Changing Birmingham: A Discussion On Progress & Change Within Minority Communities

    Changing Birmingham:
    A Discussion On Progress & Change
    Within Minority Communities
    By Samantha Dubrinsky, 
    BJF Director of Community Impact

    bhamskylinefrompizitz
    Photo is of the Birmingham skyline.

    Birmingham is an ever-changing city. Each day, I learn about something new that has happened or will happen in “the Magic City,” Birmingham’s very appropriate nickname.

    All of these changes are moving Birmingham forward. The broader Birmingham community is unchaining Birmingham from its dark past — one full of civil rights transgressions and difficulties for minority communities, including, on a certain level, the Jewish community.

    However, even though Birmingham is moving forward, that doesn’t mean our great city is perfect. Have we made progress? Yes. It’s important to acknowledge the progress that has been made and discuss the changes that still need to occur.

    I realized how important this conversation is when I heard BJF-LJCC Executive Director Richard Friedman speaking on a panel with representatives from the Latino and African-American community hosted by the Junior League of Birmingham. While I understood that Birmingham still had a lot of progress to make before I listened to what the panelists had to say, I didn’t truly realize what issues other minority communities face in today’s Birmingham.

    In fact, staff from the Levite Jewish Community Center and the Birmingham Jewish Federation were all surprised by the revelations from some of the participants. We realized that if we were unaware of some of the challenges other communities were facing, others were too.

    In order to provide more awareness and facilitate dialogue, the BJF and LJCC will be hosting a conversation entitled “Unchaining A Changing Birmingham” that will consist of a panel with representatives from the Latino, African-American, Muslim and Jewish communities. Each of these representatives will discuss the progress their community feels that Birmingham has made, what we need to do to move forward and how to live in unity in our diverse city. A moderator will lead the discussion.

    This conversation will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 6 pm at the Levite Jewish Community Center in the Pizitz Auditorium. The program is free and open to the community, but we ask that you RSVP for the event. To RSVP or if you have any questions, please email me at samd@bjf.org.

    Click for more on Birmingham’s history.

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