Archive for : Civil Rights

Spotlight On: Black Women’s Health Imperative

All February long during Black History Month, Repair the World is checking in with people and organizations working on the forefront of Black issues in America. Today we’ve got our spotlight on: Black Women’s Health Imperative – an incredible organization that educates and advocates for health equality for Black women.

Founded in 1981, BWHI has been a champion of health for more than three decades. Their campaigns focus on diseases that disproportionately impact Black women – things like cervical and breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They educate women about their healthcare options and provide the information and tools needed to get covered by medical insurance.

My Sister's Keeper

Meanwhile their campaigns – like Black Women Matter (an initiative focused on increasing the numbers of healthy black women in America) and My Sister’s Keeper (an advocacy initiative on Historically Black College campuses) – help raise awareness and foster a community of empowered, strong women.

Similar to the Black community, the Jewish community faces its own unique health risks – from genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs to a higher risk of breast cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women. (Check out the amazing education and advocacy work Sharsheret is doing on that front.) That’s just one reason of many why we support and salute the amazing work of BWHI!

To find out more about Black Women’s Health Imperative’s work, check out their website and Facebook page.

Repair Inspiration: New Harper Lee Novel on the Way

Literary fans, file this one under pure excitement. Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird, will be releasing a sequel – 55 years after the first book was published. Published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is known as one of the great books of the civil rights era. Her “new” book, Go Set a Watchman, which she actually wrote prior to Mockingbird, will come out in July. (Not surprisingly, it is currently the number 1 best-selling book on Amazon, despite being several months from publication.)

We’re inspired by Lee’s book for two reasons. Firstly, it will be exciting to read new words from the 88 year old author after years of silence. And secondly, while race inequalities continue to be one of our country’s greatest challenges, perhaps Lee’s new book can serve as a rallying call.

Find out more about Go Set a Watchman in the paragraphs below, and read the full story over at The New York Times.

Harper Lee, Author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Is to Publish a Second Novel
By: Alexandra Alter

For more than half a century, “To Kill a Mockingbird” has stood apart as a singular American literary masterpiece, a perennial best seller that has provoked countless classroom discussions about racial and social injustice. It brought instant and overwhelming fame to its enigmatic author, Harper Lee, who soon retreated from the spotlight to her native Monroeville, Ala. She never published another book, leaving her millions of fans yearning for more.

Now, at age 88, Ms. Lee has revealed that she wrote another novel after all — a sequel of sorts to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” featuring an aging Atticus Finch and his grown daughter, Scout.

On Tuesday, Ms. Lee’s publisher announced its plans to release that novel, recently rediscovered, which Ms. Lee completed in the mid-1950s, before she wrote “To Kill A Mockingbird.” The 304-page book, “Go Set a Watchman,” takes place 20 years later in the same fictional town, Maycomb, Ala., and unfolds as Jean Louise Finch, or Scout, the feisty child heroine of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” returns to visit her father. The novel, which is scheduled for release this July, tackles the racial tensions brewing in the South in the 1950s and delves into the complex relationship between father and daughter.

Read more…

How Did You Turn the Tables on MLK Day?

Pardon us while we kvell for a minute here, but MLK Day weekend was completely awesome. All over the country, people spent the day showing up and pitching in – volunteering in their communities to celebrate the legacy and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Repair the World was no exception. Our Turn the Tables campaign inspired more than 120 hosts and 1,000 guests to sit down for a Shabbat dinner to discuss racial injustices and civil rights. Meanwhile, it gave 700 volunteers an opportunity to plug into meaningful service projects across our five partner communities (Detroit, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh) and beyond.

Added up, that’s a lot of great minds and even more capable hands, coming together to stand up for justice and strong communities. As participant Rebecca Haskell in Oakland, California commented, “Turn the Tables provided time and space for people to broach a subject that we otherwise wouldn’t and talk about our thoughts, questions, and concerns.” We can’t think of a better way to honor Dr. King’s life and work.

If you joined in one of Repair the World’s Turn the Tables events (or if you did something else amazing to celebrate MLK Day), we want to hear from you! Leave us a comment below, or tweet us @repairtheworld.

Turn the Tables on MLK Day with Repair the World

“What is it America has failed to hear? …It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King’s heroic legacy of advancing civil and human rights in America lives on, even nearly 50 years after his death. But in recent months, whether in Ferguson, Missouri, Staten Island, New York, or countless other cities and towns across the country, there have been too many reminders that the work to ensure justice and freedom for all our country’s citizens is far from complete.

That is why this year, in honor of MLK Day, Repair the World is launching Turn the Tables – an initiative that promotes the principles at the center of Dr. King’s ideology, and works towards the promise of a more just society. The road ahead is long, so we must walk it together.

There are two ways to get involved over MLK Day weekend:

Host a Shabbat Supper
On January 16, turn your table into a forum for conversations about justice. Shabbat has traditionally been a sacred weekly time for Jews to gather with those closest to them. Repair the World invites everyone to use the Shabbat before MLK day as an opportunity to break bread and reflect on racial injustice issues that are on the minds of Americans following the tragic events in Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere.

Take Action
MLK Day is a nationally recognized Day of Service. On January 19, join thousands of Americans across the country in making our communities stronger and standing up to the challenges of racial inequality in meaningful and tangible ways. Sign up to make the commitment to make a difference for a cause you care about.

Learn more about Repair the World’s Turn the Tables initiative and get access to tons of resources for MLK Day and beyond.

Coming Up: Transgender Day of Remembrance

On November 20th, the Jewish community will join in in commemorating the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Founded in 1998, TDOR is an internationally-recognized day of action that memorializes trans people who died at the hands of transphobia and discrimination during the previous year. It is observed in more than 20 countries across the globe. Within the Jewish world, Keshet is leading the charge in ensuring rights, respect, and full inclusion for transgendered Jews in their communities. And they have put together a treasure trove of resources, stories, and events in honor of TDOR.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a heavy day – filled with the sorrow that comes from hate-fueled violence. In the words of Rabbi Becky Siverstein, the country’s first openly transgender rabbi, “Each time my community gathers for a prayer service, we ask someone in the congregation to say the Mourner’s Kaddish for those who have no one to say Kaddish for them. This is a powerful reminder that in the Jewish tradition mourning is a communal obligation.”

Join Keshet on November 20th and make a stand to advance transgender inclusion within the Jewish community. Find out how to get involved on their website.

Repair Inspiration: Malala’s Dad

By now you’ve likely heard of Malala Yousafzai, the courageous teenager who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for the simple act of getting an education. But have you heard about her father, educator Ziauddin Yousafzai?

In today’s bit of Repair Inspiration, here is a video of Mr. Yousafazai giving a TED Talk about his amazing daughter. It begins: “In many patriarchal societies..fathers are usually known by their sons. But I’m one of the few fathers who is known by his daughter, and I’m proud of it.” Let the chills subside, then check out his words in the video below:

Hungry for more? Find more than 1,000 inspirational TED Talks on their website.