to once again help us explore key issues and increase understanding and involvement?

At one most basic level, Exodus represents a turning point as individual Israelite families, with their individual struggles, become a community struggling with oppression. Similarly, the new civil rights movement is bringing us out of individual stories and into collective response. As one mother whose unarmed son was shot by police puts it: “When one life is lost: ‘OK, well they’ll stop protesting in a little while.’…The nation needs to feel it.”

panelRegardless of your perspective on hot-button topics like police brutality, #blacklivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter, and “all lives matter,” it’s essential to hear the voices of those most affected. If you and others you know have not yet done so, take some time for “Listening to Voices of Grief and Struggle,” as four women from different times and places share their stories of loss and response.

Please read, listen, pass the word in your own communities,

and share ideas for growing this movement beyond relatively small groups of activists.

See also “Getting Exodus Right: Watch the Women and Learn (or: Family Travail Becomes Community Action)” for some initial ideas about themes to consider.

More Resources

Black Lives Matter
Black Youth Project — read the “Agenda to Keep Us Safe”
Fergus Action: Stand with New York
Ferguson Response
Institute of the Black World

Showing Up for Racial Justice
Jews United for Justice
Chanukah Action — it’s NOT too late
Bend the Arc
T’ruah: Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

If you know another link that belongs here, please advise. THANKS!

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Virginia hosts "Conversations Toward Repair" on We Act Radio, manages, blogs on general stuff a and more Jewish topics at and

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