• 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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    Created by Race Forward Picture
  • 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.
    830 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Defund NUPD
  • 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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    Created by Social Liberation Alliace inc Picture
  • 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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    Created by Black At Appstate Picture
  • 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
    155 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Black Student Union UW
  • Tell the City of Los Angeles to implement the People's Budget
    For five years now, Los Angeles activists have been fighting to adopt a city budget that will provide care and resources for the people. And for just as long, Mayor Garcetti has increased the budget for LAPD, sacrificing funding for vital programs that actually create safe communities. With the coronavirus pandemic’s outsized impact on Black people, and the recent uprisings that echo demands to #DefundThePolice across the country, it has become nothing less than imperative that the City of Los Angeles decrease funding for police and increase investment in services that provide for our people: housing, mental health care, rent suspension and cancellation, funding for youth programs, and investments that directly benefit Black communities. Demand that Los Angeles adopt the People’s Budget, not more funding for police.
    10,137 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Dr. Melina Abdullah
  • Defunding BGPD
    During our council meeting on 6/22/2020, many concerned residents commented that the city council needs to reconsider their proposed budget for The Bell Gardens Police Department. However, individuals who oppose the defunding of BGPD created a petition that was not representative of our community’s needs and concerns. Their petition received a mere twenty signatures. A problem expressed via their petition was that the Police Explorers program would be heavily impacted. However, this program receives only four-thousand dollars (to pay salaries for police officers) of the BGPD’s 15 million dollar budget. The program depends on extensive fundraisers, NOT the police budget. If funds were reasonably invested, we would be able to fund many community programs that offer a space for youth development. This petition is meant to demonstrate to the city council that many Bell Gardens residents do not support a budget that allocates 53% of our funds to BGPD. Many residents believe that we should divest (incrementally remove funding from the police budget) in our police department and invest into other resources in our community. This petition will record Bell Gardens’ community members responses to our proposed city budget and alternatives to funding.
    569 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Estephanie Garcia Picture
  • Tell D.C Leaders: We Demand Police-Free Schools!
    The same police that are killing Black people in the streets and that continue to harass Black youth in the community, are the same police that are in our schools. We cannot continue to put our youth in harms way! We demand POLICE FREE SCHOOLS! We demand an end to the school-to-prison pipeline. It is simple: Black youth in D.C have been screaming "Love Us. Don't Harm Us"- divest from police in our schools and invest in the social-emotional health and well-being of youth! D.C is the MOST POLICED jurisdiction in America and Metropolitan Police Department's largest contract is with D.C. Public Schools. MPD currently receives $25 million to police and criminalize our youth! This increases the likelihood that adolescent behavior or responses to trauma will not be met with support but further harm. 74% of Black youth will not get the support they need. Instead: - Nearly 100% of all school expulsions are of Black youth, nearly 100% of school based arrest are of youth of color - D.C. police are also responsible for harassing and handcuffing Black youth as young as 9 years old. - 60% of girls arrested in D.C are under the age of 15. - Black girls in D.C are 30 times more likely to be arrested than white youth of any gender identity. - Often girls are disciplined and referred to police for their responses to sexual violence. This creates an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for girls, and compounds the trauma that survivors of gender base violence experience. Always, but especially now, our Black youth need love, not harm! We need to ensure that our young people have what they need to learn, that our young people have increased access to mental health professionals to address the heightened trauma caused by COVID -19 and, rampant police violence and racism. We need your support to protect Black and Brown youth from further harm and to preserve their right to live and thrive!
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    Created by Samantha Davis Picture
  • Tell Atlanta to Move $18 Million from Cuffs to Care!
    In a time of public health crisis and a $40 million budget deficit, it is unconscionable for the City of Atlanta to spend $18 million to lock people in cages for jaywalking and disorderly conduct. We can, in no way, allow for this jail - and potential hotspot - to exist any longer in our community, wasting desperately needed resources, criminalizing people for being poor, and making us all less safe.
    3,158 of 4,000 Signatures
  • Decarcerate Prince George’s County Jail NOW!
    Prince George’s County jail is a hotbed of human rights abuses in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Credible reports from whistleblowers inside of the Prince George’s County jail detail how correctional officers and jail officials have ignored early cases of COVID-19 contributing to community spread, penalized those who were infected, failed to provide adequate medical care, and resorted to illegally detaining people who have been bonded out but are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. When not ignored entirely, symptomatic detainees are given nothing but Tylenol and sent back and forth between their housing units and the medical unit, exposing numerous others along their route. In certain housing units, detainees are punished or threatened with punishment by trying to use their clothing and linens to fashion personal protective equipment they are otherwise denied. For those who do test positive for Coronavirus, they are locked in an isolation cell where blood, feces, and mucus covers the walls. In the isolation cell, they are denied basic hygiene supplies, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, for days. They are not allowed to shower for at least two weeks. During that time, they are forced to wear the same clothing for days, sometimes even a week or more, and often the same clothing in which they sweated through their fevers. They are denied access to telephones and any ability to communicate with the outside world. Even within the medical unit, any medical conditions that can’t be addressed through routine medication are ignored. They are trapped in cages, treated like animals, rather than the human beings they are. COVID-19 cases in New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC show that jails become ground-zero for pandemics because they are ill-equipped to allow social distancing, provide PPE, and provide adequate sterilization. The best way to contain the virus is to release as many people as possible from detention, limit the number of arrests in order to stem the flow of people in and out the jails and provide critical medical care for those who remain incarcerated during the pandemic.
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    Created by Qiana Johnson, Life After Release Picture
  • California's COVID-19 Budget Must Support Decarceration!
    As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across California, people caged inside prisons and jails remain at the mercy of our elected officials. Last week, the California Senate formed the Budget Subcommittee on COVID-19 to address the budget needs of this crisis and will be holding their first hearing this Thursday April 16th at 2pm. The budget that California creates over the next few weeks will determine who lives and who dies. In Los Angeles alone there have been 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the jail population, 33 cases among staff, and one custody staff on life support. With over 700 prisoners quarantined in Los Angeles and many remaining to be tested, incarcerated people and their families fear that there are many more cases yet to be reported. Los Angeles, along with many counties across the state, are taking steps to reduce the jail population in order to slow down the continued spread of the virus. The jail population in LA is at the lowest levels since 1990 - dropping from over 17,000 prisoners to 12,800, largely due to the continued advocacy of groups like JusticeLA. Now is the time for the State to do its part and help fund jail and prison decarceration efforts by providing funds for: -- emergency housing for houseless people, -- transitional housing for people being released from jails and prisons, -- permanent housing for houseless people and people being released from jails and prisons, -- community-based treatment for people with mental health, behavioral health and biomedical needs transitioning out of incarceration, -- pretrial and post release services, -- post-conviction review and resentencing, -- alternatives to incarceration to support the release of additional people from jails and prisons, and -- free phone calls for families reaching their loved ones behind bars.
    1,010 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Dignity and Power Now
  • COVID-19 is a death sentence for the people inside D.C. Jail & Halfway Houses #DecarcerateDC NOW
    From the moment the Mayor declared a public health emergency, defense lawyers have filed hundreds of motions in D.C. Superior Court demanding the release of their clients. Despite the flood of motions, D.C. Superior Court judges continue to operate as if business is usual. Rather than acknowledge the life or death circumstances at the D.C. Jail, judges are callously denying bond review motions and continuing to detain countless individuals. While the judges quickly shut down courtrooms to protect their own health and well-being, they have refused to show this same level of concern to the people whose lives hang in the balance inside of the D.C. Jail. With each ruling, the D.C. Superior Court judges are reinforcing a clear reality that Black and Brown people have long known: courthouses are a place where the lives of some are valued and the lives of others are not. But it is not only judges whose inaction risks the lives of everyone at the D.C. Jail. Attorney General Karl Racine has also made clear where he stands on the issue. Despite his self-serving, political rhetoric of being a “progressive” prosecutor, Racine’s actions show that he is nothing more than a politician who says one thing but does another. When the global health pandemic first started to impact the United States, Attorney General Racine authored an op-ed and signed onto a public letter creating the guise that he actually values the lives of incarcerated people. He wrote, “[Prosecutors] should use their discretionary authority to decrease the number of people in jails and prisons by immediately limiting the number of people prosecuted and unnecessarily detained pre-trial.” He urged all jails to “[p]rovide free soap and CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, increased medical care, comprehensive sanitation and cleaning of facilities and other safety measures.” He went on to say that jails should “[use] individual quarantines . . .rather than harmful practices like solitary confinement or generalized lock downs.” It is now clear that at the time he wrote these words, he never imagined he would one day be held accountable to ensure that these conditions were in place in his own backyard. On March 30, 2020, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) and the American Civil Liberties Union for the District of Columbia (ACLU) filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Department of Corrections. As evidenced by declarations attached to the complaint, the men and women at the D.C. Jail are being held captive in conditions that amount to torture. Despite the spread of this highly contagious and deadly virus, the DOC is not providing proper medical care and ignoring the desperate cries for help from the sick. The DOC has locked everyone in their cells, often with two people in the same cell, for 23 ½ hours a day. As if this was not horrific enough, the DOC has refused to provide hand sanitizer, basic cleaning products, or even adequate amounts of soap, so people can try their best to protect themselves from a virus that may kill them. Conditions in the jail are so brutal that the union representing the correctional officers who work there are supporting the ACLU’s lawsuit against their own employer, the DOC. According to the union’s attorney, “The DOC management has created an unconscionable public health crisis, and almost certainly guaranteed and accelerated the rampant spread of COVID-19 within the DOC facilities and the communities in which the staff live.” The people trapped at the D.C. Jail are watching and waiting helplessly for the day when their own bodies are ravaged by its symptoms. As the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Racine’s office represents the Department of Corrections in this suit. Right now, Racine has the opportunity to rise to the challenge and ensure that the DOC complies with his own public proclamations. Instead, Racine is exposing himself as an opportunistic and hypocritical politician. The cowardice of D.C. Superior Court judges and the hypocrisy of Attorney General Karl Racine are no longer just ugly character flaws, they are obstacles endangering the lives of everyone held at the D.C. Jail. We demand that the people of the D.C. Jail be freed. We will not forgive and history will not forget.
    15,296 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by April Goggans, Black Lives Matter DC