I hope you managed to find ways to make the most of our continued social distance. Summer
should be a season for resting and recharging, but the combination of the pandemic and our
move to East Flatbush has made this one anything but restful for me.
Perhaps what has caused me the most restlessness this summer, however, has been the cries
for racial justice that gripped our city, our nation, and our world. We recently passed the
100-day mark since the murder of George Floyd. In that time, New York and cities around the
country have witnessed sustained protests demanding real change. So many have also found
their way to BJP, just asking to get involved. It’s an encouraging sign that so many have been
stirred to join us by these continued injustices.
St. Augustine of Hippo famously remarked that “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You,
O God.” This fall, we must follow through on this summer’s restlessness and commit ourselves
to justice and loving our neighbors as ourselves. I’d ask that your own restlessness returns
you to BJP. Our mission has been strengthened by the events of this summer. Our hearts are
restless when we recognize that our very existence is an acknowledgement of what’s wrong
with education for poor Black and Brown students in New York City. Our hearts are restless
when we see police violence inflicted on people who look like our students, a phenomenon we
know is exacerbated by the inaccessibility of quality education. Our hearts are restless when
we watch our students and alumni thrive because we know there is still so much to do.
BJP is a tangible way to follow through on your own restlessness. Whether teacher, donor,
or volunteer, I encourage you to ”row into the deep” with us. Take chances. Get to know
someone who doesn’t look like you. Visit and invest in a community you wouldn’t ordinarily
find yourself in. Come take a virtual tour. Hear from our faculty and staff. Get to know a
student or an alum. Learning kids’ names, learning their hopes and dreams will hopefully
make your heart even more restless than it may already be.
Despite the challenges of this year, I’m still restless. The information enclosed in this mailer
contains some of the ways we’re following through on our restlessness and how your support
can help. Beyond your financial support, though, I hope you’ll invest yourself and your heart
in our community, and come to know how BJP helps all of us come to rest a little bit closer in