Brenda Lawrence's new project Spill the Honey builds Black, Jewish relationships

"It is an effort to promote humanity and empathy," said Brenda Lawrence.

Former Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence retired from politics - but now she's rewired and taking on a new role as executive director of Spill the Honey - advancing the relationship between Black and Jewish communities. Lawrence says the two share common ground.

"What the Black community survived through slavery - and what the Jewish survived - from the Holocaust," said Lawrence. "And so there is this compassion that we inherently share about humanity."

It is something she's passionate about as founder of the Congressional Caucus on Black and Jewish relations. Now she'll be traveling the country with a focus on young people and education. Part of that - the film - "Shared Legacies - the African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance."

The film documents Black and Jewish cooperation and shared struggle through the fight for Civil Rights and with the current rise in racism and antisemitism - Lawrence says we need to share the real story.

"We see what happens when we see people who are prominent entertainers or sports people who have a huge influence - do not know the truth," Lawrence said.

Spill the Honey is committed to fostering alliances and speaking out against untrue and hateful rhetoric.

To that end, they are encouraging people to share their own stories to Spill the Honey - the phrase referencing a Jewish mother giving her son a bowl of honey - a gift of hope, before being separated in the Holocaust.

"We are very hopeful and people who have a story to tell - we encourage them to reach out to us and spill the honey," Lawrence said. "And we love to build our platform of examples of how we as a community work together. Magnify our voices so we can reach more people."

The congresswoman - not retired - just rewired - and building on a relationship she holds dear.

"It's rewiring, but with that same foundation that I've had for 30 years of relationships, of friendships, and of respect - mutual respect," Lawrence said. "I plan on making a difference - I plan on making a difference."

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Brenda Lawrence

Brenda Lawrence