• #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.
    501 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Mona B.
  • #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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    Created by Candace Liger Picture
  • 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.
    8,047 of 9,000 Signatures
    Created by James Rucker
  • We Demand Gender Neutral Bathrooms at UDC
    On Tuesday, August 27, 2019 around 2:00pm, a member of the UDC community threatened our sense of safety by vandalizing the only community gender neutral bathroom on our campus. On the A level of Building 44, adjacent to the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Affairs, a sheet of paper intentionally obscured half of the gender neutral and accessibility restroom signage. This is a hate crime and a direct violation of Title IX. As the first LGBTQ+ student organization at the University of the District of Columbia and part of only 30% of HBCUs that have active LGBTQ+ student organizations, we The Alliance Group (T.A.G) are requesting a meeting with UDC leadership on addressing this incident and we have created a list of demands. Hate crimes targeting LGBTQ+ and Non-binary people have increased since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016. Additionally, 16 Transwomen have been murdered so far this year and all but one have been women of color. Washington D.C has the highest number of openly LGBTQ people in the nation and as the only urban, public Historically Black College in the nation, we believe we cannot sit by when incidents like this happen on our campus. We are asking for your support by signing this petition and sharing it with others. Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in. Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue of homophobia and transphobia. UPDATE: As we were preparing to send this letter, at 12pm on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, our community has been attacked again; another vandalization occurred at the same bathroom in building 44. This requires outrage and action on our leadership's behalf immediately With Love and Support, The Alliance Group (T.A.G)
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    Created by Breanna Champion
  • 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.
    59 of 100 Signatures
    Created by CopWatch America Inc. Picture
  • Introduce a Race Relations Class into High School Curriculum
    This petition is to appeal to the Department of Education to add a Race Relations class to the high school curriculum to foster greater understanding between students of different backgrounds. America is currently polarized across racial lines, and these divisions are only growing. These biases are fostered from a young age and carry into adulthood. We have always been taught that the civil rights movement was the beginning of the end for racism and that education was going to be the final blow. We were told that diversifying our classrooms would break down racial stereotypes in the next generation. However, it's become apparent that this isn't effective. Very little progress has been made since such efforts began. The problem is clear. Schools are trying to increase the number of minorities in their school, hoping that by simply putting students of varying backgrounds into the same classroom, cross-cultural relations and understanding between students will form on their own. In a perfect world, this approach may work. However, we live in a world where kids are constantly influenced by their surroundings and racial biases form from an early age. Because of this, a passive approach simply won't work. A more active approach is required if any real change is ever going to happen. Diversity is just a series of statistics. It's simply the presence of different backgrounds under the same roof. Diversity is the prerequisite for change. Real change can only happen by means of integration- building a sense of understanding, breaking down misconceptions, and constructing a baseline of trust and respect among students of varying backgrounds. But why a class? For starters, the cause of racism is a misunderstanding between people of different backgrounds. These phobias are only fostered by conversations in households. School is meant to be an environment to learn and grow. Therefore, there is no better place for students to learn about one another than in schools. According to Yale Professor Albert Laguna claimed this is, "One class all students should take." Also, as studies have shown, this class is something that will be most effective early in life. By waiting until college, which is when these classes are currently offered, most prejudices have already been ingrained and cemented into students' thinking. Instead, by offering this class in high schools, we allow students to develop ideas about other races before they have been formed and while they are still malleable. Currently, the only such material regarding race in the classroom is very superficial and spread far and wide. It's time we stop ignoring this critical aspect of our education and dedicate real time towards it. This class has to be included in our schools' curriculum. By continuing the passive approach that schools have taken towards educating students about race and the implications a lack of understanding has on our society, we are contributing to the racial divide happening in our nation. Sign this petition and let us take a step towards giving our students a more well-rounded education that prepares them for a more equitable and understanding society. "Educating ourselves and others about race is an essential step in the process of change." - Beverly Daniel Tatum "We will not move forward in Race Relations if we are comfortable. We must embrace the discomfort." - Robin DiAngelo Summary of Reasons and Advantages for Race Relations Class: Students gain a better understanding of the outlook of classmates from different racial backgrounds The only source of discussion on race is through household conversations, which are often biased. A class will offer students a more well-rounded base of information. Current curriculum passingly touches the topic of race without any depth. Offering a dedicated class will fill a clear gap in students' education Similar courses at the university level are lauded for their impact on students, but they are not accessible to most students. Offering it at the high school level enables all students to take such a class. Racial biases are formed from a young age. Offering a class that delves into race relations will influence a child before prejudices fully develop and become cemented into thinking. References: https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/10/opinions/laguna-race-ethnic-studies-university/index.html https://www.theodysseyonline.com/what-my-race-relations-class-taught-me https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233175919_Raising_Ethnic-Racial_Consciousness_The_Relationship_Between_Intergroup_Dialogues_and_Adolescents'_Ethnic-Racial_Identity_and_Racism_Awareness
    111 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Vinay Konuru
  • Paint down Washington High School's racist mural!
    Sign now to stand with the Black and Native youth & families who are working to take down the racist "Life of Washington" mural at the SFUSD high school at 600 32nd Ave. in the “Richmond District”, which is on unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory. The large-scale painting at this school depicts George Washington standing over the bodies of dead Indigenous people, it depicts Black people as enslaved and docile, and it is a symbol of white supremacy that Black and Native students are forced to walk past every day. It is a, it is a constant reminder that the institution, that is supposed to care for and educate Black and Native youth, them glorifies the genocide, colonization and enslavement of their people. Over three years ago, Amy and Kai Anderson, parent and student at the school that contains the murals, reignited the “Take It Down” campaign. It first started in 1968, with the school's Black Student Union and the SF Black Panther Party demanding that the district remove the racist murals. During that time, in protest, ink was thrown upon the fresco murals and can be seen there to this day. For the past few years, the American Indian PAC listed the removal of these murals as one of their top priorities. As a result the district established a “Reflection and Action Committee” to decide how, not if, the murals were to come down. The committee met and studied the issue for months and voted to have the murals digitally archived and painted over before the first day of school in the fall of 2019. San Francisco’s diverse school board courageously listened to Black and Native students and believed them when they testified about the trauma these murals create for them. The board voted unanimously to follow the committee’s recommendations and paint down the mural (or cover it with panels if it takes more than 3 years to paint down). We are so proud that our school board centered directly impacted student’s voices and voted to “Paint It Down” & give youth a clean slate. However, the work of giving students a clean slate is just beginning. The Washington Alumni Association has vowed to file lawsuits and use ballot initiatives to try to overturn and silence the decisions of youth, families and electeds of color. White nationalist publications like Breitbart have bashed the decision, using the same logic being used to preserve Confederate statues and symbols across the nation. The opposition is hoping that by pushing the School Board to put wooden panels over the mural instead of destroying it, they can one day remove the panels altogether so that things remain exactly the way they are now. We call on the San Francisco School Board to show up for Black and Native youth, to tell them that we hear their voices, we believe them, and we’ll continue to show up for them until we get the clean slate they deserve. Sign this petition to let the board know that you pledge to work with these youth and their families, to show up online or in person as needed, and to lift up and amplify their voices until they get the clean slate they are demanding and that they deserve.
    18,850 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by Paint It Down
  • #WeStandWithTampa
    On the 9th of May, Governor Ron DeSantis signed FSB 7030 putting our students in harm's way by allowing weapons in classrooms. The bill will allow Florida teachers to arm themselves within classrooms. Recent studies have shown that the (facial) expressions of Black students are 4.12 times more likely to be misidentified as  angry than white students’ faces by teachers in the classroom. The results of the study strongly suggest that, just like police officers, teachers exercise similar implicit racial bias when interacting with students within the classroom. Putting guns in the hands of teachers, whose role is to educate, nurture, and inspire sets a dangerous precedent for discipline, intimidation, and violence against Black students in the classroom. Across the nation, there are alarming disparities in the rates at which Black students are disciplined in comparison to their White peers.  Furthermore, the severity of punishments for the similar offenses carry a harsher reality for Black students. Black children are more likely to fall victim to harm should teachers become armed. According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, last school year Black children made up 51% of school-related arrests across the state, despite making up 21% of the student population. It’s important to note the top three reasons for arrests were incidents where students were unarmed, with the second highest incident being “disorderly conduct”. Due to a systematic process of cuts in schools across the country, behavior modification training is not available to teachers in many districts; therefore, incidents of this nature rarely involve de-escalation practices, but rather punitive punishment and traumatizing outcomes for students and teachers. Teachers should not bear the burden of policing classrooms, and we understand that Black children will be first to fall victim to gun violence in the classroom when weapons are provided to educators. Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins recently released a statement advising that Hillsborough County teachers will not be armed in the classroom, in alignment with the district decision to “opt out” of FSB 7030’s Guardian Program. Sign the petition to acknowledge that #WeStandWithTampa (Hillsborough County Public Schools) to ensure our schools are armed with alternative means of corrective action, rather than firearms in the hands of teachers. STAND WITH TAMPA (Hillsborough County Public Schools) to “opt out” of harmful practices by refusing to arm teachers in the classroom.
    1,680 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by RUTH DALEY
  • #BlackSchoolsMatter: Save Our Schools
    Raines and Ribault, two of Jacksonville’s oldest, predominantly Black high schools, are under threat now that the Duval County School Board is considering a consolidation plan for nearly 42 schools in its districts. After years of neglect and deterioration, at least 56 of Duval County’s school buildings have been rated ‘below average’ and are in badly need of repairs on a tight budget. The School Board’s solution? To potentially eliminate and consolidate two schools whose rich histories have deeply shaped Jacksonville’s culture and legacy. At an initial meeting to discuss a master facilities plan for the schools moving forward, parents were handed proposals developed by an external consulting entity that included no input from them whatsoever. And although the Board claims that it is taking the residents’ feedback into consideration moving forward, they have yet to present a plan for ensuring that the community’s approval is embedded into the decision-making around a proposal that has the potential to reshape the landscape of Jacksonville and its community forever. Raines, which was built as a result of the historic Brown v Education decision that would formally end racial segregation in education, is a testament to Black people’s commitment to providing opportunities for their children that they themselves were once barred access from. Ribault’s history is different but intertwined with that of Raines’ -- originally built to cater to the “whites-only” population of northwest Jacksonville, it quickly became predominantly Black during the 70’s as white people left the area en masse to live in the suburbs. In the meantime, both schools developed reputations as athletic powerhouses and built a formidable rivalry -- one that has brought the Black community of Jacksonville together to build traditions through games, sporting events, and tailgates for generations. Now, those traditions are at risk of disappearing with no guarantee that what will be built in its place will actually work for the communities it seeks to serve. Studies show that school closures hit Black students the hardest, and that those students rarely end up benefiting academically from their new schools. They are the most likely to be displaced, and the least likely to receive a better education for it. The lack of input from parents and alumnae for a proposal that will deeply affect their children’s opportunities and prospects is yet another reflection of the larger cycle of disinvestment from Black communities that these school closures and consolidations represent. We know that nothing that is built without us can be for us. We must protect the legacy of the community and traditions our schools have built in Jacksonville. We must defend the sanctity of our children’s futures and safety. Sign now to demand that Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene and the Duval County School board release an official plan for ensuring community input is not only a part of the Board’s considerations, but is tied to its final decision-making process. Give parents and alumnae the final say. Take action now to save our schools!
    1,515 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Friends of Northwest Jacksonville Schools Friends of Northwest Jacksonville Schools
  • Tell Mayor Bill de Blasio to End Arrests, Summons, and Juvenile Reports in Schools
    New York City (NYC) must reverse policies that have proven ineffective at creating safe and supportive environments for students. Policing in schools promotes the exclusion and criminalization of Black and Latinx students, rather than their education. NYC should end arrests, as well as the issuance of summonses and juvenile reports, in schools for non-criminal violations and misdemeanors. Research shows that policing in schools fails to make schools safer or reduce bullying or fighting. The presence of police criminalizes typical adolescent behavior, such as disorderly conduct, which is the number one reason for summons in our schools. Experiencing an arrest for the first time in high school nearly doubles the odds of the student dropping out, and a court appearance nearly quadruples the odds of the student dropping out. Police in NYC schools largely police low-level offenses, including normal youthful behavior. In the last year, nearly 85 percent of all arrests, summonses, and NYPD juvenile reports of young people in NYC schools were for misdemeanors and violations. For Black and Latinx students our schools continue to be an on-ramp into the criminal justice system. Policing in schools creates extreme and persistent racial disparities. -Black girls are 10.4 times more likely to be arrested and 6.3 times more likely to be issued a summons than their White peers. -Black boys are 5.6 times more likely to be arrested and 9 times more likely to receive a summons than White boys. -Black and Latinx students account for 92% of all summons and 89% of all arrests. To end racial disparities in arrests, summons, and juvenile reports, the city must commit to ending these practices altogether. Instead of criminalizing young people, New York City should invest in supportive services like restorative justice, mental health supports, guidance counselors, and social workers.
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    Created by Urban Youth Collaborative Picture
  • Protect California's Public Schools
    It’s time to put our resources and support behind the educators and schools which continue to teach the overwhelming majority of California’s school children. As you make staffing and personnel choices, we urge you to get the foxes out of the henhouse at the California Department of Education (CDE). The current configuration of the CDE devotes a disproportionate amount of staff and resources to a movement and agenda funded largely by billionaires which is underperforming, unaccountable, segregationist, rife with financial waste, and undemocratic.
    1,401 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Mike Hutchinson
  • Bring Back Supper & Sports For Oakland Students!
    Despite community demands to make cuts at the top and keep cuts away from students, OUSD made cuts closest to the kids. Now 3,000 low-income kids will lose daily meals and 500 kids will lose sports programs. When studies clearly show that: kids who are hungry struggle to learn, kids need safe places to go after-school, and sports can provide pathways to academic success for underserved kids. To protect our most vulnerable children, we demand the Board and the Superintendent: 1. Immediately Reinstate Funding to bring back the Free Supper program and the ten Oakland Athletic League sports programs 2. Adopt the following Student Equity Criteria: ● No cuts to direct services to kids in classrooms or on campus that are core to kids’ ability to learn and succeed in school. ● No cuts that disproportionately harm students with highest-need by conducting an impact assessment for any proposed cuts. Moving forward, in order to resolve our budget crisis AND protect our students, we need a new public budget process and stronger community oversight to ensure the hard decisions required (to shift significant resources out of Central Office to schools) can be made. What the first round of budget cuts has shown is, that without greater community control over resources in the district and a collective vision for equity - the students most in need will have their supports cut first. HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW! ● SIGN and SHARE this petition tinyurl.com/reversecutstokids ● EMAIL Board members to Bring Back Supper and Sports for all Oakland Kids! tinyurl.com/emailousdboard ● ATTEND the Board Fiscal Vitality Ctte meetings from now through December to protect the highest need students in any future cuts (the board will make up to $60M in cuts over the next two years)! The Justice for Oakland Students Coalition (J4OS) is a group of deeply concerned students, parents/families, teacher allies, and community organizations who came together around four pillars that center students with highest need – so all kids can learn and succeed! 1) Shift money from Central Office directly to schools; 2) Stop the proliferation of charter schools and re-invest in making all in-district schools excellent; 3) Divest from school police and reinvest in a culture of restorative justice, real school safety and inclusion; and 3) Honor the principles of equity, meaningful engagement of students and parents, democratic decision-making and shared governance.
    2,104 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by J4OS Justice For Oakland Students Coalition Picture