• 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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  • 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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    Created by Rekay Brogdon
  • Safe Elections Not Voter Suppression: Stop Photo Voter ID
    Over the last decade, the North Carolina General Assembly leadership has consistently and brazenly manipulated election and redistricting laws to silence Black voters and reduce Black political power, all in the name, they have proudly said, of expanding and entrenching their partisan control. Courageous legislators have stood up, session after session, and spoken truth to power about the racist and cynical intent behind these actions. H1169, the Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020, could have represented a break from the relentless partisanship and attacks on Black voters that have become the norm in North Carolina’s elections and redistricting bills. But rather than come together to advance necessary policy changes responding to the current COVID crisis, House and Senate leadership opted to first insert the lightning rod issue of photo voter ID and then other non-COVID-19 related provisions into the bill. These actions taken together are a clear attempt to impact their litigation position regarding the 2019 law (SB824) currently enjoined by two courts and to continue partisan efforts to give their party the upper hand in the 2020 election. We must ensure that H1169, the Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020, serves only to improve access to voting for all constituents. Unrelated provisions that seek to sneakily reactivate photo voter ID are a deceitful attempt to undermine the courts who have blocked this law time and again. It is imperative that you stand up for racial justice in this moment by speaking truth to legislative leadership -- Photo Voter ID has no place in a COVID-19 elections bill. H1169 is supposed to make voting easier for North Carolina voters during this pandemic, NOT to confuse voters and seek to reactivate shameful, racist barriers designed to undermine a free and fair democracy. Call to Action: HB1169 Please visit the "My Campaign" link below to access the full H1169 Bill. To read: "PHOTO VOTER ID SECTION 10. G.S. 163-166.16(a) reads as rewritten: 45 "(a) Photo Identification Required to Vote." Please visit the "My Campaign" link below to access the full H1169 Bill.
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    Created by NC Black and Brown Policy Network
  • Kym Worthy-COVID-19 Demands
    The decarceral guidelines below are designed to prevent three things: social spreading, jail “churn,” and the deaths of vulnerable people. Social Spreading In order to prevent the rapid growth of COVID-19 from overburdening our health-care system and claiming lives, both those in secure facilities and the people who work in them, it is the responsibility of decision-makers at every level to prevent and contain the spread of the virus by taking action to promote the most effective strategy in abating the pandemic: social distancing in order to slow “community spread.” The Particular Issue of Jail and Prison “Churn” Jails and Prisons combine the worst aspects of a cruise ship and a large public gathering and, thus, can be the perfect breeding ground for the spread of COVID-19. People are constantly booked into and out of jail and prison facilities and each night guards, vendors, and other jail staff are going home while others are coming in- which results in a massive turnover. For example, more than half of the people in jail are only in there for two to three days. Further, enclosed structures like jails can cause COVID-19 to spread like wildfire and introducing just one person with it can lead to it impacting not just everyone inside the jail or prison but anyone leaving the facility—whether a person who is released or staff returning back to their homes— who then interact with their communities. Preventive Measures Cannot Be Taken in Jails and Prisons. Experts recommend that to protect the people most vulnerable from death or serious illness from COVID-19 that they are appropriately separated through social distancing. Yet separating sick people from well people to prevent the disease from spreading can be nearly impossible in prison due to logistical considerations.
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    Created by Nicholas Buckingham
  • #GardenTrustforUs Eliminating Tampa Food Deserts Through Community Gardens
    The West Tampa area is a historically African American community and is in serious need of healthy food access. The recent transformations taken place over the last 3 years have placed residents in a food desert situation. Most residents do not have access to healthy food options. According to the US Dept. of Agriculture, there are 2.3 million people who live more than 1 mile away from a grocery store and do not have access to a vehicle. Here in Tampa, the communities of West and East Tampa neighborhoods have limited access to grocery stores with affordable healthy food options. At present, there's an average of 3 miles between the closest grocery store offering fresh produce in the East & West Tampa areas, creating barriers to healthy food access for a large portion of the community members who lack reliable transportation. If the City of Tampa can allocate $4 million over the past two years to the maintenance of three public golf courses, surely they can allocate funds to provide our community's most underserved constituents access to healthy food cultivation practices, education, and consumption. A collective of community members and local organizations such as the Tampa Heritage Initiative have collaborated to build a plan to implement community garden development, education programs and food delivery within underserved areas. With the funds allocated to the Garden Trust, the City of Tampa will be providing sustainable healthy food access and practices to historically underserved communities. In this, creating part-time employment, local business partnerships and teaching opportunities for members of the Tampa Bay community. Join us in calling on Mayor Jane Castor and Councilman Guides to establish a Special District Garden Trust for the purpose of eliminating food deserts in the underserved communities of West and East Tampa. **Special districts provide specialized services to persons living within the designated geographic area and may contract to provide services outside the area. Special districts often cross the lines of towns, villages, and hamlets but less frequently cross city or county lines. --Resources-- https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/42711/12716_ap036_1_.pdf?v=41055 https://www.tampagov.net/sites/default/files/budget/files/FY2020-budget1.pdf
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    Created by Andre Hill Jr Picture
  • #SaveAmericanBeach: Preserve the local heritage, culture and lifestyle of American Beach
    I can remember countless weekends that my dad took my family to American Beach. So many people from around the area have so many memories and still traditionally go to the beach - which is why when I heard a man chained himself to the beach in protest to what Nassau County is, in essence, privatizing the beach, I became upset. I realized that with so much history that surrounds that beach for my family, that if the county succeeded it would shut out any future generations in my family to enjoy the beach as well. But not only does America Beach have a history in my family, but the beach also has a deep history rooted in the Black community as well. The tradition of African Americans camping on American Beach dates back to the inception of the community in 1935. We’ve been hosting campouts at Burney Park on historic American Beach since 2015. Other groups such as the Night Sanders and Florida Beach Cats have been camping as far back as 1998. This beach is a historic landmark, because Abraham Lincoln Lewis, Florida's first Black millionaire, purchased 200 acres, which is now American beach. His company the Afro-American Life Insurance Company designated American Beach as a place for people of color to have a space to come for relaxation without humiliation. Over the years the beach has brought so much economic development to the area and joy for so many families. It means so much to many, so much so that A.L. Lewis' great-granddaughter, affectionally known as the "Beach Lady," gave tours and taught about the history of the beach until her death in 2005. Limiting the access and privatizing American Beach will be another way Black people will be locked out of cultural inheritance and way to erase rich Black history. July of 2019 we hosted our largest gathering to date. Over 100 men, women, and children gathered to camp, commune with nature and learn about American Beach’s rich history. It was a beautiful, peaceful gathering without incident. A focal point of the weekend was, as always, respect for and stewardship of the natural environment of American Beach. Soon after the July campout, we discovered the beach committee, formed at the request of Nassau county commissioners to address complaints regarding differing issues at Nassau counties four beach access points. We were shocked and dismayed to discover the conversation leaning towards major changes in beach ordinances that would severely impede our ability to carry on a long tradition of campers on American Beach, although the vast majority of the complaints related to incidents at Peters Point, another Nassau County beach. Up until the September 26th meeting we had been led to believe that an actual system would be put in place to manage beach camping, parking, driving, etc. At the September meeting however, an abrupt change in the dialogue occurred and a decision was made to abdicate the responsibility of managing these issues and instead the proposed solution was put forth to recommend to the county commissioners the elimination of ALL camping, night driving and parking on ALL four access points, from 9 pm to 6 am by unanimous vote. Click to read the minutes and agenda of the beach committee meetings https://www.nassaucountyfl.com/DocumentCenter/Index/958 The rights of citizens to camp overnight on Nassau County Beaches are at risk. While we are concerned with camping rights on American Beach, the beach committee recommendation and upcoming BOCC vote and decision will affect a variety of beach issues on all four beach access points; such as driving, camping, parking, fines, etc.
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    Created by Torrance Toomer Sr.
  • Protect Bahamas Hurricane Survivors - They Have No Home to Return to
    The road to recovery in Bahamas is just starting and will take long. With on-going exposure to the elements and contamination from chemicals, dead livestock, and more than half of the houses on the islands destroyed, temporary relocation is a key element of the humanitarian response. In times of overwhelming catastrophe, the United States has historically given protected status (TPS) to people who cannot return safely to their homes. This can be one of those times. Sen. Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott have called on Trump to waive the restrictions. Rep. Maxine Waters has called for action, and Reps Yvette Clark, Stacey Plaskett, and Barbara Lee joined by dozens of co-sponsors have presented a bill in the House of Representatives urging Temporary Protected Status in the House. This petition will be delivered to Members of Congress and the Trump administration by New Florida Majority, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Making the Homeless Smile and the Family Action Network Movement.
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    Created by New Florida Majority NewFM
  • Investigate the Flint Water Crisis
    In 2014, news broke that the people of Flint, Michigan faced toxic lead poisoning from a contaminated water supply. Being one of the largest scale examples of environmental racism in our country, the consequences were devastating: more than 100,000 residents were exposed to elevated lead levels, including over 10,000 children, which could lead to a lifetime of developmental and physical ailments. The 2016 presidential campaign came and went, with this issue coming up repeatedly on the campaign trail. Flint was a celebrated cause for many public figures. But that didn't bring a solution. Three years later, today, the people of Flint are still at risk. Pipe replacement hasn't been completed in all impacted homes. Charges have been dropped against public officials who were in charge with no clear timeline for a new investigation. And we're still trying to figure out how the crisis got this bad. It's time for a broader national intervention by the EPA, to get to the bottom of the Flint water crisis, and for Congress to make things right. The residents of Flint, who are majority Black and almost half live in poverty, deserve answers now. Sign the petition: Demand Congress and the EPA investigate the Flint water crisis, and then get involved to ensure every resident of Flint has access to clean, safe drinking water.
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    Created by Native Son
  • #RememberFlint
    For nearly five years, the state and city government have doled out symptomatic solutions to a problem that remains unsolved. Contaminated water flowing through our residential pipes caused irreparable damage that comes with an average bill of $15,000 to replace interior plumbing and water heaters. This is a financial burden that countless Flint residents simply cannot bear. Clean water cannot flow through the pipes until all of the poisonous systems are replaced. This, coupled with the harsh reality that many residents faced of turning their water completely off after trying to pay exorbitant water bills and fighting liens against their homes for not paying their water bill during the water crisis, is not acceptable. Five years later we still keep cases of bottled water stacked in our houses, we cannot brush our teeth using tap water or run clean bath water. The water relief credits, water drives and city programs were a bandage that has yet to stop the bleeding. It’s time to take responsibility for failed government. Flint residents continue to foot the bill on an issue caused by the government that we elected to protect us. As the FAST START program begins to fix the issue, it doesn’t go far enough to address the corroded residential piping. The water crisis is a gross administrative failure and Flint residents should not be held accountable for damages to their pipes from the water crisis. Therefore, we demand that you use your authority to solve this piece of a multi-layered problem and ensure that clean water flows through the city of Flint again. Restore the City of Flint’s faith today by replacing all corroded pipes from the water crisis inside our homes and outside.
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    Created by Dawn Lawler
  • Real Home Inspections for Flint!
    Flint is being poisoned with lead and community members are still being disparaged and dismissed by the state of Michigan. Gov. Snyder promised the people of Flint that the state would conduct home inspections to assure their safety from further lead poisoning. Instead of following through people in the city of Flint are reporting the state inspectors simply looking at houses from the outside and assuming they’re safe. A report from the University of Michigan has determined what we’ve known since the beginning of this lead crisis-- Gov. Snyder is responsible for the lead poisoning of thousands of Flint’s children. Instead of acting when the people of Flint first reported lead poisoning the Governor and state agencies he controls insulted residents while poisoning their children. Now the same agencies under Gov. Snyder are doing the bare minimum to address the pain and damage they caused. Black people in Flint deserve genuine efforts to prevent their children from being poisoned by lead. Lead poisoning in young children leads to issues in learning and behavior. Gov. Snyder and the state of Michigan has already irreparably damaged the lives of thousands of Black children. By neglecting to carry out lead inspections in earnest Gov. Snyder and the state are continuing to attack our families and our future. Real inspections of homes in Flint would give Black parents the best chance of making sure their children can have the best possible future for themselves. Flint, Michigan is ground zero in showing the ways environmental racism is used to attack the Black community. Gov. Snyder and the state of Michigan knew they were poisoning Black children and did not care. Only once people in Flint organized and advocated their way into the national conversation did the state pretend to show concern. Now, Gov. Snyder and Michigan have decided to do the bare minimum and punish the people of Flint, again.
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  • Maintain Black Legacy and Involvement at African Museum
    A broad-based coalition of well- respected Detroit organizations hereby express concern for the future direction of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History following the abrupt departure of beloved CEO Juanita Moore. We, the community groups and individuals who cherish the Museum for its dedication to serving our cultural and educational interests and aspirations, demand for representation on the governing board and in the search for the CEO successor. CAMPAIGN ORGANIZERS: Detroit Organizations Supporting Black Legacy and Community Involvement of Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Alkebu-lan Village Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Detroit Chapter Blackness Unlimited Broadside Lotus Press City of Detroit Council of Elders Conant Gardens Property Owners Association Detroit Black Community Food Security Network Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement Detroit MLK Day Committee Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council In the Tradition Jazz Band Inner City Sub Center James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership Keep the Vote NO Takeover Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Million Man Alumni Association National Conference of Black Lawyers, Michigan Chapter NCobra Reparations Operation Get Down Pan-African Newswire Petty Propolis Pitch Black Poetry Timbuktu Academy We the People of Detroit West Side Unity Church
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  • Keep the water on in Brightmoor
    Black people in Brightmoor are suffering as a result of the city's decision to deny them water. Brightmoor is a Black community here in Detroit that has seen the pressure of gentrification and lack of economic support lead to longtime Black residents without secure housing. Residents in Brightmoor without secure housing prospects are only further punished when the city takes their water away. While the people of the community are forced to pay ever-rising rents, they are also being pushed out by the city who is denying them utilities they need to live.1 With thousands of residents across Detroit being denied water, we know Black communities like Brightmoor will be hit the hardest. Without water Black people in Brightmoor find themselves falling further behind the eightball as they search for jobs that can allow them to afford to live in the community they’ve known their entire lives. Water and Sewerage Director Gary Brown and Mayor Mike Duggan have the power to stop the shutoffs now. This is not the first time Detroit has caused thousands of Black people to suffer without water. Despite being told that water cutoffs are a public health risk Mayor Mike Duggan and Water and Sewage Director Gary Brown directed the city water department to shut off water for more than 76,000 people in Detroit between 2014 and 2016.2 Director Brown has gone on record as saying that no one should have their water cut off in Detroit, now Black people in Brightmoor and throughout Detroit are being threatened with just that. The city of Detroit’s water cutoff policy leaves the people of Brightmoor with few options when searching for fresh water to drink, bathe and cook. Students in households who had their water cutoff had to find a way to learn while also worrying about staying clean and avoiding the attention of their peers. People working or searching had to find a way to keep their clothes clean or risk their only option to get current on their bills and restore their water. Without access to clean and safe water, people are exposed to a greater risk of contracting Hepatitis A. Residents throughout the community rely on water from community partners, We The People and the Brightmoor Connection food pantry, putting an incredible strain on the resources needed to address other areas in dire need of help. Changing the water policy to end cutoffs would allow Black people who make-up Brightmoor and Detroit as a whole better cope with rising rent pushing people out of the only community they’ve known. Director Gary Brown and Mayor Mike Duggan can help Black people in Brightmoor and Detroit by ending the policy to deny people water service. It is the only equitable option for a city that is interested in assisting residents who have been the backbone of the city as they face growing financial pressure from gentrification. Join us in demanding that he keeps the water on in Brightmoor.
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    Created by Roslyn Bouier