April Baskin was raised in Sacramento, CA by a Jewish mother and converted African-American father. Baskin grew up in the Reformist movement and become very active in social action from a very early age. She studied Sociology at Tifs University and served as the President of the Jewish Multiracial Network from 2010 to 2013. Later, she would work at the Interfaith Family from 2014 to 2015.
In 2015 she joined the Union of Reform Judaism as president of Audacious Hospitality, a title that reflects the URJ’s commitment to advancing the rights and inclusion of marginalized Jews in the community. She has been a leader activist at the Steering Committee and a featured speaker at the National 2019 Women’s March and the designer and facilitator of the URJ’s JewV’Nation Fellowship, a leadership program of action and healing for Jews of Color and Jews committed to advancing inclusion.
April also is the former director of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, an umbrella group of 64 American organizations where she developed 10 principles connected to the values laid in the Pirke Avot, Jewish ethics compilation.
She is also the creator of Joyous Justice, her consultant platform where she focuses on helping Jewish organizations address racial issues and become more inclusive with Jews of colour. Currently based in Senegal, she works all over the world. Particularly after the killing of George Floyd, she has experienced a rise in the demand for racial justice work in the Jewish community, and she hopes this interest to continue. She states:
“As someone on the inside of this conversation, I need my fellow Jews to show up,” Baskin added. “In honor of Jews across history who have been doing this work, in honor of Heschel, I implore you to attach some of that urgency and commitment to something that is going to live beyond this moment.”