• Join the Fight to End Environmental Discrimination and Air Pollution in Maryland
    I grew up on a farm in a rural community in Prince George’s County, Md.,that is being overwhelmed with life-threatening pollution. My community, Brandywine, is 72 percent African American. We’re battling environmental discrimination and we need your help. We have two power plants in Brandywine that spew toxins, like nitrogen oxide and ammonia, linked to asthma, heart disease and stroke. The state of Maryland has permitted three more fossil-fuel power plants in our area, which means five of the state’s 13 large power plants would be in our community or close by. The most recently permitted plant, called the Mattawoman Plant, will pollute the air near the homes of senior citizens and just down the street from our elementary school. State officials have chosen our predominantly black community as a dumping ground for toxic air pollution. The state paid no attention to the racially biased impact of these plants. The Mattawoman plant will contribute to ground-level ozone, a very harmful form of pollution linked to asthma attacks. African Americans in Maryland are nearly 2.5 times as likely as white Maryland residents to die from asthma. As president of the Brandywine TB Southern Regional Coalition, I am committed to protecting the health and quality of life of our community. Brandywine should not be the dumping ground for the stuff no one wants. Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sacrificed so much, so that we would not be marginalized based on skin color. But Maryland officials ignored the requirement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that any entity, public or private, that receives federal funds conduct a review before issuing a permit to pollute to ensure that the pollution will not have an unjustified, unequal impact on the basis of race. Last month, I joined with Earthjustice and the Patuxent Riverkeeper in filing a federal civil rights complaint about the Mattawoman Plant. It asks three federal government – the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – to investigate and remedy these civil rights violations. But state officials have the power to do the right thing now. Tell Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan that the state must reconsider its decision to permit the Mattwoman Plant and that it must protect the civil rights of all Maryland residents! The fight for racial equality—as the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted in recent years--is far from complete. Join us in calling on Maryland officials to ensure our civil rights are protected by ending environmental discrimination now!
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    Created by Kamita Gray Picture
  • STOP UCSF FROM CLOSING NEW GENERATION CLINIC
    We are asking that members of the San Francisco community and people nationwide to stand with us to save the last full-service reproductive health clinic serving poor Black and Latino youth in San Francisco. After 45 years of serving vulnerable youth, on March 1 the University of California San Francisco gave swift & abrupt notice to staff at New Generation Health Clinic that its doors will close in 30 days due to budget cuts. There was no plan to replace the New Generation clinic; instead the “solution” was to redirect the patients to existing hospitals and clinics. The thousands of young people who rely on the clinic's services were not consulted about this plan. Thanks to efforts lead by 3rd Street Youth Center & Clinic, concerned educators and parents, and most importantly, directly impacted young people from the city-- as of March 17th, USCF announced that they would delay the closure of the clinic to July 31st. After the 31st, they plan to work with the Department of Public Health to "ensure continuity of care for patients." They refuse to commit to keeping New Generation open, citing its " lack of financial sustainability." Meanwhile, UCSF has publicly announced plans to spend $600 million on building brand new facilities alone in the next 3 years, this plan included the new $240 million complex in Mission Bay-- the neighborhood where New Generation Health Clinic is located. Clearly, a lack of funds is not the issue here. The University of California San Francisco constantly emphasizes their commitment to addressing health disparities and making equity a priority. Now is their chance to stand by their word. New Generation is a safe haven in a city where navigating and accessing the health care system is nearly impossible. For young people who are victims of rape and unwanted pregnancy- San Francisco General Hospital is just not an option. Survivors of rape need a place where they feel safe and where youth are welcomed, not criminalized. If UCSF succeeds in their plans to close New Generation, there will be a much higher price to pay. The message the city of San Francisco and the University of California San Francisco are sending is blatant: money matters, not Black and Brown lives. Please sign and share the petition to help us keep New Generation Health Clinic open. For too many, this is a matter of life or death.
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    Created by Joi Jackson-Morgan Picture
  • Tell Governor Snyder to put our Flint families first!
    Last summer I returned home from the hospital, having lost my twins in a miscarriage, to find a note from the city of Flint advising pregnant women not to drink the water. Now my 7-year-old son, Jaylon (pictured left), and 16-year-old daughter, Nashauna, test positive for lead poisoning. My children - all of our children - deserve a healthy and hopeful future. On Thursday, March 17th, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stood before Congress and testified that he is working to repair Flint. Yet we know that he has presented a state budget to the state House and Senate that dramatically shortchanges the rebuilding of our community. Since taking office in 2010 Gov. Snyder has blatantly divested from our primarily poor, Black, and immigrant community. He stripped us of our democracy with the installment of an Emergency Manager, not elected by or accountable to our families. Then placing profit over people, our water source was switched and was not treated properly. Now, while Gov. Snyder waits, our children continue to be irreparably poisoned, our families grapple with skin rashes, hair falling out, missed days of school and work, and our mothers suffer heightened rates of miscarriages. My family deserves to be healthy. All of our families do. That's why I'm working with PICO federation, Michigan Faith in Action, the Flint Rising coalition, and hundreds of Flint community members to demand justice for our families today. Join us in telling Governor Snyder and our state legislators to craft a budget that puts rebuilding our infrastructure and protecting our health and our futures first.
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    Created by Nakiya Wakes Picture
  • Take Down ALL Symbols of White Supremacy in New Orleans
    Since 2015, we've organized to have four statues removed in New Orleans. And in May of this year, Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered a powerful speech that supported the notion that there space for reverence of the Confederacy in New Orleans. We must continue organizing until all property dedicated to people who fought to keep slavery is renamed and repurposed. Two weeks ago, white supremacists swarmed the streets in Charlottesville armed with lit torches and blunt objects to terrorize Black people. This modern-day lynching mob crowded around a Confederate statue, and in honor of the false idol, killed a peaceful protester and critically wounded dozens more. There is no doubt that white supremacists use these statues to validate their racism and violence. Now more than ever, we have to remove all Confederate symbols and emblems to white supremacy. Our local government has a responsibility to protect its Black communities from the kind of terrorism and bloodshed that rocked Charlottesville. The New Orleans family is defined by the diverse, inclusive nature of its culture in spaces both public and private. Public spaces are for everyone and should not be used to promote the abhorrent views of the white ruling class to uphold symbols of Black oppression. Not only that but our tax dollars should no longer be used to maintain these structures. We walk to the river, to work, to school, to visit a friend, and look up into the faces of men who traded human beings as property and fought to protect the ability to do so. There is no basis to support the continued littering of our public squares and buildings with monuments, street names and public schools named after white supremacists. These memorials only serve as constant reminders of the past and present domination of black people by the rich white ruling class. They are insulting to anyone with a sense of history and who supports progress and democracy. These symbols also represent present day reality where most decisions and government policy are determined by those who accept white supremacist notions that Black people and all non-white people are less and deserve less than white people. Some people believe that the struggle to remove white supremacist symbols is a deflection from the more meaningful struggle to end present day discrimination. They couldn’t be further from the truth. These monuments and signs are so much more than symbols of bygone days. They are active parts of an abusive system in which intentionally unequal distribution of power and resources goes unchecked. The white supremacist ideas represented by these symbols permeate USA society and result in actual discrimination and murder. That is why policemen with white supremacist conceptions of young Black people can murder them so easily. This is why the so-called criminal justice system can practice mass incarceration of Black people with the approval of most white people. This is why we have over 50% unemployment for Black men in New Orleans and there is no editorial outcry by the white ruling class press. If our New Orleans family is to have a chance at real racial reconciliation, we must remove all obvious symbols of white supremacy to show our collective will to address entrenched systemic oppression, which is wreaking havoc in the minds, homes, and neighborhoods of our families citywide. Now is our opportunity to be proactive. All over the USA, especially in the South, progressive Black people and their allies are leading struggles to rid the South of the symbols of treason, domestic terrorism and racist oppression. State governments in South Carolina and Alabama have removed the Rebel Flag. The Memphis city council has voted to remove the statue and the body of confederate General and founder of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Georgia NAACP has called for the removal of the Stone Mountain memorial to the confederacy.
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    Created by Take Em Down NOLA Picture
  • Release data about the McKinney Police Department's engagement of Black youth
    The videos from McKinney show Black youth clearly being targeted by police while white youth are left alone. We deserve to know from the City of McKinney if this is a longstanding police policy. This is important because this incident is one in a long line of incidents that continue to demonstrate that Black youth are routinely dehumanized in our society. Implicit bias and perceptions of Black youth directly impact they way that they are engaged. Because these youth were seen to not belong in the area, the officers did even attempt to engage them as residents or even guests but rather as intruders. This is evidenced by the fact that the teenager who filmed the incident was white and therefore was not engaged by the police at all - despite capturing the entire event on camera. We have seen in past, how these interactions can quickly turn deadly. The community can not begin to heal until these issues are exposed and confronted in a honest and transparent fashion.
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    Created by Ameen Olorunnimbe Picture
  • TELL DETROIT TO TURN THE TAPS BACK ON: WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT!
    It's a crisis. The city of Detroit has unjustly shut off the water of thousands of low-income Black and brown Detroit residents, threatening their health, safety, and livelihood. And matters are only set to get worse.(1) Residents who owe as little as $33 are having their water shut off with no warning. Seniors, the sick and injured, and families with special needs are left without running water and working toilets. People recovering from surgery cannot wash and change bandages. Children cannot bathe and parents cannot cook. And while the people suffer, the corporations are protected. The city of Detroit provides water at wholesale price to the wealthy suburbs; however city residents pay retail price for the water they receive. The city of Detroit provides water at wholesale price to the wealthy suburbs; however city residents pay retail price for the water they receive. Palmer Park Golf Course owes $422,000 the VA Hospitial $131,000, yet they continue to have water.(2) As well, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr gave Gov. Snyder a pass on the Michigan's $4.5 million unpaid water bill of by reducing the state's debt to $113,000. Only $19,000 has been paid to date. Entire families and their livelihoods are on the line. If parents cannot afford to restore water service within 60 days they are at risk of having Social Services remove their children from the home.(3) If water bills remain unpaid a lien can be placed on the home and the home can be sold. (4) This must stop NOW! The plan to cut off water to 150,000 households by the end of the summer is part of efforts sell off and privatize Detroit’s water system for corporate profits.(5) In order to make the utility attractive to investors, lower-income households are being forced to pay exorbitant rates for their water and sewer services, or see their access cut. Water rates have risen in Detroit by 119% in the last decade.(6) With unemployment rates at a record high, and the poverty rate at about 40%, Detroit water bills are unaffordable to a massive portion of the community. (7) Hundreds of thousands of low-income Black families are at risk. The city's water shut offs are in line with decades of racially discriminatory policies targeting Black and brown Detroiters, which have resulted in unjust home seizures, the separation of children from their parents, and the creation of serious health risks to entire neighborhoods.(8) By allowing thousands of people to be denied access to water and sanitation services, the U.S. government is violating the United Nations resolution codifying the human right to water and sanitation. Show your solidarity with the people in Detroit and join Progressive Democrats for America, National Nurses United, NetRoots attendees, and local Detroit activists for a rally at Hart Plaza at 1pm on Friday, July 18th where we will make send our message loud and clear to Gov. Synder and Emergency Manager Orr. References: 1. "We the People of Detroit," Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wethepeopleofdetroit/posts/764130140275688 2. "Detroit Water Shutoffs," Politics Progressive 07-11-2014 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/svs/2014/07/11/detroit-water-shutoffs 3. See reference 1. 4. "Detroit's Water War: a tap shut-off that could impact 300,000 people," The Guardian 06-24-2014 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2014/jun/25/detroits-water-war-a-tap-shut-off-that-could-impact-300000-people 5. "Important Tax Lien Information," Detroit Water and Sewage Department http://www.dwsd.org/pages_n/billpay.html 6. "What Happens When Detroit Shuts Off the Water of 100,000 People," The Atlantic 07-17-2014 http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/what-happens-when-detroit-shuts-off-the-water-of-100000-people/374548/ 7. See reference 3. 8. See reference 5. 9. See reference 3. 10."Against Austerity in Detroit: 'Water Is a Human Right'" The Nation 07-11-2014 http://www.thenation.com/blog/180625/against-austerity-detroit-water-human-right#
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    Created by Monica Lewis-Patrick Picture
  • Save the Gullah Geechee on Sapelo Island Georgia
    Saving the last intact Gullah Geechee Culture on the southeast coast of the Ga barrier islands
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    Created by Reginald Hall
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