• Week One

    Welcome to Week One Of Our Confessions of the Heart 30-Day Racial Equity Challenge!

     

    As we begin the month of Elul, we welcome you to a unique anti-racism journey of Teshuvah and return as we courageously explore our individual and collective capacity for growth, healing and change.

    Getting Started With The Daily Prompts...
    1. Make an Appointment with Yourself: Please plan to set aside between 20-30 minutes daily for engaging the "Confessions of the Heart" resources.

    2. Create a Space for Yourself: It will be helpful for you to find a quiet place daily where you feel comfortable reading, watching, listening and paying attention to what comes up for you as you move through each day's prompts.

    3. Your journal is your friend: Use your journal to write down any feelings, reflections that emerge from your engagement of the resources--big or small. Your journal will offer you a map for growth as we move forward.

    4. Build support around you: Schedule weekly 15-minute appointments with your racial equity listening partner ahead of each week so that they can joyfully witness, support and celebrate your growth with you. A good question for this listening partnership might be: What are you learning this week and how is it connecting to your life?
     
    Differentiated Tracks…
    To uphold equity in our learning approach, we have included both white and Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi POC learning tracks. These differentiated learning tracks are meant to support you in getting to the heart of what comes up for you racially when engaging in anti-racist work. If you're excited for this challenge but are not sure which track to choose, try answering the following questions:

    1. When asked, how do you identify racially?
    2. When not asked, how are you perceived racially “on the street”? (i.e. how do others perceive you will relate to how you experience and navigate systems?)
    3. In an anti-racism learning group, where would you go to be challenged by others without overburdening them? Where would you go because of a shared affinity/lived experience/identity with others?
    4. Which learning track feels most aligned with your answers to 1-3?

    As a reminder...
    Yavilah McCoy's powerful adaptation of the Al Chet/Confession liturgy offers a frame for this challenge, so take a few minutes to read it if you haven't yet.

    Ready? Let's get going...

     

  • Al Chet Week One: For The Sins Of Silence...

    Neither the Jewish Emergent Network nor Dimensions are directly endorsing any of the artists, healers, diverse teachers of faith, or other content creators whose work is linked in this challenge. We are sharing the world of spirit equitably with many people as we endeavor to learn more about our need to work together across diverse faith communities to dismantle racism and white supremacy for us all.​

  • Day One

  • White Jews Learning Track

    We reflect individually and communally on the need to heal and repair the racial equity impacts of our silence...

     

    On this first day of our anti-racism journeying together, we welcome you to open your heart to a deeper exploration of the relationship between racism and silence.

    LISTEN: White Silence podcast

    REFLECT: Teacher and healer Mark Nepo has taught:Only when I stop collecting evidence do my stones begin to speak...” 

    What is the story of anti-racism and you? Where are you currently engaging anti-racism practice and where could you use a hand? Sit quietly and consider what’s at stake for you in doing racial equity work? Write a personal statement naming what brings you to the work of anti-racism explicitly. How do you hope to challenge yourself over the next 30 days?

    Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi and More Broadly Identified Jews of Color Learning Track

    We reflect individually and communally on the need to heal and repair the racial equity impacts of silence and internalized racism...

     

    Reading, Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ: Silence by Langston Hughes + Embodiment

    REFLECT: How old were you when you first experienced yourself as being of color? Write a detailed description of where you were, who you were with, how the experience felt for you. Have you previously shared this experience? What made you share/not share this experience with others? If you could go back in time to this experience and say one thing to your younger self that would deepen your sense of dignity/healing/repair what would it be?

  • Day Two

     

  • White Jews Learning Track

    Reading, Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ:
     Silence by Langston Hughes + Embodiment

    REFLECT: How old were you when you first experienced yourself as having a white racial identity? Write a detailed description of where you were, who you were with, how the experience of being racialized felt for you, and who you told about this experience. What made you share/not share about this experience?

     

    Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi and More Broadly Identified Jews of Color Learning Track 

    Reading, Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ: "Micheaux: Celebrating Blackness" and Being Unapologetically Black    

    REFLECT: Where have you found opportunities to resist anti-blackness by celebrating Blackness in your personal or professional life? Where have you made space for yourself or others to express/appreciate "unapologetic" Blackness? What opportunities do you currently have for celebrating Blackness with others? What's one thing you might do differently to make more room for the empowerment of Black people in the personal and professional spaces you navigate?

     

  • Day Three

  • White Jews Learning Track

    Reading, Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ: "You and White Silence" Excerpted from Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

    REFLECT: How have you stayed silent when it comes to race and racism? What types of situations elicit the most white silence from you? How has your silence been complicit in upholding racist behavior? How do you benefit from white silence? Whom in your life do you harm with your white silence?

    Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi and More Broadly Identified Jews of Color Learning Track 

    Reading, Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ: Internalized Racism Inventory by Cultural Bridges

    REFLECT: What are you learning from your responses to the Internalized Racism Inventory? What are areas for growth around Internalized Racism that you can explicitly name and work on over the next 30 days?

    LISTEN: Strength, Courage & Wisdom by India Arie

  • Day Four

  • White Jews Learning Track

    Listen to Music, Prayer & Share

     

    LISTEN to Music: Rise Up by Andra Day   

    REFLECT: Compose a short anti-racist prayer/vision for yourself that describes your hopes and commitments for deepening your anti- racist practice by re-evaluating your relationship to silence. Share your prayer aloud with at least one other person today.

    Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi and More Broadly Identified Jews of Color Learning Track 

    Reading, Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ: What is Internalized Racism?   

    REFLECT:
    1. How do you see internalized racism impacting you personally or the communities or groups that you work with?
    2. What challenges are you facing in dealing with or addressing internalized racism in your current work with other JOCs? What are opportunities for addressing internalized racism in your current work?
    3. The concept of the "false culture of race" suggests that there is a more authentic culture available to us. What new cultural possibilities for JOCs are you dreaming of?
    4. Have you experienced JOCs, as individuals or as a collective, perpetuating racism?
    5. Have you experienced internalized racism interfering with collective functioning across JOCs?
    6. Have you experienced institutions you work with keeping Jews of Color divided and competing with one another for access and resources? What role might you play in helping Jews of Color collectively to resist these dynamics?
    7. Think of a situation in which you (depending on your position) exercised or colluded with white privilege. What would need to change at the inner, interpersonal, institutional/structural level in order for this to have had a different outcome?
    8. What does it mean for you as a Jew of Color to hold your institution accountable?
    9. What relationships do you and other Jews of color you work with have as individuals and as a collective with people of color in communities of resistance?
    10. When you consider the four levels on which internalized racism operates (inner, interpersonal, institutional/structural and cultural) where do you imagine the most possibilities for change?

  • Day Five

     

  • White Jews Learning Track

    Reading , Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ Article: Nothing to Add: A Challenge to White Silence in Racial Discussion by Robin DiAngelo

    REFLECT: In your personal and interpersonal relationships, how are you using silence to make space for the voices of those who have been historically marginalized and unheard due to racism? In your racial equity practice how are you reflecting on the impacts of "White Silence" on structural racism?  

    Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi and More Broadly Identified Jews of Color Learning Track 

    Reading, Reflection & Journal Writing

    READ Poetry: Three Poems on Silence and Surviving Oppression; Healing Oppression

    REFLECT: Discussing Racism and oppression can often mean revisiting trauma. How are you using silence, explicit agreements, and carefully cultivated conditions of safety, compassion and mindfulness to encourage constructive and healing discussions about racism? What are you learning? What are you curious about? What's one thing that you can imagine doing differently?

     

  • Day Six

  • White Jews Learning Track

    Reflection & Journal Writing

    BUY BOOK: Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide 2nd Edition by Barbara Trepagnier     

    CLOSING REFLECTION: Im Ain Ani Limi Li? If I am not for myself, who will be for me? Ukisheani Liatzmi Ma Ani? And if I am only for myself who am I? Vi im lo achshav, aimatai? And if not now, when? Pirkei Avot 1:14:2

    As a child I used to travel down from Brooklyn to NC to stay with my grandmother for the Summer. In NC when storms came in the thunder would roll and the floors beneath us would shake. During storms, my grandmother would turn out all the lights in the house and tell me and my cousins “y’all be quiet now and listen… Hashem is speaking to you.” Now as I share this with you today, I hope you realize that it doesn’t really matter whether you believe that NC thunder is the voice of God, just because my Nana said so. What matters is, how my Nana helped us to internalize what it means to be still and listen closely when the world is telling you loudly that there is something bigger than yourself moving through the world...
    -Yavilah McCoy

    Journal Writing:

    • Name "something bigger than yourself" that is currently connecting you to the work of racial equity and inspiring you to either sit with or move beyond silence.
    • What's one action that you will take in the coming week to use your voice differently in service of deeper racial equity?

    Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi and More Broadly Identified Jews of Color Learning Track 

    Listen, Reflection and Journal Writing

    LISTEN to Podcast: Doing Antiracism Work Layla F. Saad

    READ:  Self Care Toolkit for Personal-Family-Community Care

    REFLECT: How are you centering your own self-care within your Anti-racism practice? What is an appointment you can make with yourself regularly for healing/rest/joy/celebration? Describe your next appointment in detail and place your next date with yourself on your calendar.
     
    CLOSING REFLECTION: Im Ain Ani Limi Li? If I am not for myself, who will be for me? Ukisheani Liatzmi Ma Ani? And if I am only for myself who am I? Vi im lo achshav, aimatai? And if not now, when? -Pirkei Avot 1:14:2

    As a child I used to travel down from Brooklyn to NC to stay with my grandmother for the Summer. In NC when storms came in the thunder would roll and the floors beneath us would shake. During storms, my grandmother would turn out all the lights in the house and tell me and my cousins “y’all be quiet now and listen…Hashem is speaking to you.” Now as I share this with you today, I hope you realize that it doesn’t really matter whether you believe that NC thunder is the voice of God, just because my Nana said so. What matters is, how my Nana helped us to internalize what it means to be still and listen closely when the world is telling you loudly that there is something bigger than yourself moving through the world...
    -Yavilah McCoy

    Journal Writing:

    • Name "something bigger than yourself" that is currently connecting you to the work of dismantling internalized racism?  What is inspiring you to either sit with or move beyond silence?  
    • What's one action that you will take in the coming week to use your voice differently in service of deeper racial equity? 
  • Day Seven

  • White Jews Learning Track

    Shabbat: Rest & Reflect

    Black, Indigenous, Sephardi/Mizrachi and More Broadly Identified Jews of Color Learning Track