“It can be uncomfortable to acknowledge, but white privilege is the inseparable flip-side of systemic racism,” said Councilmember Brad Lander.
On Sept. 14, Council Members Jumaane D. Williams and Brad Lander on Wednesday hosted a Racial Justice Town Hall to provide residents an open forum to discuss racism, privilege and what it meant to be an ally with people of color.
“It can be uncomfortable to acknowledge, but white privilege is the inseparable flip-side of systemic racism,” said Lander.
“There is essential work to be done in all communities, and I’m thrilled we had so many members of our community turn out for a discussion about playing an active role in confronting racism and supporting organizations and coalitions fighting for racial justice here in Brooklyn.”
The town hall opened up with introductory remarks by Williams, Lander, BMC Executive Director Mark Winston Griffith, and Rabbi Rachel Timoner.
The goal of the forum also was to deepen community leaders’ understanding of systematic and interpersonal racism, create a supportive space where White New Yorkers could reflect on their privilege, while strategizing on concrete next steps for leaders to take in furthering community engagement in Black social issues affecting the City.
“This kind of dialogue — dialogue that encourages us to search honestly into the nature of white privilege and the roots of systemic racism in our own lives — is exactly what we need right now,” said Rabbi Timoner, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Elohim.
“Judaism calls upon us at this season to search our ways and turn to the best we can be. I hope that this community forum was just one of many such opportunities we’ll share to do this important work.”