• Make November 14th New Orleans Four Day Nationwide
    Segregation is happening all over again in schools across America. Segregation perpetuates the School -to-Prison-Pipeline and we must stop it in its tracks! The New Orleans Four, at 6-years old served their little black girl magic and showed the world that children can lead the way. These little emissaries were the epitome of what it means to have the audacity of hope. They broke barriers and opened hearts in 1960 and with this nationally recognized holiday they can continue to remind America and the World that we can ALL live, learn and work TOGETHER. In her speech during the New Orleans Four Day 60th Anniversary ceremony in New Orleans, Alana Odoms (Executive Director ACLU-Louisiana) stated "Since its inception, black girls and black women have shouldered the immense responsibility of perfecting our Democracy. The New Orleans Four were emissaries of justice and freedom, turning the tide of hate in this nation and calling us towards the liberties enshrined in the United States Constitution." Like Dr. Opal Lee, I believe that this national holiday can be a unifier and an inspiration to children and adults around the world. I believe it can be the bridge that brings people together to talk about the hard issues facing our country. The New Orleans Four were the light during a dark time in our country's history and their brave acts will always be a beacon of hope to show young people that they have a voice, they have a say and the wherewithal to create the CHANGE they want to see. Let them be the everlasting reminder of Freedom, Equality & Justice. Learn More: To watch the docuseries teaser and learn more about the project go to www.NewOrleansFourLegacy.com
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    Created by Diedra Meredith Picture
  • Essential Workers, Essential Voices // Trabajadores Esenciales, Voces Esenciales
    During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers across the United States, across sectors and fields, were deemed by elected officials and governing bodies as "essential." These workers were grocery store clerks, farmers, delivery drivers, and health care professionals. They risked their lives every day to ensure that our city could continue to function. New Orleans has received $388 Million in American Rescue Plan Dollars to aid in the economic recovery of our city and of the recovery of those who kept it afloat! Though this money was meant for the explicit economic recovery, there were little to no engagement opportunities for our elected officials to consider the needs and recommendations of those they have called "essential" for the past 2 1/2 years. This money must be allocated with those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic centered in the decision-making process. So we are presenting our own Essential Worker proposal and need your help by endorsing it! // Durante el apogeo de la COVID-19, los funcionarios electos y los órganos de gobierno consideraron que los trabajadores de todos los sectores y campos de los Estados Unidos eran "esenciales". Estos trabajadores eran empleados de supermercados, granjeros, repartidores, profesionales de la salud y muchos más habitantes de Nueva Orleans que arriesgaron sus vidas todos los días para garantizar que nuestra ciudad pudiera seguir funcionando. ¡Nueva Orleans ha recibido $388 millones en dólares del Plan de rescate estadounidense para ayudar en la recuperación económica de nuestra ciudad y la recuperación de quienes la mantuvieron a flote! Aunque este dinero estaba destinado a la recuperación económica explícita, hubo pocas o ninguna oportunidad de participación para que nuestros funcionarios electos tomaran en consideración las necesidades y recomendaciones de aquellos a quienes han llamado "esenciales" durante los últimos dos años y medio. Es imperativo que este dinero se asigne con los más afectados por la pandemia de COVID-19 centrados en el proceso de toma de decisiones. ¡Así que presentamos nuestra propia propuesta de Trabajador Esencial y necesitamos su ayuda para respaldarla!
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    Created by New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice Picture
  • 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. Redlining, bad appraisals , discrimination in buying, selling and renting have all been devastating hurdles. Real Estate is the best way to pass on generational wealth. It is crucial for Black people to have 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 picture above is located in Oakland, Ca.
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    Created by Lyn X Picture
  • Be The Change
    Violence can happen anywhere, anytime. We cannot wait for government or policy makers to do anything about this. We have to personally get involved in our own capacity. Peace is our human nature. Love is our nature. Only when we find peace within, can we help spread it around. We can do it together!
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    Created by Mandar Apte
  • Save The Red Balloon Preschool in Harlem
    At Red Balloon, we strive to serve any and every family that wants to join our community. We do not turn children away based on factors such as disability status or neurotypical development. We serve an economically and ethnically diverse community; we serve the families of immigrants and those new to New York or the United States. Among our community, Polish, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Italian, Hebrew and Hindi are some of the languages spoken at home. We serve the families of graduate students, adjunct professors, essential workers, rank-and-file Columbia staff and members of the Harlem and Morningside Heights communities. We are urging Columbia to extend our lease and let Red Balloon continue its mission to educate children and support working families.
    13,141 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Annapurna Schreiber
  • Stop Community Violence in Memphis: Listen to Youth
    In response to the recent tragedies in our community, the Youth Justice Action Council would like to first offer our sincere condolences to the victims, their families, and others in our community who have been impacted as they navigate this time of loss, grief, trauma, and uncertainty. Our YJAC family joins hands with Memphis & Shelby County, and offers support as we try to find peace and solutions in the coming days. YJAC is committed to designing solutions that get to the root causes of violence in our community by centering the voices of those who are directly impacted - youth who have experienced the justice system firsthand. In light of the recent tragedies in our city, many elected officials and community members have responded by claiming that more and harsher punishment would have prevented future acts of violence. However, we believe that the punitive and inhumane measures that are currently in place in our juvenile injustice system not only fail to stop the cycle of violence but also create more harm by traumatizing our youth who need support, not isolation. Our current system isolates youth away from their loved ones, community, and support systems that would actually allow them to change and grow. To truly address the cycles of violence in our community, we need to get to the root. Youth are not the problem. Our quick fixes, based on retribution and revenge, will never solve long-term problems - which are embedded in institutional and systemic oppressions like racism and poverty. Memphis ranks second in the nation for overall poverty, with 24.5% of our community members living below the poverty line and 39.6% of our youth living below the poverty line. For Black youth in Memphis, nearly half live below the poverty line. What we need are solutions that include the voices of those who are directly affected. Our 10 “Break the Chains” Demands were created by justice impacted youth in our community to offer truly transformative solutions that would allow young people to feel safe, supported, and empowered. Our public officials and local media’s responses to these events have pushed an existing narrative that Black and Brown youth should be feared and controlled. Now, more than ever, the voices of these youth need to be heard. This is what the Youth Justice Action Council embodies. As justice impacted & connected young people, we have already begun to create solutions & design alternatives to our current system. Over the past year, we have: -Released a research report on what justice impacted youth in Shelby County are experiencing and asking to be changed in our current system. -Provided Diversion Program Recommendations for the new Youth & Family Resource Center -Visited the Shelby County Youth Detention Center currently in development and sent key decision makers a memo on our experience with our questions, concerns, and recommendations -Submitted Public Comments on Proposed Changes to the Minimum Standards for Youth Detention Centers in Tennessee -Engaged and supported the Youth Law Center and Disability Rights Tennessee on the release of their Designed to Fail report. In the coming months, we will release recommendations on a continuum of care that should replace our current youth justice system. But, we cannot change this system alone. We are calling on youth and adults to join YJAC in our youth-led advocacy to transform our youth justice system and build a safer and more just community for us all. Join the YJAC movement by signing up as a “Break the Chains” Supporter and following us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Tiktok @YJAC901. We will need to combine our voices and advocacy to make sure leaders hear our demands and are held accountable to make them happen. Together, we can create solutions that center the voices of justice impacted youth in our community.
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    Created by Youth Justice Action Council Picture
  • 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.
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    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.
    9,098 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Kathy Sykes
  • 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Created by Free Our Kids Alameda County 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.
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    Created by Jeremy Ellis