Are you asking yourself “What can we as Jews do?” during this difficult time. The national conversation is changing in the midst of a pandemic. For Jews, Tikkun Olam and what it means in the context of racial injustice in America is still important even during COVID. With help from ChiTribe Collaborator Rachel Rosenfeld, here are some best practices for identifying resources and organizations to support. We have included a list of places to support, members of congress to contact, and other /ways to help the Chicago Black community.
Here is a helpful list of criteria to help you choose resources and causes that you support
FULFILLS A SPECIFIC NEED
The resource must respond to a specific need in the fight against injustice, inequality, or racism impacting the Chicago Black community, such as food distribution, posting bonds for protesters, etc.
The resource is continually seeking support and plans to continue seeking support in the future. Whether people read the post this week or in the coming weeks, they should be able to use the resource to help people working for justice. We are including these criteria because many needs seem to specifically be for this current week.
BLACK/PERSON OF COLOR CENTRIC
The organization should use the majority of their resources/energy to elevate Black folks/POC in Chicago. This means that these will not necessarily be Jewish organizations. This is because right now it is most important to focus on others in our community, just like they have often focused on us in our most dire periods of need.
BLACK/PERSON OF COLOR LEAD
It is vital that we follow the voices of those folks most directly impacted by injustice, inequality, and racism. They know best what their needs are, and it is our job to amplify those voices. Each organization should represent a different voice that should be more widely broadcasted.
FREE OF ANTI-ZIONIST/ANTI-SEMITIC RHETORIC
ChiTribe does not promote or post about any groups that intentionally aim to dismantle Jewish values or affiliate with organizations not averse to Zionism (preferably groups will be locally-focused and Chicago-centric with missions bereft of any Israel policy).
Ways to Support Protestors and the Black Community
Assata’s Daughters organizes young Black people in the Black Radical Tradition. Based in Washington Park on Chicago’s South Side. Assata’s Daughters is a Black women-led organization that provides political education, leadership development, mentorship, and revolutionary services.
Since 1973, when it was born from the movement to free Angela Davis and all political prisoners, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression has defended the rights of oppressed people in Illinois and around the world. We defend the civil liberties of workers, activists, and prisoners. We struggle against white supremacy, the prison-industrial complex, and state violence. We demand community control of the police and full representation for Black people and other poor and oppressed people at all levels of government.
Chi City Foods is a farm and eco-campus in Altgeld Gardens on the far Southeast Side of Chicago. They work to combat food deserts by providing poor and marginalized Chicagoans with fresh produce through Fresh Produce Pop-Up Pantries, CSA boxes, neighborhood farm stands, workshops, and training sessions.
“Chicago Community Bond Fund is in awe of the amount of donations we have received in the last few days. Over 16,000 people have generously ensured we have over $1.2 million available to pay bond for people arrested right now and eventually end money bail and pretrial incarceration.”
The Chicago Torture Justice Center seeks to address the traumas of police violence and institutionalized racism through access to healing and wellness services, trauma-informed resources, and community connection. The Center is a part of and supports a movement to end all forms of police violence.
Circles & Ciphers is a hip-hop infused restorative justice organization led by and for young people impacted by violence. Through art-based peace circles, education, and direct action we collectively heal and work to bring about the abolition of the prison-industrial complex. Located at 1545 W. Morse Avenue Chicago, IL 60626.
MBMHMC works to help Chicago youth explore, experience, and evolve within the local Chicago community. The small business relief fund supports ongoing efforts to repair small businesses in Black communities in the wake of violence perpetrated by out-of-state actors. They encourage donations and welcome volunteers.
“On May 25, 2020, my life shattered as I learned of the tragic passing of my dear brother, George. My family and I watched in absolute horror as the now infamous and horrifying video began to spread quickly throughout social media. What we saw on that tape left us shell shocked; a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling directly on my brother’s neck, obstructing his ability to breathe. As some officers knelt on his neck, other officers participated and watched; no one took any action to save my brother’s life. Those officers would continue to brutalize my brother until he died.”
National Bail Out is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. We are people who have been impacted by cages — either by being in them ourselves or witnessing our families and loved ones be encaged. We are queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant. Learn more at www.nationalbailout.org.
Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, farmers and minority groups, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who see the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.
Liberation Library provides books to youth in prison to encourage imagination, self-determination and connection to outside worlds of their choosing. We believe access to books is a right, not a privilege. We believe books and relationships empower young people to change the criminal justice system.
SOUL believes that our faith calls us to the fight for justice for all, especially those who have historically been marginalized and oppressed. Our mission is to assist low-income people of color in the Chicago Southland to build power, then subsequently leverage that power to fight for their own interest and liberation. We achieve this mission by partnering with congregations, people of faith and local community groups, training them in disciplined organizing strategies, to build leadership, create public policy and foster legislation, engage in direction action, and hold their public officials accountable to the interest of their communities.