Social Justice Seder 2017

Coming Through A Narrow Place:

Seeking Police Accountability in Baltimore

At our 4th Annual Social Justice Seder, we delved into the complexities of policing and police accountability in Baltimore. How do different communities in Baltimore experience policing? What are the impacts of policing on people of color? How will we as a Baltimore Jewish community respond?

Download a copy of the 2017/5777 Social Justice haggadah here. We welcome you to incorporate all or part of it into your own Passover seder or celebration.

See photos from the 2017 Social Justice Seder here.

Many thanks to our speakers:

Garland Nixon, Retired Police Officer

Garland Nixon retired from the Maryland Natural Resources Police in 2008 holding the rank of Major. During his career, he held a variety of positions including commander of Investigations, aviation, training, communications, and homeland security divisions. From 2009 until 2012 he taught criminal justice at Anne Arundel Community College.

Garland hosted radio shows in Baltimore and Annapolis from 1999 until 2006. He moved his radio career to 89.3 WPFW in Washington DC in 2007 and currently host the weekly progressive radio show “News Views” each Friday evening from 6-7pm.

He has made regular appearances as a Democratic Strategist on The Fox News Channel and The Fox Business News Channel from 2010 until present.

Brion "Lady Brion" Gill, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

Lady Brion, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (Brion Gill) is an international spoken word artist, poetry coach, activist, organizer, and educator whose personal mission is to inspire, connect, mobilize, and liberate. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Lady Brion embraced her creative writing and performing arts genius at a young age. She has spent the last decade of her life performing on several continents as an independent artist who freely shares her perspective and reflections of life with diverse audiences.

Watch Lady Brion performing her original poem about two Baltimores, titled "Fraternal Twins," here.

Ray Kelly, No Boundaries Coalition

Ray Kelly, was born in West Baltimore in 1970. Though the majority of his life he has lived right here in Sandtown/Winchester, the timing of his life and circumstance created situations outside of the realm of his immediate Neighborhood, as well as establish relationships over many racial and religious lines.

In 2001 Ray re-ignited his youth ministry program, the P.i.F. Ministry at St. Peter Claver Parish, and through the CYO basketball league, where he allowed neighborhood boys to play league ball in exchange for attending religious classes and doing service work.

Since 2010, Ray has been a Community Organizer with the No Boundaries Coalition, a resident led advocacy group located in Sandtown, dedicated to creating a unified voice in our community, and building on the number one asset in our community, the people. He has been recognized by the Mayor, the Governor. City Council and many other Organizations and for his many years of dedication to his community and was just this year awarded the Mother Mary Lange Leadership Award by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Ray was also selected as a 2016 National Justice Policy Network Fellow with the Raben Group, Headed by former Assistant Attorney General, Robert Raben.

Ray continues to serve our residents as Director of commUNITY Relations with the No Boundaries Coalition, who in the past year and beyond have continued to effectively address the many systemic issues that plague our City like public safety and healthy food access. He remains a powerful voice in the efforts for Police reform and legislative agendas that empower our populace, while actively engaging our Residents. Ray had a major role in drafting the report, Over Policed, Yet Underserved, the Peoples Findings on Police Misconduct in West Baltimore, which received International attention, was presented to the United Nations Special repertoire, and was also referenced on multiple occasions by the Department of Justice in their findings report.

Thank you for coming! If you are interested in joining next year’s Baltimore Social Justice Seder committee, please contact Molly at molly@jufj.org.  We welcome your ideas, energy, and enthusiasm!