• 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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  • 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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  • KIDS DON'T BELONG IN AMERICA'S WORST PRISON!
    What is most heartbreaking is that our youth are the ones bearing the burden and the blame of the state’s failures to implement the solution we know works: a holistic model of care that is focused on prevention and rehabilitation. While the state continues to dump money into a failing and abusive system, these youth are enduring inhumane and violent conditions that trigger and aggravate their trauma. FFLIC believes that all children deserve: · Developmentally-appropriate interventions and supportive services in their home communities not behind bars. · The right to a quality education and mental health services. · The right to learn from youthful mistakes and receive supports that foster their development into healthy and productive adults. · A holistic continuum of care in their home communities, not cages and bars.
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  • Demand that Governor Pritzker Sign the Illinois Black Caucus' Racial Justice Omnibus Bill
    On January 13th, the Illinois legislature passed a landmark omnibus bill on justice reform. This momentous policy package, which was championed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC), would take crucial steps in advancing racial equity in Illinois by enacting sweeping reforms to anti-Black systems of police brutality and mass incarceration. The legislation includes provisions to standardize police use of force, eliminate key mechanisms of officer impunity, abolish prison gerrymandering, and end systems of wealth based pretrial incarceration. We are now mobilizing community members to demand that Governor Pritzker sign the ILBC’s bill on justice reform (HB 3653) in its entirety, without delay. Timely implementation of this omnibus package is vital to the safety, justice, and liberation of the nearly two million Black residents throughout the state. In September of 2020, when the ILBC released its preliminary racial justice policy agenda, Governor Pritzker pledged to support Black leadership in the Illinois General Assembly. Since that time, the ILBC has received an outpouring of public input, held a series of subject matter hearings, heard hours of expert testimony, and rigorously deliberated on a sweeping array of policy proposals to address racialized systems of police abuse and anti-Black sentencing practices. The ambition and strength of this historic racial justice legislation attests to the unequivocal imperative that public policy be led by the constituents and elected officials most impacted by the issues at hand. We now call upon Governor Pritzker to honor his commitment to stand with the ILBC and the millions of constituents its members represent, by signing HB 3653 in its entirety. We also urge the Governor to leverage the platform of his office to counter the dangerous narratives unleashed by White Supremacist groups that seek to undermine the ILBC’s racial equity legislation through divisive dog whistling and fear mongering tactics. As the nation looks on, it is incumbent upon the Pritzker administration to renounce toxic misinformation that equates racial justice with rampant crime and a Trumpian vision of “American carnage.” Join us as we call upon Governor Pritzker to help set a new tone for the nation by promoting an inclusive message of universal safety, justice, and liberation in Illinois, and enacting HB 3653 in its entirety.
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  • #ReimagineChildSafety: Get Cops Out of Child Protective Services
    The child welfare system traumatizes children and rips families apart. Far from helping, law enforcement only makes things worse. Their partnership must end now. Los Angeles County is home to the largest locally-run foster care system in the country, run by the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). The system disproportionately targets Black, Brown, and Indigenous children for surveillance and removal, actions that, even when well-intentioned, terrorize and traumatize families of color. While Black children are 10% of LA County’s population, they represent 40% of the young people in the child welfare system. DCFS works in direct partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD). Approximately 25% of DCFS referrals come from law enforcement. DCFS and law enforcement agencies work together to enter homes and remove children. Police presence during DCFS investigations further traumatizes children and escalates the situation. Removing law enforcement from the child welfare system is the first step to curb the racist practices that break up families of color. We must demand an end to systems that separate families instead of supporting them. The REIMAGINE CHILD SAFETY campaign is supported by: Black Lives Matter LA; ACLU of Southern California; Alliance for Children’s Rights; Black Los Angeles Young Democrats; Dignity & Power Now; JusticeLA; La Defensa; Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers; Movement for Family Power; National Coalition for Child Protection Reform; Public Counsel; The RightWay Foundation; Trans Lifeline; and White People 4 Black Lives.
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  • STOP DIRTY S.F. CITY ATTORNEY TAKING $25mm from Black Landlord
    in the past, BLACKS could NOT own Property. Then, when the laws appeared to change, the BANKS RED-LINED Ownership. Now - the City Governments are Creating FALSE CASES to take BLACK PROPERTY OWNERS and ILLEGALLY TAKING their Properties. In the case of Ms. Kihagi, the smear campaign that represented her as Black Slumlord is so far from the truth. Yet - knowing most people would NOT get past that PR Machine - the City derailed the Truth. The San Francisco City Attorney made more than 20 misrepresentations to the Court with full knowledge of the actual facts. This is total abuse of power - and should be stopped! In fact, the TRUE MOTIVE for such conduct was to RACIAL DERAIL a successful, black landlord. More than $25million is at stake. It is clear that the 2 major cases in San Francisco have been against successful, BLACK Landlords - is this a Coincidence? They spent over 70% of their resources fighting one lone, black landlord and lied to the public that she was a slumlord. Yet the BUILDINGS are in better condition than 90% of S.F. Condo. EYES DON'T LIE. STOP DIRTY CITY ATTORNEYS - see more articles at annekihagisf.com
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Abolish the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3-50
    On December 14, 2019, 22 year old FAMU student, Jamee Johnson, was wrongfully murdered by Officer Josue Garriga. Officer Garigga was protected by the "blue code of silence". A culture that the Fraternal Order of the Police promotes. He was not required to give a statement until seven months after the incident and now his actions have been deemed justifiable by the Attorney's Office Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida. 20 days after Jamee's Murder, the Jacksonville Police Union filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Sheriff. The lawsuit asked the courts to decide if officers' names are related when they are "victims" of a crime. “Whether it’s an officer-involved shooting, whether you’re attacked by a suspect, whatever it is that caused you to be a victim of a crime while you’re working, Marsy’s Law- in our opinion- should apply,” says, Steve Zona, President of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police. Zona also stated that the release of J. Garigga's name, the murderer of Jamee Johnson, was in fact, wrong. This is in claim that the releasing of the names of the officers involved in deaths is a violation of Marsy’s Law, which protects crime victims and their privacy. Police unions grants officers impunity which is detrimental to black and brown communities. Police officers our able to get away with murdering the innocent sons and daughters of BIPOC. The FOP claims that the police officers who use lethal force are the victims of a crime. Police officers who use lethal force unwarranted are not victims, the people on the receiving end of the unwarranted lethal force are. The FOP lobbies for and protects police officers who commit crimes, whether that crime is murder, rape, or domestic abuse. The FOP violates the rule of law, under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws. The FOP protects the police first and the people second. No one is above the law, not even police officers and they should be held accountable, fired, tried, and jailed for their crimes. We are calling for the abolishment of the Fraternal Order of Police here in Jacksonville and we need the support of the community to create a safe city for black and brown people.
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  • Black App State Demands Accountability
    Sign this petition if you support Black and brown students and want to be on the RIGHT side of history.
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  • Demand for the University of Washington Administration to Meet the Needs of Black Students on Campus
    The University of Washington prides itself on diversity which barely exist at the institution. After numerous conversations between President Ana Marie Cauce and the Black Student Union about our experiences and how we can better improve the diversity at this university, President Cauce has overlooked our experiences and refuses to take the actions necessary to making BIPOC students feel safe and welcome on campus. We have had enough. Thus Black Students will work together with faculty, allies and local activist to ensure that our demands are met. Below are brief descriptions of each demand: 1. BREAK ALL TIES WITH SPD. Both formal and informal in the form of contracts, agreements, and MOUs. We suggest taking the following steps: a. Immediately stop handing over people detained by UW Police Department to SPD custody b. Stop using SPD to respond to public safety needs, including referrals for welfare checks under the Safe Campus program. c. Stop using SPD for additional security for any events, including sporting events, concerts, and ceremonies. 2. DISARM AND DIVEST FROM UWPD. Arming UWPD officers is excessive and unnecessary. Black students are already traumatized by the violence perpetrated to Black individuals by the hands of police. Arming the UWPD only puts Black individuals in constant fear, worry and frankly more at risk. The use of police dogs must be banned. Many communities of color in the US associate police dogs with the terror of state violence. We need to divest from UWPD and reallocate those funds into our community 3. ALLOCATE FUNDS TO BLACK RSO’S AND THE AMERICAN ETHNIC STUDIES DEPARTMENT. Instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on UWPD, the University of Washington should invest in departments/resources that cater to the needs of its black students. It should not be students' jobs to spend out of pocket money to make students more comfortable, and or raise money for scholarships for its students. There also needs to be an increase in funding for the AES departments. This would not only help students have more resources and to help expand their learning, but increase the pay for the faculty who work in those departments. 4. HIRE MORE BLACK FACULTY. According to the Diversity Metrics Data Book by the Board of Regents, as of 2018, 68% of faculty is white, while 1.7% is Black. This statistic is embarrassingly low for an institution that prides itself on diversity and equity. The demand for more Black faculty dates back to 1968, with the first year of the Black Student Union here at the University of Washington. Today, 52 years later, this demand has not only been ignored, but is still necessary with the growing population of the UW. The lack of representation of Black faculty not only prevents students from having role models who they can relate to, but it sends a subtle message that only white people are capable of teaching at a higher level, which is simply, untrue. 5. INCREASE THE DIVERSITY CREDIT REQUIREMENT AND MAKE AFRICAN STUDIES A MAJOR. The current diversity requirement for UW students is 5 credits. Again, for an institution that prides itself on diversity, this is embarrassingly low. One 5 credit class will not provide students with enough historical background to enter the world an anti-racist. Students must be exposed to the atrocities that have been committed upon Black and brown folks, and how these communities are impacted to this day. Finally, African Studies should not only be an option for a minor, but a major. It is unjust that there is a major for Asian Studies, European Studies, and Latin American Studies, but not African Studies. 6. REMOVE STATUES OF RACIST FIGURES. Statues in place at the University of Washington are preservers of our dark past. The George Washington statue, in particular, symbolizes a man who owned over 300 Black slaves and profited from their labor. This is not a history that should be glorified and celebrated as it perpetuates white supremacy and preserves its historical imposition. Thus, the George Washington Statue, along with all others that symbolize racist figures, should be removed from the University of Washington. 7. FUND AND EXPAND MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR UW STUDENTS. Currently, the waiting time to talk to a mental therapist can be more than 3 consecutive weeks. For Black students, the detriment of such a long waiting time is exacerbated by the severe lack of Black therapists, who tend to understand and empathize with our experiences. It's been shown that Black students feel more comfortable talking with Black therapists as opposed to non-black ones; how can one Black therapist be enough for the population of Black students at UW and why should we have to wait for urgent mental issues? In addition, the students are limited from accessing mental health services as they are often costly and require insurance coverage, which may not be affordable for students. Thus, the University of Washington should expand and fund affordable services, along with hiring more Black therapists. #DownWithWashington #KeepThePressureOn #DisarmUWPD
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