• FIRE WSSU Associate Professor, Cynthia Jan Villagomez
    HBCUs across the United States are known to have a warm and welcoming culture. The campus environment is supportive and provides a voice and platform to allow students to grow into leaders in their fields. Cynthia chose to weaponize the campus police in an environment that would otherwise be insulated from the traumas that Black Americans experience routinely. This space needs to be protected and her actions cannot go unchecked.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
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  • #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.
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    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.
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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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  • 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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  • 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!
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  • “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
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  • #ProtectYoungBlackAthletes in DeKalb County Now
    I have been working as an athletic trainer in Atlanta for six years now. For those six years, I have rarely seen athletic trainers on the sidelines for sporting events in a majority of DeKalb County high schools. Just last week, a Black student died from heat illness and there was no athletic trainer at the school. A Dekalb County high school dancer died from heat illness in June 2019, and there was also NO athletic trainer available at her school. Black students have been injured during basketball and football practices without the proper professional there to help and prevent a death. As students begin sports training , hiring more athletic trainers should be a priority to keep them safe! Our Black student athletes deserve better and hiring athletic trainers can save Black lives. It upsets me to see a lack of sports medicine care in a predominantly Black school district. Only 5 schools in the district have athletic trainers and they house the majority of white students in the district and 12% of the student population receives the benefits of sports medicine care. Black students are being left without. To create a better world for Black children in Dekalb County Schools we must see an effort for more athletic trainers hired in the school district. Having a trained and qualified healthcare professional to provide appropriate medical care onsite, especially in emergencies, is crucial to student-athlete safety. Coaches and athletic directors in our schools are not enough. They are unable to act as health-care decision makers in emergencies. Athletic trainers can act in dangerous situations and possibly prevent death. They can protect Black students and save their lives! We demand DeKalb County Schools to hire full time athletic athletic trainers by allocating district funding that would protect the general welfare of Black children. We also demand that athletic training consultants train school staff on the right ways to act in emergency situations. Game day coverage is not enough. Antwyn Brown is the Chief of Staff to the DeKalb County Superintendent and is pivotal in supporting and advising the superintendent on decisions for the school district. Mr. Brown can help begin the processes needed to getting more athletic trainers in Dekalb County Schools. Sign this petition and ask the Chief of Staff to the DeKalb County Superintendent to protect our Black student athletes and protect the general welfare of Black children now! References: Suzuki-Yamanaka M, Huggins RA, Armstrong KJ, Coleman KA, Casa DJ, Kaneoka K. Athletic training employment in secondary schools by geographic setting and school size within the United States. J Athl Train. 2021 Jan 22. Post E, Winterstein AP, Hetzel SJ, Lutes B, McGuine TA. School and Community Socioeconomic Status and Access to Athletic Trainer Services in Wisconsin Secondary Schools. J Athl Train. 2019 Feb;54(2):177-181. National Center for Education Statistics. https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/index.asp DCSD Demographics (2018-2019 School Year) https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/documents/planning/2018/demographics-2018.pdf
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  • #JusticeforZadok: Demand Justice For Matthew "Zadok" Williams
    Just eight days before the verdict that convicted Derek Chauvin, unidentified police officer(s) killed my brother, Matthew “Zadok” Williams in his own home moments after he asked the officers to identify themselves as he kneeled behind a piece of furniture. Like so many others, my brother was killed in broad daylight in his home. On April 12th, 2021, DeKalb County, Georgia police officers approached my brother and asked him to leave his own property. According to the police department, officers assumed that Zadok was a trespasser based on two 911 calls from a woman living in the condo behind Zadok’s condo. These calls have yet to be released. The police department has released some body camera footage and the media is only showing excerpts of the incident. We are calling on Chief Ramos to set an example by ending the secrecy that is rampant behind the blue line and promoting transparency. In the footage available, Zadok has a mental health crisis outside in an incident involving a knife after walking down his steps and being asked to leave his property. Zadok subsequently retreats into his home through an upstairs window. The police began to kick his door open. Once the door is breached, Zadok immediately kneels behind a cushioned piece of furniture to protect himself from gunshots as he tells the officers that he is defending his property and asks the officers to back up and speak to him through the doorway. Zadok is not a threat, and police begin talking to him telling him that he doesn’t have to die. The absurdity of the comment by officers at the scene reveals the culture of dehumanization that is deeply embedded in departments across the nation. A 911 call should not be synonymous with death for Black people. Instead of backing up and talking to Zadok from the doorway as he requested and helping him, police officers shot into his home and killed him while he was kneeling behind furniture. The officers and supervisor at the scene left him there for nearly an hour and a half to die. No medical aid was rendered and when SWAT teams and EMS arrived more than an hour after the shooting, my brother was subsequently pronounced dead. My family was notified nearly 24 hours after his death. Such an egregious disregard for my brother’s life speaks to the culture of policing in DeKalb County and across the country. Police officers are rarely held accountable for killing, harassing and assaulting Black people and my family is committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that these officers are held accountable and that other families in DeKalb County don’t have to endure what we have had to go through. It’s been a month since police officer(s) murdered my brother Matthew Zadok Williams, and the police officer(s) responsible still have not been held accountable. We don’t even know their full names. Zadok was a remarkable brother, uncle, and son, and he meant the world to our entire family. I strongly urge Police Chief Mirtha V. Ramos and Chief Executive Officer, Michael L Thurmond to hold the officers responsible for this ruthless action accountable and to provide my family with answers. Both Police Chief Ramos and CEO Thurmond have the authority to release all media related to Zadok’s murder, identify the officers to the public, and terminate the officers employment. We want these police officers to be held accountable. This is the first step towards true criminal justice reform here in DeKalb County. Sign the petition: Tell Police Chief Ramos and CEO Thurmond to terminate the employment of the officer(s) who killed my brother Zadok now! Update as of August 10th, 2021 The family of Matthew Zadok Williams has been made aware that the GBI has completed their investigation of the April 12, 2021 killing of Matthew Zadok Williams by DeKalb County police Sergeant Devon Perry. On what would have been Matthew Zadok Williams’ 36th birthday on August 3rd, the family instead prepared for their weekly “Wednesday Rally for Justice." The family and community rally at Dekalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston's office every Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. to bring awareness about Matthew Zadok Williams being shot by police in his own home. The bodycam footage shows that after Sgt. Devon Perry fired shots into Zadok's home, Sgt. Perry orders the police officers to back off. In the hour and a half that follows, Sgt. Devon Perry can be heard admitting that Zadok did not lunge at him with a knife before he fired shots into Zadok’s home. In fact, the bodycam footage shows that Zadok did nothing to justify shots to be fired into his home. After firing those unlawful shots into Zadok's home, Sgt. Devon Perry walked off and left Zadok to die a slow painful death. Sgt. Devon Perry's superior can be heard instructing Sgt. Perry on the phone that he has a duty to render medical aid to Zadok; no medical aid was rendered. In fact, DCFR EMTs were already on the scene responding to a separate incident and inquired about rendering aid to Zadok. EMTs were denied entry into the home! Police officers are heard laughing about Zadok bleeding out in the condo. Dekalb has released statements indicating that their policy does not allow aid to be rendered until the scene is deemed safe. They say that bunkers were needed to enter Zadok’s condo after he was shot. However, no bunkers were needed when the police kicked his door open and and shot him. The family’s independent preliminary autopsy has revealed that Zadok would have survived if aid would have been rendered. SWAT and EMS arrived nearly an hour and a half later after Zadok was shot, and Zadok was pronounced dead. The family was notified 24 hours later. Zadok’s family is heartbroken! The family now demands that Dekalb District Attorney Sherry Boston indict and prosecute Sgt. Devon Perry immediately and all the police officers involved in Zadok's senseless murder.
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