More Advocacy Resources

Much of the third week focused on gun violence and Jewish responses to it as well as on anti-Jewishness. Here are some additional resources on those topics.

Gun Violence Prevention

Here are some gun violence responses, beginning with a plea to look up the original “Project Orange Tree,” brainchild of Hadiya Pendleton’s classmates:

Most of the victims that died in the year 2012 were innocent bystanders. By wearing orange on April 1st we are showing others that we are human and wish not be gunned down, because bullets do not discriminate against race, age, or sexual orientation. Gun Violence has become an epidemic, and will soon result in genocide, especially in the African American community.

“Structural violence refers to systematic ways in which social structures harm or otherwise disadvantage individuals. Structural violence is subtle, often invisible, and often has no one specific person who can (or will) be held responsible.” By raising awareness about how structural violence directly affects deviant behavior we can slow down gun violence in Chicago. The people have to realize that gun violence is a result of how the government has manipulated variables that put us in cramped homes, land us in food deserts, and gives us poor educational opportunities, all resulting in deviant behavior.

In order to make a difference, the citizens of the world have to correctly identify the root problem of violence, and find ways fix them, or build a bridge over it. Project Orange Tree is doing this.
— Project Orange Tree website, https://pottest.wordpress.com/

When Everytown USA and Moms Demand Action adopted the “Wear Orange” concept, a general “gun violence awareness” gained a lot of traction. But the focus shifted very far from these young people and their expression of their own reality and their own needs, particularly around structural violence. All kinds of work is needed to end the scourge of gun violence — and to help us mourn in ways that honor the lives of people lost to guns, not just their deaths — and at least some of that energy must go to focusing on the actual voices of young people (not just using them as props for an adult agenda).

The Reform movement offers the somewhat related “Wear Orange Shabbat Toolkit.” Ritual Well has a number of prayers and offerings related to mourning victims of gun violence

Resources to Address Anti-Jewishness (Antisemitism)

The quote from Aurora Levins Moraleson Day 17 comes from Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering to Our Movement a 2017 resource provided by Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ):

This project was conceived in conversation between Aurora Levins Morales and Dove Kent, and grew from a series of teaching calls about the impact of antisemitism on JFREJ’s organizing work. Aurora joined JFREJ for two years as a Poet and Elder-in-Residence, contributed in substantial ways to shaping our vision, and wrote much of the initial draft of this paper. The work then passed into other hands, but Aurora both planted and watered the seeds.

The 2017 document is available for free download from JFREJ.org. At the same link is the newer “Unraveling Antisemitism,” referenced later in this journey. Learn more about both and about related work here:
https://www.jfrej.org/campaigns/antisemitism