SJC

How do you seek justice in your life? The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) works to “…do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God,” Micah 6:8.

Join us as we respond to injustice through discussion, prayer, education, advocacy and church/community events. For more information, email the SJC and join our Facebook group.

The 21 Day Challenge highlights media that we found deepened our understanding of racism. We share personal reflections and how we connect this work to our faith as Christians.

SJC Recommends...

The Social Justice Coalition invites you to look at themes of injustice, racial tensions and white supremacy through the varied lenses of media. With the United States’s shameful history of native american displacement and slavery to the ongoing debate about immigration, the topic of race in America is one that continues to need reflection, conversation, and action to combat the internal messages that we receive through our built-in value systems and false beliefs. Thankfully, there are wonderful resources available – inspiring stories about unforgettable leaders to heart-wrenching documentaries about civil rights. 

It is our hope that these recommendations start or continue essential conversations about race. They can shine a light on ways in which our faith can lead us forward into a world that is more diverse and accepting. 

What films and books have you experienced that promoted thoughts or conversation about anti-racism? Share the title with us at SJC01810@gmail.com.

“Trombone Shorty”
Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews
ages 4+

According to Goodreads, “Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest. Along with esteemed illustrator Bryan Collier, Andrews has created a lively picture book autobiography about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician…Click here for video clips, details about his philanthropic efforts, a video book review and an NPR interview.

photo: IMDB

“When They See Us”
Ava DuVernay
For mature teens ages 15 and up. Parental discretion is advised due to disturbing content.

Does everyone in jail belong there? We owe it to those swept up in our system of mass incarceration to watch Netflix’s four-part series “When They See Us,” the true story of the wrongful conviction of the Central Park Five accused of raping a jogger in 1989. Click for questions to consider, links to further reading, and SJC member, Mary Pritchard’s review.

“Loving”
Jeff Nichols
PG 13 for thematic elements-suitable for middle school students and above
Netflix, YouTube,  & Amazon Prime

Loving is the true story of an interracial relationship set in Virginia in the 1950s. Richard Loving was raised in a rural black community and falls in love with a young black girl, Mildred Jeter. When Mildred becomes pregnant, Richard proposes marriage. Meanwhile, both black and white families express their concerns because in Virginia in 1958, interracial marriage is illegal. Click here for the official trailer and discussion questions.

“Akeelah and the Bee”
Doug Atchison
family friendly PG rating

This entertaining and inspirational movie will provoke discussions about the roles that race and racism play as you follow the story of Akeelah Anderson, an eleven year old black girl growing up in Southern Los Angeles with a gift for spelling. When Akeelah is  encouraged by her teacher and the school principal, she becomes labelled by classmates as “smart”  and is made to feel separate because of it. Click here for more including the movie trailer and discussion questions for both before and after viewing…

More from the SJC

SJC signs on to Criminal Justice Reform

Read GBH’s “Prisoner Advocates Call For Reform Of Parole Board As Covid Spreads”

Jesus called us to care for the prisoner.  In 2021,  we are responding to this call by focusing our support on effective and fair criminal justice in Massachusetts, concentrating on our state’s poor racial equity record.  This is a bipartisan issue.

Most of us think of Massachusetts as a progressive state. But it is shocking to find our state has the fourth worst record in the country for racial disparities in criminal justice.  This includes the Parole Board.

On January 4th, the SJC signed a letter to state officials (along with 72 other Massachusetts organizations) calling for substantial reforms of the Parole Board.  We have plans to lobby for two state criminal justice reform bills; to uncover how justice stands in Essex County; and determine what action we can take.  The key emphasis will be on youth justice which has the poorest racial disparities record and the most potential for reform.

Conversations About the Justice System

Courageous Conversations, in partnership with Memorial Hall Library, is offering a series on online conversations focusing on the justice system and issues related to mass incarceration and the very real everyday impacts on communities, especially Black and Latinx communities. They are designed for everyone to participate in meaningful conversation and developing actions that can be taken.

Each program focuses on racial justice with local activist voices at the core. All are open to the public, registration is required.

3/10/2021 @ 7:00 PM – We Need to Talk About An Injustice: The Work of Bryan Stevenson
4/14/2021 @ 7:00 PM – What Positive Justice Looks Like: A Panel Discussion with UTEC (United Teen Equality Center) (Breaking Barriers to Youth Success)

Our South Church Library is a great resource for books about racial justice for both adults and children. Click here for book recommendations and info on how to safely check out our books.