Social Action Programs from RAC
Dear RAC-Ohio,The first lesson of our tradition teaches that all of humanity descended from a single person so future generations could not say to one another “my father was greater than your father.” And yet, our Reform Jewish legacy of fighting against racism and championing civil rights for all Americans is far from over. As part of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s movement-wide racial justice campaign, we are excited to share our Ohio 2021-2022 Racial Justice Legislative Agenda with you:
|“It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death.”|
Our first priority campaign this session is Death Penalty Abolition. RAC Ohio is proud to stand with our coalition partners from across the state in advocating for bipartisan bills that will repeal the death penalty in Ohio. Studies have found that racial bias infects every stage of the capital process – from prosecution to sentencing to execution. In Hamilton County, Ohio, a black defendant accused of killing a white victim is five times more likely to receive the death penalty than all other scenarios (Columbia Law Review 2020). Join people of faith across Ohio in doing away with this injustice by becoming a leader with RAC Ohio. Look out for opportunities to take action this fall including meeting with our representatives, educational events, and text/phone banking. Congregations will also receive educational resources about Jewish tradition and the Death Penalty.As second-priority issues, RAC-Ohio is also endorsing bi-partisan bail reform and an initiative to combat maternal-fetal mortality by covering doula (birth and post-partum support) services through Medicaid. These bi-partisan issues each impact thousands of Ohioans along racial and economic lines each year. We are looking forward to highlighting opportunities for our congregations to engage in learning about and advocating for all three bills. Get involved with the campaign today.In April, the Reform Movement launched a movement-wide Campaign for Racial Justice with three legs: national voting rights legislation, state-based issue campaigns, and congregational REDI (racial equity, diversity and inclusion) training. Look out for opportunities to involved with each of these. Here is how you can get started today:
- Act: Sign up to play a role in RAC-Ohio’s Racial Justice Campaign
- Advocate: Sign up to meet with your senators this summer about voting rights.
- Learn: Learn about wrongful conviction along with our coalition partners at the ACLU and Innocence Project in their Summer Book Club.
- Train: Commit to strengthening Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practices in your congregation or community. Register to attend DEI 101. There is also an option for clergy and congregational leaders to attend a 4-part training about creating a DEI working group in your congregation.
Rabbi Lader’s note: I hope you can join me and our Social Action team in one or all of these endeavors.