• Reparation for Bethel AME Church Pittsburgh, PA
    As pastor of Bethel AME Church of Pittsburgh and representing the congregation, we implore the Pittsburgh City Council and the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority to address and restore the land stolen from Bethel AME in 1957. Known as Big Bethel to its more senior members, the church once seated 1,900 Pittsburgh residents in what was then a thriving neighborhood in the Lower Hill District. The oldest Black church and the first elementary school for Black students, it was a haven for residents and the center for organizing in the 1950s during the civil rights movement. Bethel held programs before and after school while launching the Black Nurses Association to improve the health and welfare of its congregation. That all came to a screeching halt in 1955 when the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority announced plans for the Lower Hill Project redevelopment which called for removing “blight” from the community. To church members who are still with us today, Big Bethel was not a “blight”. It was a beacon of light and home to mentor new leaders, and a place where Black people of the time could feel the love and support of the community. Despite this, in 1957 city council members declared that Big Bethel had “outlived its usefulness,” thus enabling the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority to confiscate the church using eminent domain. In its wake, the Civic arena was built and is now home to the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team. Meanwhile, the church of the Epiphany, which predominantly serves a white congregation only two blocks away, was spared and stands to this day. Pittsburgh law states it is illegal to seize a church using eminent domain. However, the members of Big Bethel didn’t have legal representation to pursue their claims. Big Bethel was thus compelled to move to a smaller location serving 900 members, never to be returned to its former glory. This same group sold 2.5 acres of land to the FNB Bank building project for development last year which is a few hundred yards from the original site of Bethel AME Church for $10.00. We are asking for the same consideration to sell us our land and development rights back for $10.00.
    284 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Dr. Dale Snyder
  • 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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    Created by Kathy Sykes
  • #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.
    476 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Bring Him Home Campaign
  • STOP STEALING BLACK PROPERTY
    Oakland and San Francisco California are the most gentrified cities in the entire nation. The Black population in both cities has been reduced over the years by more than 50%. The best way for Black people to have a place to live is to become homeowners. Black homeownership is in crisis. Black people have not recovered (unlike other racial groups) from the 2008 housing crisis when they were targeted by the banks with subprime loans. Black homeownership has continued to decline since then. Discrimination in buying, selling, renting, redlining and bad appraisals have all been devastating hurdles. Real estate is the primary means of passing along generational wealth. It is crucial that Black people have the opportunity to leave a legacy. Gentrifying Black rental housing providers will reduce the number of Black tenants in Oakland. No one should lose their property because they have been starved of resources to stay afloat. The focus should be on helping small mom and pop rental housing providers, home owners and tenants. The house above is located in Oakland, Ca.
    28 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Lyn X Picture
  • 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.
    20 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Severine Gipson
  • 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.
    139 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Free Our Kids Alameda County Picture
  • KIDS DON'T BELONG IN AMERICA'S WORST PRISON!
    What is most heartbreaking is that our youth are the ones bearing the burden and the blame of the state’s failures to implement the solution we know works: a holistic model of care that is focused on prevention and rehabilitation. While the state continues to dump money into a failing and abusive system, these youth are enduring inhumane and violent conditions that trigger and aggravate their trauma. FFLIC believes that all children deserve: · Developmentally-appropriate interventions and supportive services in their home communities not behind bars. · The right to a quality education and mental health services. · The right to learn from youthful mistakes and receive supports that foster their development into healthy and productive adults. · A holistic continuum of care in their home communities, not cages and bars.
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    Created by Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children Picture
  • 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.
    608 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Jeremy Ellis
  • Tell Walmart and Kroger: We need affordable COVID-19 test kits now!
    My family and I contracted COVID-19 around the holidays. A few days after Christmas, my body began to feel as though it was literally shutting down. It began with some minor coughing that led to fatigue, fevers of over 102 F, shortness of breath, and body aches. I couldn't even walk without feeling pain on the soles of my feet. While dealing with the physical impact of getting sick, our family decided to drive to the closest drive-thru testing site every three to four days until we each tested negative, since we could not afford to spend thousands of dollars on private testing. Packing up my family while trying to "quarantine,” driving, and then sitting and standing in some of the longest lines we had seen up to that point was the worst feeling and situation any family could endure. There was a Walmart only minutes away from my home in Broward, Florida. We should have been able to buy affordable at-home COVID-19 tests there, but leaders like Walmart CEO Dough McMillon and Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen decided to take advantage of the high demand for tests by pushing the prices up by over 40%. No family should have to choose between spending money on necessities like food and bills, and spending money on tests that help us stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. That’s why I’m calling on Walmart and Kroger to sell their COVID-19 testing kits at cost! In September 2021, the Biden administration announced that it made a deal with retailers like Walmart and Kroger to ensure that COVID-19 at-home tests would be sold for no more than the cost of production at $14. But as soon as the deal ended in December, both chains pushed the price of the kits up, in some cases as high as $80. When I tried to buy tests from Walmart over the holiday season, each one cost $40. That meant testing all five people in my household using the at-home kits would have cost $200. Spending that much money every time we needed to test would have been a huge financial burden on us. With the cost of living increasing in my city, the prices of COVID-19 test kits were simply too high. Now, as the Omicron variant continues to spread through our communities, these companies continue to charge obscene amounts of money for test kits, in a moment when so many people like me are just trying to make ends meet. COVID-19 tests should be affordable, if not FREE. Walmart and Kroger are making the decision to push test prices up knowing full well that what they are paying their own workers is not keeping pace with the higher prices of basic necessities. In November, inflation reached a four decade high of 6.8%, while hourly-workers only received an increase of 4.8%. In the meantime, our hospitals are still overwhelmed. Patients are still being forced to delay life-saving treatment and surgeries. And we are still seeing some of the highest rates of deaths due to COVID-19 since the height of the pandemic in 2020. It’s not right. Walmart and Kroger could easily sell COVID-19 test kits at cost and still make some of the highest profits of any company in this country. Instead, they are exploiting our desperation to keep ourselves and our families safe. Tell Walmart and Kroger they must provide affordable COVID-19 test kits, today!
    6,810 of 7,000 Signatures
    Created by Charnelle Charlestin
  • Stop Fueling the Overdose Epidemic!
    We ask OASAS to join us in fighting this imbalance for three reasons. First, we know that when programs are more conveniently located in all neighborhoods, drug treatment success increases with positive outcomes. Second, we know that the current presence of treatment mega-centers in communities of color reinforces the message that addiction is a Black issue and one that should be contained in Black neighborhoods. Third, concentrating the majority of the city’s programs in Harlem fuels the overdose epidemic. New Yorkers shouldn’t have to go out of their way to access vital care. Equitably distributing the locations of treatment centers throughout NY will not only work towards racial justice, it will also lead to better health outcomes for all.
    4,797 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Greater Harlem Coalition and The Harlem Neighborhood Block Association
  • “Do the right thing and protect ALL students in Wake County Public Schools.
    On 09/20/21, I looked at the Wake County Public Schools website to find information about the number of COVID Clusters in Wake County Public Schools. The site was down and read as follows: We are updating based on the State of Emergency declared by Governor Cooper. This means there is a continuous rise of cases in the state and it is showing up in the schools and hospitals. Our schools are not safe places for our children. It is a known fact, there are not enough teachers, lunchroom staff, maintenance workers, or bus drivers to keep them safe. Our front-line workers are constantly put at risk without the basic protection of unmasking in Wake County. Since this pandemic started 1 in 9 people in Wake County have been affected by COVID, we’ve had 121,290 reported cases in our community alone. We already see that sending students into schools without masks will lead to even more people getting sick. We the parents from Black and brown communities can not attend Board meetings due to the many barriers that prevent us from attending. We are showing our concern through the signing of this petition. We never want it said that we don't care about our children and all children’s safety. We must adhere to the CDC’s guidelines to socially distance and implement a mask mandate to protect everyone in Wake County. We should not be listening to the ignorance of anti-maskers who bully and threaten board members to intimidate them from supporting mask mandates. It's our right to be safe and keep our children safe without intimidation. We the members of the Wake County Community Equity Leadership Team and the community ask that the Wake County School Board consider the cost when making your decision. We must put the safety and needs of our community at the center of our decision-making when it comes to the health and our students and families. WE WANT A MASK MANDATE
    405 of 500 Signatures
    Created by C ELT
  • Demand Archer Western to Pay its Black Subcontractors Now!
    I’ve owned my own construction company in North Carolina for the past 9 years. My family has been in the construction industry since the early 70s and I have always viewed my work as a way to build generational wealth and create economic mobility for Black people. However, I’ve suffered at the hands of huge contracting corporations like Archer Western who have a history of financially exploiting small Black-owned businesses. This has made it extremely difficult to support my livelihood and my family. I’ve lost a majority of my income from dealing with contracting giants like Archer Western and it is time for them to be held accountable! Archer Western refusing to pay its debt to Black subcontractors shows how systematic racism continues to impact our people. As a result of Archer Western’s debt to my small contracting business, I’ve been unable to pay important medical bills and have even delayed important medical operations. I’m also unable to reinvest in my community by providing employment opportunities to people of color. Enough is enough and big corporations like Archer Western should be held accountable in how they treat small, local minority contractors like me. Archer Western has a history of late payment and non-payment to over 20 of its Black and minority-led subcontractors that we know of. There are likely many more that have been put out of business. I’ve been fighting to stop this financial exploitation and my pleas are constantly ignored. Join me in telling Daniel Walsh that it’s time to do right by its Black subcontractors. We demand that Archer Western release all records of its late and non-payment of Black subcontractors, pay all of their outstanding contracts, and conduct an audit of their racial equity practices. This is the first step in ensuring that small contracting businesses like mine never go under due to corporations' prejudicial, unlawful, and dishonest business practices. Daniel Walsh is the president and co-chairman of Archer Western and has the power to begin rectifying the wrongs Archer Western has committed against small minority businesses. Sign this petition and tell Walsh to begin paying Black subcontractors what they are owed!
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    Created by Jimmy Dillahunt Jr.