Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ)

If you’re not sure how to talk to your kids about racism, we can help.  FORJ Families generate understanding and curiosity about differences in our society, and work together towards racial equity. FORJ is a coalition of families in and around Newton, MA who believe change starts at home and in our own communities.

WE LEARN: We are a learning community educating ourselves, our children, our schools, and our communities about race, racism, culture, and identity.

WE CONNECT: We strive to achieve safe and welcoming environments that enhance the well-being of all people. We promote healing and connection between individuals and communities.

WE SUPPORT: We speak out against injustice, support our kids to be upstanders, and take action to address bias and inequity.

How We Challenge Ourselves to Improve Our Society

From lectures on race and diversity, to discussion groups, community events, Dynamic Diversity trainings and more, we follow the lead from our communities and help families like ours foster inclusion in our city and schools.

More Information & Getting Involved

The Mason-Rice FORJ chapter is run by Janelle Phillips (janelledphillips [at] gmail [dot] com) and Ellie Axe (elliebaxe [at] gmail [dot] com).  Please reach out to either of them if you have questions about FORJ or if you’d like to join our group – we would love to have you!

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Mason-Rice FORJ Meeting Schedule

The next meeting will be Monday, November 9, from 8-9:30 pm via Zoom.  We will continue discussing the podcast “Nice White Parents.”  Please try to listen to at least the episodes prior to the meeting.

City-Wide FORJ meeting Schedule

This is the tentative schedule, subject to change due to speakers’ or panelists’ schedules.  Visit forjnewton.com for more city-wide information. Here is the 2020-2021 FORJ City-Wide Meetings Calendar  (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yB4FqU_cs8ymwIFMfUqAfieL3wzSoIF-vYY3JbtY348/edit)

ADDITIONAL OFFERING: Wednesday, October 14th, 7pm-8pm – HOW TO RUN CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS ON RACE 

Come learn more about District Highlight Initiative: Constructive Conversations on Race and what it entails to run a group.  

Thursday, October 27th, 7pm-8pmRaising Antiracist Kids Panel (http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/mayor/initiatives/overdue.asp)

Tuesday, November 17th, 6:30pm-8pm – Housing Inequities with special guest Richard Rothstien author of “The Color of Law, A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.”

Resources:

We all benefit from the METCO program, which recently celebrated it’s 50th anniversary.  To commemorate this event, Chronicle on WCVB presented a special episode recounting the history and current aspects of the program.  See below for links, including the third one down that features Betsy Komjathy and her family.

Links to Chronicle’s four METCO segments (each about 4-6 minutes):

Wayland, focuses on students’ work-life balance:
http://www.wcvb.com/article/chronicle-metco-at-50-seg-1/8604676

Historical context, including some basic discussion of policy-level pros & cons:
http://www.wcvb.com/article/metco-parents-fight-for-education/8604700

Wellesley, focusing on two-way relationship-building (“A Home Away From Home”):
http://www.wcvb.com/article/metco-a-home-away-from-home/8604715

Tito Jackson’s METCO story (filmed before announcement of mayoral candidacy):
http://www.wcvb.com/article/from-the-metco-program-to-boston-city-councilor/8604747

Websites, Articles, Documents & Podcasts [Google Document]
FORJ Online Resources

Book-list [Google Document]
FORJ Resources for Families

Open discussion on intersectional diversity & inclusion for children ages 0-7 at story time. [Facebook Group]
Books for Littles

Excellent book lists from the Islamic Center of Boston Wayland, created by Saadia Husain Baloch
https://sites.google.com/icbwayland.org/outreach

Create safe places for students to pray in schools. It feels risky to be praying under stairwells.
(See O’Bryant school letter for good ideas.)

More Information & Getting Involved:

This is the tentative FORJ schedule, subject to change due to speakers’ or panelists’ schedules.  Visit forjnewton.com for more city-wide information.