America’s history of racial inequality continues to haunt us. Many of the issues we face today are shadowed by an underlying narrative of racial difference and bias that compromise our progress. Our nation, now more than ever, is in desperate need of truth and recovery. That process is sequential: we must first tell the truth about our past before we can overcome it.
— Bryan Stevenson, Director, the Equal Justice Initiative
To confront racism in our own community, we must begin with education — about white supremacy, white privilege, and the history of racism in Montgomery County. To that end, JUFJ co-sponsors educational programming on equity issues, including discussion groups, workshops, and film screenings.
We believe that education must lead to action to change the systems built on racism and white supremacy here in Montgomery County. In 2021 alone, police in Montgomery County have killed five young Black men. JUFJ is a member organization of multiple coalitions working to hold police accountable for these continued killings and advocating for changes in police policies and practices that harm people of color in our communities.
Want to learn more about the coalitions working to reimagine public safety in Montgomery County? Head to our partners’ websites to learn about the Silver Spring Justice Coalition, Racial Justice NOW!, and Young People for Progress, which is the lead organization of the Decriminalize Montgomery County Campaign. In addition, we are a member of the Montgomery County Racial Equity (MORE) Network, which advocates for using an equity lens in all County decision making and is working to hold County leadership accountable to the Racial Equity and Social Justice legislation passed in 2019.
To get involved in these efforts, join us for our next monthly Racial Equity and Policing meeting, attend a virtual watch party, or contact an organizer to learn more.
As recently as 2014, Montgomery County only had 6 police officers in schools. Yet until the 2021 school year, are armed police officers, also known as School Resource Officers (SROs), have been stationed in each of Montgomery County’s 26 public high schools.
While police were stationed in schools to protect student security, recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that SROs make school shootings three times more deadly. MCPS already hires 249 security staff members, and every high school has an On Site Emergency Team supported by a cluster security coordinator.
JUFJ and our partners in the Montgomery County Defund/Invest Coalition have been organizing to remove police from schools and replace armed law enforcement with robust mental health supports to address student needs.
Want to get involved or learn more? Email email@example.com!
As legislation related to policing, and police spending, comes up at the County Level, JUFJ’s Policing Legislation and Budget workgroup works with our partners to respond to incoming legislation.
Interested in joining the Policing Legislation and Budget workgroup? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUFJ and our partners worked to elect youth voices to the Policing Advisory Commission, the County’s watchdog Body on policing issues.
The Policing Advisory Commission meets once a month on the second Monday of the month. JUFJ and our partners follow along with the meetings and strategize with members of the Policing Advisory Commission on how to make change.
Interested in joining a Policing Advisory Commission meeting? Email email@example.com.