Bridging Across Race
My husband and I spend much of our time thinking about ways to bridge across different religions, especially among the three Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. I have also been pursuing a complementary path over the past few years, seeking to understand the roots of anti-Black racism in the United States. I have become convinced that we must all actively engage as a society in anti-racism, the work to roll back, confront and defeat systemic racism. The cost to our society of racism, especially anti-Black racism, is enormous, and this is a self-inflicted wound. We can do better, America, but we must act.
Anti-racism begins with education. We need to understand our US history, how we got where we are, and the ways racism has infected our systems and institutions. I have been engaging in learning opportunities and small group discussions with people in different venues and with different curriculum over the past several years. The more I read the more I see the cost of racism burdening every one of us. I recommend a new book by Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together (2021).
As part of this anti-racism work, I facilitated a small group discussion for my husband's synagogue Congregation Beth Am this summer, using an anti-racism curriculum called Facing Our Truths developed by some Reform Synagogues. I was invited to speak at the Friday evening Shabbat services on August 26, 2022 and here is my talk:
I hope you will continue to learn about racism, including anti-Black racism, and ways we can confront it in the institutions where we are active. It takes a village. We can begin today to eduate ourselves about racism and confront it whereever we find it. To make progress, we need allies and so we need each other!
Let me know your thoughts about my talk, or how you are confronting racism.
Diane Frankle, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Building Bridges Together