An Update on BBYO’s Pledge to Build and Sustain a Practice of Anti-Racism
July 17, 2020
On June 1, 2020, BBYO teen leaders issued a statement standing in solidarity with the Black community and all communities of color and made a series of commitments to move BBYO forward as an action-oriented network in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
While we knew our first step needed to be rooted in partnership and education, we also wanted to engage in a profound introspection, examining long-held traditions and practices to be sure they aligned with our inclusive and anti-racist values. We committed to identify and launch educational opportunities, to deepen our understanding of racial injustice, to welcome and celebrate the Jewish community’s diversity, including teens and adults of color, and to actively fight racism and prejudice as we work toward shaping a world that ensures compassion and justice for all.
We would like to be held accountable for the commitment we made to the larger BBYO community and as citizens of the world to do our part to fight against racism and prejudice. Below is a list of what we have enacted to date:
While there remains much work to be done, our teen, lay, and professional leaders are enthusiastically embracing the current reckoning and continue to make strides toward change. In Judaism, there is a practice called Cheshbon Nefesh, literally “accounting of the soul,” which is traditionally done at the New Year to help focus on what we need to change within ourselves to attain true growth. Over the past few weeks, many of us have engaged deeply in& Cheshbon Nefesh, and the actions we are taking serve to strengthen the role our Movement plays in being a place of community and inclusivity, and that is welcoming to all.
We commit to keeping everyone informed of our efforts and actions by updating this page regularly with news of our progress, and sharing information on our social media platforms via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We also invite you to reach out to us at [email protected] to provide input and feedback, or to become involved in our work.