JETAANY Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter
The JET Program was founded on the importance of grassroots cross-cultural exchanges to promote understanding and people-to-people connections. JET participants assume the role of cultural ambassador both during their time in Japan and afterward, to work toward and enhance mutual understanding across cultural barriers. The recent and ongoing protests against racial injustice in the U.S., Japan, and worldwide remind us that there is still much work to be done and progress to be made.
Over the past several weeks, the JET Program Alumni Association of New York (JETAANY) Executive team has been engaging in conversations about the peaceful protests and racial issues with our members and on an individual and small group basis. As a result of those conversations and our community, we have decided to put out a public statement with our views.
We offer our condolences to the families of those we’ve recently lost: from Eric Garner to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the countless others whom we have watched in horror as these individuals were treated with undeserved disrespect and murdered. JETAANY stands in solidarity with the Black community and supports racial equality in the United States.
With a diverse membership of more than 2,000 alumni in the NY, NJ, PA, and CT areas, JETAANY is a community that is passionate about education and values exchange. It is important for us to recognize the impact systemic racism has on our communities at home and abroad. It is important to ensure that all Americans, alumni of all races, especially those in the minority — Black, indigenous, and people of color — can be safe and thrive.
We also acknowledge that these patterns of oppression, discrimination, and racism have been present since the founding of this country — perpetrated by the structural racism and system of white supremacy built into policy. It is not enough simply not to be racist. We must all work to become anti-racist and take proactive steps to change, re-educate, and evolve. JETAANY is a group of smart, caring people who are linked by our connection to communities in Japan and beyond. We are dedicated not only to education but to building bridges that make our communities better and stronger. We understand there is much work to do, and we are here to support alumni in doing it together.
We stand in support of the Black community and against racism. Below we have included an evolving list of resources on Black allyship and anti-racism, including petitions, donation funds, local action items, and educational resources such as books and videos.
JETAANY is open and committed to ongoing dialogues for how the organization can do better. We encourage all JETAANY members to educate themselves and support the Black community, now more than ever.
Black Lives Matter.
The JETAANY Executive Committee & Board of Directors
Black Community Ally & Anti-Racism Resources
Curated by alumnus Reginald Spence (Miyagi, 2009-2012) and continually updated. See the full list HERE or by clicking the below button. See selected resources further below.
This moment calls upon each of us to be intentional in our efforts to practice anti-racism at home and in our communities by educating ourselves and others in sustained, meaningful engagements that address systematic racism and oppression of the Black community, even when it is uncomfortable.
To get you started, we are sharing a collated list of Black community allyship and anti-racism education resources to further your understanding of the histories of racism in the United States and ways to engage in anti-racism activities.
|Take Action (Resources, Petitions, Emails, Texts/Calls, and more)|
Ways You Can Help
Resources: Black Lives Matter Initiatives + More
Anti-Racism Resources for White People
75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Injustice
How to Support Protesters in Every City
NYC Mutual Aid Groups
Japanese-language letter translated and adapted by Letters for Black Lives
This letter is meant for Japanese Americans and others in the Japanese diaspora to more easily communicate the ideas behind BLM to family members who speak Japanese as their principle language. This letter may also be helpful for JET alumni to communicate these ideas with their own Japanese friends and colleagues.
Black Voters Matter Fund
Black Lives Matter Fund
Bail Funds (Listed by State)
Reclaim The Block
GoFundMe for George Floyd
GoFundMe for Breonna Taylor
GoFundMe for Ahmaud Arbery
GoFundMe for Tony McDade
|Reading – For Children, Teens, & Young Adults|
Black Is a Rainbow Color by Ekua Holmes
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP
Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
**If possible, please support Black-owned bookstores instead of Amazon**
12 Years a Slave (2013) – Drama/History, directed by Steve McQueen
Just Mercy (2020) – Drama, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
Selma (2014) – Drama, directed by Ava DuVernay
The Hate U Give (2018) – Drama/Crime, directed by George Tillman Jr
13th (2016) – Documentary/History, directed by Ava DuVernay
I Am Not Your Negro (2016) – Documentary, directed by Raoul Peck
The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson (2017) – Documentary, directed by David France