Support the Asheville Racial Justice Coalition’s “Walk the Walk” Campaign!
In June of this year, multiple organizations in the Asheville Jewish Community co-signed a joint statement of solidarity with those experiencing harm and grief from widescale racism in our society. We committed to educating ourselves and actively supporting organizations addressing racism.
Effective justice work centers around the notion of “Nothing About Us Without Us.” For policy changes genuinely to address racism, the people who are most affected by decisions must be central to the decision-making. Many believe that the City of Asheville’s efforts to engage the Black community, gathering information and ideas and applying them to decision-making, have been inadequate. The Racial Justice Coalition of Asheville is launching the Walk the Walk Campaign, an in-depth canvassing initiative directly engaging people most affected by City and County decisions regarding reimagining public safety and approaches for reparations.
“Asheville has the potential to actually address the centuries of racism and the institutionalized oppression that has caused so much harm here. Healing is possible. It’s not an easy or straightforward path, but at RJC, we believe it’s possible, and we know that the community most impacted must guide the direction our City takes.
“City officials declared that wide-scale community engagement was necessary to reimagine public safety, and yet in their recent community engagement process with six different listening sessions, only 85 Black people participated out of a total Black population approaching 17,000. And the extent to which those 85 people were listened to is unknown, as no changes suggested by the City impact the realities that Black folks feel unsafe and unheard by our City leadership.”
— from the RJC Leadership Team
The RJC Grassroots Outreach Team, made up of Black community members from various neighborhoods, will conduct surveys and have in-depth conversations with those most impacted, then synthesize this information and use it to inform policy recommendations that reflect the real needs and desires of these communities.
It is essential that as many people as possible in Asheville’s and Buncombe County’s Black communities have their voices heard and their ideas followed through with in any and all decisions Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners make regarding public safety and reparations. The data this team will gather will be invaluable information for both short-term budgetary decisions and the critical ongoing work of reparations.
CJJ-West supports this project and encourages the Jewish community to learn more and donate here: https://www.rjcavl.org/donate/