Leo Ferguson

Movement Building Organizer | Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

Leo Ferguson is a lifelong New Yorker with a deep commitment to social justice, and a background in non-profit communications. He has developed anti-oppression trainings for JFREJ as well as leading affinity groups and caucuses exploring internalized anti-Jewish oppression, race and racism, patriarchy and heteronormativity. He is the founder of JFREJ's Jews of Color caucus and a lead author of Understanding Antisemitism. He is a graduate of the Grace Paley Organizing Fellowship, The Bend The Arc Selah Fellowship, the JOIN Don’t Kvetch, Organize Masterclass, a proud Jew of Color, and a musician.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Countering White Supremacy: Connecting the Dots between Anti-Black Racism and Antisemitism

White supremacists and white nationalists chanted “Jews will not replace us,” as they marched through Charlottesville with torches. As these movements become increasingly mainstream under the Trump administration, the social justice movement left needs a deeper understanding of the ideas at the heart of these movements, and concrete ways to respond. This workshop will uncover intersecting connections between anti-Black racism, antisemitism, white supremacy and white nationalism in this current political moment, and offer models of solidarity between targeted communities we can activate in response.

Participants will walk away with an understanding of how the connections between anti-Black racism and antisemitism form the core analysis of white nationalist theory, a deeper look into moments in movement history when anti-Black racism and antisemitism were used to undermine solidarity and break apart coalitions, and insight into real life examples today. Together, we will identify strategies that communities can use to counter the growth of white supremacist and white nationalist ideas.

We will interrogate the ways white Jews are complicit in structural white supremacy, while both white Jews and Jews of Color are simultaneously targeted by white supremacists/white nationalists. Examining the platform of white “displacement/disenfranchisement” expressed by white supremacist and nationalist movements, we will work together to uncover how economic insecurity and racialized capitalism undergird narratives about both People of Color and Jews. Together, we will uncover new stories, based in mutual interest and true solidarity, that offer a strategic counterpoint to white supremacist ideology.

Additional presenters: Graie Hagans and Reuben Telushkin

Speakers: Dove Kent, Leo Ferguson