- Afropunk Army
- Community Control
- Confederate Symbols
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- Corporate Accountability
- Criminal Justice Policy
- Drop/Bring Charges
- Economic Justice
- Employment Discrimination
- End The War on Black People
- Environmental Justice
- For-Profit Colleges/Universities
- Gulf Coast
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- Media Accountability
- Music Industry
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- Right Wing Racism
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Affordable Housing for Miami Families Affected by SlumlordsIn 2014, low-income residents forced to live in slum-like conditions due to lack of resources began to organize for their rights to affordable, dignified housing and formed the "Smash the Slumlords" campaign. The women organized community meetings, educated other residents about their rights, garnered support from the city mayor and sought out legal action against slumlords. Conversations focused on the collective need and partnership with other grassroots organizations recruited allies from outside their community and helped bring the campaign into public light. Legal action against one slumlord led to his prosecution and the City of Miami placed his property under their control. Afterwards, the residents of Liberty City rightfully demanded that the slumlord face greater consequences and that the buildings be repaired. However, when it became apparent that the buildings were so woefully neglected that they could only be condemned and destroyed, the City faced a new challenge: where to relocate the families in a city where there is a chronic shortage of affordable housing stock? In response to this dilemma, SMASH has tasked itself with developing expedited affordable housing units for these families on a Community Land Trust (CLT). Unlike other affordable housing projects, this one would be unique for its prioritization of extremely low-income families, and the community driven design and management process through the CLT model. This would not only provide the slum affected families of these buildings with the transitional housing units they need, but it could also be re-used for every set of families that find themselves in similar circumstances. Once they are relocated, their original buildings can be condemned, destroyed and rebuilt into permanent affordable housing where the families have a right to return.
Veto Bill to Fund Militarization of Florida SchoolsThe state of Florida needs change to prevent more tragedies, but it will not come with more children staring down the barrel of a gun. Three weeks ago, 17 students and school staff were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Florida was shaken to its core. The Florida legislature followed Governor Rick Scott's lead in drafting "solutions" that involve filling Florida schools with even more guns. Our state's elected officials have approved a bill that provides funding to arm school staff, including teachers, coaches, librarians and counselors, while dramatically increasing funding for police and high level surveillance security in schools. At Governor Scott's direction, this bill will make Florida schools a lot scarier for students, particularly students of color, across the state. After Columbine, 10,000 school police officers were hired to prevent another mass shooting. Two decades later and more police presence in school has not proven to be an effective solution and has not stopped a single mass shooting. Instead, police in Florida have locked up 1 million children, mostly black children, for routine behavior disruptions, like talking back to a teacher or getting into schoolyard scuffles. The proposed bill allots $400 million to make our schools feel more like prisons when they should feel sanctuaries. This bill will have catastrophic consequences for insurmountable numbers of black, brown and poor youth in Florida. Our representatives have a responsibility to act in a way that keeps all Florida children safe. Tell Governor Rick Scott to veto any bill to allocate resources for more police and guns in schools. Supporters Dream Defenders Power U Center for Social Change Advancement Project National Office Color of Change Florida’s Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 New Florida Majority Miami Worker's Center Alliance for Education Justice National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Florida State Rep. Kimberly Daniels Needs to ApologizeKimberly Daniels dishonored her ancestors when thanking God for slavery. They suffered unspeakable and inhumane racial terrorism at the hands of European slave traders, the effects of which continue to haunt our lives today. Through our forced participation in the transatlantic slave trade, African Americans played a crucial role in America's emergence as an economic world power. While it is imperative that we take pride in having survived such historical atrocities, thanking God for slavery is a major step in the wrong direction; one we simply cannot accept from anyone. Kimberly Daniels' reckless choice of words portray a blatant lack of knowledge of traditional African spiritual practices, and disregard for the experiences of our ancestors. As African American descendants of slavery, and global peoples of African descent who are proud of our heritage, we cannot stand by and allow such irresponsible sentiment from our own people.
Boycott Companies that Advertise on Fox News: Who support racism in exchange for profitAs a person of color, my life is regularly made more difficult and unpleasant due to the nature of the content propagated by Fox News. Fox News brings out the worst in people by preying on their fears and prejudices, bolstering people's preexisting stereotypes, and espousing and encouraging racist, homophobic, islamophobic, misogynistic, and ignorant behavior. I will not support any company that supports an entity such as Fox News that seems to be in direct opposition to all of my values and thinks of me--and tries to convince others to think of me--as lesser, dangerous, lazy, and unintelligent due to the color of my skin. People may think it is not worth it and they are only making their own lives harder by boycotting because so many companies advertise on Fox News and nothing will change that, but my life is already made difficult by Fox News, including all the companies that support it, so I have no problem taking it upon myself to make decisions that align with my self-interest and may be difficult. If we do nothing, what is going on in society and politics will only continue, so we might as well speak up for ourselves and hit the companies where they'll notice it: the wallets!
Tell NYC Mayor to Stop Tolerating Racism in SchoolsIt's been more than a week since the Daily News broke a story about a white teacher in the Bronx who, in a lesson on slavery and the Middle Passage, made Black students in several classes lay face down on the floor and even stepped on a female student while asking "see how it feels to be a slave?" It's been more than a week, and the city has still not taken any steps to ensure that this type of degrading and traumatic incident will not occur again. When asked by press about what the city is doing to make sure this type of incident never occurs again, Mayor de Blasio has said that the city already offers training on cultural competency. The truth is that those trainings are currently offered to just 450 out of 77,000 teachers - less than 1% of NYC teachers. For over a year, parents have been demanding that Mayor de Blasio provide leadership in our schools and implement a comprehensive program of Culturally Responsive Education, including cultural competency trainings for teachers and school staff, in order to avoid just this kind of traumatic incident. Now, the responsibility for this incident rests firmly on the Mayor's shoulders. We know that racism and bias in schools is a national crisis. " White teachers have lower expectations for students of color, and are significantly less likely to expect Black students to finish high school and college " School staff frequently perceive Black boys as threatening and dangerous for the same behaviors that are seen as innocent for White students. " In 2015, only 15% of children's books were written by African-American or Latino authors, or focused on African-American or Latino characters " Over 80% of public school teachers are White women, though a majority of public school students are people of color. In New York City, for example, that means that 266 NYC schools have 0 or just 1 Latino teacher, 327 have 0 or just 1 Black teacher, and 690 have 0 or just 1 Asian teacher Given these statistics, in how many other classrooms across the city are Black children are learning about slavery in a degrading way? And in how many classrooms across the city are Black children learning that their ancestors were kings and queens, fighters against enslavement, strategists and spies, scientists and inventors, doctors, healers and entrepreneurs? Culturally Responsive Education is a research-based strategy that helps teachers build social and emotional connections with their students across racial and cultural differences, and root learning in students' culture and prior experiences. It has shown to have impressive impacts on student achievement in Tucson, San Francisco, and other districts across the country. But Mayor de Blasio, who claims to be a national progressive leader, has dragged his feet and been slow and timid to embrace this approach. Parents need him to step up and take action, to get justice for those students in the Bronx, and to make sure no child has to experience that again.
Designate Moses African Cemetery as Historic!Moses African Cemetery in Bethesda, MD is the final resting place of the bodies of 1st generation freed enslaved Africans and their descendants. In the 1960s this cemetery was desecrated and paved over by developers who forcibly displaced the once-thriving African American community on River Road. New development plans threaten to permanently desecrate this sacred ground. The people buried there deserve dignity and respect, as they were denied it in life and are now denied it in death. We are calling on the county to designate this land as historic, which would bring legal protections from planned development and ensure its preservation. Black lives matter in life and in death, and this historic wrong must be made right.
Our Voices Matter! Appoint Monique Baker McCormick, Wayne County Commissioner District 6Our voices Matter! We Matter! Our belief is that the ultimate authority in government whether it be national or local lies with the people. It is our understanding that the Wayne County Commission District 6 seat will be vacated by the Hon. Commissioner Burton Leland and an appointment will be made without public input. The people in Wayne County should have a voice on who governs us. We want someone who will stand-up for us like Monique Baker McCormick . She is the most qualified and experienced person for the position of Wayne County Commissioner in District 6. Ms. McCormick, a veteran of the U.S. Army is a lifelong resident and business owner in District 6 and for over 10 years has supported District 6 and fought for working families, for students and seniors, for jobs and small business growth and development in Detroit. In 2011, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Emergency Manager tried to close down Ms. McCormick childhood school and one of the best middles schools in the State of Michigan, Ludington Middle School. Ms. McCormick, two daughters also attended Ludington and as President of the parent organization she organized and lead a protest of hundreds of parents and students to successfully keep Ludington open. Most recently in 2016, as President of Cass Tech Parent Title-One Organization, Ms. McCormick joined a class action lawsuit compelling DPS to improve conditions in all Detroit Public Schools. Additionally, Ms. McCormick has challenged voter and civil rights issues in Wayne County all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. Ms. McCormick, has a wealth of community, social and political experience that would be of great value to this county. She is a member of Peace Peddler (army vets and police officers) and an honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen. She is a graduate of District 6 Henry Ford High School and earned her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Davenport University and has a Master Degree in Business from Walsh College of Business and Accountancy (1996). In 2015 as a rising star in the Democratic Party, Ms. McCormick was nominated by Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence to represent the 14th Congressional District in the prestigious Congressional Black Caucus Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. In addition, as a Young Democrat she worked for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential campaign helping win Michigan and was elected 13th and 14th Congressional District Vice-Chair. She has been an elected Precinct Delegate in the 13th Congressional District for over 15 years. Ms. McCormick has been actively involved in numerous boards and organizations, Matrix Human Services, Detroit Repertory Theatre Board of Trustees, Walsh College Alumni Board, Pathways Development Board and the Community Coalition. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Women Informal Network, Coleman A. Young American Legion Post 202, Citadel of Praise and honorary member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Our voices matter! Appoint the best person to the Wayne County Commission! Appoint Monique Baker McCormick as Wayne County Commissioner in District 6.
#OurVoiceOurChief: Demand transparency and inclusion in Police Chief searchA fair, open and transparent selection process that is guided by the needs, concerns and experiences of a broad spectrum of residents – particularly youth and people of color – will ensure that the City of San Diego hires a police chief who is equally committed to upholding the dignity of all San Diegans as s/he is with upholding the law. A 2016 SDSU study* on racial profiling determined that Black and Latino drivers were twice as likely to be stopped and searched by San Diego police officers, but less likely to have contraband than White drivers. SDPD is currently facing litigation** for illegally stopping a Black minor and obtaining his DNA without a warrant. These and other troubling issues of over-policing and unfairly biased policing are among the challenges our next Chief of Police must address. Building the necessary public trust to meet these challenges starts with how impacted communities are engaged in the selection process. Decades of secret back room deals and broken promises have eroded public trust and confidence in our elected representatives. If Mayor Faulconer is truly committed to the vision and values of “one San Diego,” he will ensure that members of impacted communities have a real voice and consequential role in this selection process. He will be transparent and inclusive by allowing concerned San Diegans, especially youth and people of color, to hear from the final candidates before a hiring decision is made. Mayor Faulconer: provide full transparency in the search for San Diego’s next Chief of Police and include the public from start to finish. * https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/sdpdvehiclestopsfinal.pdf ** https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/public-safety/teenager-sued-sdpd-documented-gang-member-soon/
Bring Back Spirit of Harlem MuralThe beautiful glass mosaic mural named ‘Spirit of Harlem‘ by the African America artist Louis J. Delsarte was covered up this week with a painted black faux brick wall for a new Footaction store. Not only does the mural depicts the “Spirit” of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that still resonates today, but it also speaks to the true spirit of Harlem which is the people of this community. The mural is still intact behind a faux brick facade. Foot Locker needs to take down the wall that is covering up the mural and allow the mural to continue to delight and inspire the people of Harlem. Please do not let corporate ignorance erase a beloved public art work which celebrates Harlem's history as an incubator for some our country's and even the world greatest creators of culture and thought. Tell Foot Locker to respect the Harlem community and bring back the 'Spirit of Harlem' mural. Your customers and neighbors will respond in kind. Read more about it: https://nyti.ms/2k9bXUT http://gothamtogo.com/now-you-see-it-now-you-dont-the-disappearance-of-spirit-of-harlem-on-frederick-douglass-boulevard/ http://ncac.org/blog/sneaker-retailer-bricks-over-spirit-of-harlem-mural-alarming-community https://sfmosaic.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/uncover-the-spirit-of-harlem/
Stop Locking Up Our Children: Shut Down Lincoln Hill and Copper Lake Now!Our children deserve more than what these prison facilities are serving them. Over the last two years, several lawsuits have been filed against Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prison facilities documenting severe abuse. Some of the lawsuits filed include; a young person whose toes had to be amputated after a guard smashed his toes in a door; a guard who actually assisted a young woman as she attempted to hurt herself; and allegations of suffocation, strangulation, and sexual assault. Locking up youth in these facilities is the most expensive option with the worst results, guaranteeing that every young person sent there will be put in harm’s way. It's time to leave behind the old outdated ways of criminalizing and punishing young people without holistic support. Theses youth prisons continue to perpetuate extreme racial and ethnic disparities. This is another key reason why Milwaukee County needs to undertake comprehensive juvenile justice reform. They need to address and tackle the persistent racial and ethnic inequities in Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system. Wisconsin still ranks in the top five least equitable states, with disparities that far exceed the national average. The vast majority of youth committed to Wisconsin state facilities are Black children. In 2014, young Black people made up almost 70% of youth committed to juvenile prison facilities in the state, but only about 10% of Wisconsin’s total youth population. Most of these young people are coming from Milwaukee County, where the majority of Black folks live in Wisconsin. Milwaukee County spends over $100,000 a year to send one youth from Milwaukee to Lincoln Hills or Copper Lake. Milwaukee should abandon the youth prison model and replace it with less costly and more effective non-residential, community-based alternatives to incarceration. Locking up young people in cages does not ensure public safety in any way. Over 60% of the young people who go to Lincoln Hills or Copper Lake re-offend within three years of release, largely due to the intense trauma young people experience while incarcerated. To have a safer community, it is critical that Milwaukee County stops sending youth to Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake and instead invest in a range of effective community programs that offer targeted supervision and services. Programs that include restorative justice, intensive mentoring, mental health treatment, family therapy and other interventions that are proven to lower risk and sustain long-term behavior change among adjudicated youth. WI and Milwaukee County should invest in community-based solutions that work for young people, their familiies and the communities they come from.
Keep New Orleans Water PublicPublic water systems are a cornerstone of democracy. Public water systems are a city’s most valuable infrastructure. Handing over New Orleanians’ most valuable asset to a private company is an appalling abdication of public service. There are more than 300 jobs at Seweragee and Water Board that need to be filled now. More than ever, it is clear New Orleans needs a real and urgent commitment to its public water system. We need true accountability for the management of our whole water system and our community needs jobs. Instead of focusing on solutions to strengthen and reform New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, Mayor Landrieu is selling out New Orleanians to the bottom line of private contractors and corporations. Mayor Landrieu’s privately-contracted “Interim Emergency Management and Support Team” released an RFP on October 23rd that would privatize operations, management and multiple levels of water system positions through a public private partnership with a corporation for “up to three years.” On October 27th at a pre-bid meeting, the contractors asking about the RFP asked if their employees had to have valid Louisiana Drivers Licenses and professional certifications – they don't plan to hire locally. New Orleanians need jobs, right now! New Orleans needs an accountable, transparent, high-functioning public water system and our community needs good, local jobs. We can work together on a win-win solution. A first step is stopping Mayor Landrieu’s takeover of Sewerage and Water Board—Don't take us back to 1898.
Support people of color in the cannabis industry & support People's Dispensary OaklandThe People's Dispensary has a vision of healing, freedom, and empowerment for our beloved community of Oakland. We are in a unique moment, that comes along once in a generation, to build a marketplace that fundamentally serves the good of the community in which it exists. With that vision in mind, The People's Dispensary has applied for one of the four Oakland general dispensary licenses! Here is a little bit about us: ► We are collectively owned ► We are 100% owned by Bay Area residents (Oakland & San Leandro) ► We are 75% owned by people of color ► We are 75% owned by women of color ► We are 100% owned by LGBTQ people Our co-founders are Chaney Turner, Charleen Caabay, Christine De La Rosa and Michael Schlieker. Each of them has a different lived experience that brought them to cannabis. But the common thread they all share is the belief that a dispensary can do more than sell cannabis products, it can heal, uplift and transform entire communities using the profits of cannabis. The People's Dispensary has developed a three prong Equity Plan specifically for Oakland and the Bay Area. ► We have created an opportunity for small and non-accredited investors to legally invest in the cannabis industry. ► We have plans to refurbish existing dilapidated multi-unit residential complexes in Oakland to provide affordable housing for employees, enabling them to live in the community they serve. ► We are creating an Impact Fund that allows our dispensary and our investors to reinvest a portion of future profits into Bay Area initiatives focused on ending criminalization and supporting disenfranchised and vulnerable communities. As one of the general applicants, The Peoples Dispensary is committed to providing monetary, material and mentorship support to equity businesses. In our quest to find values-aligned equity partners we chose three equity cannabis start-ups to incubate. LIV Dispensary and LIV Manufactoring owned by Jennifer Johns and Ajayi Jackson and Coastal Cannabis Delivery owned by Karissa Lewis and Audrey Smith. These equity cannabis businesses are: ► 100% owned by Oakland residents ► 100% owned by Black and Indigenous people ► Committed to creating jobs for the Oakland community We love Oakland and have been investing in its present and its future for decades. The co-founders of The People's Dispensary collectively own Benefit Health Collective Dispensary delivery service, Town Biz retail shop and Craft & Spoon restaurant. These businesses employ 20 people of which 95% of our employees are people of color, 70% are women, 65% are part of the LGBTQ community. We believe in Oakland and Oakland has believed in us. Built into our business model is our commitment to: ► Providing no cost health services for its clients in the form of on staff nursing, mental health professionals and holistic healers ► Hiring formerly incarcerated people and family members of incarcerated people ► Creating jobs and opportunities for advancement for our communities ► Investing in the future of Oakland We believe that we deserve to have a stake in the cannabis market in Oakland as a dispensary. Through granting a license to the Peoples Dispensary, Oakland can help us fulfill our dreams to create and shape a marketplace where everyone wins. Signing this petition is a vote for Oakland, for communities of color, for marginalized communities and for reversing the trends of criminalization and disinvestment. Please sign this petition, post and share this petition. WE BELIEVE WE WILL WIN. We are The People's Dispensary