Black Lives Matter

Dear HLS community,*

The Harvard Jewish Law Students Association unequivocally states that Black Lives Matter. The horrific murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Dion Johnson, and countless others demonstrate that systemic racism and police brutality are still pervasive in a system that has denied justice to Black people and communities for far too long.  As Jews, our commitment to standing in solidarity with the Black community to fight against these systemic elements is one rooted in our belief to not stand idly by in the face of injustice. We voice our commitment to supporting and following the lead of Harvard’s Black Law Student Association and will keep our own message short to elevate the voices of our peers. We encourage you to read BLSA’s statement.

The Jewish Law Students Association stands in solidarity with BLSA in their demands to the administration.

Those demands are:

  • Establish an office of diversity and inclusion.

  • Defund the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD).

  • Match donations.

  • Refrain from penalizing student protesters.

  • Implement mandatory annual implicit bias training for all Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) providers.

  • Implement a critical race theory curriculum.

  • Hire and retain more Black faculty and faculty of color.

  • Prison Divestment

To the Jewish students of Color in our community we commit to do better to center your voices.

In addition to the resources listed in the BLSA statement, here are ways to get involved:

Protest if you are willing.

Support the movement through means other than protesting.

Read how Black Jews are responding to the protests.

Bring these conversations to the dinner table with family members and friends.

Listen to this episode of NPR’s Code Switch to learn more about Jews’ relationship with race and identity in the US.

To the Jewish students who benefit from white privilege in our community, here are 10 Rules for Engagement for White Jews Joining the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.

For JLSA members interested in getting involved with a social justice working group within JLSA, please fill out this form. We’ll experiment with how to make this work remotely.

We commit to listening, learning, and standing with our peers as an organization and community.

In Solidarity,

Harvard Jewish Law Students Association

*This post was originally distributed via email and Facebook on June 16.

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