The Sisterhood teens recently welcomed an esteemed group of panelists for a conversation on Black women’s experiences in Muslim and Jewish communities. We were grateful to be joined by Sisterhood former teen co-leader, Asiyah Ball, former jGirls Magazine editor, Makeda Zabot-Hall, Be’chol Lashon Director of Community Engagement, Lindsey Newman, and Assistant Professor at Rhode Island College, Leslie Grinner.
The event explored Muslim and Jewish approaches to social justice and what religious texts say about justice, oppression, and equality, the experience of Black women in faith communities, and how teens can overcome the generational gap to become leaders in the movement for racial justice. Panelists spoke of unity and solidarity as fundamental to their respective faiths, of the practice of standing up against injustice as inherent to their traditions, and of racism not as a problem “out in the world,” but as one within their own circles, as faith communities are made up of people of all colors. The conversation explored how perspectives of racism and discrimination change from generation to generation and how to honor people’s multi-faceted identities. The teens had time to reflect upon these women’s individual experiences and on their own role in ensuring our shared communities are welcoming to all people- our neighbors, our family, our friends. We are grateful to Asiyah, Leslie, Lindsey, and Makeda for sharing their voices with us!