• 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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    Created by Black Student Union UW
  • Make Juneteenth an Official California State Holiday!
    Every year our states celebrate the Fourth of July to honor our nation’s independence from Great Britain, in 1776. The United States continued to deny freedom to enslaved Africans for almost another 100 years. We still do not have a national holiday celebrating the official end of the brutal enslavement our Ancestors endured. Despite Abraham Lincoln’s efforts with the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation that took effect on January 1, 1863, the executive order was not enforced in Texas until June 19th when Union Gen. Gordon Granger rode in to deliver the news after the official end of the Civil War, in 1865. Even though the E.P. took place in 1863, Texas was considered a fringe state. As a young mixed Black womxn, moving through Oakland public schools did not allow me the opportunity to learn about my heritage and/or ancestors in the way that I believe we should have. Only after graduating have I come to understand our history and the importance of Juneteenth. Juneteenth marks a day of the utmost significance in American history. It represents the ways in which freedom for Black people has been delayed. It should be celebrated as the day when all Americans were liberated.
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    Created by Aminah Hanif
  • 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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  • Michigan Covid-19 Statewide Immediate Release of Vulnerable incarcerated People
    Covid-19 presents a threat to human life. We believe all human life is valuable, and are ensuring that those most at risk, like incarcerated individuals, are being granted the relief necessary to protect themselves and their families. The particularly vulnerable incarcerated community members and those currently being impacted by the system need support in this moment and not continued trauma. Action is crucially important now to avoid public health mishaps like the scabies outbreak at Huron Valley Prison in 2019. Now more than ever, we need transformative criminal justice action to limit the damage that the system can do during the pandemic outbreak.
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    Created by Tim Christensen
  • Rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge for Congressman John Lewis
    It's an important thing to honor Congressman John Lewis who is the son of Alabama and show that Alabama has changed to understand the importance of civil rights for all people, especially since Congressman Lewis spilled blood on that bridge in 1963.
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    Created by Jorge Anderson El Picture
  • #FreeBlackMamas - Justice for DV Survivor Tondalao Hall
    Tondalao Hall is a domestic violence survivor sentenced to 30 years behind bars under a "failure to protect" law. Tondalao was punished for not leaving her abuser quickly enough, before he could inflict physical abuse on their children. The abuser, Robert Braxton, was released back to the streets the day he was sentenced for child abuse, with only 8 years of probation to serve. He admitted to breaking the ribs, toe, and femurs of the two youngest children. Tondalao, the adult victim of his abuse and mother of his children, is now serving her 15th year behind bars. While we haven’t had much to celebrate in the quest for Tondalao’s freedom, this time is slightly different than others. Here’s how: 1. The Pardon and Parole board voted UNANIMOUSLY in a 5-0 vote to move her case to the next round. 2. Four out of five board members were appointed within the past year. 3. After years of organizing, District Attorney David Prater finally wrote a letter of “support" calling for Tondalao’s release. Oklahoma has the highest rate per capita of incarcerated women than any other place in the word. Hall is 1 of 28 women sentenced across 11 states under “Failure to Protect” laws who are serving more time than the abuser himself. Hall’s appeal for justice could have broader implications for the lives of women across experiences. ​Courts must not use Failure to Protect laws to further victimize survivors of domestic violence by scapegoating them for their batterers’ crimes. Failure to Protect laws must not hold domestic violence victims with children to an impossible standard of choosing between risking their lives (and their children's’ lives) and risking their freedom. After 13 years behind bars, Tondalao has served enough time for a crime she didn't commit. We must do better to protect and #FreeBlackMamas.
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    Created by Candace Liger Picture
  • Paint down Washington High School's racist mural!
    Sign now to stand with the Black and Native youth & families who are working to take down the racist "Life of Washington" mural at the SFUSD high school at 600 32nd Ave. in the “Richmond District”, which is on unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory. The large-scale painting at this school depicts George Washington standing over the bodies of dead Indigenous people, it depicts Black people as enslaved and docile, and it is a symbol of white supremacy that Black and Native students are forced to walk past every day. It is a, it is a constant reminder that the institution, that is supposed to care for and educate Black and Native youth, them glorifies the genocide, colonization and enslavement of their people. Over three years ago, Amy and Kai Anderson, parent and student at the school that contains the murals, reignited the “Take It Down” campaign. It first started in 1968, with the school's Black Student Union and the SF Black Panther Party demanding that the district remove the racist murals. During that time, in protest, ink was thrown upon the fresco murals and can be seen there to this day. For the past few years, the American Indian PAC listed the removal of these murals as one of their top priorities. As a result the district established a “Reflection and Action Committee” to decide how, not if, the murals were to come down. The committee met and studied the issue for months and voted to have the murals digitally archived and painted over before the first day of school in the fall of 2019. San Francisco’s diverse school board courageously listened to Black and Native students and believed them when they testified about the trauma these murals create for them. The board voted unanimously to follow the committee’s recommendations and paint down the mural (or cover it with panels if it takes more than 3 years to paint down). We are so proud that our school board centered directly impacted student’s voices and voted to “Paint It Down” & give youth a clean slate. However, the work of giving students a clean slate is just beginning. The Washington Alumni Association has vowed to file lawsuits and use ballot initiatives to try to overturn and silence the decisions of youth, families and electeds of color. White nationalist publications like Breitbart have bashed the decision, using the same logic being used to preserve Confederate statues and symbols across the nation. The opposition is hoping that by pushing the School Board to put wooden panels over the mural instead of destroying it, they can one day remove the panels altogether so that things remain exactly the way they are now. We call on the San Francisco School Board to show up for Black and Native youth, to tell them that we hear their voices, we believe them, and we’ll continue to show up for them until we get the clean slate they deserve. Sign this petition to let the board know that you pledge to work with these youth and their families, to show up online or in person as needed, and to lift up and amplify their voices until they get the clean slate they are demanding and that they deserve.
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    Created by Paint It Down
  • Bring Abdi Home! #FreeAbdi
    On December 13, 2017, Abdi was traveling home to his family in Columbus, Ohio when he was detained at JFK airport. Abdi, a legal permanent resident, had just passed through two levels of customs and immigration inspection, and his passport was stamped "admitted" when he was stopped by an officer who asked if he was from Mogadishu. CBP officers detained Abdi for fifteen hours and interrogated him without a Somali interpreter, even though he repeatedly asked for one. During his interrogation, Abdi was surrounded by armed CBP officers and threatened with years of imprisonment and deportation. Abdi was then transferred to Elizabeth Detention Center where he has been detained ever since, ten hours from his family. Due to Abdi’s unjust detention, his wife has been forced to raise their two baby daughters by herself, without his support. Despite being admitted with a green card, Abdi is now forced to fight for asylum to save his life. On November 12, 2018, three days before one of his multiple immigration hearings, Abdi was sent to a hospital in New Jersey because he was in excruciating pain, unable to get out of bed to eat, use the bathroom or see a doctor. Abdi had complained of pain in his chest to the medical staff at the detention center for eight months, but was only given pain medication and antacids. During his ten-day hospitalization, Abdi was chained to the bed by his legs and an arm, with two armed guards at the door at all times. His lungs were drained several times. Without an interpreter, he understood the doctors to be telling him he had a lung infection. He was tested and diagnosed with active TB. Had ICE doctors properly treated Abdi, they could have easily avoided this result. Instead, Abdi is now on a course of TB medications, some of which have serious side effects including fatal liver damage. None of these risks were explained to him. Abdi is back at the Elizabeth Detention Center, but his wife and attorneys are concerned that he is being held in the same place he developed his condition. He has not received the proper follow-up care as directed by the hospital. Despite the fact that the hospital recommended he get daily blood tests to check his liver function, Abdi does not know if he’s had his liver tested, and he has only had blood drawn a few times since leaving the hospital more than 125 days ago. As of now, neither ICE nor CoreCivic have been held accountable for Abdi’s lack of medical treatment. He has permanent scarring in his lungs, and still feels pain in his chest -- a pain he could live with for the rest of his life, thanks to ICE’s neglect. We’re asking that you and your organization consider signing on to our letter of support for Abdi to demand he be released to his family so that he may receive that life saving care he needs. You can sign our petition bit.ly/BringAbdiHome as an individual. If your organization is interested in supporting you can sign our statement of support bit.ly/Letter4Abdi
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  • Tell Chancellor Blumenthal to Remember Dr. Huey P. Newton
    Watch our video for UCSC Students: https://spark.adobe.com/video/gjYVChjDJ0MvY Chancellor Blumenthal named 2018 the "Year of Alumni" to honor the legacies and accomplishments of UCSC graduates. Since January our campus has been decorated with the faces and achievements of notable UCSC alumni, but one important name is missing: Dr. Huey P. Newton. Huey Newton earned his Ph.D in History of Consciousness at UCSC in 1980, after finishing his dissertation on the repression the Black Panther Movement faced at the hands of the state. UC Santa Cruz administrators and the UC system co-opt narratives of activism and "non-traditional thinking" while intentionally erasing the intellectuals who were thinking non-traditionally. The erasure of Dr. Huey P. Newton as an academic (at the university from which he earned his Ph.D) contributes to the social perception that Black people (especially those engaged in activism) are separate from/do not have a place in academia. We are asking Chancellor Blumenthal to rethink the erasure of Dr. Newton's academic career at UCSC, by naming College 10 in his honor and to uphold College 10's mission of social justice. Renaming the college Dr. Huey P. Newton College, will serve as a permanent reminder of Huey Newton's scholarly achievements and his dedication to his community/the public good.
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    Created by UCSC Student Activists
  • The Jesuits Sold 272 Enslaved People. Georgetown Benefited. We Demand Reparatory Justice.
    Georgetown University almost went bankrupt in 1838. Why didn’t it? Because the Jesuits sold 272 enslaved Africans (the GU272) to benefit Georgetown. Without this sale, Georgetown would not have become the robust and academically strong university it is today. The Jesuits and Georgetown tore those men, women and children from the land that, although enslaved, they had called home and literally sent them “down the river” to Louisiana — one of the cruelest places for enslaved people in the United States. Many of the GU272’s descendants remain in Louisiana, some impoverished and in various states of ill-health, while others live throughout the country. Upon learning their ancestors’ fate, some descendants are asking Georgetown and the Jesuits to “do the right thing” and provide them with reparatory justice. The Jesuits and Georgetown have a historic opportunity to demonstrate how engagement with the descendants can lead to true racial healing – a healing that takes place among equals – rather than the racial subordination that led to the enslavement of the GU272 and other African peoples.
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    Created by Legacy of the GU272 Alliance Legal Team
  • SIGN NOW, TELL MAYOR DUGGAN: Stop Illegally Kicking Black Detroit Families Out through Foreclosures
    Because BLACK CITIES MATTER. Displacement through Development and Gentrification is racial violence targeting Black people across this nation. Mayor Duggan, the City of Detroit, and greedy developers have their eye on Detroit and are working to push out Black and Brown families who have been the lifeline of this great city through thick and thin. Illegal Property Tax Foreclosures are being used to “clear out” working-class Black and Brown families in Detroit to make room for white gentrifiers. TELL MAYOR DUGGAN TO STOP EVICTING FAMILIES IN TAX FORECLOSURES From 2011 to 2015, the Wayne County treasurer foreclosed upon about 1 in 4 Detroit properties for nonpayment of property taxes. The Great Depression was the last time in American history that we experienced this record numbers of property tax foreclosures. According to the Michigan Constitution, no property should be assessed at more than 50% of its market value. But, between 2009-2015, the City of Detroit assessed 55% to 85% of its properties in violation of its state constitution. Since property taxes were based on these ridiculous and illegally inflated numbers, it is no surprise that residents weren't able to pay. As a result, over 100,000 working families have lost their homes, and many Detroit neighborhoods have been devastated. Black people in Detroit have been hit hardest of all by illegal property tax foreclosures. Tell Mayor Duggan to do right by Black Detroit families and communities of color who face homelessness without due process or justice in unscrupulous, illegal foreclosures.
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    Created by Roslyn Ogburn
  • Designate Moses African Cemetery as Historic!
    Moses African Cemetery in Bethesda, MD is the final resting place of the bodies of 1st generation freed enslaved Africans and their descendants. In the 1960s this cemetery was desecrated and paved over by developers who forcibly displaced the once-thriving African American community on River Road. New development plans threaten to permanently desecrate this sacred ground. The people buried there deserve dignity and respect, as they were denied it in life and are now denied it in death. We are calling on the county to designate this land as historic, which would bring legal protections from planned development and ensure its preservation. Black lives matter in life and in death, and this historic wrong must be made right.
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    Created by Showing Up for Racial Justice Montgomery County, MD chapter