Beth Weinberg: Reflections on Yolanda Savage Narva
Editor’s note: CLICK TO VIEW Yolanda Savage Narva’s presentation on racial equality, diversity, and inclusion, from our June 20, 2021 Kenny Gaynes Memorial Sunday Morning Live. Savage Narva is the Director of Racial Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at the Union for Reform Judaism. (She is also the aunt to CBB’s own Josh Narva.)
Community member Beth Weinberg reflects on Savage Narva’s presentation in today’s CBB Voices blog post. –Ed.
I have spent time thinking about Black Lives Matter and how to become part of the solution instead of the problem. I set out reading all the books that were currently discussing systemic racism, these include: White Privilege, White Fragility, Caste just to name a few. So, I am a white Jewish woman who reads books. Now what?
I believe that if any group’s rights are compromised we are all at risk for ours to be compromised as well. Does Takun Olum encourage us to make the world better for all people, not just selected groups? Now what? How do I move from beliefs to action?
After listening to Yolanda’s presentation I felt inspired. Her use of “Public Narrative through Storytelling” was a wonderful way to put context to how we view ourselves. She breaks this down into three categories
The story of self
The story of us
The story of now
These categories help identify individual values, the community concerns and where we are in the present. It shines a light on what are the important values for ourselves and how they function in our daily life. It may even point out implicit bias which is so integrated within ourselves. We have to search hard to find it.
She suggests the idea of: learn, unlearn, relearn. Sounds like that should be easy, but changing ourselves can be hard. It takes time and we tend to revert back to what is familiar and comfortable.
Yolanda also said when you don’t know what to do to just keep moving.
So, I have decided to do just that. I pledge to speak up for the rights of all. To feel uncomfortable in areas that are unfamiliar. To ask myself the tough questions that expose my own bias and how I benefit from being white. It will not be fast and it will not be perfect. But I will keep trying to be one more person that moves away from not welcoming our differences and fear of “other.”
Beth Weinberg has been a member of CBB for over 30 years.