• A Call for A Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice
    The Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice is a call for us to transform our personal, institutional, and global thinking. We believe that culture moves before policy. We believe that culture endures beyond politics. We wrote this Call because our work in culture and arts is inextricably linked to larger social movements for change. We invite you to adopt and adapt this Call to your specific contexts to hold leaders, policy-makers, and institutions — and ourselves — responsible, accountable, and transparent in achieving equity and justice. In these unprecedented times, as justice movements converge, many of us have asked ourselves what the stakes are for the culture we want to advance. We concluded that we needed to change the conditions under which we artists and culture bearers labor and live. The Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice points us toward new understandings of how we together can build a culture that is inclusive, sustainable, and leads us toward justice and freedom for all. We urge timetables that are immediate and demonstrate change that is not aspirational, but concrete, measurable and visible within 1-3 budget cycles. We offer this Call in the spirit of advancing accountability and collective responsibility, and urge you to activate these ideas within your work and our shared future. // El Nuevo Trato Cultural para la Justicia Cultural y Racial es una convocatoria para que transformemos nuestro modo de pensar personal, institucional y global. Creemos que la cultura cambia antes que la política. Creemos que la cultura perdura más allá de la política. Escribimos este llamado porque nuestro trabajo dentro de la cultura y las artes está inextricablemente entrelazado con los movimientos sociales para el cambio. Les invitamos a adoptar y adaptar este Llamado para sus contextos particulares para responsabilizar a líderes, creadores de políticas e instituciones, al igual que nosotres mismes, por lograr la equidad y la justicia de forma responsable y transparente. En estos tiempos sin precedentes, conforme convergen los movimientos por la justicia, muches de nosotres nos hemos preguntado qué está en juego para la cultura que queremos avanzar. Hemos concluido que tenemos que cambiar las condiciones bajo las cuales nosotres les artistas y portadores de cultura trabajamos y vivimos. El Nuevo Trato Cultural para la Justicia Cultural y Racial nos dirige hacia nuevos entendimientos sobre cómo, juntos, podemos crear una cultura que es inclusiva, sustentable y que nos lleva hacía la justicia y la liberación para todes. Exigimos cronogramas que son inmediatos y que demuestran un cambio que no es aspiracional y que, más bien, es concreto, medible y visible dentro de 1 a 3 ciclos presupuestarios. Ofrecemos este Llamado en aras de avanzar la transparencia y la responsabilidad colectiva y urgimos que activen estas ideas dentro de su trabajo y dentro de nuestro futuro compartido.
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  • Change Indian Hill Blvd to Tongva Hill Blvd
    The word “Indian” is inextricably tied to these stereotypes in the minds of many people even today. It is an outdated term that must be tucked away in favor of a more proper term. The Tongva people inhabited the Pomona Valley before the Spaniards arrived, and thus, would be paying homage to the people group that once inhabited the land where the road now occupies. We live on a land which was taken by force and where the people were killed to make room for the cities we live in today. We believe it's time we give indigenous people the respect they've deserved for centuries. It's time to change Claremont
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  • Tell Pres. Aoun and Chief Davis to Publish NUPD Policing Data and Policies
    We are members of the Northeastern University (“NU”) and Fenway, Roxbury and Boston communities who are outraged at the continuing systemic violence against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. We stand against the manner in which systemic racism, racial violence, and white supremacy is institutionalized at Northeastern University including through NU’s investment in and operation of a private police force. The fight against institutionalized racism requires that we divest from organizations and systems that harm Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. We must rebuild our institutions to engage in life-giving practices. In this vein, we support the #BlackatNU platform’s call to build sustainable alternatives to policing, to fund efforts to end systematic oppression of Black people, to terminate interagency agreements with public law enforcement agencies, and to demilitarize and disarm Northeastern University Police Department. Further, we endorse #BlackVoicesMatterNEU’s demands regarding financial support to retain students of the African diaspora, increasing access to health insurance and hiring Black health practitioners and therapists, observation of Black historical celebrations, diversity and cultural competency training, and recurring town hall meetings on anti-Black racism. Undoing racism inherent in the function of our institutions requires that we understand and confront the harms that our systems create. Accordingly, we seek transparency from the Northeastern University Police Department.
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  • End #CasteInTech and #CasteInTheUS! Support Caste Discrimination Protections
    As the United States faces a reckoning over its enduring racial caste system, a critical new front for civil rights was opened against the original system of caste that has its origins in South Asia. In June, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing launched a lawsuit against the tech company Cisco for caste-based discrimination toward an Indian American engineer, John Doe, who claims he was harassed by two co-workers and faced retaliation after complaining to the company. This is not the first instance of caste discrimination in the U.S. and unfortunately won’t be the last. Equality Labs continues to receive first-hand responses from employees in tech, suggesting that the culture of discrimination against Dalits is prevalent and goes beyond the office to the caste networks in the institutions and communities where companies recruit. “One engineer reported to Equality Labs that her department supervisor discovered she was part of the Valmiki Dalit caste whose members, called “manual scavengers,” were often forced to clean up excrement. Her supervisor shared this with her team and they started ridiculing her, going so far as to asking her to clean up after team meetings. She left that workplace after she was sexually harassed by one of her supervisors, which she also believes was targeted towards her in connection to the pervasiveness of the culture of caste-based sexual violence against Dalit women in India.” (Washington Post, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, July 2020) “‘Higher’ caste Indians use the knowledge of a person’s caste to place him or her on the social hierarchy despite professional qualifications. I usually ignored these conversations,” another Dalit worker added. “If they knew I was Dalit, it could ruin my career.” (NYTimes, Yashica Dutt, July 2020) Why is this important? Like race and gender protections, caste protections would provide accountability for instances of caste discrimination, which are not limited to Silicon Valley. Our 2018 Caste in the US report shows that a staggering 67 percent of Dalits in the Indian diaspora admitted to facing caste-based harassment at the workplace.
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  • Take It Down Now: Stone Mountain
    On Saturday, August 12th, white nationalists marched through Charlottesville, communities and the University of Virginia campus, rallying around a statue of the Confederacy and carrying torches evoking a history of violent racial terrorism. The next day in Charlottesville they killed in the name of their white supremacist symbols. Protesters were rammed by a car killing someone in a terrorist attack. These symbols were not chosen randomly. Confederate monuments have been erected and remain as a direct rebuke to the recognition of the full humanity of Black people. Confederate monuments were built and given places of honor in public space as gains in this recognition have been made and it is the commitment to the reversal of this recognition of humanity that draws white nationalists to these symbols. These symbols of white supremacy have always been memorials to the cause of slavery and the denial of humanity to Black people. Now they are being weaponized to rally white supremacists. We have the power to diffuse these modern-day lynch mobs by removing these statues altogether, instead of giving white supremacists a rally point. Confederate statues and named institutions are more than mere symbols of a heritage but instead, they are an assertion of the continued imposition of white supremacy and its current political power. Terrorists in Charlottesville understood this and were willing to kill in the name of this, we must be determined to persist in the face of this white supremacist terror. Removing all Confederate statues would be one step among many in sending the message that we are no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level. We've already many communities take the step to address these monuments in cities like Tampa and New Orleans. Join with me today and pledge to work to remove all Confederate statues or names from our community.
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  • Take Down All Confederate Monuments!
    Black people have been living in the shadow of these confederates for far too long. It’s time to get over the Lost Cause and respect our Black Brothers and Sisters.
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  • Demands to Make Black Lives Matter at Cal State LA and Build a Freedom Campus
    Anti-Blackness and white supremacy undergird the very foundation of the United States. The vestiges of settler colonialism, chattel enslavement, Jim Crow segregation, mass incarceration, and racial apartheid continue to influence the cultural, educational, legal, political, and social institutions of our society. There is a long documented pattern of anti-Blackness at Cal State LA that has created an unwelcoming environment for Black students, faculty, staff, and community members. Many Black people and others at this campus continue to lose confidence in the University leadership’s professed commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion. The current national tragedies of institutional anti-Blackness, are not isolated from this institution. This University must not only reflect on its success, but also its failures. Touting the success of launching the second College of Ethnic Studies while Black faculty, staff, and students are denied equal treatment and the benefit of a welcoming campus is a travesty. We cannot allow the selling of a false narrative. Instead of the boldness shown by many campuses who are owning up to the systemic biases at their institutions, we have experienced disregard, delay tactics, empty platitudes, and rhetoric. During this #BlackLivesMatter movement-moment of national uprisings against racial injustice and state-sanctioned violence, we call upon Cal State LA to take immediate, concrete steps to eradicate all manifestations of anti-Blackness on campus. Administrators must end the practices that have allowed institutionalized racism to function—overtly and covertly—in the day-to-day operations of the University. For example, over the past decade, there has been a precipitous decline in the percentage of Black students attending Cal State LA, with no coherent plan of action by administrators to address the problem. Currently, the Black student population on campus has dropped to roughly 3%, which is three times smaller than the percentage of Black students in LAUSD. Upper administrators have also forestalled the potential appointment of Dr. Melina Abdullah as the inaugural dean of the College of Ethnic Studies despite her long history of fighting for the expansion of Ethnic Studies in K-12 and higher education. She was told in no uncertain terms that they would not appoint her due to her unapologetic opposition to all expressions of anti-Blackness on campus and in the community. We believe Dr. Abdullah is the only person capable of leaning into the role of Dean on day one to help stabilize the fledging, new College of Ethnic Studies. Melina has the humility, integrity, and visionary insight necessary to navigate the CoES during the global COVID-19 pandemic, budgetary crisis, and nationwide uprising against police violence. The College urgently requires a leader who will be responsive to the needs of students, faculty, staff, and the community, and who will contest the entrenched manifestations of academic neoliberalism and anti-Blackness so prevalent at Cal State LA. Therefore, in solidarity with the Black Student Union, Black Faculty and Staff Caucus, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, California Faculty Association, the Department of Pan-African Studies, the Latin American Studies Association, LatinxFaculty4BLM, and El Movimiento de Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan, the students, faculty, staff, and community of Cal State LA recognize the urgency of this movement-moment and call on President William Covino and campus administration to make Black Lives Matter and build a Freedom Campus by meeting the following demands: Appoint Dr. Melina Abdullah as the inaugural dean of the College based on the collective demand of students, faculty, staff, and community. For the entire list of Freedom Campus demands, please visit the following link: https://forms.gle/UQWd4EZyLCpdA4rWA
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  • Rename Lamar St. to Botham Jean Boulevard
    Botham Jean was dedicated to helping the City of Dallas through volunteering and ministry. His life served as an example and a model for everyone in the city. When he was killed in his own apartment on Lamar Street, his death shook the city and forced it to face the very same issues that the rest of our nation is currently grappling with in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, the person Lamar Street is named after, was a slaveholder, and set out to kill or expel every Native American person from Texas. The street named after this reprehensible person is the last place Botham was alive and well, sitting down to eat ice cream in his own home. I am asking you to join me in helping to honor Botham by renaming Lamar Street to Botham Jean Boulevard. Honor the person my brother was before his life was taken from him by Amber Guyger. Rename Lamar Street to Botham Jean Boulevard and let this street serve as a constant reminder of the future that was taken from us instead of a disgraceful past.
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  • Teach Black Hair in Cosmetology Schools
    The National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology is not promoting the highest standards for consumer safety and does not encourage competency in the practice of cosmetology when it chooses to focus only on certain hair textures. A licensed cosmetologist in any state, should know how to wash, detangle, blow out, and style multi-textured and highly textured hair, the same as is required for straight or wavy hair textures. It is not enough to only require knowledge about relaxers. The standards of beauty culture education have changed, and the NIC has a duty to change along with them. It is imperative that you promote and support opportunities for equality, diversity, and inclusion.
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  • Care Not Cops: FCUSD Students Against SROs
    The most impressionable time for a student is during their years of mandatory education. These years should be centered and catered towards providing the absolute best educational experience that is based on accurate, factual information in a safe and comfortable learning environment. This cannot be accomplished with the use of police on campus and anti-Blackness systemically perpetuated in the curriculum. The removal of police officers from campus as well as reformed curriculum that addresses racism in its actuality will foster the growth necessary on FCUSD campuses. For more information, contact us at: Instagram: @genup.fcusd & @cordovahighbsu Facebook: GenUp FCUSD If you have a testimony in regards to your experience with racism, discrimination, or police on campus, don’t hesitate to leave a comment as you sign the petition.
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  • Reopen the investigation into the murder of Justus Howell
    On April 4th, 2015 I got a call that no mother wants to get, but one that is all too often made in America. My son, Justus, was dead, shot twice in the back by officer Eric Hill of the Zion police department. Like every other mother of a Black son, who fears this outcome, on that day, it became my reality. Officer Hill, with all of the state and union protection offered to those with a badge, painted an ever expanding portrait of what happened that day. He changed or “forgot” details, and added them when it was convenient. He trembled while on the stand during my family's lawsuit, spilling his water out of nervousness, discomfort and the stress of lying while under oath. I left the courtroom in tears-- angry, hurt and disgusted that once again someone who swore an oath to serve and protect might get away with murder. What Officer Hill didn’t know was that there was surveillance footage of his actions. Despite what this Officer and others said in reports, my son did not have a gun in his hand, the surveillance footage shows that fact. Instead, my son was running in the opposite direction of Officer Hill and at no point did he turn and point anything at the Officer . The Officer shot him in the back. To add insult to injury the Zion police department was , in my opinion, derelict in , not calling the Lake County Coroner’s to the scene of the crime immediately, which provided an opportunity to potentially tamper with evidence, and to stage the crime scene and craft a story that would exonerate those involved . The Lake County Coroner updated the death certificate to include Criminal homicide as a cause of death. Despite such evidence, Former Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim has done nothing to help ease my pain or that of other families and because of the inaction of this office, I've asked the public and those impacted by police brutality and violence to join me in my call for justice for Justus and to reopen the investigation with a fresh set of eyes. Together I know that we can gain justice for not only my family but be able to usher in a change in Lake County, ensuring that police officers are held accountable and that we are represented by a state’s attorney that cares about Black lives also. For five long years I’ve continued to fight for justice for my son because the Lake County State’s Attorney's office and Former State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim continue to turn their backs on my family and the Black community in Lake County in our cries for justice from police brutality. We've voted and elected a new States Attorney and as Justus's mother, I've asked the public and those directly impacted by police who continue to beat, maim and murder Black and Brown bodies across America and around the world to join me in my call in demanding that his case be reopened and a grand jury be convened through the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office or under the laws of the state of Illinois, the 19th Circuit District Court Lake County Grand Jury in it’s own right. I know the feelings of emptiness well, but I’ve come to understand that I am not alone, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office has a history of doing little in addressing complaints and investigating wrongdoing of officers within the county. Many of us have heard the stories, have felt the pain and misery of being left out in the cold in our cries for justice and equity. The State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart, his office and/or the Grand Jury can do something about it and we are demanding they do so now by reopening Justus Howell's case. Those who have signed are demanding that you take action. Don't let another Black life and family feel the pain of not having equal justice. As our elected representative, the Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart has a significant and powerful role in not only holding officers accountable for wrong-doing, but the criminal justice system as a whole. We are taking action now to ensure that no mother feels what I’ve felt and what I feel every day knowing that my son’s killer walks free and still has a job. To know that at any given time, I can run into Officer Hill and feel powerless in his presence knowing that he shot my child in the back and got away with it by lying and saying that he was afraid. When will my fear go away? When will the fear of many of the mother’s of Black son’s be eased? When will our Black lives and stories matter? When will the injustice end? Justice for Justus, now and forever! LaToya Howell & Family
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  • Demand Hearing Speech Deaf Center to Address Systemic Racism Against Bart Williams & BIPOC Deaf.
    PLEASE HELP THE BIPOC COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING THEIR LIST OF COMMUNITY DEMANDS & PETITION TO HSDC & ITS BOARD TO ADDRESS SYSTEMIC RACISM THAT HAS EXISTED FOR YEARS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION. THE BIPOC DEAF COMMUNITY NEEDS MORE EQUITY & A SAFE SPACE FOR THEM HERE IN SEATTLE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Akp4PPlQGFc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0wR2BD4ohF4BqqM30dERdb1L2sMSiHZEhTCuQdzHUHBrQYH0nYPl2rF-Q #EndSystemicRacism #Equity4DeafBIPOC
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