• Make November 14th New Orleans Four Day Nationwide
    Segregation is happening all over again in schools across America. Segregation perpetuates the School -to-Prison-Pipeline and we must stop it in its tracks! The New Orleans Four, at 6-years old served their little black girl magic and showed the world that children can lead the way. These little emissaries were the epitome of what it means to have the audacity of hope. They broke barriers and opened hearts in 1960 and with this nationally recognized holiday they can continue to remind America and the World that we can ALL live, learn and work TOGETHER. In her speech during the New Orleans Four Day 60th Anniversary ceremony in New Orleans, Alana Odoms (Executive Director ACLU-Louisiana) stated "Since its inception, black girls and black women have shouldered the immense responsibility of perfecting our Democracy. The New Orleans Four were emissaries of justice and freedom, turning the tide of hate in this nation and calling us towards the liberties enshrined in the United States Constitution." Like Dr. Opal Lee, I believe that this national holiday can be a unifier and an inspiration to children and adults around the world. I believe it can be the bridge that brings people together to talk about the hard issues facing our country. The New Orleans Four were the light during a dark time in our country's history and their brave acts will always be a beacon of hope to show young people that they have a voice, they have a say and the wherewithal to create the CHANGE they want to see. Let them be the everlasting reminder of Freedom, Equality & Justice. Learn More: To watch the docuseries teaser and learn more about the project go to www.NewOrleansFourLegacy.com
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  • #BanFRT in Baltimore
    Facial recognition technology (FRT) is too dangerous to be unleashed on our communities. If this inherently-biased technology is deployed, the impact––intended or not––will be that anyone who is not white-presenting and male-presenting (i.e. darker-skinned people, women, Muslims, LGBTQ people and people who exist at any or all of these intersections) will have more frequent and brutal contact with police. Baltimore City has a temporary ban on facial recognition technology now, and with your help we can make it permanent.
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  • Stop Community Violence in Memphis: Listen to Youth
    In response to the recent tragedies in our community, the Youth Justice Action Council would like to first offer our sincere condolences to the victims, their families, and others in our community who have been impacted as they navigate this time of loss, grief, trauma, and uncertainty. Our YJAC family joins hands with Memphis & Shelby County, and offers support as we try to find peace and solutions in the coming days. YJAC is committed to designing solutions that get to the root causes of violence in our community by centering the voices of those who are directly impacted - youth who have experienced the justice system firsthand. In light of the recent tragedies in our city, many elected officials and community members have responded by claiming that more and harsher punishment would have prevented future acts of violence. However, we believe that the punitive and inhumane measures that are currently in place in our juvenile injustice system not only fail to stop the cycle of violence but also create more harm by traumatizing our youth who need support, not isolation. Our current system isolates youth away from their loved ones, community, and support systems that would actually allow them to change and grow. To truly address the cycles of violence in our community, we need to get to the root. Youth are not the problem. Our quick fixes, based on retribution and revenge, will never solve long-term problems - which are embedded in institutional and systemic oppressions like racism and poverty. Memphis ranks second in the nation for overall poverty, with 24.5% of our community members living below the poverty line and 39.6% of our youth living below the poverty line. For Black youth in Memphis, nearly half live below the poverty line. What we need are solutions that include the voices of those who are directly affected. Our 10 “Break the Chains” Demands were created by justice impacted youth in our community to offer truly transformative solutions that would allow young people to feel safe, supported, and empowered. Our public officials and local media’s responses to these events have pushed an existing narrative that Black and Brown youth should be feared and controlled. Now, more than ever, the voices of these youth need to be heard. This is what the Youth Justice Action Council embodies. As justice impacted & connected young people, we have already begun to create solutions & design alternatives to our current system. Over the past year, we have: -Released a research report on what justice impacted youth in Shelby County are experiencing and asking to be changed in our current system. -Provided Diversion Program Recommendations for the new Youth & Family Resource Center -Visited the Shelby County Youth Detention Center currently in development and sent key decision makers a memo on our experience with our questions, concerns, and recommendations -Submitted Public Comments on Proposed Changes to the Minimum Standards for Youth Detention Centers in Tennessee -Engaged and supported the Youth Law Center and Disability Rights Tennessee on the release of their Designed to Fail report. In the coming months, we will release recommendations on a continuum of care that should replace our current youth justice system. But, we cannot change this system alone. We are calling on youth and adults to join YJAC in our youth-led advocacy to transform our youth justice system and build a safer and more just community for us all. Join the YJAC movement by signing up as a “Break the Chains” Supporter and following us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Tiktok @YJAC901. We will need to combine our voices and advocacy to make sure leaders hear our demands and are held accountable to make them happen. Together, we can create solutions that center the voices of justice impacted youth in our community.
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  • 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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  • #BringHimHome #JUSTICE4GMJ
    Seeing an innocent Black Man railroaded by this crooked justice system has darkened my spirit since a small child, when the same was done to my uncle. I'm writing because all too often, Black people are too afraid to speak up for their rights, or to speak up for those who are brave enough to fight back. I'm writing this because I am a mother of 3 Black humans (ages: 24, 21 and 15) and believe that Grand Master Jay's teachings and guidance would/can make an enormous impact on the lives of my children, as well as the lives of All Black People (any age). As history has shown, every strong, motivational, inspirational, spiritual and intellectually intelligent Black male figure, who has spoken up against this crooked justice system, and who talks only of Black pride and power, is either dead, in jail, or silenced. This is an undeniable fact.
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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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  • #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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  • Michigan Republicans: The election is over. Stop undermining the results.
    Elected officials need to hear from us directly about how important it is to respect the democratic process. The votes have been counted fairly and according to the law. The decision of the people needs to be respected.
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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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  • 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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  • I could lose my scholarship
    On September 25th, I, Ashanti Scott, along with my mother, Representative Attica Scott, Shameka Parrish-Wright, and other protestors and students were wrongfully arrested. We were arrested while seeking refuge in a nearby church after protesting the immense injustice served in Breonna Taylor’s case. Not only were we grossly overcharged, but we were inexcusably and wrongfully arrested. My mother, a fierce advocate who so believed in justice for Breonna Taylor that she wrote and introduced Breonna’s Law to curb unlawful entry and criminalization. As a result, she was targeted by the Louisville Police Department and so was I in a retributive attempt for justice. As a result, we have been facing a Class D felony among other misdemeanors - charges that have threatened my scholarship and financial aid. As a University of Louisville student, I am so appreciative of fellow students and the student government association standing by me, my family, and the other advocates. Because of their support, yesterday, we received news that the Class D felony charges were dropped -- but the misdemeanor charges were not. More still needs to be done and I need your support in ensuring I don’t lose my ability to continue my studies. Therefore, I not only demand all charges against my fellow students, elected representatives, and other protestors are dropped immediately; but that the University of Louisville understands the bogus nature of these charges and allows me to retain my higher education funding. As you stand with me in this fight to honor Breonna Taylor’s life and achieve racial equity in our community, please know that I appreciate not having to carry this burden of wrongful felony charges alone. Please let the University of Louisville know that it has the opportunity to stand on the right side of this moment by allowing me to continue my studies.
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  • Justice for the Bruce Family
    UPDATE: On Tuesday, April 6th, the Manhattan Beach City Council voted against issuing a public apology to the Bruce Family for the unjust taking of their land in 1924 due to them being Black and bringing together Black patrons in Manhattan Beach. During a March 16th city council meeting, Mayor Suzanne Hadley said in response to the apology, “We do not want to ignore the past but we do not want it embroidered in a scarlet ‘R’ upon our chest,” later saying “I hear all of you who want an apology... I’m not litigious, I have not contributed to decades of case law around a single word. My hands are clean. But that word is a club that we can be handing to people to beat us with.” The majority of public comments and letters sent in during the council meeting showed support for a public apology. Still, the city council voted in favor of not apologizing, passing 4-1. Despite all of the voices who showed up to support the apology, despite the importance of an apology for reparative measures and true acknowledgment of harm done, the city of Manhattan Beach and its council members decided to recommit to racism and anti-Blackness with their own votes. When something as simple as an apology cannot be given, we have to ask ourselves “why?” And “who does this benefit?” We know that communities protect one another by voting in favor of repairing relationships and histories, yet Manhattan Beach refuses to condemn racism, to apologize for its racist past, or to acknowledge the ways in which racism and white supremacy continue to show up in Manhattan Beach today. Black joy, Black pain, Black experiences deserve a place in this community who has now, for almost 100 years, made intentional efforts to silence and erase us. We will stay put until the work is done. Until there is restitution for years of civil and human rights violations against the Bruce family, and restoration and return of their land. Original message: Manhattan Beach owes the Bruce family much more than an apology. Once the owners of one of the few thriving beach resorts that Black Angelenos were allowed to patronize in the early 1900s, Willa and Charles Bruce were not only subjected to escalating racist attacks from the city’s local Klu Klux Klan, but were eventually forced off their land by Manhattan Beach’s own Board of Trustees. Although the Board of Trustees claimed at the time that they needed the land to build a park, we know the real reason the Bruces lost their land. From Tulsa to Forsyth County, Black people’s attempts to build economic security for themselves in this country have been haunted by white terrorist violence. The land that the Bruces were forced off is no different, and represents just a tiny fraction of the nearly 11 million acres of land that Black people once had, but lost, due to fraud, deception and outright violence during the Jim Crow era. Now, after a recent acknowledgment from the Manhattan Beach City Council of the injustice the Bruce family has faced at the hands of the city for generations, some residents are proposing that a boutique hotel be constructed on the land as a form of restitution. That’s not right. That’s why Justice for Bruce's Beach is partnering with Black Lives Matter to let Manhattan Beach City Council know that if they want to rectify the harms of the past, they must meet the full demands of Manhattan Beach’s Black residents for restoration, restitution and reparations today. The Bruces’ land and business should have been the foundation of their family’s ability to build wealth, and to take care of themselves and each other. Instead, it became a source of riches for others. Not only did the city of Manhattan Beach take the Bruces’ land in order to preserve the neighborhood’s whiteness, but they vastly underpaid them and other Black property owners like them for the value of the land and the businesses that were taken from them. Today, with Manhattan Beach’s inflated and unaffordable housing, Black people make up just about 0.8% of the city’s population. That’s why the proposals for the construction of a boutique hotel that will likely remain out of the reach of most of its Black residents as a form of restitution for the city’s history of violence is a slap in the face. The fact is, Manhattan Beach won't be able to make amends for its racist past without restoring the land back to the Bruces, paying the Bruces restitution and paying reparations to its Black residents for blatantly discriminating against our community and making it impossible for us to own land in the area. Now more than ever, institutions like the Manhattan Beach City Council need to make good on their commitment to Black communities, and we’re starting by demanding that they meet our residents’ full demands for restoration restitution and reparations today. As protests against police violence continue, more and more institutions are coming out with statements to denounce racism. Many of those institutions are the exact same ones who have orchestrated the erosion of Black wealth and property for decades, if not centuries. Sign now to let Manhattan Beach City Council that fighting for racial justice is so much more than an anti-racism statement. It requires dedication and action behind those words. Declaring support of Black people isn’t enough and task forces and modified street signs won’t pacify us. If the city council truly believes Black lives matter, it must meet the full demands of its Black and Indigenous constituents for restoration, restitution and reparations in Manhattan Beach immediately. Thank you, Kavon Ward Founder, Justice for Bruce's Beach Chief Duane ‘Yellow Feather’ Spokesman and Historian for The Bruce Family Patrisse Cullors Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Ronald Clinton Co- Founder, MBUSD Community Panel for Equity (MB4E)
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