A Letter from Young Adult Volunteers in Light of Racial Violence and Police Brutality

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 A Letter from Young Adult Volunteers in Light of Racial Violence and Police Brutality

Dear Presbytery of Boston,

As Young Adult Volunteers in the Presbyterian Church USA, our mission is to “work to confront the systemic challenges of race, class, gender, and power, while learning to examine [our] own lives and actions.” Throughout our BFJYAV year, we have participated in racial equity classes, attended talks (notably one by Leah Penniman), and engaged Food Solutions New England 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge. Through these experiences, “my eyes, ears, and heart began to open to communities of color in a way that I had been ignorant for far too long” (Rebekah Woodburn, BFJYAV).


Another way we’ve engaged race is through film, watching Just Mercy in theaters and streaming Ava DuVerneay’s 13th shortly into the COVID-19 lockdown.  

We’d like to invite you to watch the film 13th by Ava DuVernay found on Netflix and/or YouTube for free and join us for a virtual dinner & discussion about it on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 6pm. (Email us at bfjyavprogram@gmail.com to get the Zoom link)

“It was striking to recognize how so many white people are now quick to say that they would never stand for slavery when in reality, the grip of systemic racism is still so strong and yet many still fall silent.” -- Rebekah Woodburn, BFJYAV (‘19-’20)

“This movie made it clear that racist acts are not distinct actions or moments that happen as outliers, but a systemic, baked-in and ever-present oppression since outright slavery over 400 years ago.” --Sierra Mink, BFJYAV (‘19-’20)

Join us to discuss this powerful documentary film and in confronting systemic racism in several other ways, such as:

  • Place yourself and/or your organization on this anti-racist continuum chart and consier ways to move to be a fully anti-racist individual/institution; make a plan and take action
  • Sign up for the virtual “march” with the Poor People’s Campaign and tune in with us on June 20th at 10am and 6pm; June 21st at 6pm
  • Watch the film Just Mercy about Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative and many others that are streaming for free this month in light of all the recent tragedies

Friends, it is with heavy and hopeful hearts we cry out: Black Lives Matter! May God’s desire for justice be within us all and may it empower us to do the work of dismantling racism together.


Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteers 

Sierra Mink and Rebekah Woodburn, with Site Coordinator Sarah Goodloe


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