• Tell MDCPS to Allow the People to Testify for Budget Hearings
    MDCPS is the nation's fourth largest school board district, with over 350,000 students, and is the largest employer in the county. In the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, we all know public schools will be one of the worst hit, with severe budget cuts concurrent with over-policing policies. Join Power U in demanding that schools be sites of support and holistic student development.
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  • @Cornell: Rescind Nathan Panza's Offer of Admission
    There is a disturbing video circulating of an incoming student to the Dyson School of Business and a recruit to Cornell’s football team. Nathan Panza is seen in a video using racial slurs and laughing at a disturbing comment made about George Floyd, a recent emblematic example of police brutality and racial injustices in the country. I found this video shocking, not only because of the casual nature of this disgusting conversation, but also because of Panza’s awareness to not post the content online. It showed his true character and also that he knows how to navigate situations of bigotry in a way that he can partake but not face repercussions. I have no doubt that part of this carefulness comes from knowing that he will be attending Cornell in the fall and doesn’t want to lose that opportunity. As a Cornell student, I’ve seen examples of racism across the campus that all too often reflect Panza’s actions. Disgusting behavior that is executed in a way that can be kept quiet and not get out to a wider audience. I’ve also heard the voices of many Black students in recent weeks discussing these actions and microaggressions themselves and how they feel alienated and othered at Cornell. How can a school that prides itself on having an “any person, any study” allow students like Panza to plague its campus and infringe on the experiences of Black students on the same campus? Similarly, how can statements from Martha Pollack and the football team about combatting racial injustices be taken seriously if they are unwilling to take action against students like Nathan Panza? I am calling for the immediate rescinding of Nathan Panza’s admittance to Cornell and a firm administrative stance on students (and prospective students) like him in the future. There is a well documented issue of racism on Cornell’s campus that has never truly been addressed. The termination of Panza’s attendance at Cornell would be a step that the administration could take to denounce such actions and set a firm stance for the future. If the administration fails to take action against him, it will send a loud and clear message to the Black student body that public statements are as far as Cornell is willing to go against racism on campus.
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  • Make Juneteenth an Official California State Holiday!
    Every year our states celebrate the Fourth of July to honor our nation’s independence from Great Britain, in 1776. The United States continued to deny freedom to enslaved Africans for almost another 100 years. We still do not have a national holiday celebrating the official end of the brutal enslavement our Ancestors endured. Despite Abraham Lincoln’s efforts with the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation that took effect on January 1, 1863, the executive order was not enforced in Texas until June 19th when Union Gen. Gordon Granger rode in to deliver the news after the official end of the Civil War, in 1865. Even though the E.P. took place in 1863, Texas was considered a fringe state. As a young mixed Black womxn, moving through Oakland public schools did not allow me the opportunity to learn about my heritage and/or ancestors in the way that I believe we should have. Only after graduating have I come to understand our history and the importance of Juneteenth. Juneteenth marks a day of the utmost significance in American history. It represents the ways in which freedom for Black people has been delayed. It should be celebrated as the day when all Americans were liberated.
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  • Ban the Confederate Flag from School Grounds
    My name is Chloe Mikala (Anderson). I was born and raised in Garrett County, MD and I am a 2011 Southern Garrett High School Alum. I have been inspired by so many locals protesting in support of Black Lives Matter. Something I never thought I would see in my hometown. I was also impressed by Mayor Don Sincell’s address on racism, police brutality, and the call for everyone to practice being anti-racist. Again, something else I never thought I would see. So, let’s keep this momentum going! Join me in petitioning GCPS and the Board of Education in banning the Confederate Flag and its symbols from clothing, memorabilia, vehicles on school grounds, and at school-sponsored events It’s upsetting that the Confederate Flag removal has to even be a topic of discussion. The history and pain behind it is so obvious, that its removal should be swift and simple. This is America though, and nothing is ever swift and simple. Superintendent Barbara Baker and President Tom Woods have agreed that it is a topic of discussion at their upcoming meetings (June 23rd & July 14th), so let’s make sure that they hear our voices! The Confederate Flag’s association with the KKK, alone, should say enough about what it stands for and the pain and harm it brings to Black people. This flag is a symbol that states flew to support segregation laws during the Civil Rights era and is a symbol of white supremacy nation wide. As a Black woman myself, I hated seeing the Confederate Flag all throughout my schooling in Garrett County because it made me feel ostracized, hated, and unwanted. The Confederate Flag has a place in the history books, but not on display on school grounds. And for those that argue “heritage”: Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens said in his 1861 “Cornerstone speech,” “Our new government is founded upon … the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” This is their “heritage.” Ask yourselves, would you allow Nazi symbols to be on school grounds? If your answer is no (which it should be because WTF?!) then you should understand why the Confederate Flag and its symbols should also not be allowed on school grounds. If Carroll County, Nascar (NASCAR?!), and the Navy can ban the Confederate flag, then so can Garrett County Public Schools.
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  • Removing Discriminatory Hair Policies from Henrico County Schools
    Students of all colors and with all hair textures should be able to do the following at school: protect their hair and proudly wear cultural hairstyles. These policies were put in place with the ignorance of African American hair care and their enforcement criminalizes Black children and interferes with their learning.
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  • Tell D.C Leaders: We Demand Police-Free Schools!
    The same police that are killing Black people in the streets and that continue to harass Black youth in the community, are the same police that are in our schools. We cannot continue to put our youth in harms way! We demand POLICE FREE SCHOOLS! We demand an end to the school-to-prison pipeline. It is simple: Black youth in D.C have been screaming "Love Us. Don't Harm Us"- divest from police in our schools and invest in the social-emotional health and well-being of youth! D.C is the MOST POLICED jurisdiction in America and Metropolitan Police Department's largest contract is with D.C. Public Schools. MPD currently receives $25 million to police and criminalize our youth! This increases the likelihood that adolescent behavior or responses to trauma will not be met with support but further harm. 74% of Black youth will not get the support they need. Instead: - Nearly 100% of all school expulsions are of Black youth, nearly 100% of school based arrest are of youth of color - D.C. police are also responsible for harassing and handcuffing Black youth as young as 9 years old. - 60% of girls arrested in D.C are under the age of 15. - Black girls in D.C are 30 times more likely to be arrested than white youth of any gender identity. - Often girls are disciplined and referred to police for their responses to sexual violence. This creates an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for girls, and compounds the trauma that survivors of gender base violence experience. Always, but especially now, our Black youth need love, not harm! We need to ensure that our young people have what they need to learn, that our young people have increased access to mental health professionals to address the heightened trauma caused by COVID -19 and, rampant police violence and racism. We need your support to protect Black and Brown youth from further harm and to preserve their right to live and thrive!
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  • Tell Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammel to put OUSD students first!
    I am the mother of a 12 year old special needs student. Since school closed, I have been creating learning opportunities at home. As a full-time massage therapist and mom, I know my struggle is similar to that of other parents. Schools are doing the best that they can in these times, but it’s not enough. I strongly urge Oakland Unified School District Superintendent, Kyla Johnson-Tramell to create a plan to expand the district’s WiFi network access so that all district families can use the service at home, provide mobile devices for all students and create a multi-disciplinary capstone project at all grade levels in order for students to demonstrate mastery or growth. These capstone projects should not be dependent upon WiFi access or the use of technology. As a life-long educator and Oakland native, I appreciate her deep roots in the community and urge Superintendent Johnson-Tramell to live up to the district’s equity value to “provide everyone access to what they need to be successful”. On Friday, March 13, 2020, many schools across the nation dismissed for two weeks without providing long-term resources to students and no clear plan for what would happen when social quarantines were extended beyond the recommended two weeks. Oakland Unified School District serves over 50,000 pupils with more than 70% of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing students and parents to make alternative learning plans, largely shifting the focus to online learning. Unfortunately, many students from low-income families will suffer due to the digital divide. For at-risk students impacted by poverty and inequality, this virus has the potential to widen the achievement gap, therefore, deepening the consequences. Slow responses to the coronavirus from national leaders have already exposed the structural deficiencies within our communities. I recognize the effort that local educators have put into planning a thoughtful response for district families, but OUSD must go farther and do the most for those that matter most -- our students, our future. This pandemic, while challenging, presents a new opportunity for students and teachers to demonstrate creativity and promote learning through discovery and experimentation. As a distinguished leader in education, Superintendent Johnson-Tramell can set a new national standard by ensuring that students make progress and that plans for long-term distance learning are accessible for everyone. Kyla Johnson-Tramell often tells people, “My success is your success. We have to work together.” We must demand that she continue her long standing commitment to Oakland students and families and encourage her to work with educators, parents and students to set a new national standard. During this pandemic, we need bold solutions that promote equity and ensure students and parents have the necessary tools and resources to adjust to the demands of the current crisis. This is also a pivotal moment for students to discover new ways to learn beyond the classroom, allowing space and time for imagination and experimentation. The time is now to create a new national standard with Oakland educators leading the way. I strongly urge Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Tramell to uphold OUSD’s core values and make the district’s resources accessible for ALL students. Taking action to increase access, bridge the digital divide and promote student growth would demonstrate her commitment to shrinking the achievement gap. Thank you, Tanosha Redman
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  • Student Loan Forgiveness for all front line workers
    All essential personnel that work in these fields, these self-sacrificing fields, go to work everyday placing themselves in harms way in order to provide care for those effected by COVID-19. This would be an extreme help with the economic crisis we now find ourselves facing.
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  • #SafeSchoolsForAll: Wake & Johnston County Public Schools Must Act Against Hate Speech
    As a Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother that resides in Wake County I am very disturbed that more action has not been taken around the situation this young lady experienced entering her 1st year of High School. Cenayia Edwards, an African American freshman at East Wake High School was informed by one of her friends that some of her classmates were apart of a racist group chat where they advocated for the killing of African Americans, used hate language such as “kill ni**ger babies” and the hashtag #BringSlaveryBack. Cenayia was able to gain access to this exclusive chat room where these racial slurs and offensive hate speech was being exchanged and encouraged. Immediately, Cenayia and her parents reported this hate group to her principal and other school administrators in order to bring their awareness to this unacceptable behavior by her peers and fellow students. To date, the family has not received a response from either school district regarding their intention to prevent and condemn this egregious behavior. We cannot remain silent on the broader issue of racial discrimination and intolerance because silence is compliance. Some continue to say that we are living in a post-racial society and if that is true, how can this type of hatred have been shared in a group chat in 2019. Please sign this petition and help make our Schools Safe for ALL CHILDREN. Policies that address hate speech must be a critical element for all school districts.
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  • #FreeBlackMamas - Justice for DV Survivor Tondalao Hall
    Tondalao Hall is a domestic violence survivor sentenced to 30 years behind bars under a "failure to protect" law. Tondalao was punished for not leaving her abuser quickly enough, before he could inflict physical abuse on their children. The abuser, Robert Braxton, was released back to the streets the day he was sentenced for child abuse, with only 8 years of probation to serve. He admitted to breaking the ribs, toe, and femurs of the two youngest children. Tondalao, the adult victim of his abuse and mother of his children, is now serving her 15th year behind bars. While we haven’t had much to celebrate in the quest for Tondalao’s freedom, this time is slightly different than others. Here’s how: 1. The Pardon and Parole board voted UNANIMOUSLY in a 5-0 vote to move her case to the next round. 2. Four out of five board members were appointed within the past year. 3. After years of organizing, District Attorney David Prater finally wrote a letter of “support" calling for Tondalao’s release. Oklahoma has the highest rate per capita of incarcerated women than any other place in the word. Hall is 1 of 28 women sentenced across 11 states under “Failure to Protect” laws who are serving more time than the abuser himself. Hall’s appeal for justice could have broader implications for the lives of women across experiences. ​Courts must not use Failure to Protect laws to further victimize survivors of domestic violence by scapegoating them for their batterers’ crimes. Failure to Protect laws must not hold domestic violence victims with children to an impossible standard of choosing between risking their lives (and their children's’ lives) and risking their freedom. After 13 years behind bars, Tondalao has served enough time for a crime she didn't commit. We must do better to protect and #FreeBlackMamas.
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  • Stop empowering racists & silencing Black people who tell the truth
    The University of Alabama has seemingly pushed for the resignation of its dean of students and assistant vice president — a Black man who had been in the job just seven months — for past tweets that made honest, straightforward statements about racism in America. It’s outrageous. Dr. Jamie Riley was apparently forced to resign after the “alt-right” website Breitbart — a favorite of white nationalists, known for its racism, antisemitism, and dishonest smear campaigns — published an article with Dr. Riley’s old tweets. Instead of standing up against this racist hit job against a prominent Black leader at the university, the University of Alabama threw him under the bus. It looks like an effective firing, with the university refusing to give details, only saying that there was “mutual agreement” around his resignation. . While Riley’s tweets might make some people uncomfortable, they’re based in fact and well within the mainstream conversation about racism. Here are two of them: • "The [American flag emoji] flag represents a systemic history of racism for my people. Police are a part of that system. Is it that hard to see the correlation?" • "I'm baffled about how the 1st thing white people say is, 'That's not racist!' when they can't even experience racism? You have 0 opinion!" When the dean of students can lose his job for a couple of old tweets about racism that many people would agree with, the message sent to Black students and faculty couldn’t be clearer: if you want to keep your job and stay at the university, you better keep your mouth shut. It’s chilling, and it conveys a lack of interest in protecting the academic freedom of Black people at the university and an unwillingness to protect Black members of its community when racists come after them with baseless accusations. At the same time, the University of Alabama recruits Black athletes and makes millions in profits from their unpaid labor (anchoring an athletics program that brings in $170+ million in revenue per year). The university wants to profit off of Black peoples’ unpaid work, but it wants us to keep our mouths shut about racism. Making money off of black students while suppressing their speech makes the University of Alabama seem more like a modern day plantation than a modern university. If the University of Alabama doesn’t want to be known as a racist institution, it needs to act quickly to reverse this mistake by rehiring Dr. Jamie Riley immediately.
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  • Police Accountability Monitoring Program & Enforcement Reform (PAMPER)
    COPWATCH AMERICA INCORPORATED HAS A PRIMARY GOAL TO MINIMIZE & ELIMINATE UNJUSTIFIED DEATHS DUE TO ILLEGAL ACTIONS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN AMERICA AGAINST CIVILIANS. COPWATCH AMERICA INCORPORATED USES UNITED STATES/STATE LAWS, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, CIVILIAN COMPLIANT REVIEW COMMITTEES, POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY MONITORING PROGRAMS, AND OTHER FORMS OF RESOURCES & ACTIONS TO ESTABLISH TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY IN EACH AND EVERY LAW ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT/AGENCY IN AMERICA.
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