• Do Not Attend Donald Trump's Inauguration: Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker
    Dear Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, On Friday, January 20th, in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Congressman John Lewis— longtime ally to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.— announced Saturday that he will not be attending Donald Trump's inauguration. Like many who watched Donald Trump fear-monger throughout his campaign, Lewis asserted "I don't see this President-elect as a legitimate president." For the first time in 30 years, Lewis plans to boycott a presidential inauguration, adding he "cannot be at home with something that [he feels] is wrong." While some will argue attending this inauguration ceremony is tradition, we the people of Mississippi, ask that join Lewis and other Congress members in boycotting this celebration of tyranny and racialized violence. More than 30 members of Congress— Barbara Lee (CA), Katherine Clark (MA), Jared Huffman (CA), Luis Gutiérrez (IL), Earl Blumenauer (OR), and Nydia Velazquez (NY)— have already committed to boycotting the inauguration but they have not yet been joined by peers in the Senate. In her statement on attending the inauguration, Congresswoman Barbara Lee warns: “We need look no further than the team he is assembling to find signals that the era of Trump will be one of chaos and devastation for our communities.” “[He named] a white nationalist as his chief strategist, nominated [an] Attorney General, [with a] long career of opposition to civil and human rights, and expedited the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make America sick again.” “Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.” Now we’re asking you to join your peers. Like us, they agree that Trump’s campaign to seize the White House relied on repeatedly insulting and villainizing Black, Muslim and Latino communities. This is not the kind of leadership we welcome in Mississippi or in this country, so it should be no surprise that we are asking you, a representative of our beloved Mississippi, not to attend Trump’s swearing in. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, we need you to send a clear message to Donald Trump: I do not support your tyranny. When Trump proclaimed himself the “law and order candidate,” he began dog-whistling to conservatives that he would handle all problems occurring in Black and Latino inner cities with an iron first. And to appease his racist constituency, Trump decidedly instigated violent attacks on Black, Muslim, and Latino protesters at his rallies. And on his mark, Trump’s supporters joined in beating, threatening, and forcefully ejecting Black and Latino people from his rallies. The former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke has publicly supported Trump and has partially financed his campaign. That’s why it’s no surprise that Trump’s hate speech, misogyny, anti-Muslim bigotry and racism have ignited a national culture of violence and terror— a culture wherein genocide becomes the solution to a “problem.” His intolerance has fueled an alarming rise in the number of hate crimes committed against Muslims, as well as significant increases in membership to white supremacist groups. Let us be frank, senators: This is not our vision of democracy! Trump’s platform is rooted in racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. His swearing-in marks a grave turnover in power and a shift in political culture that negates the progressive momentum this country has gained over the years. Make no mistake: by attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, you are supporting an administration that seeks to normalize hate. There is no reason to celebrate the transfer of power to a despot. Trump’s hate cannot be contained. But we can firmly and strategically oppose it whenever and wherever it appears. When anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, or anti-woman forces show up in democratic institutions, voters and community members need to know that you will stand up to hate and bigotry. Boycotting Trump’s inauguration is a strong step toward earning the trust of the people of Mississippi. As sitting officials, your decision to skip Trump’s inauguration sends a critical message: We, Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, will not celebrate the destruction of the values and institutions the American people hold dear. We are asking that you stand in with Mississippi. We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that you do not attend the 58th U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
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  • Stand with John Lewis: Do Not Attend Donald Trump's Inauguration: Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse
    Dear Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, On Friday, January 20th, in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Congressman John Lewis— longtime ally to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.— announced Saturday that he will not be attending Donald Trump's inauguration. Like many who watched Donald Trump fear-monger throughout his campaign, Lewis asserted "I don't see this President-elect as a legitimate president." For the first time in 30 years, Lewis plans to boycott a presidential inauguration, adding he "cannot be at home with something that [he feels] is wrong." While some will argue attending this inauguration ceremony is tradition, we the people of Nebraska, ask that join Lewis and other Congress members in boycotting this celebration of tyranny and racialized violence. More than 30 members of Congress— Barbara Lee (CA), Katherine Clark (MA), Jared Huffman (CA), Luis Gutiérrez (IL), Earl Blumenauer (OR), and Nydia Velazquez (NY)— have already committed to boycotting the inauguration but they have not yet been joined by peers in the Senate. In her statement on attending the inauguration, Congresswoman Barbara Lee warns: “We need look no further than the team he is assembling to find signals that the era of Trump will be one of chaos and devastation for our communities.” “[He named] a white nationalist as his chief strategist, nominated [an] Attorney General, [with a] long career of opposition to civil and human rights, and expedited the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make America sick again.” “Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.” Now we’re asking you to join your peers. Like us, they agree that Trump’s campaign to seize the White House relied on repeatedly insulting and villainizing Black, Muslim and Latino communities. This is not the kind of leadership we welcome in Nebraska or in this country, so it should be no surprise that we are asking you, a representative of our beloved Nebraska, not to attend Trump’s swearing in. Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, we need you to send a clear message to Donald Trump: I do not support your tyranny. When Trump proclaimed himself the “law and order candidate,” he began dog-whistling to conservatives that he would handle all problems occurring in Black and Latino inner cities with an iron first. And to appease his racist constituency, Trump decidedly instigated violent attacks on Black, Muslim, and Latino protesters at his rallies. And on his mark, Trump’s supporters joined in beating, threatening, and forcefully ejecting Black and Latino people from his rallies. The former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke has publicly supported Trump and has partially financed his campaign. That’s why it’s no surprise that Trump’s hate speech, misogyny, anti-Muslim bigotry and racism have ignited a national culture of violence and terror— a culture wherein genocide becomes the solution to a “problem.” His intolerance has fueled an alarming rise in the number of hate crimes committed against Muslims, as well as significant increases in membership to white supremacist groups. Let us be frank, senators: This is not our vision of democracy! Trump’s platform is rooted in racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. His swearing-in marks a grave turnover in power and a shift in political culture that negates the progressive momentum this country has gained over the years. Make no mistake: by attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, you are supporting an administration that seeks to normalize hate. There is no reason to celebrate the transfer of power to a despot. Trump’s hate cannot be contained. But we can firmly and strategically oppose it whenever and wherever it appears. When anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, or anti-woman forces show up in democratic institutions, voters and community members need to know that you will stand up to hate and bigotry. Boycotting Trump’s inauguration is a strong step toward earning the trust of the people of Nebraska. As sitting officials, your decision to skip Trump’s inauguration sends a critical message: We, Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, will not celebrate the destruction of the values and institutions the American people hold dear. We are asking that you stand in with Nebraska. We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that you do not attend the 58th U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
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  • Do Not Attend Donald Trump's Inauguration: Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley
    Dear Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, On Friday, January 20th, in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Congressman John Lewis— longtime ally to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.— announced Saturday that he will not be attending Donald Trump's inauguration. Like many who watched Donald Trump fear-monger throughout his campaign, Lewis asserted "I don't see this President-elect as a legitimate president." For the first time in 30 years, Lewis plans to boycott a presidential inauguration, adding he "cannot be at home with something that [he feels] is wrong." While some will argue attending this inauguration ceremony is tradition, we the people of Oregon, ask that join Lewis and other Congress members in boycotting this celebration of tyranny and racialized violence. More than 30 members of Congress— Barbara Lee (CA), Katherine Clark (MA), Jared Huffman (CA), Luis Gutiérrez (IL), Earl Blumenauer (OR), and Nydia Velazquez (NY)— have already committed to boycotting the inauguration but they have not yet been joined by peers in the Senate. In her statement on attending the inauguration, Congresswoman Barbara Lee warns: “We need look no further than the team he is assembling to find signals that the era of Trump will be one of chaos and devastation for our communities.” “[He named] a white nationalist as his chief strategist, nominated [an] Attorney General, [with a] long career of opposition to civil and human rights, and expedited the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make America sick again.” “Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.” Now we’re asking you to join your peers. Like us, they agree that Trump’s campaign to seize the White House relied on repeatedly insulting and villainizing Black, Muslim and Latino communities. This is not the kind of leadership we welcome in Oregon or in this country, so it should be no surprise that we are asking you, a representative of our beloved Oregon, not to attend Trump’s swearing in. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, we need you to send a clear message to Donald Trump: I do not support your tyranny. When Trump proclaimed himself the “law and order candidate,” he began dog-whistling to conservatives that he would handle all problems occurring in Black and Latino inner cities with an iron first. And to appease his racist constituency, Trump decidedly instigated violent attacks on Black, Muslim, and Latino protesters at his rallies. And on his mark, Trump’s supporters joined in beating, threatening, and forcefully ejecting Black and Latino people from his rallies. The former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke has publicly supported Trump and has partially financed his campaign. That’s why it’s no surprise that Trump’s hate speech, misogyny, anti-Muslim bigotry and racism have ignited a national culture of violence and terror— a culture wherein genocide becomes the solution to a “problem.” His intolerance has fueled an alarming rise in the number of hate crimes committed against Muslims, as well as significant increases in membership to white supremacist groups. Let us be frank, senators: This is not our vision of democracy! Trump’s platform is rooted in racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. His swearing-in marks a grave turnover in power and a shift in political culture that negates the progressive momentum this country has gained over the years. Make no mistake: by attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, you are supporting an administration that seeks to normalize hate. There is no reason to celebrate the transfer of power to a despot. Trump’s hate cannot be contained. But we can firmly and strategically oppose it whenever and wherever it appears. When anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, or anti-woman forces show up in democratic institutions, voters and community members need to know that you will stand up to hate and bigotry. Boycotting Trump’s inauguration is a strong step toward earning the trust of the people of Oregon. As sitting officials, your decision to skip Trump’s inauguration sends a critical message: We, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, will not celebrate the destruction of the values and institutions the American people hold dear. We are asking that you stand in with Oregon. We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that you do not attend the 58th U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
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  • Stand with John Lewis: Do Not Attend Donald Trump's Inauguration: Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch
    Dear Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, On Friday, January 20th, in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Congressman John Lewis— longtime ally to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.— announced Saturday that he will not be attending Donald Trump's inauguration. Like many who watched Donald Trump fear-monger throughout his campaign, Lewis asserted "I don't see this President-elect as a legitimate president." For the first time in 30 years, Lewis plans to boycott a presidential inauguration, adding he "cannot be at home with something that [he feels] is wrong." While some will argue attending this inauguration ceremony is tradition, we the people of Idaho, ask that join Lewis and other Congress members in boycotting this celebration of tyranny and racialized violence. More than 30 members of Congress— Barbara Lee (CA), Katherine Clark (MA), Jared Huffman (CA), Luis Gutiérrez (IL), Earl Blumenauer (OR), and Nydia Velazquez (NY)— have already committed to boycotting the inauguration but they have not yet been joined by peers in the Senate. In her statement on attending the inauguration, Congresswoman Barbara Lee warns: “We need look no further than the team he is assembling to find signals that the era of Trump will be one of chaos and devastation for our communities.” “[He named] a white nationalist as his chief strategist, nominated [an] Attorney General, [with a] long career of opposition to civil and human rights, and expedited the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make America sick again.” “Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.” Now we’re asking you to join your peers. Like us, they agree that Trump’s campaign to seize the White House relied on repeatedly insulting and villainizing Black, Muslim and Latino communities. This is not the kind of leadership we welcome in Idaho or in this country, so it should be no surprise that we are asking you, a representative of our beloved Idaho, not to attend Trump’s swearing in. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, we need you to send a clear message to Donald Trump: I do not support your tyranny. When Trump proclaimed himself the “law and order candidate,” he began dog-whistling to conservatives that he would handle all problems occurring in Black and Latino inner cities with an iron first. And to appease his racist constituency, Trump decidedly instigated violent attacks on Black, Muslim, and Latino protesters at his rallies. And on his mark, Trump’s supporters joined in beating, threatening, and forcefully ejecting Black and Latino people from his rallies. The former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke has publicly supported Trump and has partially financed his campaign. That’s why it’s no surprise that Trump’s hate speech, misogyny, anti-Muslim bigotry and racism have ignited a national culture of violence and terror— a culture wherein genocide becomes the solution to a “problem.” His intolerance has fueled an alarming rise in the number of hate crimes committed against Muslims, as well as significant increases in membership to white supremacist groups. Let us be frank, senators: This is not our vision of democracy! Trump’s platform is rooted in racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. His swearing-in marks a grave turnover in power and a shift in political culture that negates the progressive momentum this country has gained over the years. Make no mistake: by attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, you are supporting an administration that seeks to normalize hate. There is no reason to celebrate the transfer of power to a despot. Trump’s hate cannot be contained. But we can firmly and strategically oppose it whenever and wherever it appears. When anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, or anti-woman forces show up in democratic institutions, voters and community members need to know that you will stand up to hate and bigotry. Boycotting Trump’s inauguration is a strong step toward earning the trust of the people of Idaho. As sitting officials, your decision to skip Trump’s inauguration sends a critical message: We, Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, will not celebrate the destruction of the values and institutions the American people hold dear. We are asking that you stand in with Idaho. We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that you do not attend the 58th U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
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  • Tell U.S. Mayors: - Declare Your City a Sanctuary of Safety! #HereToStay
    Mayors across the country must stand with their undocumented immigrant residents in this moment of crisis. Undocumented Immigrants in our communities are under attack: Donald Trump has already said that in the first 100 days of office he would cancel DACA, a program that provides undocumented youth with work permits and protection from deportation, and begin deporting 2 million undocumented immigrants. We know that an effort to increase deportation of undocumented people will also result in the increased criminalization of Blackness. But we can change this if we pressure mayors to declare their cities as sanctuaries of safety. In a sanctuary city, officials implement policies to restrict local police from turning immigrants over to federal immigration agents and declare in no uncertain terms that immigrants are welcome. Without them, undocumented immigrants are left vulnerable to racial profiling, detention and deportation. Through our work we can work to decrease the criminalization of our communities. We salute the mayors of cities like Oakland, Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco who have been quick to stand with their undocumented residents. This is just the beginning —we can make our cities and states safe for all
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    Created by Chad Stanton Picture
  • Demand NY Governor Cuomo End Systemic Racism in School Funding
    We’ve seen atrocious cases of Islamophobia, racism, sexism, and xenophobia and the attempt to normalize these behaviors. This can be traumatic to communities of color, women, religious groups, and immigrant communities. The vulnerability of our children has been heightened by the looming threat of what a Trump presidency might mean for them, their families, and their futures. We are prepared for battle on the federal level, but we still face a significant debt owed to our children in New York State. For over a decade, our schools have been waiting for New York State to honor its obligation to comply with an order from its highest court, the Court of Appeals, to fully fund the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE). The ruling established that New York State was underfunding its schools, especially in black, Latino and low-income communities. With Trump threatening to strip resources from our students, Governor Cuomo needs to finally comply with the court’s decision and fully phase in the remaining $4.3 billion owed to our public schools. From cutting taxes on millionaires to attempting to privatize education, the parallels between Trump’s agenda and some of Governor Cuomo’s policies are obvious. It is time that the Governor stands up for the children of New York and fully rejects Trump’s agenda against our most vulnerable communities. To do so he must fulfill his responsibility to finally deliver the “sound, basic education” required by the State constitution by providing the $4.3 billion needed for classroom resources, art and music, guidance counselors, social workers, student supports and more. Help us in demanding that Governor Cuomo fulfill his promise to stand up for all communities. Demand that he take the necessary steps to provide the resources to ensure safe and supportive schools for all students by fully funding the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, AD 42, Brooklyn. Assemblymember Maritza Davila, AD 53 Brooklyn Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman, AD 29 Queens Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre, AD 11 Long Island Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, AD 77 Bronx Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, AD 65 Manhattan Assemblymember Nily Rozic, AD 25 Queens Assemblymember Latrice Walker, AD 55 Brooklyn Senator Marisol Alcantara, SD 31 Manhattan Assemblymember Diana Richardson, AD 43, Brooklyn Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa, AD 72, Manhattan Assemblymember Inez Dickens, AD 70, Manhattan Assemblymember Earlene Hooper, AD 18, Long Island Assemblymember Pamela Harris, AD 46 Brooklyn
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    Created by Alliance for Quality Education New York
  • Tell A&E Network to Cancel "Generation KKK"
    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Ku Klux Klan chapters grew across the United States from 72 in 2014 to 190 in 2015, partially due to pro-Confederate flag rallies that occurred in 26 states in response to the removal of the flag from South Carolina's state capital after the June massacre of nine black churchgoers by Dylan Roof. Against this backdrop of increasing white nationalism, A&E has chosen to create and air a documentary series that follows the lives of several families who are involved with the Klan. While the series will show "opposing viewpoints," it still delivers an alarming platform and free publicity and recruitment for a hate group with a long, ugly history of terrorizing and destroying black lives and communities in this country. I believe the attempt at balance is outweighed by the reality of the fame and access afforded to reality television stars. Please appeal to A&E to cancel the series so dangerous, criminal white supremacists do not have a televised pulpit from which to preach hate.
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    Created by Jennifer Avril
  • No Power Grab in NC: End the Special Session
    After failing to win the governor’s race the through laws suppressing Black voters, the Republican officials in North Carolina.have decided they’re just going to nullify the results of the election. The Republican controlled NC General Assembly is stripping the election results of their meaning by drastically reducing the power of incoming Governor-elect Roy Cooper with an outrageous package of bills that include: - Having Republican control of the Board of Election during even years -- the years in which most NC elections are held -- and Democrats relegated to odd years. - Rigging the court process so fewer cases are able to be decided by the now-Democratic State Supreme Court appeals and all cases have to go through the full court of appeals, which is controlled by Republicans. - Limiting the number of members the governor can appoint to powerful board of trustees at the University of North Carolina school system and the state Board of Education It is outrageous that a legislature elected by what the federal courts declared to be deliberately racially-gerrymandered districts are further perverting the system to diminish Black political power in the state. The NC General Assembly is denying voters their right to decide who governs state by seizing power from the Governor’s office, cutting its staff to the bone, requiring their final approval on all appointments, and maintain control of the Board of Elections in all election years. This is a naked attempt to maintain supremacy in a state despite the decision of the voters. That this incredible abuse of power is set to happen in a special session of the General Assembly that is supposed to address Hurricane Matthew relief only shows how low they’ll stoop to maintain control. This is the same Republican Party that had the "Monster" Voter suppression laws thrown out this year by federal judges who saw that Republicans wrote their laws only after receiving data on how Black people exercised their right to vote in the state. Help stop this outrageous move that will waste your tax dollars, undermine the independence of the courts, and overthrow the will of North Carolina voters.
    548 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Chad Stanton Picture
  • Oregon: Fund Education not Executions!
    Oregon is spending millions of dollars on a death penalty system disproportionately invoked against Black people. While Black people only make up 2% of Oregon’s population they make up 9% of the population housed on Death Row. While spending millions of dollars to disproportionately imprison Black people, Governor Brown recently announced a state budget which could increase taxes and cuts services to the same communities who face this unfair criminal justice system. Instead of causing further damage to these communities by cutting vital services, Governor Brown should effectively end the use of the death penalty, save Oregon millions of dollars, and end an unjust practice that disproportionately targets the Black community.
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    Created by Bobbin Singh
  • We Demand A New Vision for Criminal Justice in Champaign County
    For five years Build Programs, Not Jails has fought against jail building in our county. It is time for social and racial justice. Our county jail population is 65-70% Black in a county that is 13% Black. Time to end racism, to reduce the jail population and reallocate funding from law enforcement to providing services and creating pathways to success for people in our county.
    50 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Build Programs Not Jails
  • Serving Life w/ Hard Labor w/o Parole for $20 of Marijuana
    Fate Vincent Winslow was arrested in the Fall of 2008 for making $5 commission for delivering $20 worth of weed. The man he was delivering weed to was an undercover cop and when asked why Fate Vincent Winslow agreed to deliver $20 worth of weed he said because he wanted to use the $5 commission to buy food. Three months later, Winslow was found guilty of selling a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance. Another three months and the sentence lands: life imprisonment at hard labor with no chance for parole. Winslow will now die in prison for being tricked into selling $20.00 worth of weed to a plainclothed undercover cop in Louisiana, the world’s prison capital. Join me in demanding the Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards Free Fate Vincent Winslow immediately! When asked about his sentence Fate Vincent Winslow responded, “life for two bags of weed...people kill people and get five years”. Winslow’s case is one of the most egregious for marijuana violations, but it’s far from an anomaly. The Louisiana Prosecutor who handed Winslow’s case, Prosecutor Brown, views Winslow’s case as a major victory in what he calls “pro-active law enforcement”. A system that uses lesser crimes to lock up people whom he, and other Prosecutors, assume to be guilty of more violent crimes. This goes completely against the way the criminal justice system is supposed to work. Fate Vincent Winslow is currently serving life in prison for a very minor offense, selling weed, a substance that is now legal or at least decriminalized in many states, and something that White people do often without facing any repercussions. Winslow, according to Prosecutor Brown, is also in jail for being suspected of committing other crimes, which there is no evidence of. Fate Vincent Winslow, a 47 year old Black man who was homeless at the time of his arrest is another victim of the unjust criminal justice system that is strategically used to over incarcerate the Black community. Join me in demanding that Fate Vincent Winslow be freed! Winslow wrote about life in prison stating that “there is no life in prison. Just living day by day waiting to die in prison”. Winslow does not deserve to spend another day in prison, we demand that he be freed! Thank You, Korstiaan Vandiver "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?" -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. References: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/27/homeless-life-in-prison-weed_n_6769452.html
    48,762 of 50,000 Signatures
    Created by Korstiaan Vandiver
  • Tell Ohio Senate: No More Pre-K Suspensions
    I am a parent of two Black children. In schools across America, Black children account for 18 percent of preschool enrollment but almost half (48 percent) of children suspended more than once in a school year. My son was one of these students. My son was expelled from school at age of 5 years old, as a pre-schooler, his very first year of school. From the beginning, children are being taught that they deserve the harsh and punitive treatment that first experience in the classroom and will soon confront in the world. We are here to say that Black children matter. For the first time, the state of Ohio has an opportunity to be a leader in changing these policies by passing HB 410 with amendments that would begin making it possible for parents like me to finally have a say in what happens to their children. Several other states are leading the way in banning the suspension and expulsion of students in early grades. From New Jersey to Oregon, states have eliminated suspensions for pre-schoolers and students up to 5th grade. We know that even this is not enough to mitigating the negative impact on children as young as 4 years old. In addition to Amendment 2629 to end pre-school suspensions, we support provisions in HB 410 that prohibit the use of suspensions and expulsions for truancy as well as the following: Amendment 2630 – Tiered discipline: Students should not be suspended for issues that could be easily resolved with a phone call home. Amendment 2639 – Make up work: It goes without saying that suspensions cause students to get behind on work. Education is a human right. No students should be denied classroom instruction because of racist disciplinary policies. Amendment 2605X4 – Tolling of suspensions during the summer: Students who were suspended at the end of the school year should be able to start the new school year with a fresh start. Rather than applying remaining days suspended to the new school year, students will be allowed to participate in community service over the summer instead. We urge you to include language in this amendment stating that participation in any community service or alternative consequence will not require families to incur additional costs, such as transportation costs. The same year my child was suspended, Kylen English, a 20-year-old lost his life while in custody of Dayton police. He was handcuffed in the back of a police car the last time he was seen alive. Within a few months, we started Racial Justice NOW! because we knew that unless we built real political power for Black students and families to change the written and unwritten rules, our lives would continue to be at stake. It will be 5 years this November that I co-founded and became Executive Director of Racial Justice NOW! I also serve as Co-Chair of the Dignity In Schools Campaign, a coalition of over 100 organizations from 27 states dedicated to dismantling the school to prison pipeline. And while we have made strides towards dismantling the school to prison pipeline, the rate at which change is happening is killing our children. My hope is that in this political moment, even more people will join the fight to fight for the futures of Black children. The fight for Black children is the fight for the future.
    1,371 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Zakiya Sankara-Jabar