• 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
  • Radical Inclusion Must Mean Racial Inclusion
    Burning Man is one of the most well known cultural gatherings in the world that takes place in a temporary city where everything is provided and shaped by its citizens. Because of this, Burning Man is not only a space of artistic expression and personal transformation, but also a space to learn new skills and strategies for building communities. Burning Man is praised globally for it’s dynamic urban design and joyful artistic culture, yet has done little to address the question of racial inclusion and equity. Burning Man Project says that their mission is to “move Burning Man culture beyond the playa,” and that they “believe it’s more important than ever to ensure Black Rock City is the strongest possible manifestation” of their ethos. As Burning Man continues to expand it’s broad cultural imprint and influence, Black people and people of color must be a part of that vision. Radical inclusion means racial inclusion. For over five years, Burning Man has known it has a shamefully low attendance of Black people and other people of color. Despite pressure from Burners of color who have raised the issue of racial diversity, Burning Man Project’s staff leadership and Board of Directors has failed to take decisive action, even at a time when more and more cultural organizations are adopting strategies for equity and inclusion. When a 33-year-old institution does not confront racism and inequality directly, they are contributing to the problem by their implicit support of the status quo. The Burning Man event has been a transformative experience for me over the last seven years. As the daughter of immigrants who grew up in a working-class Black and Latinx community, I witnessed severe inequality as a child and hateful anti-immigrant sentiments toward my family. I wanted to be an artist since I was a child, yet the culture around me did not reflect people who looked like me. Representation in cultural spaces matters, and cultural organizations must ensure that they create environments where all feel welcome. At my first Burn, I felt a great sense of freedom and creative expression that I had never felt before, and I instantly knew that I wanted other leaders of color to experience Burning Man because the event’s transformative nature can help us imagine solutions for society at large. Join me today in urging the Board of Directors to live up to the principle of Radical Inclusion and actively fight institutional racism through true racial inclusion. For more information, please read my open letter to Burning Man Project’s Board of Directors sent in May 2019, visit: bit.ly/radical_inclusion
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    Created by Favianna Rodriguez Picture
  • #DontMuteDC
    Small business owner, Donald Campbell, has been playing go-go music - a musical form that owes its development to D.C.’s native, Black, cultural traditions - from his Metro PCS storefront in Shaw for nearly 24 years. However, after residents of a new, neighboring, high-rise condominium made complaints last month, T-Mobile ordered Donald to stop playing the music that has so defined the city’s rich history. Anyone who is familiar with Shaw is familiar with Donald’s music, which he plays during business hours and which, by his storefront commissioner’s own admission, does not violate local sound regulations. Yet, despite the fact that generations of residents and students have grown up gathering on his block to listen and to commune, T-Mobile has insisted that he “get rid of the music” or lose his livelihood. Black cultural norms and traditions are under attack in large, metropolitan cities like Washington D.C., where rates of gentrification and displacement are skyrocketing. As the cost of rent shoots up in neighborhoods like Donald’s, many residents and local store owners are being forced out of the only place they have ever known and criminalized for participating in the very cultural practices that they have inherited. And as more and more people move away, lose their businesses, and even, in many cases, their places of shelter, actions like T-mobile’s underscore a larger message to long-time Black residents of the neighborhood: you are no longer welcome in your own home. This is unacceptable. Members of the local Advisory Neighborhood Committee say that in the long history of his business’s operation, Donald’s music has never been a problem. But a few complaints from wealthier residents who are new to Shaw and to its traditions have been enough for T-Mobile to threaten the cultural integrity of a community that Donald’s music has always brought together. We demand that T-Mobile put an end to their criminalization of Black culture and art in Washington D.C. We demand that T-Mobile allow Donald to bring his music back!
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    Created by Jamal Jones
  • Facebook! Stop Silencing The March For Black Women
    WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY? The beautiful (and daunting) thing about the internet, is that, especially as Black women and survivors, we are able to tell write and control our own narratives, develop content that is for us and by us, network, organize, speak out against white supremacist heteronormative patriarchy and build community. Under current Title II protections of net neutrality, companies cannot block access to content. Without this protection all of us are subject to a violation of our First Amendment right to free speech and a continuation of the systematic silencing and invisibilization of our voices, our voices that are challenging the status quo and most of the time interferes with any capitalistic bottom line. In 2015, the FCC passed net neutrality regulations classifying Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T as common carriers. Common carriers are similar to utility companies or water companies; the internet is a public good. Carriers were prohibited from speeding up, slowing down or blocking content, applications or websites of consumers. Ajit Pai, a former FCC Commissioner, was appointed chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in January 2017 and Net Neutrality was repealed on June 11, 2018. How The Loss of Net Neutrality Impacts Black Women and Those at the Margins? 1. ISPs are no longer classified as common carriers. Without this classification, they are free to block content that competes or interferes with the company's bottom line. For example, from 2011 - 2013 AT&T, Sprint and Verizon blocked the usage of Google Wallet because the cohort was developing their own payment app and wanted to stifle competition. 2. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the only Black voice on the five-member FCC, said, “Net neutrality is the First Amendment for the internet.” A few large companies will now be able to control the market, effectively barring smaller companies (especially those led by Black folks) and innovative disruptive technologies from the internet. 4. Fast and slow lanes can be created. Want to Netflix and chill using Verizon without interruption? There's an extra fee for that. Want to Skype your family in Haiti? Can't do it from the Comcast slow lane, you have to upgrade. Need to do research for a school paper? You can only use certain sites because the fast unlimited lane is too expensive. We know that any gains that the State and current Administration stand to accomplish from the dissolution of Net Neutrality is going to come at the expense of Black, Indigenous, and Brown folks, especially women - and this is exactly why it is imperative that we fight back.
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    Created by Black Women's Blueprint Picture
  • 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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    Created by Black Women's Blueprint Picture
  • Bring Back Spirit of Harlem Mural
    The beautiful glass mosaic mural named ‘Spirit of Harlem‘ by the African America artist Louis J. Delsarte was covered up this week with a painted black faux brick wall for a new Footaction store. Not only does the mural depicts the “Spirit” of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that still resonates today, but it also speaks to the true spirit of Harlem which is the people of this community. The mural is still intact behind a faux brick facade. Foot Locker needs to take down the wall that is covering up the mural and allow the mural to continue to delight and inspire the people of Harlem. Please do not let corporate ignorance erase a beloved public art work which celebrates Harlem's history as an incubator for some our country's and even the world greatest creators of culture and thought. Tell Foot Locker to respect the Harlem community and bring back the 'Spirit of Harlem' mural. Your customers and neighbors will respond in kind. Read more about it: https://nyti.ms/2k9bXUT http://gothamtogo.com/now-you-see-it-now-you-dont-the-disappearance-of-spirit-of-harlem-on-frederick-douglass-boulevard/ http://ncac.org/blog/sneaker-retailer-bricks-over-spirit-of-harlem-mural-alarming-community https://sfmosaic.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/uncover-the-spirit-of-harlem/
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    Created by Maira Liriano
  • Stop Racism at HalloweenCostumes.com
    Because it is wrong to perpetuate negative stereotypes of African Americans.
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    Created by Julie Fernandes
  • 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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    Created by Brittniann McBride
  • Change The National Anthem To "Lift Every Voice"
    The song "Lift Every Voice" is a much more appropriate song to claim as the National Anthem. While many people love the "Star Spangled Banner", little do they know that the third verse of the song contains racist lyrics that celebrate slavery: "And where is that band who so vauntingly That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave." Not only does the third verse celebrate slavery, but the person who wrote the song (Francis Scott Key) was a racist lawyer who owned slaves. This may be mind-boggling, but these are facts. The National Anthem should be a non-controversal song that everyone can enjoy.
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    Created by Zaheer Smith Picture
  • 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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    Created by Matthew Zabb-Parmley
  • Tell Gov. Cuomo: Return Racist Donor's Money
    "The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman,” Malcolm X once stated. Fifty-five years later, women leaders of color are still under attack, from Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Senator Kamala Harris, to the racism and Islamophobia launched at the women of color that co-chaired the Women’s March. As a Black Muslim woman, mother of 7 daughters and 2 granddaughters, I will not sit idly by and allow attacks on Black and Brown women to continue. And now a hedge fund billionaire has accused the highest ranking African American elected official — the highest-ranking African-American woman to hold elected office in the history of New York State — of being worse than the Ku Klux Klan. As reported in the New York Times on August 10, Dan Loeb, one of the wealthiest men in America, launched a viciously racist attack against New York State Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, saying she has done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.” Loeb is a hedge fund billionaire who has contributed over $170,000 to Governor Cuomo’s campaign accounts, according to The New York Times, and this does not even include pass-through donations from political action committees. This attack on Senator Stewart-Cousins is nothing new for him. From public education to the economy, Loeb has repeatedly used his wealth to promote an agenda that has devastated communities of color and working families. Governor Andrew Cuomo positioning himself to run for President in 2020. If Cuomo wants us to believe he has what it takes to challenge Donald Trump and his racist worldview, he needs to have the political courage to break ranks with Loeb now! If he wants have Democratic Party support, he needs to stand with the most important and dedicated bloc of Dem voters: Black women! There is no place for Cuomo’s alliance with Dan Loeb in American politics. From the State House to the White House, from Main Street to Wall Street, NO MORE! Join me in demanding that Governor Cuomo immediately break all ties with Loeb, and refund every dollar he has ever received from Loeb and from political action committees that Loeb finances.
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    Created by Alliance for Quality Education New York
  • Expungement and releasing of Black men convicted of Marijuana charges
    Marijuana has become much more socially acceptable in every retrospect except when black men and women are involved in the conversation. African Americans have been booked and slapped with records because of a Marijuana charge they may have recieved years ago. With that being said, Marijuana has catapulted into mainstream media. It has been legalized in many states as well as heralded hip as far as pop culture is concerned. Marijuana moms have landed a segment on the Today show while black men and women with non-violent offenses sit in prison for it. The negative connotation Marijuana holds when associated with a person of color creates this notion that it is only illegal in areas with a lower socio-economical backgrounds: i.e. the hood and low income neighboorhoods where mostly blacks and minorites reside. If Marijuana moms are being celebrated then black men and women with non-violent charges should be released from jail and have their records expunged for their Marijuana charges.
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    Created by Brimah Hassan