• A Call for A Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice
    The Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice is a call for us to transform our personal, institutional, and global thinking. We believe that culture moves before policy. We believe that culture endures beyond politics. We wrote this Call because our work in culture and arts is inextricably linked to larger social movements for change. We invite you to adopt and adapt this Call to your specific contexts to hold leaders, policy-makers, and institutions — and ourselves — responsible, accountable, and transparent in achieving equity and justice. In these unprecedented times, as justice movements converge, many of us have asked ourselves what the stakes are for the culture we want to advance. We concluded that we needed to change the conditions under which we artists and culture bearers labor and live. The Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice points us toward new understandings of how we together can build a culture that is inclusive, sustainable, and leads us toward justice and freedom for all. We urge timetables that are immediate and demonstrate change that is not aspirational, but concrete, measurable and visible within 1-3 budget cycles. We offer this Call in the spirit of advancing accountability and collective responsibility, and urge you to activate these ideas within your work and our shared future. // El Nuevo Trato Cultural para la Justicia Cultural y Racial es una convocatoria para que transformemos nuestro modo de pensar personal, institucional y global. Creemos que la cultura cambia antes que la política. Creemos que la cultura perdura más allá de la política. Escribimos este llamado porque nuestro trabajo dentro de la cultura y las artes está inextricablemente entrelazado con los movimientos sociales para el cambio. Les invitamos a adoptar y adaptar este Llamado para sus contextos particulares para responsabilizar a líderes, creadores de políticas e instituciones, al igual que nosotres mismes, por lograr la equidad y la justicia de forma responsable y transparente. En estos tiempos sin precedentes, conforme convergen los movimientos por la justicia, muches de nosotres nos hemos preguntado qué está en juego para la cultura que queremos avanzar. Hemos concluido que tenemos que cambiar las condiciones bajo las cuales nosotres les artistas y portadores de cultura trabajamos y vivimos. El Nuevo Trato Cultural para la Justicia Cultural y Racial nos dirige hacia nuevos entendimientos sobre cómo, juntos, podemos crear una cultura que es inclusiva, sustentable y que nos lleva hacía la justicia y la liberación para todes. Exigimos cronogramas que son inmediatos y que demuestran un cambio que no es aspiracional y que, más bien, es concreto, medible y visible dentro de 1 a 3 ciclos presupuestarios. Ofrecemos este Llamado en aras de avanzar la transparencia y la responsabilidad colectiva y urgimos que activen estas ideas dentro de su trabajo y dentro de nuestro futuro compartido.
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  • Tell Pres. Aoun and Chief Davis to Publish NUPD Policing Data and Policies
    We are members of the Northeastern University (“NU”) and Fenway, Roxbury and Boston communities who are outraged at the continuing systemic violence against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. We stand against the manner in which systemic racism, racial violence, and white supremacy is institutionalized at Northeastern University including through NU’s investment in and operation of a private police force. The fight against institutionalized racism requires that we divest from organizations and systems that harm Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. We must rebuild our institutions to engage in life-giving practices. In this vein, we support the #BlackatNU platform’s call to build sustainable alternatives to policing, to fund efforts to end systematic oppression of Black people, to terminate interagency agreements with public law enforcement agencies, and to demilitarize and disarm Northeastern University Police Department. Further, we endorse #BlackVoicesMatterNEU’s demands regarding financial support to retain students of the African diaspora, increasing access to health insurance and hiring Black health practitioners and therapists, observation of Black historical celebrations, diversity and cultural competency training, and recurring town hall meetings on anti-Black racism. Undoing racism inherent in the function of our institutions requires that we understand and confront the harms that our systems create. Accordingly, we seek transparency from the Northeastern University Police Department.
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    Created by Defund NUPD
  • Take It Down Now: Stone Mountain
    On Saturday, August 12th, white nationalists marched through Charlottesville, communities and the University of Virginia campus, rallying around a statue of the Confederacy and carrying torches evoking a history of violent racial terrorism. The next day in Charlottesville they killed in the name of their white supremacist symbols. Protesters were rammed by a car killing someone in a terrorist attack. These symbols were not chosen randomly. Confederate monuments have been erected and remain as a direct rebuke to the recognition of the full humanity of Black people. Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public space as gains in this recognition have been made and it is the commitment to the reversal of this recognition of humanity that draws white nationalists to these symbols. These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point. Confederate statues and named institutions are more than mere symbols of a heritage but instead, they are an assertion of the continued imposition of white supremacy and its current political power. Terrorists in Charlottesville understood this and were willing to kill in the name of this, we must be determined to persist in the face of this white supremacist terror. Removing all Confederate statues would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level. We've already many communities take the step to address these monuments in cities like Tampa and New Orleans. Join with me today and pledge to work to remove all Confederate statues or names from our community.
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  • Take Down All Confederate Monuments!
    Black people have been living in the shadow of these confederates for far too long. It’s time to get over the Lost Cause and respect our Black Brothers and Sisters.
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  • Rename Lamar St. to Botham Jean Boulevard
    Botham Jean was dedicated to helping the City of Dallas through volunteering and ministry. His life served as an example and a model for everyone in the city. When he was killed in his own apartment on Lamar Street, his death shook the city and forced it to face the very same issues that the rest of our nation is currently grappling with in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, the person Lamar Street is named after, was a slaveholder, and set out to kill or expel every Native American person from Texas. The street named after this reprehensible person is the last place Botham was alive and well, sitting down to eat ice cream in his own home. I am asking you to join me in helping to honor Botham by renaming Lamar Street to Botham Jean Boulevard. Honor the person my brother was before his life was taken from him by Amber Guyger. Rename Lamar Street to Botham Jean Boulevard and let this street serve as a constant reminder of the future that was taken from us instead of a disgraceful past.
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    Created by Allisa Charles-Findley
  • Reopen the investigation into the murder of Justus Howell
    On April 4th, 2015 I got a call that no mother wants to get, but one that is all too often made in America. My son, Justus, was dead, shot twice in the back by officer Eric Hill of the Zion police department. Like every other mother of a Black son, who fears this outcome, on that day, it became my reality. Officer Hill, with all of the state and union protection offered to those with a badge, painted an ever expanding portrait of what happened that day. He changed or “forgot” details, and added them when it was convenient. He trembled while on the stand during my family's lawsuit, spilling his water out of nervousness, discomfort and the stress of lying while under oath. I left the courtroom in tears-- angry, hurt and disgusted that once again someone who swore an oath to serve and protect might get away with murder. What Officer Hill didn’t know was that there was surveillance footage of his actions. Despite what this Officer and others said in reports, my son did not have a gun in his hand, the surveillance footage shows that fact. Instead, my son was running in the opposite direction of Officer Hill and at no point did he turn and point anything at the Officer . The Officer shot him in the back. To add insult to injury the Zion police department was , in my opinion, derelict in , not calling the Lake County Coroner’s to the scene of the crime immediately, which provided an opportunity to potentially tamper with evidence, and to stage the crime scene and craft a story that would exonerate those involved . The Lake County Coroner updated the death certificate to include Criminal homicide as a cause of death. Despite such evidence, Former Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim has done nothing to help ease my pain or that of other families and because of the inaction of this office, I've asked the public and those impacted by police brutality and violence to join me in my call for justice for Justus and to reopen the investigation with a fresh set of eyes. Together I know that we can gain justice for not only my family but be able to usher in a change in Lake County, ensuring that police officers are held accountable and that we are represented by a state’s attorney that cares about Black lives also. For five long years I’ve continued to fight for justice for my son because the Lake County State’s Attorney's office and Former State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim continue to turn their backs on my family and the Black community in Lake County in our cries for justice from police brutality. We've voted and elected a new States Attorney and as Justus's mother, I've asked the public and those directly impacted by police who continue to beat, maim and murder Black and Brown bodies across America and around the world to join me in my call in demanding that his case be reopened and a grand jury be convened through the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office or under the laws of the state of Illinois, the 19th Circuit District Court Lake County Grand Jury in it’s own right. I know the feelings of emptiness well, but I’ve come to understand that I am not alone, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office has a history of doing little in addressing complaints and investigating wrongdoing of officers within the county. Many of us have heard the stories, have felt the pain and misery of being left out in the cold in our cries for justice and equity. The State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart, his office and/or the Grand Jury can do something about it and we are demanding they do so now by reopening Justus Howell's case. Those who have signed are demanding that you take action. Don't let another Black life and family feel the pain of not having equal justice. As our elected representative, the Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart has a significant and powerful role in not only holding officers accountable for wrong-doing, but the criminal justice system as a whole. We are taking action now to ensure that no mother feels what I’ve felt and what I feel every day knowing that my son’s killer walks free and still has a job. To know that at any given time, I can run into Officer Hill and feel powerless in his presence knowing that he shot my child in the back and got away with it by lying and saying that he was afraid. When will my fear go away? When will the fear of many of the mother’s of Black son’s be eased? When will our Black lives and stories matter? When will the injustice end? Justice for Justus, now and forever! LaToya Howell & Family
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  • Demand Hearing Speech Deaf Center to Address Systemic Racism Against Bart Williams & BIPOC Deaf.
    PLEASE HELP THE BIPOC COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING THEIR LIST OF COMMUNITY DEMANDS & PETITION TO HSDC & ITS BOARD TO ADDRESS SYSTEMIC RACISM THAT HAS EXISTED FOR YEARS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION. THE BIPOC DEAF COMMUNITY NEEDS MORE EQUITY & A SAFE SPACE FOR THEM HERE IN SEATTLE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Akp4PPlQGFc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0wR2BD4ohF4BqqM30dERdb1L2sMSiHZEhTCuQdzHUHBrQYH0nYPl2rF-Q #EndSystemicRacism #Equity4DeafBIPOC
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  • Abolish the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3-50
    On December 14, 2019, 22 year old FAMU student, Jamee Johnson, was wrongfully murdered by Officer Josue Garriga. Officer Garigga was protected by the "blue code of silence". A culture that the Fraternal Order of the Police promotes. He was not required to give a statement until seven months after the incident and now his actions have been deemed justifiable by the Attorney's Office Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida. 20 days after Jamee's Murder, the Jacksonville Police Union filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Sheriff. The lawsuit asked the courts to decide if officers' names are related when they are "victims" of a crime. “Whether it’s an officer-involved shooting, whether you’re attacked by a suspect, whatever it is that caused you to be a victim of a crime while you’re working, Marsy’s Law- in our opinion- should apply,” says, Steve Zona, President of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police. Zona also stated that the release of J. Garigga's name, the murderer of Jamee Johnson, was in fact, wrong. This is in claim that the releasing of the names of the officers involved in deaths is a violation of Marsy’s Law, which protects crime victims and their privacy. Police unions grants officers impunity which is detrimental to black and brown communities. Police officers our able to get away with murdering the innocent sons and daughters of BIPOC. The FOP claims that the police officers who use lethal force are the victims of a crime. Police officers who use lethal force unwarranted are not victims, the people on the receiving end of the unwarranted lethal force are. The FOP lobbies for and protects police officers who commit crimes, whether that crime is murder, rape, or domestic abuse. The FOP violates the rule of law, under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws. The FOP protects the police first and the people second. No one is above the law, not even police officers and they should be held accountable, fired, tried, and jailed for their crimes. We are calling for the abolishment of the Fraternal Order of Police here in Jacksonville and we need the support of the community to create a safe city for black and brown people.
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  • Demand for the University of Washington Administration to Meet the Needs of Black Students on Campus
    The University of Washington prides itself on diversity which barely exist at the institution. After numerous conversations between President Ana Marie Cauce and the Black Student Union about our experiences and how we can better improve the diversity at this university, President Cauce has overlooked our experiences and refuses to take the actions necessary to making BIPOC students feel safe and welcome on campus. We have had enough. Thus Black Students will work together with faculty, allies and local activist to ensure that our demands are met. Below are brief descriptions of each demand: 1. BREAK ALL TIES WITH SPD. Both formal and informal in the form of contracts, agreements, and MOUs. We suggest taking the following steps: a. Immediately stop handing over people detained by UW Police Department to SPD custody b. Stop using SPD to respond to public safety needs, including referrals for welfare checks under the Safe Campus program. c. Stop using SPD for additional security for any events, including sporting events, concerts, and ceremonies. 2. DISARM AND DIVEST FROM UWPD. Arming UWPD officers is excessive and unnecessary. Black students are already traumatized by the violence perpetrated to Black individuals by the hands of police. Arming the UWPD only puts Black individuals in constant fear, worry and frankly more at risk. The use of police dogs must be banned. Many communities of color in the US associate police dogs with the terror of state violence. We need to divest from UWPD and reallocate those funds into our community 3. ALLOCATE FUNDS TO BLACK RSO’S AND THE AMERICAN ETHNIC STUDIES DEPARTMENT. Instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on UWPD, the University of Washington should invest in departments/resources that cater to the needs of its black students. It should not be students' jobs to spend out of pocket money to make students more comfortable, and or raise money for scholarships for its students. There also needs to be an increase in funding for the AES departments. This would not only help students have more resources and to help expand their learning, but increase the pay for the faculty who work in those departments. 4. HIRE MORE BLACK FACULTY. According to the Diversity Metrics Data Book by the Board of Regents, as of 2018, 68% of faculty is white, while 1.7% is Black. This statistic is embarrassingly low for an institution that prides itself on diversity and equity. The demand for more Black faculty dates back to 1968, with the first year of the Black Student Union here at the University of Washington. Today, 52 years later, this demand has not only been ignored, but is still necessary with the growing population of the UW. The lack of representation of Black faculty not only prevents students from having role models who they can relate to, but it sends a subtle message that only white people are capable of teaching at a higher level, which is simply, untrue. 5. INCREASE THE DIVERSITY CREDIT REQUIREMENT AND MAKE AFRICAN STUDIES A MAJOR. The current diversity requirement for UW students is 5 credits. Again, for an institution that prides itself on diversity, this is embarrassingly low. One 5 credit class will not provide students with enough historical background to enter the world an anti-racist. Students must be exposed to the atrocities that have been committed upon Black and brown folks, and how these communities are impacted to this day. Finally, African Studies should not only be an option for a minor, but a major. It is unjust that there is a major for Asian Studies, European Studies, and Latin American Studies, but not African Studies. 6. REMOVE STATUES OF RACIST FIGURES. Statues in place at the University of Washington are preservers of our dark past. The George Washington statue, in particular, symbolizes a man who owned over 300 Black slaves and profited from their labor. This is not a history that should be glorified and celebrated as it perpetuates white supremacy and preserves its historical imposition. Thus, the George Washington Statue, along with all others that symbolize racist figures, should be removed from the University of Washington. 7. FUND AND EXPAND MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR UW STUDENTS. Currently, the waiting time to talk to a mental therapist can be more than 3 consecutive weeks. For Black students, the detriment of such a long waiting time is exacerbated by the severe lack of Black therapists, who tend to understand and empathize with our experiences. It's been shown that Black students feel more comfortable talking with Black therapists as opposed to non-black ones; how can one Black therapist be enough for the population of Black students at UW and why should we have to wait for urgent mental issues? In addition, the students are limited from accessing mental health services as they are often costly and require insurance coverage, which may not be affordable for students. Thus, the University of Washington should expand and fund affordable services, along with hiring more Black therapists. #DownWithWashington #KeepThePressureOn #DisarmUWPD
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    Created by Black Student Union UW
  • Justice for BJ Statler
    On March 27, 2019, Inglewood Officers Julian Baksh and Jonathan Rivers responded to a call at the Inglewood Church of Scientology in Inglewood, CA. During the interaction with my brother, Brian Leslie Statler, Jr. (BJ), they killed him with a single gunshot wound to the head. He died before making it to the hospital. An investigation had been declared since both officers sustained non-fatal gunshot wounds that they incidentally gave to each other. My family was not notified of his death by the Inglewood Police Department (IPD) and it took incessant calling to the LA Coroner's Office to confirm his body was there, three days after the police took his life. I was interviewed by Detectives Michael Han and Cesar Jurado, who asked any question they could to villainize BJ, to justify their colleagues killing him and to close out their investigation. It's been over a year and a half that the investigation has been going on and we have no reason to believe the officers have been fired, suspended or held accountable. It's not a stretch to believe, since they killed once, they will do it again. These officers are not fit to serve the community and need to be removed. Additionally, the Inglewood Police Department needs to implement training and execution of de-escalation policies because deadly force should never be an option! According to The Washington Post Fatal Force report, BJ was the only man shot and killed by the IPD in 2019 and they've neglectfully handled his case. In their continuing to allege its ongoing investigation, our attorney has not had access to any of the reports of BJ's death, his personal belongings or any information that would bring understanding to what happened that fateful day. They possess custody of and control all of it and have not made any effort to share it with us. Our attorney has confirmed that a trial date has been set. It'll be nearly 3 years after his murder before we have the opportunity to hold these officers and the Inglewood Police Department accountable. The trial date is set for November 9, 2021. His family deserves to know what happened. He should be alive and we demand justice! *** What are we asking for? I. The Inglewood Police Department's negligence to transparency and lack of cooperation needs to be held accountable. We believe they've conspired to justify and cover up their misconduct by preparing and filing false reports of the shooting. II. Officers Baksh and Rivers need to be held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent of the law. Their conduct was willful, malicious, and done with a reckless regard for the rights and safety of BJ. Their gross mishandling of the situation is evident by the fact that they shot each other in addition to killing BJ. Murder is still a crime no matter who committed it. III. Mayor James Butts should devote considerable resources and time to the shooting. BJ was killed on his watch and by his officers. We ask of him, why isn't BJ's case a larger priority? Doesn't yet another black man being killed by the police warrant your time and attention? In fact, the Coroner ruled it a Homicide. Does that not warrant expedient action? IV. The Inglewood Police Department has provided inadequate training in the use of deadly force and policy reform needs immediate attention to implement de-escalation policies to ensure another family is not broken apart by their misconduct.
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    Created by Krystle Statler
  • Replace Racist Jack London Sq in Oakland with Barbara Lee Sq
    Jack London was a known racist who “wrote of exterminating Chinese, the genocide of "lesser breeds," and the supremacy of the white race.” (Janelle Bitker - East Bay Express, 2017). Cities all over the country are removing the statues and honors for people whose work contributed to the injustices that we have been living with and fighting against. The City of Oakland claims to be progressive city that welcomes diversity, equity, and justice. This cannot be true while it continues to honor racists who wrote essays like “The Salt of the Earth,” in which London establishes that "the salt of the Earth" are English-speaking Anglo-Saxons, "a race of mastery and achievement." He goes on to say that white people murdering those of other races is purely natural selection — non-whites are destroyed once they come into contact” with superior civilization," he wrote. In the face of population growth, he advocated for genocide of "the lesser breeds.” (Janelle Bitker - East Bay Express, 2017). The City of Oakland must ensure that it is always on the right side of history in working to dismantle racism and white supremacy in every facet of our community. Demonstrate the will to change.
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    Created by Bedford Palmer
  • Defund FPD and reinvest in Black communities
    We, residents of Fremont, recognize that we are in a moment of uprising in support of the decades-long struggle for Black liberation. A clear mandate has emerged from your constituents: defund the police. Policing in this city, like policing everywhere in America, is an institution that descends directly from chattel slavery. It cannot be reformed, any more than the institution of slavery could be reformed, and any such call betrays a grave complicity with the suppression of Black liberation. Fremont residents are committed to enacting the changes to our systems to ensure that our city ceases to uphold institutions of white supremacy and violence, and moves toward care, safety, and liberation for all. We recognize that the end of policing is here. The people of Fremont are ready to meet this moment, and we call on our elected officials to take action to bring the change we need to see. None of us are free until all of us are free.
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    Created by Defund FPD Picture