• SHINING LIGHT ON THE INJUSTICES DONE TO LEONARD GRAVESANDE
    By the constitution we as Americans have certain rights and when they're violated we have to come together and right the injustices.
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    Created by Leonard Gravesande
  • Black Women Are Dying In California Due To Racial Bias In Healthcare!
    These are the types of situations that make black women feel like our lives are less valuable in this country. The agencies that are supposed to be specifically dedicated to these issues, and keeping us safe, have either failed us, or perhaps that was never their purpose or intention. The fact that they all fall short in even properly, acknowledging or investigating these instances that are putting our lives in danger, is something we need to speak on, and bring into the forefront of the conversation. We need to put pressure on those in charge with the ability to make change. The best way to do that these days is to expose the truth, and shame them into action. There is so much concern and outrage in this country about mistreatment of specific groups. It doesn't seem like much of this is ever concerned with black women specifically. There are a number of struggles and challenges that we are statistically more likely to encounter. Though racial bias in medicine affects both men and women, studies have shown that black women are disproportionately affected by it. We are always assumed to be strong and unbreakable and capable of fixing or surviving everything on our own, and never in need of help. It is time we start helping black women and talk about all the groups affected, and not just the most camera worthy. We need to take action before our loved ones are filing a wrongful death suit. We are still dying here, in our own country, with insurance, with education; just being denied to death, and no one is even talking about it. More of us are killed by doctors than police, and we need to do something.
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    Created by Severine Gipson
  • Justice for the 110 aboard Clotilda
    Around March 1860, 52 years after the abolishment of the transatlantic slave trade and 40 years after amending the Piracy Act of 1819, Captain William Foster, funded by his co-conspirator, Timothy Meaher, set sail for Africa. Foster would set sail with 110 of the Africans he had purchased aboard the Clotilda. Upon his return to Mobile, he avoided customs agents, towed the Clotilda up the river, and put the enslaved Africans on the Steamboat Czar, owned by Timothy’s brother, Byrnes (aka Burns) Meaher. The enslaved Africans would then be transported to John Dabney’s Mount Vernon plantation and hidden in the swamp. Timothy Meaher, his brothers Byrnes and James, John Dabney and Foster were all given enslaved people from the Clotilda. Timothy Meaher and his co-conspirators used a sophisticated plan to hide the Africans who were on board, moving them from plantation to plantation while burning the Clotilda. Within two weeks of their arrival in America and over the next several months, court cases were opened (e.g., U.S. vs. William Foster and Richard Sheridan, U.S. vs William Foster, U.S. vs. Burns (Byrnes) Meaher, U.S. vs. John Dabney, etc.). In her book, Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Last Africans Brought to America, Diouf details the events leading up to these cases including the sophisticated plot to hide these illegal actions. We know that Timothy Meaher was arrested and accused of having “illegally imported negroes.” However, the presiding Judge over the case, William G. Jones was a friend of Timothy Meaher. Diouf writes, “Judge William G. Jones was such a friend that Meaher had given his name to one of his steamers. Everyone knew that when it came to importers of Africans Judge Jones was as lenient as he possibly could be.” This leniency is evident in other related rulings during the same time period. Also, the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Alabama, Augustus Julian “A.J.” would become an attorney of the Confederate states and a confederate poet. Despite the evidence, Jones cleared Timothy Meaher of all charges. In addition, the courts were after Foster, not because he was a pirate, but because he avoided customs officials upon arrival from his voyage. Judge William G. Jones also issued orders to have Byrnes Meaher and Dabney appear at the next regular term of his court. On January 10, 1861, the U.S. vs. Burns Meaher and the U.S vs. John Dabney were dismissed by Judge Jones. Since the 110 Africans could not be found, no crime could be proven. On January 12, 1861, only two days after his ruling, Judge Jones resigned. Alabama broke away from the Union, and Judge Jones would eventually serve as a judge of the confederate district court for the district of Alabama from 1861 to 1865. Finally, Foster’s case would eventually be thrown out too. Records for several of the cases mentioned above reside at the National Archives in Atlanta and provide an account of the times. In May of 2019, Search Inc. prepared a report entitled “Archaeological Investigations of 1Ba704” for the Alabama Historical Commission summarizing their findings from the discovery of Clotilda. They confirm they have located the Clotilda and provide an investigative report that lays out the case for how the U.S. government turned a blind eye to the Meahers, Foster and all parties involved. It also draws the conclusion that “US government officials were perhaps less than diligent in seeking to find the Clotilda or the people brought aboard it against their will...” Just this month, the National Geographic released an article entitled “America’s Last Slave Ship is More Intact Than Anyone Thought.” In that article, Vice President of Search Inc., Jim Delgado, stated “this is the most intact slave ship known to exist in the archeological record anywhere. There’s actual direct physical evidence not just of the ship and its use, but also of the changes done by Foster and his crew to make it a slave ship.” Over 160 years later, evidence of the crime has now been uncovered. The cover-up of illegal activity is as bad as the smuggling crime. The finding of Clotilda should initiate an investigation into previous court cases and new cases should be opened where warranted. In the words of William Goldstone, “justice delayed is justice denied, “and we deserve justice. Crimes were committed and all involved should be held accountable.
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    Created by Jeremy Ellis
  • #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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    Created by Chris Martin Picture
  • Stop Shackling Incarcerated Pregnant People in Michigan
    We are demanding the rights of pregnant women and people incarcerated in Women's Huron Valley Facility, Michigan’s only women’s prison as well as all jails and lock up facilities in Michigan. Senate bills 830, 831 and 1152 prevent pregnant women and people from being shackled during transport while laboring, and allow them to provide breastmilk for their babies. We are fighting for the prevention of further harm and trauma to people already experiencing inhumane conditions of incarceration, as well as outside oversight of Women’s Huron Valley, which has been chronically overcrowded for years. These bills would require the use of medical and psychological best practices to improve the standards of care for incarcerated pregnant and postpartum women and people in Michigan prisons and jails. MI Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Members: Peter J. Lucido (R) Chair Curtis S. VanderWall (R) Majority Vice Chair Tom Barrett Ruth Johnson Jim Runestad Stephanie Chang (D) Minority Vice Chair Jeff Irwin (D)
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    Created by Siwatu Freedom Team Picture
  • We Stand for Planned Parenthood
    To educate the anti-abortion people that Planned Parenthood do more than abortions and offer Women and Men's health care, Birth Control, HIV services, Pregnancy testing and services , STD Testing, treatment and vaccines and why it is important to our society. A close friend of mine has been infected with an STD called gonorrhea when she paid a visit to get tested because she suspected that she had because of the symptoms and wanted to make sure about whether she has an STD or not, so when she got there she was already being harassed by 3 protestors and told me that she was very uncomfortable that she had to have me accompany her. We kindly told the protestors to leave us alone and that we are not interested in what they have to say even though we explained to them that she was just getting tested to see if she had an STD or not but they continued so we just continued to walk to the entrance and ignored them. They have every right to protest but they do not have the right to tell her or any other woman what she can and cannot do with her own body.
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    Created by Allison Zamorano
  • COVID-19: Los Angeles Must Immediately Release People from the County Jails!
    We are not alone in recognizing this crisis of criminalization and incarceration here in Los Angeles and how COVID19 will exacerbate that crisis. Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the recommendations outlined in the Alternatives to Incarceration Working Group’s historic and unprecedented report, “Care First, Jails Last: Health and Racial Justice Strategies for Safer Communities.” Shortly thereafter, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas published a letter outlining his concerns about COVID19’s spreads to the LA jails and calling for a reduction in jail bookings, early release, plans for quarantine and treatment, concerted efforts to reduce virus transmission and a plan for expected staffing shortages. We are also not alone in calling for significant and timely steps towards decarceration. On Saturday, March 14, Judges from the Cleveland, Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Court announced their intention to seek the release of hundreds of people incarcerated in their county jails. Like us, these judges recognize that jails pose threats to our larger community and the incarcerated people themselves. On Tuesday, March 17, the New York City Board of Corrections, the independent oversight Board for the city’s jail system, issued a call for incarcerated people at high risk to be immediately released and for the overall jail population to be rapidly and drastically reduced. Also on Tuesday, March 17, thirty one elected prosecutors from around the country, but not from Los Angeles, published a letter advocating that counties “implement concrete steps in the near-term to dramatically reduce the number of incarcerated individuals” to prevent the potentially “catastrophic” spread of COVID19. We also join epidemiologists in warning that it is not a matter of if COVID19 enters your facility -- but when. For these reasons, we demand that you, as correctional health care leaders, do your part. We ask that you: 1) Prepare a list of your incarcerated patients who are most medically vulnerable and who require immediate release. We demand that you prepare that list within one week, notify the public that the list has been made available to correctional authorities, the courts and city/state leaders, and advocate for their early release with linkages to housing and healthcare services. 2) Use the legal authority granted to you to declare COVDI19 a liable danger to those currently held in the county jails and advocate for their immediate release to safe and meaningful housing. 3) Identify, coordinate and provide the services incarcerated people need upon their release (e.g. HIV care for those who are HIV+, substance use treatment centers for those with substance use disorders, homes and shelters for those who are houseless, etc) to ensure their ongoing protection from this epidemic. The County should use the recently approved recommendations from the Alternatives to Incarceration Working Group to build infrastructure that addresses and also outlives this emergency to achieve our shared goal of reducing the jail population.
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    Created by Mark-Anthony Clayton-Johnson
  • Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 by Decarcerating Mecklenburg
    Dear local leaders: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, we – a coalition of concerned organizations, attorneys, and community members – urge you to undertake all possible measures to prevent the spread of infection in Mecklenburg County’s jails. An outbreak of COVID-19 in the jails would be swift and deadly, and it would overwhelm the county’s hospitals and health system. The next week is crucial to limiting COVID-19’s spread. Now is the time for decisive emergency measures to save lives. COVID-19 poses severe risks whenever people are in close physical proximity with others, regardless of whether an individual has shown symptoms of infection. People in jail are unable to distance themselves from others and take the preventative measures that are necessary to prevent infection and protect the population. Worse, jails are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks because the underlying health conditions that can cause infection or exacerbate harm are very prevalent among incarcerated people. This will make the spread of COVID-19 inside jails fast and lethal, threatening everyone incarcerated in a jail, along with their loved ones, jail staff, and the state’s public health infrastructure at large. The safest way to ensure that the jail does not become a vector for COVID-19’s spread is to cut the jail population and halt new admissions. This is particularly imperative for anyone who a judge has already approved for release pending payment of money bail; anyone detained under an ICE hold; and anyone detained for a Failure to Appear or parole/probation violations. Release is also crucial for those who are elderly or have medical conditions that make them particularly vulnerable. In contrast to reducing jail populations, restrictive measures such as segregation and lockdowns will not contain infection. In a county jail, people are incarcerated for a relatively short period of time before returning to the outside community, and every day new people are booked into the facility if law enforcement continue making arrests. Jail staff necessarily come and go everyday as well, returning to their families and communities. This constant turnover will compromise any effort to contain COVID-19, especially since people may be infected and contagious but not show symptoms. Restrictive measures inside could also discourage incarcerated people from reporting symptoms or seeking care, which will multiply infection. Reducing the jail population is consistent with the county sheriff’s obligation to safely manage county jail populations and the guidance of correctional experts. Dr. Marc Stern, who served as Health Services Director for Washington State’s Department of Corrections, recently urged: “With a smaller population, prisons, jails, and detention centers can help diseases spread less quickly by allowing people to better maintain social distance.” Dr. Stern also explained that reducing the jail population will ease staffing burdens: “If staff cannot come to work because they are infected, a smaller population poses less of a security risk for remaining staff.” Jurisdictions across the country have already started taking the important public health measure of reducing their jail population. The Bail Project has worked to provide free bail assistance to people detained pretrial in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Since its tenure in Charlotte began in August 2019, the organization has posted bail for over 200 people, of which more than 90% then returned to court without any need for detention, even though their bail amount would otherwise have kept them incarcerated. We know from this experience that reducing the jail population to protect public health will be safe, lawful, and just. Every time the county introduces another person to the jail environment, there is a risk of worsening the spread of COVID-19 among the incarcerated population, jail staff, and the broader community. We urge you to undertake all possible avenues for limiting that peril and preventing deaths across the community. Signed, The ACLU of NC Global Missions of the A.M.E. Zion Church The Bail Project Beauty After the Bars Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN Charlotte) Project BOLT Charlotte Uprising Comunidad Colectiva Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office Poor No More Racial Justice Engagement Group of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte Southeast Asian Coalition Court Support Services Team TRU BLUE
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    Created by Decarcerate Mecklenburg
  • We Demand All Gender Restrooms 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
  • Demand Gov. Cuomo Free Criminalized Survivors of Gender Violence
    Valerie Seeley is a survivor of domestic violence and in 1988 she was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for killing her abusive partner while defending herself from a violent attack. In 2017, Valerie was granted clemency and released from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County, New York. Her release came after spending 17 years in prison for protecting herself. Governor Cuomo, like all state governors, has the power to grant clemency to people who have been convicted under state law. Valerie is the ONLY domestic violence survivor that has been granted clemency by Gov. Cuomo. In the last eight years Gov. Cuomo has ONLY commuted 12 sentences in total. Survived & Punished, has joined forces with Color Of Change to demand that Gov. Cuomo free all criminalized survivors of gender violence. In New York state history only three survivors have been granted clemency. Gov. Cuomo has the power to change that immediately. Today, there are many people behind bars in NY state prisons simply for fighting to survive. We must protect, not criminalize survivors of domestic and gender based violence. Women and gender nonconforming (GNC) folks have historically been incarcerated for domestic violence and Black women and GNC survivors of abuse are rarely granted the right to protect and defend themselves against their abuser, even less than other people. Throughout the country millions of women, girls and GNC people who are incarcerated are also survivors of domestic/ gender based violence. We must end the criminalization of survivors, we must protect Black women and we must free all people incarcerated for simply surviving. Demand Gov. Cuomo #FreeThemNY. Learn more about #FreeThemNY--http://freethemny.com/
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    Created by Mariame Kaba
  • Black Mamas Matter! Demand Justice for Crystle Galloway.
    We're the parents of Crystle Galloway. Help us get justice for our daughter, Crystle. The paramedics have their disciplinary hearing this upcoming Tuesday, July 31st. Let Fire Rescue and Hillsborough County know that they should be fired. We also hope they take steps to make sure this doesn't ever happen again to anyone. Our daughter's life is worth more than them being suspended -- Crystle might have been with us and with her two daughters and her baby son now if they had treated her like any other person. She died leaving behind a newborn after paramedics failed to give her standard care and take her in an ambulance. She was suffering complications after just giving birth. But after calling 911, she didn't get the medical help she should have had. The paramedics failed to check her vital signs. Later, they even falsified what happened by logging the call using a code meaning "Non-transport/no patient found". They should be fired, not just suspended. Our daughter had just given birth and was having complications just days after. My 7 year old granddaughter found her unconscious, slumped over. When we called 911, the paramedics didn't want to take her because they "thought we couldn't afford it". They didn't even ask if we had insurance (which we do). This is racism. When the paramedics came, they took one look at our skin color and decided they didn't want to touch her. We had to rush her ourselves but it was too late. They didn't think she looked "critical". What color do we have to be to get help? https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/Hillsborough-suspends-four-paramedics-in-treatment-of-stroke-victim-30-who-later-died_170253710
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    Created by Lisa Black
  • Stop Children from Dying During Divorce and Custody Proceedings
    A mother who is a veteran had to return home from Iraq and fight the battle for her children. The children were taken from her safe and sustainable home, and 50/50 custody order. The mother was falsely arrested. The charges where dismissed but the ramification lingered. Nine years later the mother and her children have no relationship. The children were forced to live full-time with their abusive father leaving them vulnerable to mental, physical and emotional abuse at critical developmental stages in there lives. The court's decision has traumatized the mother and placed the children in danger. As of September 24, 2018, at least 657 children have been murdered by a parent involved in a divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support situation in the U.S. since 2008. Abusive parents are often granted custody or unprotected parenting time by family courts—placing our nation’s children at ongoing risk. Researchers who interviewed judges and court administrators following some of these tragedies found that most believed these were isolated incidents. Needed reforms have not been implemented. Many court-related child homicides occurred after family courts granted dangerous parents access to children over the objections of a protective parent. We recognize that the women's right's movement is still a work in progress. Marginalized women face multiple oppressions, and we can only win freedom by bringing awareness on how they impact one another. The women of color need a national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women and children. As women of color we need to stand for our human rights to parent the children we have in a safe and sustainable community.
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    Created by Mother's Standing For Children Picture