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Each week, colleagues and friends April Baskin and Tracie Guy-Decker, discuss and unpack race and racism from our Jewish perspectives. You'll find April and Tracie have a lot in common and some important differences: April is a multiracial, Askenazi Jewish woman of color and Tracie is a white, Ashkenazi Jewish woman. Join us on this journey as we move together toward racial justice.
 
Right now: Covering the trial of Kim Potter accused of killing Daunte Wright, the community’s reaction, and exploring the changes needed to create a more just society. Racial Reckoning: The Arc of Justice is a journalism initiative from Ampers, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities, KMOJ Radio, and the Minnesota Humanities Center covering the trials of the officers accused of killing George Floyd, the community’s reaction, and exploring the changes needed to create a more just society.
 
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We're rounding off this month's MVPs (most valuable podcasts) with a conversation about the Shmita year (if you haven't been commemorating it, don't worry! There's still time!). As we’re In our current pandemic-, racism-, and climate-change-ravaged times, April and Tracie talk about the Shmita Year, or Sabbatical Year, which we just began at Rosh H…
 
What happens when you bring together a group of young women of color to cover one of the most racially charged trials in our country’s history? Really. Good. Journalism. In this special, we’re looking back at Racial Reckoning: The Arc of Justice, a journalism project of KMOJ Radio in Minneapolis, Ampers Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities and…
 
This week, we’re airing an earlier MVP (most valuable podcast) where April and Tracie dig into and challenge the oft-repeated notion that proximity across a line of difference immunizes against bigotry or racism. In other words, the assertion “I can’t be racist, my (fill-in-the-blank) is Black." We discuss how the good/bad binary plays into this mi…
 
We’re bringing back an oldie but a VERY important goodie! In this week’s episode (or MVP, “most valuable podcast,”) April and Tracie discuss Eric Ward’s Skin in the Game point about the conditional whiteness of Ashkenazi Jews, unpacking (with both/and thinking) the reaction some Jews have regarding their whiteness. April uses her experiences as a U…
 
This week, we’re re-releasing an MVP --one of our Most Valuable Podcasts. Way back in episode 2, April and Tracie spoke about better alternatives to some of the micro-aggressive things white-identified Jews often say to Jews of Color. So what happens if you overhear someone else saying a micro-aggressive question or comment? What can you do? What s…
 
As we commemorate Yom HaShoah, the Jewish-community-designated Holocaust Memorial Day, we talk about balancing the incomprehensible nature of the Shoah with the need to continue to work to process and heal (comrehend?) the collective trauma of the Shoah and its intergenerational effects. What more would be possible if we were able to access capacit…
 
This Passover, there was an ongoing–sometimes heated–conversation on social media about singing the Negro spiritual “Let My People Go” during the Passover seder. In our conversation this week, April explains why she will continue to sing this song at her Seder table and we get into the nuance and the nitty-gritty of the debate around appropriation …
 
This Passover, we’re noticing that folks are quick to identify with the Israelites, but what about the circumstances where we’re in the role of the Egyptians? How can we work to dismantle the binary of good and bad, victim and villain and move toward greater wholeness? Can we invite the intervention that will alter the circumstances and lead to fre…
 
As we approach Passover 5782, we’re thinking about the tension inherent in commemorating a moment of acute urgency with practices that require a lot of time, intention, and planning. The Passover story contains multiple moments when our ancestors and predecessors displayed both faith and radical imagination, but when ritual becomes rigid, it can li…
 
This week, we’re bringing you our conversation from our live event on March 23. If we’re being real here (which we ALWAYS are), we know that many of us (especially in the Jewish community) are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and hurt by the state of the world. April and Tracie (and a couple of amazing community members!) give us some helpful framing…
 
We cover a LOT of ground in today’s conversation, where we get curious about what prevents some folks and groups from accessing joy. We talk about Black joy, the whiteness of white Jews and what often makes embracing joy difficult (and the impact of the historical middle agent role), individual and collective safety, and imagining our liberated sel…
 
Inspired by the holiday of Purim, April and Tracie use the practice of giving mishloach manot or Purim baskets, to unpack the difference between intention and impact. (Who knew you could learn so much from fruit-filled cookies?) They also interrogate the relationship between Vashti and Esther, and use them as a metaphor for differently-positioned J…
 
April and Tracie think about some of the lessons of Purim: hidden identities, the power of 'no,' the power of being in the right place, the importance of joy, and the links between joy and liberation. Find discussion questions for this episode: joyousjustice.com/blog/jews-talk-racial-justice-ep-79 Find April and Tracie's full bios and submit topic …
 
With all that’s going on in the world right now (and since we’re in the middle of two (2!) months of Adar, we thought it would be good to reprise Episode 10 from the conclusion of election season. Tracie asks April for advice on working through the negative emotions that sometimes accompany justice work. They unpack the ways we've been taught to as…
 
A couple of weeks ago, we did a Facebook Live where we used popular tv shows to help us playfully make a point about how folks sometimes overestimate their skills when it comes to DEI work–or really anything. In this episode, we revisit that conversation and add some additional commentary. If you tuned in the first time around, stick around for a w…
 
In today’s conversation, April and Tracie unpack white Jews’ whiteness, the history of race and Jewish racialized identities, and the benefits of getting clear about who is actually in the ingroup. Using metaphors from physics to sanctuaries, we talk about historic and contemporary intersections of the social construct of race and lived identities …
 
In this edited version of a Facebook live that April recorded after Whoopi Goldberg’s comments and the controversy that followed, April digs deep into her analysis of the reactions many in the Jewish community expressed. Internalized terror and persisting unhealed trauma–elicited by the Holocaust and centuries of persecution–among white Ashkenazi J…
 
Many of us are learning about racial justice and trying to implement DEI in our lives and workplaces, but sometimes we become so stuck in our questions that it keeps us distanced and prevents us from going–and staying–in the deep end. In this conversation, April and Tracie challenge us to get intellectually intimate with the learning and to use our…
 
It’s been almost two weeks since the Colleyville synagogue hostage situation, an antisemitic event that was incredibly scary for Jewish communities. During this conversation from just a few days after, we dive into the feelings of isolation that many of us are experiencing, the all-encompassing nature of grief, our internalized terror and communal …
 
A few weeks into 2022, April and Tracie share with us what they’ve learned about how to set intentions and their best practices for succeeding. Referencing the conversation they had in Episode 70, they chat about achieving goals versus implementing systems. They unpack some of the patterns around setting intentions and assumptions of our own enough…
 
As MLK Day and Tu B'Shvat overlap this coming week, April and Tracie unpack the lessons we can learn from trees and their growth in our racial justice journeys. They get into the nuances and differences between treating the symptoms of oppression and injustice – often addressed through “service” – and diagnosing and healing the root causes. And, th…
 
It’s the first week of January and April and Tracie are thinking about resolutions. We delve into willpower, habits, and mindset, and discuss the role of American individualism in the culture of New Year’s Resolutions. Ultimately, we look for a better way to change our habits–and stop beating ourselves up with flawed systems. Check out our discussi…
 
In this week’s episode, April and Tracie talk about how questions around racial justice often come from a place of “stuckness,” keeping us from making real progress on racial justice. They discuss ways in which you can work through your questions to get past this stuckness. Check out our discussion/reflection questions for this episode: https://joy…
 
After three days of deliberation a jury found former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter guilty of two counts of manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: After three days of deliberation, on Thursday a jury found former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter guilty of two counts of manslaughter in …
 
In this week’s episode, Tracie and April discuss the phrase, “stay humble and keep going,” the final words of the podcast every week. They explore why they chose this simple phrase and what it means to them. Check out our discussion/reflection questions for this episode: https://joyousjustice.com/blog/jews-talk-racial-justice-ep-67 Find April and T…
 
As jury deliberation continues in the Kim Potter trial, many are evaluating the state of racial justice in Minnesota. We talk to former Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty. Chioma Uwagwu reports: As jury deliberation continues in the Kim Potter trial, many are evaluating the state of racial justice in Minnesota. Former Brooklyn Cent…
 
Kim Potter's crying in court is more than an expression of remorse; it’s part of a history of white women weaponizing their tears against people of color. -- Tiffany Bui reports: The jury in the trial of Kim Potter is deciding whether she is guilty of manslaughter for killing Daunte Wright. The 12 jurors have spent over 14 hours in deliberations. L…
 
The state's prosecution and the defense made their closing arguments Monday. -- I’m Georgia Fort with the latest on the Kim Potter trial A jury is deliberating the verdict in the Kim Potter trial. Closing arguments concluded Monday afternoon and the State rested its case. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump addressed the media as deliberations got unde…
 
Potter said she did not intend to use deadly force against Duante Wright. She stated she didn’t recall saying “I’m going to go to prison” immediately after the shooting. -- Safiya Mohamed reports: Former Police Officer Kim Potter took the stand on Friday in her own defense. During her testimony, Potter repeatedly broke down and expressed remorse fo…
 
The state rested its case Thursday; the defense called on six witnesses. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: The state rested its case in the trial of former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter on Thursday. The defense proceeded to present its first 6 witnesses. Former police chief Timothy Gannon testified that Potter was justified in her use of force. “Wh…
 
This week, we’re sharing an excerpt from one of our “Shared Agreements” videos of Racial Justice Launch Pad, a recently-released Joyous Justice program. April and Tracie discuss the dynamics of power and privilege baked into the well-known phrase “the customer is always right.” They also unpack the pattern of being “helpful” by giving (critical) fe…
 
Police use of force expert Seth Stoughton testified that even Potter’s use of a taser on Daunte Wright would have been unreasonable. Wright's father also took the stand. -- Tiffany Bui reports: Former police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights in federal court on Wednesday. In a separate case, he a…
 
When asked if he was aware of another officer mistaking their gun for their taser, expert witness Sgt. Mike Peterson said he was not. Other testimony revealed that Potter did not test her taser as required by her department the day she fatally shot Daunte Wright, and that the position of her duty belt was also under question. -- Georgia Fort report…
 
The Bush Foundation has selected Saint Paul-based Nexus Community Partners to redistribute $50 million to Black residents across Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The funds will focus on building entrepreneurship, homeownership, and education. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: Former officer Derek Chauvin has requested to change his plea of inn…
 
Racial Justice scholar Dr. Yohuru Williams says the trial underscores the need for broader conversations that address police brutality and reimagine public safety. Safiya Mohamed reports: The trial of former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter for the killing of Daunte Wright continues this week. Dr. Yohuru Williams is a professor of History …
 
Tiffany Bui reports: Thursday marked the second day of the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. The jury viewed footage of Wright’s car crashing into another civilian’s car after he was shot. Alayna Albrecht-Payton, the passenger in Daunte Wright’s car, testified about her attempts to stop Wright’s bleeding after Potter shot h…
 
In this week’s episode, Tracie and April reflect on the concept of Shleimut, Wholeness, and how it was a driving force for April when she created the Ko’ach Fellowship, supported by Rise Up. April shares more about the Ko’ach Fellowship and together with Tracie, they discuss how healing, wholeness, and peace are all interconnected. Check out our di…
 
The prosecution and the defense laid out their arguments. The jury also heard from Daunte Wright's mother and another officer on the scene. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: On Wednesday a jury heard opening statements in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Potter claims she meant to reach for her taser in the traffic stop tha…
 
The Minnesota State Patrol is rolling out body cameras for troopers. Meanwhile, legislators are concerned about the acquisition and use of facial recognition technology by government entities. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: Last week, the Minnesota State Patrol announced the rollout of body cameras for 40 troopers. The entire force will be equipped w…
 
Chief Arrandondo made history in 2018 by becoming the first Black police chief in the city’s history. -- Chioma Uwagwu reports: On Monday Minneapolis chief of police Medaria Arradondo announced he will step down from his position in January 2022. “After much personal reflection and thoughtful discussions with my family and Mayor Frey, I have made t…
 
The Victoria Theater Arts Center mission includes working against gentrification and police brutality. -- Tiffany Bui reports: 14 years after being saved from demolition, a historic theater in St. Paul is getting ready to open as a community art space. The Victoria Theater Arts Center (VTAC) is in the final stretch of fundraising; staff say they an…
 
Thursday, the Hennepin County court seated the last three jurors for the trial of the former Brooklyn Center police officer charged in the death of Daunte Wright. The court still needs to seat two alternate jurors before it can begin testimony. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: Thursday, the Hennepin County court seated the last three jurors for the tri…
 
In this week’s episode, April and Tracie use the Talmudic debate on how to light the Chanukah menorah to reflect on light, darkness, and what this holiday can teach us about navigating the difficult times in our lives. Check out our discussion/reflection questions for this episode: https://joyousjustice.com/blog/jews-talk-racial-justice-ep-65 Find …
 
The court now has 9 of the 12 jurors needed. Meanwhile a motorist drove through a crowd gathered in solidarity with Daunte Wright’s family. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: Wednesday, the Hennepin County court seated 5 additional jurors for the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Potter is charged with two counts of manslaughter …
 
Four jurors were confirmed: two white males (one in his 20s and another in his 50s), an Asian woman in her 40s and one white woman in her 60s. -- Chioma Uwagwu reports: On Monday, jury selection began for the trial of ex-Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter. Potter is facing first and second degree manslaughter charges in the killing of D…
 
Potter is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter after she shot Daunte Wright on April 11 during a traffic stop. Wright’s family and community leaders held a press conference Monday afternoon to demand Potter be held accountable. -- Georgia Fort reports: Jury selection for former Brooklyn Center Police officer Kimberly Potter begins toda…
 
In this week’s episode April and Tracie continue to explore their thoughts around Thanksgiving and the tension between a holiday about gratitude and family and its racist, genocidal origins. Check out our discussion/reflection questions for this episode: https://joyousjustice.com/blog/jews-talk-racial-justice-ep-64 Find April and Tracie's full bios…
 
Jeanelle Austin is Executive Director of the George Floyd Global Memorial; it's her job to maintain the space and preserve over 3000 offerings at the square. -- Safiya Mohamed reports: Jeanelle Austin began caretaking for George Floyd’s memorial last summer. She grew up three blocks away from 38th and Chicago, where George Floyd was murdered by Min…
 
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Jaime Arsenault is searching for documents and other artifacts that might provide closure for victims of boarding school assimilation programs. -- Feven Gerezgiher reports: Jaime Arsenault wears many hats as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for White Earth Nation. One includes managing cultural archives,…
 
Demetrius Hill was killed by St. Paul police officer Gerald Vick in 1997 for suspected robbery. 24 years later Marilyn Hill is still working to prove his innocence. -- Tiffany Bui reports: 24 years after her son was killed by St. Paul police, Marilyn Hill got back her son’s belongings. Demetrius Hill was killed by officer Gerald Vick in 1997 at an …
 
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