• Jackson, MS residents need reliable access to clean water!
    For over a week, more than 150,000 residents of Jackson, Mississippi did not have access to clean water. Our public schools were shut down. Our hospitals had to move patients, many of whom were in critical condition, out of the city to get care. And many of us had to wait outside in mile-long lines for water we could use safely, while many people were turned away because there wasn’t enough clean water to go around. This is an inhumane situation, but the people who live here know that the water crisis in Jackson is not new. In a city that is over 80% Black, the warning signs were there. For years, our state government has refused to do anything about our broken infrastructure and sewer system, which isn’t an invisible problem; our water pipes routinely collapse under us, causing our streets to cave in. And now, during a moment that is life and death for so many of us, Governor Tate Reeves and the Mississippi State Legislature are holding up the funding we need to fix the problem. They’re demanding that the City of Jackson match any state funding with money we do not have and should not be forced to give. Poor people have suffered enough, and we don’t have the means to solve this on our own without our elected officials stepping up to the plate. They asked for us to vote for them and they got the job. Now, they need to deliver for the people. We are demanding that Governor Reeves, the Mississippi State Legislature, and Mayor Lumumba work together to: - Call a special session of the Mississippi State Legislature to address this crisis immediately; - Release a joint comprehensive plan for addressing the water crisis in Jackson immediately; - Release the designated infrastructure funding to address the water crisis in Jackson immediately; - Drop the condition and requirement that the City of Jackson put up matching funds in order to sufficiently address the water crisis; and - Issue a moratorium on water bills and shut-offs for all Jackson residents affected by the water crisis until reliable access to clean water is restored. Something must be done now. According to Mayor Lumumba, it is going to take at least one billion dollars to comprehensively replace the water system, and will likely require years of construction to fully complete. But that investment is the bare minimum we should expect from the people we elected to lead. We don’t want excuses. We want action. Jackson, Mississippi needs reliable access to clean water.
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  • STOP STEALING BLACK PROPERTY
    Oakland and San Francisco California are the most gentrified cities in the entire nation. The Black population in both cities has been reduced over the years by more than 50%. The best way for Black people to have a place to live is to become homeowners. Black homeownership is in crisis. Black people have not recovered (unlike other racial groups) from the 2008 housing crisis when they were targeted by the banks with subprime loans. Black homeownership has continued to decline since then. Discrimination in buying, selling, renting, redlining and bad appraisals have all been devastating hurdles. Real estate is the primary means of passing along generational wealth. It is crucial that Black people have the opportunity to leave a legacy. Gentrifying Black rental housing providers will reduce the number of Black tenants in Oakland. No one should lose their property because they have been starved of resources to stay afloat. The focus should be on helping small mom and pop rental housing providers, home owners and tenants. The house above is located in Oakland, Ca.
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  • Black Women Are Dying In California Due To Racial Bias In Healthcare!
    These are the types of situations that make black women feel like our lives are less valuable in this country. The agencies that are supposed to be specifically dedicated to these issues, and keeping us safe, have either failed us, or perhaps that was never their purpose or intention. The fact that they all fall short in even properly, acknowledging or investigating these instances that are putting our lives in danger, is something we need to speak on, and bring into the forefront of the conversation. We need to put pressure on those in charge with the ability to make change. The best way to do that these days is to expose the truth, and shame them into action. There is so much concern and outrage in this country about mistreatment of specific groups. It doesn't seem like much of this is ever concerned with black women specifically. There are a number of struggles and challenges that we are statistically more likely to encounter. Though racial bias in medicine affects both men and women, studies have shown that black women are disproportionately affected by it. We are always assumed to be strong and unbreakable and capable of fixing or surviving everything on our own, and never in need of help. It is time we start helping black women and talk about all the groups affected, and not just the most camera worthy. We need to take action before our loved ones are filing a wrongful death suit. We are still dying here, in our own country, with insurance, with education; just being denied to death, and no one is even talking about it. More of us are killed by doctors than police, and we need to do something.
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  • Alameda County Free Our Kids Youth Justice 10 Point Plan
    The Alameda County Free Our Kids Youth Justice 10 Point Plan was written by young people themselves! For the past year, youth leaders from 67 Sueños, Young Women's Freedom Center, Urban Peace Movement, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, and Genesis have gathered to create a Youth Justice 10 Point plan. Its purpose is to empower and center youth voices, and it gives the youth an opportunity to demand the justice they deserve and want to see in their communities. The Youth Justice 10 Point plan was completely youth-led, and draws from the inspiration of youth led movements from the past - and especially from the legacy of the Black Panther Party. We hope this platform will empower other youth to create similar 10 point plans that can help them create the change they want to see in their communities!! Alameda County spends nearly $500,000 per youth per year on incarceration and $23,000 on average per year to place a young person on probation. Nearly one in three youth incarcerated in Alameda County are later reconvicted. On the other hand, evidence-based restorative justice practices have a one-time cost of $4,500 and the County’s restorative justice alternatives produce recidivism rates of 5% when working with youth charged with specifically violent and serious offenses. We are safer and get a better return on our investment when we invest in the well-being of young people instead of locking them in cages and putting them under surveillance.
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  • Justice for the 110 aboard Clotilda
    Around March 1860, 52 years after the abolishment of the transatlantic slave trade and 40 years after amending the Piracy Act of 1819, Captain William Foster, funded by his co-conspirator, Timothy Meaher, set sail for Africa. Foster would set sail with 110 of the Africans he had purchased aboard the Clotilda. Upon his return to Mobile, he avoided customs agents, towed the Clotilda up the river, and put the enslaved Africans on the Steamboat Czar, owned by Timothy’s brother, Byrnes (aka Burns) Meaher. The enslaved Africans would then be transported to John Dabney’s Mount Vernon plantation and hidden in the swamp. Timothy Meaher, his brothers Byrnes and James, John Dabney and Foster were all given enslaved people from the Clotilda. Timothy Meaher and his co-conspirators used a sophisticated plan to hide the Africans who were on board, moving them from plantation to plantation while burning the Clotilda. Within two weeks of their arrival in America and over the next several months, court cases were opened (e.g., U.S. vs. William Foster and Richard Sheridan, U.S. vs William Foster, U.S. vs. Burns (Byrnes) Meaher, U.S. vs. John Dabney, etc.). In her book, Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Last Africans Brought to America, Diouf details the events leading up to these cases including the sophisticated plot to hide these illegal actions. We know that Timothy Meaher was arrested and accused of having “illegally imported negroes.” However, the presiding Judge over the case, William G. Jones was a friend of Timothy Meaher. Diouf writes, “Judge William G. Jones was such a friend that Meaher had given his name to one of his steamers. Everyone knew that when it came to importers of Africans Judge Jones was as lenient as he possibly could be.” This leniency is evident in other related rulings during the same time period. Also, the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Alabama, Augustus Julian “A.J.” would become an attorney of the Confederate states and a confederate poet. Despite the evidence, Jones cleared Timothy Meaher of all charges. In addition, the courts were after Foster, not because he was a pirate, but because he avoided customs officials upon arrival from his voyage. Judge William G. Jones also issued orders to have Byrnes Meaher and Dabney appear at the next regular term of his court. On January 10, 1861, the U.S. vs. Burns Meaher and the U.S vs. John Dabney were dismissed by Judge Jones. Since the 110 Africans could not be found, no crime could be proven. On January 12, 1861, only two days after his ruling, Judge Jones resigned. Alabama broke away from the Union, and Judge Jones would eventually serve as a judge of the confederate district court for the district of Alabama from 1861 to 1865. Finally, Foster’s case would eventually be thrown out too. Records for several of the cases mentioned above reside at the National Archives in Atlanta and provide an account of the times. In May of 2019, Search Inc. prepared a report entitled “Archaeological Investigations of 1Ba704” for the Alabama Historical Commission summarizing their findings from the discovery of Clotilda. They confirm they have located the Clotilda and provide an investigative report that lays out the case for how the U.S. government turned a blind eye to the Meahers, Foster and all parties involved. It also draws the conclusion that “US government officials were perhaps less than diligent in seeking to find the Clotilda or the people brought aboard it against their will...” Just this month, the National Geographic released an article entitled “America’s Last Slave Ship is More Intact Than Anyone Thought.” In that article, Vice President of Search Inc., Jim Delgado, stated “this is the most intact slave ship known to exist in the archeological record anywhere. There’s actual direct physical evidence not just of the ship and its use, but also of the changes done by Foster and his crew to make it a slave ship.” Over 160 years later, evidence of the crime has now been uncovered. The cover-up of illegal activity is as bad as the smuggling crime. The finding of Clotilda should initiate an investigation into previous court cases and new cases should be opened where warranted. In the words of William Goldstone, “justice delayed is justice denied, “and we deserve justice. Crimes were committed and all involved should be held accountable.
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  • Tell Walmart and Kroger: We need affordable COVID-19 test kits now!
    My family and I contracted COVID-19 around the holidays. A few days after Christmas, my body began to feel as though it was literally shutting down. It began with some minor coughing that led to fatigue, fevers of over 102 F, shortness of breath, and body aches. I couldn't even walk without feeling pain on the soles of my feet. While dealing with the physical impact of getting sick, our family decided to drive to the closest drive-thru testing site every three to four days until we each tested negative, since we could not afford to spend thousands of dollars on private testing. Packing up my family while trying to "quarantine,” driving, and then sitting and standing in some of the longest lines we had seen up to that point was the worst feeling and situation any family could endure. There was a Walmart only minutes away from my home in Broward, Florida. We should have been able to buy affordable at-home COVID-19 tests there, but leaders like Walmart CEO Dough McMillon and Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen decided to take advantage of the high demand for tests by pushing the prices up by over 40%. No family should have to choose between spending money on necessities like food and bills, and spending money on tests that help us stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. That’s why I’m calling on Walmart and Kroger to sell their COVID-19 testing kits at cost! In September 2021, the Biden administration announced that it made a deal with retailers like Walmart and Kroger to ensure that COVID-19 at-home tests would be sold for no more than the cost of production at $14. But as soon as the deal ended in December, both chains pushed the price of the kits up, in some cases as high as $80. When I tried to buy tests from Walmart over the holiday season, each one cost $40. That meant testing all five people in my household using the at-home kits would have cost $200. Spending that much money every time we needed to test would have been a huge financial burden on us. With the cost of living increasing in my city, the prices of COVID-19 test kits were simply too high. Now, as the Omicron variant continues to spread through our communities, these companies continue to charge obscene amounts of money for test kits, in a moment when so many people like me are just trying to make ends meet. COVID-19 tests should be affordable, if not FREE. Walmart and Kroger are making the decision to push test prices up knowing full well that what they are paying their own workers is not keeping pace with the higher prices of basic necessities. In November, inflation reached a four decade high of 6.8%, while hourly-workers only received an increase of 4.8%. In the meantime, our hospitals are still overwhelmed. Patients are still being forced to delay life-saving treatment and surgeries. And we are still seeing some of the highest rates of deaths due to COVID-19 since the height of the pandemic in 2020. It’s not right. Walmart and Kroger could easily sell COVID-19 test kits at cost and still make some of the highest profits of any company in this country. Instead, they are exploiting our desperation to keep ourselves and our families safe. Tell Walmart and Kroger they must provide affordable COVID-19 test kits, today!
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  • “Do the right thing and protect ALL students in Wake County Public Schools.
    On 09/20/21, I looked at the Wake County Public Schools website to find information about the number of COVID Clusters in Wake County Public Schools. The site was down and read as follows: We are updating based on the State of Emergency declared by Governor Cooper. This means there is a continuous rise of cases in the state and it is showing up in the schools and hospitals. Our schools are not safe places for our children. It is a known fact, there are not enough teachers, lunchroom staff, maintenance workers, or bus drivers to keep them safe. Our front-line workers are constantly put at risk without the basic protection of unmasking in Wake County. Since this pandemic started 1 in 9 people in Wake County have been affected by COVID, we’ve had 121,290 reported cases in our community alone. We already see that sending students into schools without masks will lead to even more people getting sick. We the parents from Black and brown communities can not attend Board meetings due to the many barriers that prevent us from attending. We are showing our concern through the signing of this petition. We never want it said that we don't care about our children and all children’s safety. We must adhere to the CDC’s guidelines to socially distance and implement a mask mandate to protect everyone in Wake County. We should not be listening to the ignorance of anti-maskers who bully and threaten board members to intimidate them from supporting mask mandates. It's our right to be safe and keep our children safe without intimidation. We the members of the Wake County Community Equity Leadership Team and the community ask that the Wake County School Board consider the cost when making your decision. We must put the safety and needs of our community at the center of our decision-making when it comes to the health and our students and families. WE WANT A MASK MANDATE
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  • #Thirst4Justice: Call on MEMA to Validate the Water Crisis For Valuable Recovery Funding!
    For the past five weeks, I have endured the water crisis. Jackson is over 80% Black and we went without vital water access for weeks. While white folks in other counties had running water in their homes, I watched the direct impact that neglect has had on my community. Jackson’s water crisis is not only a health problem and an environmental problem -- it’s undeniably a race problem. Thousands of Black people have caught rain to flush the toilet and stacked cases of water to wash their hands and brush their teeth, while simultaneously trying to survive a global pandemic that disproportionately affects Black people. I’m starting this petition to ensure that my community gets the help they desperately need and deserve. The city of Jackson has a history of being disenfranchised in Mississippi. This isn’t the first time that we’ve been overlooked, and we need action. Join me in telling Stephen McCraney to do right by Jackson. My community demands continuous water testing to assess whether it is safe for consumption, proper damage assessments, and a long term plan in ensuring that water consumption is safe without the threat of a state takeover of the Jackson community. Stephen McCraney is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and he has the power to speed up the process of assessing the damage to Jackson’s water system. Speeding up the process will secure important federal funding for our water systems recovery and help my community heal together. Sign this petition and tell McCraney to prioritize damage assessments in Jackson while providing resources that restore trust for Black Mississippians now!
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    Created by Jordan Jefferson
  • #ReimagineChildSafety: Get Cops Out of Child Protective Services
    The child welfare system traumatizes children and rips families apart. Far from helping, law enforcement only makes things worse. Their partnership must end now. Los Angeles County is home to the largest locally-run foster care system in the country, run by the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). The system disproportionately targets Black, Brown, and Indigenous children for surveillance and removal, actions that, even when well-intentioned, terrorize and traumatize families of color. While Black children are 10% of LA County’s population, they represent 40% of the young people in the child welfare system. DCFS works in direct partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Approximately 25% of DCFS referrals come from law enforcement. DCFS and law enforcement agencies work together to enter homes and remove children. Police presence during DCFS investigations further traumatizes children and escalates the situation. Removing law enforcement from the child welfare system is the first step to curb the racist practices that break up families of color. We must demand an end to systems that separate families instead of supporting them. The REIMAGINE CHILD SAFETY campaign is supported by: Black Lives Matter LA; ACLU of Southern California; Alliance for Children’s Rights; Black Los Angeles Young Democrats; Dignity & Power Now; JusticeLA; La Defensa; Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers; Movement for Family Power; National Coalition for Child Protection Reform; Public Counsel; The RightWay Foundation; Trans Lifeline; and White People 4 Black Lives.
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  • STOP DIRTY S.F. CITY ATTORNEY TAKING $25mm from Black Landlord
    in the past, BLACKS could NOT own Property. Then, when the laws appeared to change, the BANKS RED-LINED Ownership. Now - the City Governments are Creating FALSE CASES to take BLACK PROPERTY OWNERS and ILLEGALLY TAKING their Properties. In the case of Ms. Kihagi, the smear campaign that represented her as Black Slumlord is so far from the truth. Yet - knowing most people would NOT get past that PR Machine - the City derailed the Truth. The San Francisco City Attorney made more than 20 misrepresentations to the Court with full knowledge of the actual facts. This is total abuse of power - and should be stopped! In fact, the TRUE MOTIVE for such conduct was to RACIAL DERAIL a successful, black landlord. More than $25million is at stake. It is clear that the 2 major cases in San Francisco have been against successful, BLACK Landlords - is this a Coincidence? They spent over 70% of their resources fighting one lone, black landlord and lied to the public that she was a slumlord. Yet the BUILDINGS are in better condition than 90% of S.F. Condo. EYES DON'T LIE. STOP DIRTY CITY ATTORNEYS - see more articles at annekihagisf.com
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    Created by DIRTY LEGAL System
  • Black Veterans' Lives Matter! End Systemic Diagnostic Bias in Military and Veteran Health Systems.
    Implicit, explicit, and diagnostic bias in the Military and Veterans Healthcare Systems ensures limited treatment options and compensatory benefits for Wounded/Ill/Injured Black and Brown Uniformed Service Members relative to non-White Service Members, women relative to men, and Reserve Component (Reserve/ National Guard) Members relative to Active Duty (AD) Members . MILITARY DATA REVEALS DANGEROUS REALITY FOR BLACK SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS by Zachary Cohen and Janie Boschma, CNN UPDATED 11:52 AM ET, SUN JUNE 14, 2020. A CNN review of data provided by the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs reveals the stark reality that black service members are less likely to become officers and, as a result, are MORE LIKELY TO BE SERIOUSLY INJURED SERVING THEIR COUNTRY THAN THEIR WHITE COLLEAGUES. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT REVEALS MILITARY OCCUPATIONS WITH HIGHEST SUICIDE rates by Seth Robson | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 28, 2020, The suicide rate for reservists was 22.9 deaths per 100,000 while the rate for the National Guard was 30.6 per 100,000, the report states. That compares with a suicide rates for American adults ages 17-59 of 18.2 per 100,000 in 2017, according to the report. PHYSICIAN BIAS AND RACIAL DISPARITIES IN VETERAN HEALTH: Shari Eli, Trevon Logan, Boriana Miloucheva 20 August 2019 The mortality gap between blacks and whites in the US has been well documented, but there is still considerable debate over why the gap has remained so large and why it has persisted over the last century. This column explores these questions using unique data on black and white Civil War veterans to measure one of the earliest known incidences of PHYSICIAN BIAS AGAINST AFRICAN AMERICANS. It shows that PHYSICIAN BIAS had large effects on INCOME AND LONGEVITY of blacks relative to whites and considers the ways in which doctor attitudes STILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE RACIAL MORTALITY GAP TODAY. The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained By Emily Crockett@[email protected] Jun 8, 2016, 11:10am. Sexual assault is a huge problem in the US military. And for many victims, the process of reporting their crime and seeking justice can be as traumatic as their assault. The US Senate is expected to vote this week on the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA). Advocates, who have been pushing for the MJIA since 2013, say the reform would make the process of prosecuting sex crimes a lot easier and smoother for victims and help victims feel more empowered to come forward and report the crimes against them. On or about October 28, I spoke with yet another Black Woman Veteran that was not only the victim of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) while serving her country, but the victim of systemic retaliation after reporting her rape. She was involuntarily separated from the military and forced to repay all enlistment bonuses. Homeless female veterans: Out of sight, out of mind Angela M. Rogers, November 18, 2019 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Female veterans are the fastest growing demographic among the homeless population in the United States and face a double hurdle of distance and invisibility in getting the health services they need from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to research conducted by Penn State graduate student and U.S. Air Force veteran Elizabeth Elsea. Physician implicit, explicit, and diagnostic bias in the Military and Veterans Healthcare Systems ensures limited treatment options and compensatory benefits for Black and Brown Wounded/Ill/Injured Uniformed Service Members relative to non-White Service Members, women relative to men,; and Reserve and National Guard Members relative to Active Duty (AD) Members . Black Veterans' Lives Matter! Women Veterans' Lives Matter SUPPORT ALL of THE TROOPS!
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  • Tell Chrysler: Detroit Residents Need Environmental Health Protections Now
    It’s happening again. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is expanding in Detroit and has only agreed to commit $8.8 million in “community benefits” for a plant they are receiving a whopping $420 million in public tax abatements to expand. The worst part? This multi-billion-dollar company has failed to follow through on even the smallest commitments it has made thus far to the majority-Black community it claims to want to support. As part of the community benefits agreement it signed in April 2019 in order to receive the tax abatements, Chrysler agreed to renovate nearly 60 homes on Beniteau, the street closest to the project. Most of these homes are owned by Black, elderly, long-time residents. To date, they have renovated fewer than 5 of those houses. We must be clear about what this means. Not only does Chrysler think it’s acceptable to set aside less than 3% of the public funding it is receiving from the government for the benefit of the community, but it is refusing to be accountable to even the paltry promises its leadership has made to our people. Now, it is time for Chrysler to step up and work in cooperation with the people of Detroit to negotiate community protections that reflect the real health and environmental risks to Black Detroiters that Chrysler’s expansion has brought with it. We’ve long known that pollution takes its greatest toll on the health of Black communities, who are often left with few resources or recourse. That has never felt clearer than in the middle of a global pandemic, as politicians, corporations, and the healthcare system alike continue to make decisions that mean that Black people are contracting and dying of COVID-19 at higher rates than almost every other group in the country. Chrysler’s leadership, which has managed to find a way to offset increased emissions in its suburban plant, but has failed to provide a clear plan for how it will handle the increase in emissions in a neighborhood that is majority Black, is no exception. A national study links long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality. In the U.S., Black children suffer disproportionately from asthma, and are seven to eight times more likely to die of asthma than white children. Communities of color face nearly 40% more exposure to toxic air pollution than white communities. From Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ to the recently discovered cancer cluster in Houston’s Fifth Ward, we know why mega-companies like Chrysler feel comfortable making decisions that place Black people in close proximity to pollution and other environmental hazards. Chrysler is counting on environmental racism to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. We can’t let them. After George Floyd was murdered, Chrysler CEO, Michael Manley, sent an email to employees claiming that he “emphatically rejects the prejudice and hatred” Black Americans still face in this country. But the fact is, Chrysler bears a huge responsibility for the environmental violence, harm, and discrimination against Black people in Detroit, and is still actively profiting from that violence to this day. We deserve more than lip service from a company that has relied on us as both workers and funders for generations. We, the people, say NO to corporations and CEOs that claim Black lives matter in one breath while supporting our destruction in the next. Residents closest to the plant on Beniteau Street and others across the Eastside of the city, along with Detroit People's Platform have worked hard to bring these critical issues to the attention of local officials and Chrysler leadership with no success. Now, we need your voices to make sure Chrysler knows they must deal with the community in order to benefit from our public tax dollars. Sign our petition today and make sure Chrysler knows they must deal with the real Detroit if they want to keep building in our community.
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