Seeing George Floyd murdered in front of our eyes and the eruption of pain and rage which followed, has galvanised a phenomenal determination around the world to bring real, systemic change. It was a tipping point for those who are tired of yet another atrocity.
Benjamin Zephaniah said the number and range of people speaking out and marching in solidarity gives us hope, but the road is long. The work of Journey to Justice is an ongoing response to centuries of racism and is as needed in the UK as much as in the US.
Racism is woven into the fabric of our world. Journey to Justice was founded by people who loathe it, with a desire to do all we can to understand, challenge and eradicate it and to tell less-told stories of people who have. See our examples of Children Making Change.
Our mission is to galvanise people to take action for social and economic justice through learning about human rights movements and the arts.
JtoJ is receiving a constant stream of enquiries from those who want to DO something, because words are not enough. Our challenge is to break down systemic racism in this country and the injustices, including economic ones, that underpin this. Change will not come if we wait for other people to get active.
“You just have to give a part of yourself. I wasn’t a leader but a little seed-I had a voice. I learned to speak without fear.” Jean Stallings, civil rights/anti-poverty activist, JtoJ patron
It’s up to us and it’s not easy. We all need to listen, reflect, discuss, plan and act and we welcome anyone who would like to join us. Our new project is focused on economic injustice in the UK, now magnified by the effect of this coronavirus crisis. It has highlighted the many ways in which people are advantaged and disadvantaged depending on class, ethnicity, housing, income, employment and associated health factors here.
Sign up for JtoJ news: https://journeytojustice.org.uk/contact/
Addressing the root causes of racial injustice anywhere is fundamental to achieving lasting change.
Bryan Stevenson has dedicated his life to doing just that. As a leading civil rights lawyer, Stevenson made his name saving dozens of wrongfully convicted inmates from execution through his Equal Justice Initiative. He speaks with Walter Isaacson about solutions, from a change in the culture of policing to an embrace of truth and reconciliation. You can watch the interview here:
Bryan Stevenson: There’s a Direct Line From Lynching to George Floyd
“I live in Montgomery, Alabama. I stand on the shoulders of people who did so much more with so much less. People who put on their Sunday best and went to protest, knowing they would be hurt and bloodied. My great grandparents survived slavery. My grandparents survived lynching..It’s a question of will. Will we use our capacity to create institutions that are not biased and bigoted? We need structural change. Do we have the same conviction, commitment and resolve to eliminate bigotry and bias? We all have a role to play. Hope is our superpower. We cannot succeed if we become hopeless. It’s why I reject violence because it’s rooted in despair. Hope will get you to stand up when other people say sit down. Hope will get you to speak up when people tell you to shut up.”