Dear Manny Cantor Center Community,
It has been an intense week in our city.
Fear, anguish, and violence fill our streets.
And also: solidarity, support, and strategic forward movement.
Led by African American organizers, New Yorkers of all backgrounds and ages are protesting, demanding that justice be served.
New Yorkers are standing at the sidelines of demonstrations, providing snacks, first aid, and face masks.
New Yorkers are organizing socially distanced vigils in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.
New Yorkers are bailing folks out of jail who have been arrested.
New Yorkers are texting and calling to repeal New York Civil Rights Law 50-a, which keeps police misconduct records secret from the public and makes it impossible to hold police accountable when they harm those they are sworn to protect.
New Yorkers are demanding a full review of our city’s budget, which allocates $6 billion to our police force while cutting significant services to afterschool, summer programs for children and teens, and city-wide recreational programming.
New Yorkers who are not African American are reading and learning and grappling with hard truths about our country’s past and its present.
New Yorkers together hold the hope that a new world will be born from these difficult days.
May our weekend be a peaceful one, and may our collective actions bring us closer to a just world.
Rabbi Joanna Samuels
Executive Director, Manny Cantor Center