Amid the sadness and anxiety of 2020, I received a wonderful gift – the opportunity to coordinate TBE’s Racial Justice Initiative’s Combating Voter Suppression campaign. It really was a gift! Like others, I felt like the world was falling apart around me. Coordinating this effort focused my attention and energies toward action, helping me feel like I was making a difference. From the large numbers who joined me in this effort, I know I was not alone in this feeling. I am in awe of the over 200 TBE members and friends who enthusiastically volunteered to participate.
It actually started in Fall 2019, when I participated in TBE’s Civil Rights Trip to Georgia and Alabama, learning about the race-based voter suppression activities of the present as well as the past. But what could we do to effect change?
When we returned to Boston, we teamed up with the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA) and the non-partisan Reclaim Our Vote campaign (and, after COVID hit, with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism) to write postcards to people of color in states with histories of voter suppression. Our message: “Your vote is your power.” We provided information about voter registration and early voting, sending more than 18,000 postcards and calling voters in 6 states.
What I didn’t expect from this experience was the sense of community and pride in that community it would give me. I met TBE members I had not known and got to know others better. I enjoyed connecting with folks when distributing postcard packets, and through email, text and phone. It was gratifying to be part of something bigger than myself, working together with my TBE community for tikkun olam. Thank you all.
The 2020 elections are over, but much work remains. Please join the TBE Racial Justice Initiative as we explore more ways to end voter suppression and engage civically.