• 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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  • 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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  • #WeStandWithYamiche
    Verbal abuse of Black women by the current president has reached epic proportions with professional Black women asking legitimate journalistic questions being referred to as "nasty" and "threatening", their competence constantly impugned in a familiar misogynistic pattern geared to silencing them. The characterizing of Black women as "threatening" or or their questions as "nasty" utilizes popular racist and sexist stereotypes of Black women which are meant to question their professionalism in the presence of presidential incompetence. When Trump uses racist, sexist intimidation to reinforce a hierarchy that assumes Black women should not even be present in the room, we can be sure that others will follow suit. We must fight against the barriers to access that Black women have fought and continue to fight so hard to win. We call on the media to take a position against this daily abuse which not only berates journalists like April Ryan, Abby Phillip and Yamiche Alcindor but has implications for how Black women are seen and treated in other workplace, public and private situations and how all journalists are disrespected on a daily basis. We must defend the Black journalists who are willing to put themselves on the line to press for the truth. Sign now to show #WeStandWithYamiche.
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  • Stop Zoom from allowing Cyber Bullying
    I downloaded zoom so I could still meet with people. I began to talk to this guy through Facebook messenger. Then after a couple weeks he said he would like to see me (and said Zoom would be perfect). TBH I thought that we were going to have some sexual fun. I didn't tell him I was in a wheelchair, but I didn't think it would matter. Man! I was so wrong! When he saw that I was, the bullying began and continued in every way he could get in touch with me until I blocked him in EVERY way. I stated this campaign so no one else will have to experience what I had to experience, and if they do the person doing the bullying will be held accountable for their actions!.
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  • Stop empowering racists & silencing Black people who tell the truth
    The University of Alabama has seemingly pushed for the resignation of its dean of students and assistant vice president — a Black man who had been in the job just seven months — for past tweets that made honest, straightforward statements about racism in America. It’s outrageous. Dr. Jamie Riley was apparently forced to resign after the “alt-right” website Breitbart — a favorite of white nationalists, known for its racism, antisemitism, and dishonest smear campaigns — published an article with Dr. Riley’s old tweets. Instead of standing up against this racist hit job against a prominent Black leader at the university, the University of Alabama threw him under the bus. It looks like an effective firing, with the university refusing to give details, only saying that there was “mutual agreement” around his resignation. . While Riley’s tweets might make some people uncomfortable, they’re based in fact and well within the mainstream conversation about racism. Here are two of them: • "The [American flag emoji] flag represents a systemic history of racism for my people. Police are a part of that system. Is it that hard to see the correlation?" • "I'm baffled about how the 1st thing white people say is, 'That's not racist!' when they can't even experience racism? You have 0 opinion!" When the dean of students can lose his job for a couple of old tweets about racism that many people would agree with, the message sent to Black students and faculty couldn’t be clearer: if you want to keep your job and stay at the university, you better keep your mouth shut. It’s chilling, and it conveys a lack of interest in protecting the academic freedom of Black people at the university and an unwillingness to protect Black members of its community when racists come after them with baseless accusations. At the same time, the University of Alabama recruits Black athletes and makes millions in profits from their unpaid labor (anchoring an athletics program that brings in $170+ million in revenue per year). The university wants to profit off of Black peoples’ unpaid work, but it wants us to keep our mouths shut about racism. Making money off of black students while suppressing their speech makes the University of Alabama seem more like a modern day plantation than a modern university. If the University of Alabama doesn’t want to be known as a racist institution, it needs to act quickly to reverse this mistake by rehiring Dr. Jamie Riley immediately.
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  • Tell KTVU to Fire Racist Editor & Create a Policy to Ensure This Never Happens Again
    On Sunday night, Nia Wilson and her sister Letifah, were traveling home from a family event when they were viciously attacked by John Lee Cowell, a 27-year-old white male with a history of violence, at the BART MacArthur Station. "I looked back and he was wiping off his knife and stood at the stairs and just looked. From then on I was caring for my sister," said Letifah as she held her sister for the last time. Nia Wilson died at the scene. Nia had just graduated from Oakland High School. Her family said she was interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice or law. She was also a lover of makeup and dance. Letifah, described her younger sibling as "the most sweetest person on the earth" and reiterated that "she didn't do nothing to nobody" to provoke the attack. The narratives that news outlets craft about black victims of crime and the incident that claimed their lives matters. We've seen this countless times before, the power that news outlets wield in portraying victims based on images they select, influences societal perception and the actual case itself. Portraying black victims of crime as "thugs" or criminals has become standard media protocol and we are sick and tired of this shameful and despicable media tactic. We will no longer accept half-hearted apologies, we demand accountability with the firing of the editor responsible for choosing to depict Nia Wilson as a "criminal" & the creation of a new policy to ensure this never happens again. Pease sign if you agree.
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  • Stop Children from Dying During Divorce and Custody Proceedings
    A mother who is a veteran had to return home from Iraq and fight the battle for her children. The children were taken from her safe and sustainable home, and 50/50 custody order. The mother was falsely arrested. The charges where dismissed but the ramification lingered. Nine years later the mother and her children have no relationship. The children were forced to live full-time with their abusive father leaving them vulnerable to mental, physical and emotional abuse at critical developmental stages in there lives. The court's decision has traumatized the mother and placed the children in danger. As of September 24, 2018, at least 657 children have been murdered by a parent involved in a divorce, separation, custody, visitation, or child support situation in the U.S. since 2008. Abusive parents are often granted custody or unprotected parenting time by family courts—placing our nation’s children at ongoing risk. Researchers who interviewed judges and court administrators following some of these tragedies found that most believed these were isolated incidents. Needed reforms have not been implemented. Many court-related child homicides occurred after family courts granted dangerous parents access to children over the objections of a protective parent. We recognize that the women's right's movement is still a work in progress. Marginalized women face multiple oppressions, and we can only win freedom by bringing awareness on how they impact one another. The women of color need a national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women and children. As women of color we need to stand for our human rights to parent the children we have in a safe and sustainable community.
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  • #MuteRKelly on local Kansas City, MO radio
    By continuing to listen to and purchase R. Kelly music, we not only fund his predatory crimes and behavior but we are saying that we condone his behavior. Further, it sends a message that our black girls don’t matter! #MuteRKelly #blackgirlsdomatter
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  • Shut Down NYC R. Kelly Concert at FREQ on January 27, 2018
    Facts on Violence Against Black Women Girls African American girls and women 12 years old and older experienced higher rates of rape and sexual assault than white, Asian, and Latina girls and women from 2005-2010. U.S. DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010,” 2013 40-60% of black women report being subjected to coercive sexual contact by age 18. Black Women’s Blueprint, “The Truth Commission on Black Women and Sexual Violence,” 2012 4 in 10 black women have been subjected to intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report,” 2011. Black girls are disproportionately at-risk for sexual trafficking. Over 40% of confirmed sex trafficking survivors in the U.S are African-American. Banks, Duren and Kyckelhahn, Tracey, “ Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008-2010”, The Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011. Black women also experience significantly higher rates of psychological abuse—including humiliation, insults, name-calling, and coercive control—than do women overall. Institute for Women’s Policy Research “Stereotypes regarding African American women’s sexuality, including terms like ‘Black jezebel,’ ‘promiscuous,’ and ‘exotic,’ perpetuate the notion that African American women are willing participants in their own victimization. However, these myths only serve to demean, obstruct appropriate legal remedies, and minimize the seriousness of sexual violence perpetrated against African American women.” Women of Color Network, “Communities of Color: African American Women” 2014. A study found that college students perceived a black victim of sexual assault to be less believable and more responsible for her assault than a white victim. Donovan, “To Blame or Not to Blame: Influences of Target Race and Observer Sex on Rape Blame Attribution,” 2007. Some African American women’s decisions not to report their sexual assaults may be influenced by the criminal justice system’s history of treating European-American perpetrators and victims differently than perpetrators and victims of color. Women’s Institute for Leadership Development for Human Rights, “The Treatment of Women of Color Under U.S. Law: Violence,” 2001. For every African-American woman who reports her rape, at least fifteen African-American women do not report theirs.
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  • Term Limits For Congress and Supreme Court
    The work for the people is not getting done and its time for that to stop
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  • Take It Down Now: ALL confederate statues. Rename ALL confederate streets and buildings
    Update: October 7th, 2017 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia— “You will not replace us” “Russia is our friend” “the South will rise again.” CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia—White supremacist Richard Spencer suddenly reappeared on Saturday night with torch-bearing supporters, two months after he organized an infamous hate march here. Spencer and his 50 or so followers gathered around a statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park chanting white supremacist slogans. “They were shouting ‘You will not replace us,’ ‘Russia is our friend,’ ‘the South will rise again,’ ‘we'll be back,’” said a University of Virginia faculty member, who wished not to be named for fear of retribution. Via @thedailybeast On Saturday, August 12th, white supremacist, terrorists 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 murdered someone 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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  • Boycott the Breakfast Club until Public Apology is Issued to Janet Mock & Trans Community
    Trans women of color are most often the people at center of and leading these social justice movements - whether it be for LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter, or Women's rights and yet they are the ones who are most often ignored both by lawmakers and by people within these movements. Trans actress Amiyah Scott from Fox's "Star" while discussing the recent death of one of her close friends on Janet Mock's podcast "Never Before with Janet Mock" echoed this sentiment saying, "We're black, trans and women....that's 3 different battles that I don't think people even realize and I wish that we got the support across the board like we give support. Like you know what I mean? We're there at a black lives matter march, we're there at a women's march, but who's going to stand for us at a trans march?" Last year was the deadliest year on record for the murders of transgender people, with 3 out of 4 of those murders being trans women of color. And these statistics are not even complete due to the denial of most trans people's existence by law enforcement and unsupportive family members alike. Lil Duval's comments on the Breakfast Club perpetuates the belief that trans women's identities are not valid and as such they are not entitled to the same rights and protections that we should all be granted. So far the Breakfast Club has mostly avoided addressing the subject of Trans women's safety, particularly the safety of trans women of color, by saying that those were the words and opinions of their guest on the show and not held by any of the hosts or producers of the show. Laughing along when someone is joking about killing trans women or doing anything but unequivocally condemning such comments as hateful, prejudiced, and ignorant is a statement in itself. In not wanting to alienate the mostly masculine, transphobic audience that the Breakfast Club has attained they have remained silent on the issue. Until the Breakfast Club and its hosts release a statement in which they apologize for joking about the death of innocent trans women both to the entire trans community and to Janet Mock in particular (who was the actual woman that Lil Duval was referring to when he said "I don't care: she dying") we must boycott the show to show them that this is not ok and will NOT be tolerated. This boycott should be enacted both by listeners of the Breakfast Club as well as guests who are scheduled to appear on the show. For more information on this subject please read: - https://www.allure.com/story/janet-mock-response-the-breakfast-club-trans-women - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/06/us/black-transgender-lil-duval.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=3
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