• Introduce a Race Relations Class into High School Curriculum
    This petition is to appeal to the Department of Education to add a Race Relations class to the high school curriculum to foster greater understanding between students of different backgrounds. America is currently polarized across racial lines, and these divisions are only growing. These biases are fostered from a young age and carry into adulthood. We have always been taught that the civil rights movement was the beginning of the end for racism and that education was going to be the final blow. We were told that diversifying our classrooms would break down racial stereotypes in the next generation. However, it's become apparent that this isn't effective. Very little progress has been made since such efforts began. The problem is clear. Schools are trying to increase the number of minorities in their school, hoping that by simply putting students of varying backgrounds into the same classroom, cross-cultural relations and understanding between students will form on their own. In a perfect world, this approach may work. However, we live in a world where kids are constantly influenced by their surroundings and racial biases form from an early age. Because of this, a passive approach simply won't work. A more active approach is required if any real change is ever going to happen. Diversity is just a series of statistics. It's simply the presence of different backgrounds under the same roof. Diversity is the prerequisite for change. Real change can only happen by means of integration- building a sense of understanding, breaking down misconceptions, and constructing a baseline of trust and respect among students of varying backgrounds. But why a class? For starters, the cause of racism is a misunderstanding between people of different backgrounds. These phobias are only fostered by conversations in households. School is meant to be an environment to learn and grow. Therefore, there is no better place for students to learn about one another than in schools. According to Yale Professor Albert Laguna claimed this is, "One class all students should take." Also, as studies have shown, this class is something that will be most effective early in life. By waiting until college, which is when these classes are currently offered, most prejudices have already been ingrained and cemented into students' thinking. Instead, by offering this class in high schools, we allow students to develop ideas about other races before they have been formed and while they are still malleable. Currently, the only such material regarding race in the classroom is very superficial and spread far and wide. It's time we stop ignoring this critical aspect of our education and dedicate real time towards it. This class has to be included in our schools' curriculum. By continuing the passive approach that schools have taken towards educating students about race and the implications a lack of understanding has on our society, we are contributing to the racial divide happening in our nation. Sign this petition and let us take a step towards giving our students a more well-rounded education that prepares them for a more equitable and understanding society. "Educating ourselves and others about race is an essential step in the process of change." - Beverly Daniel Tatum "We will not move forward in Race Relations if we are comfortable. We must embrace the discomfort." - Robin DiAngelo Summary of Reasons and Advantages for Race Relations Class: Students gain a better understanding of the outlook of classmates from different racial backgrounds The only source of discussion on race is through household conversations, which are often biased. A class will offer students a more well-rounded base of information. Current curriculum passingly touches the topic of race without any depth. Offering a dedicated class will fill a clear gap in students' education Similar courses at the university level are lauded for their impact on students, but they are not accessible to most students. Offering it at the high school level enables all students to take such a class. Racial biases are formed from a young age. Offering a class that delves into race relations will influence a child before prejudices fully develop and become cemented into thinking. References: https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/10/opinions/laguna-race-ethnic-studies-university/index.html https://www.theodysseyonline.com/what-my-race-relations-class-taught-me https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233175919_Raising_Ethnic-Racial_Consciousness_The_Relationship_Between_Intergroup_Dialogues_and_Adolescents'_Ethnic-Racial_Identity_and_Racism_Awareness
    112 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Vinay Konuru
  • Investigate the Flint Water Crisis
    In 2014, news broke that the people of Flint, Michigan faced toxic lead poisoning from a contaminated water supply. Being one of the largest scale examples of environmental racism in our country, the consequences were devastating: more than 100,000 residents were exposed to elevated lead levels, including over 10,000 children, which could lead to a lifetime of developmental and physical ailments. The 2016 presidential campaign came and went, with this issue coming up repeatedly on the campaign trail. Flint was a celebrated cause for many public figures. But that didn't bring a solution. Three years later, today, the people of Flint are still at risk. Pipe replacement hasn't been completed in all impacted homes. Charges have been dropped against public officials who were in charge with no clear timeline for a new investigation. And we're still trying to figure out how the crisis got this bad. It's time for a broader national intervention by the EPA, to get to the bottom of the Flint water crisis, and for Congress to make things right. The residents of Flint, who are majority Black and almost half live in poverty, deserve answers now. Sign the petition: Demand Congress and the EPA investigate the Flint water crisis, and then get involved to ensure every resident of Flint has access to clean, safe drinking water.
    114 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Terry Bailey
  • Stand with Wayfair Workers
    When Wayfair employees found out that their company was selling $200,000 worth of furniture to Trump’s detention camps for migrant children at the Mexican border, they were horrified. With media reports of at-least six children who have died in ICE custody within the last year, as well as the bone-chilling accounts of the conditions that those children have been forced to endure, it has become increasingly clear how important it is to call these facilities what they are to galvanize the action we need to shut them down: concentration camps. Determined to stand up for what is right, Wayfair workers crafted a letter to the company’s leadership asking them to not to fulfill the order and to make a commitment not to support or profit from “the detention and mistreatment of thousands of migrants seeking asylum in our country.” Wayfair’s response? A letter that states that it intends to continue selling to “any customer who is acting within the laws of the countries within which we operate.” The hard pill to swallow over the course of the last two years has been that just because President Trump mandates an action does not mean that it is in accordance with the laws of this country. Over the course of his presidency, Trump has made it crystal clear what his intentions for migrants crossing the border are. He knows that the terror, suffering and premature death that he has inflicted on the migrant community, many of whom are Black and from majority Black countries, strengthens and empowers his base, who see migrants as less than human. In response to Wayfair leadership’s lack of accountability, Wayfair employees have announced that they are planning a walk-out today. Any person who believes in common decency, dignity, and respect knows that we have a duty to support and stand with them. Civil rights leader, Bayard Rustin, once said “We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers...the only weapon we have is our bodies and we need to tuck them in places so the wheels don’t turn.” Turning our backs on migrant children means turning our backs on the fight for justice and freedom for everyone this administration has so brutally targeted. Our fathers, mothers, cousins, grandparents and neighbors. We cannot accept this. Show support for the Wayfair employees who are so courageously risking their livelihoods to take a stand for justice. Let Wayfair’s leadership know that they have a duty to respond to the needs and wishes of the people who work for them every day. Sign now and demand that Wayfair stop profiting off of Trump’s war on migrant children today!
    638 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Terry Bailey
  • 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.
    18,876 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by Paint It Down
  • Affordable Insulin NOW!
    Antavia-Lee Worsham should still be here. Instead, two years ago at the age of just 22 years old, she passed away because she could no longer afford her insulin, a medication that costs companies less than the price of a sandwich to produce. Before Antavia’s death, she was covered under her mother’s high deductible health plan, but aged off of Children with Medical Handicaps (CMH), a Government funded program secondary insurance that covered all of the medication and equipment that she needed to manage her Type I diabetes. This could at times be as costly as $1000 a month. She began borrowing insulin from her grandfather, and then her sister, before they could no longer afford to share their medication with her. It was after she started rationing her own insulin that one day she died in her home as a consequence of diabetic ketoacidosis also known as DKA. Each and every day, millions of people across the country depend on insulin to survive. While insulin has been around for decades, pharmaceutical companies are getting away with charging astronomical prices that place insulin out of reach for millions of Americans. Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, three of the nation’s largest insulin manufacturers -- are responsible for some of the worst price gouging the industry has seen in recent times, raising their prices by 150 percent in just the last five years. In fact, they are facing a class action lawsuit right now from over 60 plaintiffs who hope the case will expose these companies’ deceptive pricing practices and corporate greed. If you've ever talked to someone who's said they have “the sugars,” then you know which community is impacted by diabetes at the most disproportionate rates. According to the U.S. Department of Health, Black American adults are 80% more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician; 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized for lower limb amputations; and twice as likely to die from diabetes. While Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi continue to make millions of dollars in profits from arbitrary insulin prices that keep going up, it’s our aunties & uncles, our grandparents & cousins, and our brothers & sisters who are forced to make the dangerous decision to ration life-saving medication, or to go without it in the first place. Enough is enough. It is completely within these companies’ power to reduce their prices dramatically while still maintaining healthy profits. Yet, at every turn they have denied the fact that they are unnecessarily hiking their own prices, and have refused to comply with the public’s demand that they be transparent about their costs of production. That’s not business -- it’s an abuse of power that needs curbing immediately. The fight for fair, transparent pricing in the insulin industry is the fight for the dignity, health, and safety of the Black community and of our loved ones. Take action to demand that Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi be transparent about their costs of production and lower their prices now! Sign our petition and demand Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi lower the price of insulin now.
    12,018 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Theo Chayegan
  • Layleen Polanco: Enough is Enough Close Rikers NOW, No New Jails
    Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio, Layleen Polanco Xtravaganza, an Afro-Latina trans woman, died in solitary confinement. This PRIDE month I am saying enough. Layleen should not have been arrested by the NYPD. Even before her arrest as part of a predatory NYPD sting operation, she was struggling with homelessness. From there she was routed through every possible "progressive" criminal court and jail reform project: from a sex work "diversion" court to the Transgender Housing Unit in the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers when a warrant was issued for her arrest after she missed a "supportive" service appointment. None of these "progressive" reforms that were designed to save her life worked. Layleen died in a cage on solitary after being criminalized for being trans, for being poor, and for engaging in sex work. Jails kill people. But now you are planning on keeping Rikers open until 2026, when the next mayor can keep the jails open indefinitely, after having spent $11 billion to build four new jails! We could close Rikers now without building a single new cage in NYC if we ended the unjust and dangerous practice of pretrial detention. Then, we could devote $11 billion to communities, not incarceration. The time is now. We must Close Rikers with No New Jails. Mayor De Blasio, we call on you to stop your jail plan and commit to closing Rikers with no new jails. I want $11 billion for Black trans women and all oppressed and criminalized communities, not for jails. Art Credit: Vienna Rye (@vrye)
    227 of 300 Signatures
    Created by No New Jails
  • Book Companies donate YOUR PROFITS made by Disgraced Central Park Five Prosecutor Linda Fairstein
    Unscrupulous Prosecutor Linda Fairstein should have been FIRED. Instead, she was able to parlay her career as head of sex crimes unit of Manhattan District Attorney from 1976 until 2002 to successful crime author. If she were FIRED because of her disgraceful actions that circumvent justice these prominent book companies would not have done business and donating the profits they made publishing this unscrupulous prosecutor Linda Fairstein must be donated to the Korey Wise Innocence Project.
    1,562 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by hiphopadvocate(dot)org Tara J., advocate with a hip hop twist Picture
  • #WeStandWithTampa
    On the 9th of May, Governor Ron DeSantis signed FSB 7030 putting our students in harm's way by allowing weapons in classrooms. The bill will allow Florida teachers to arm themselves within classrooms. Recent studies have shown that the (facial) expressions of Black students are 4.12 times more likely to be misidentified as  angry than white students’ faces by teachers in the classroom. The results of the study strongly suggest that, just like police officers, teachers exercise similar implicit racial bias when interacting with students within the classroom. Putting guns in the hands of teachers, whose role is to educate, nurture, and inspire sets a dangerous precedent for discipline, intimidation, and violence against Black students in the classroom. Across the nation, there are alarming disparities in the rates at which Black students are disciplined in comparison to their White peers.  Furthermore, the severity of punishments for the similar offenses carry a harsher reality for Black students. Black children are more likely to fall victim to harm should teachers become armed. According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, last school year Black children made up 51% of school-related arrests across the state, despite making up 21% of the student population. It’s important to note the top three reasons for arrests were incidents where students were unarmed, with the second highest incident being “disorderly conduct”. Due to a systematic process of cuts in schools across the country, behavior modification training is not available to teachers in many districts; therefore, incidents of this nature rarely involve de-escalation practices, but rather punitive punishment and traumatizing outcomes for students and teachers. Teachers should not bear the burden of policing classrooms, and we understand that Black children will be first to fall victim to gun violence in the classroom when weapons are provided to educators. Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins recently released a statement advising that Hillsborough County teachers will not be armed in the classroom, in alignment with the district decision to “opt out” of FSB 7030’s Guardian Program. Sign the petition to acknowledge that #WeStandWithTampa (Hillsborough County Public Schools) to ensure our schools are armed with alternative means of corrective action, rather than firearms in the hands of teachers. STAND WITH TAMPA (Hillsborough County Public Schools) to “opt out” of harmful practices by refusing to arm teachers in the classroom.
    1,680 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by RUTH DALEY
  • Justice for Lucca
    A 15-year old Black boy was brutally assaulted by Broward County Sheriff deputies in front of a McDonald’s in Tamarac, Florida -- for bending down to retrieve a friend's phone. Delucca “Lucca” Rolle was with a group of friends who gathered in front of a McDonald’s after their high school let out for the day when the police were called to respond to a fight happening on the corner. Although the fight had already ended by the time they arrived, police began arresting the young people who were still present. One of those boys was Lucca’s friend, whose phone slid out of his pocket as the deputies grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground. What happened next is all captured in horrifying detail on video. Instead of allowing Lucca to step back once he bent down to retrieve the phone, the police pepper sprayed him, body slammed him to the ground, and punched his head into the pavement, breaking his nose. Across the country, Black children continue to be brutalized by law enforcement both on and outside of school property with little to no repercussions. From Louisiana to Chicago, police attacks on Black minors have been well-documented but rarely result in consequences for the police in question. In his follow up report, Deputy Krickovich stated that as he and Sgt. LaCerra arrested Lucca’s friend, they saw Lucca “[take] an aggressive stance” and that he “feared for his safety.” The students who were there and the thousands who have seen the video since recognize the Deputy’s statement for what it is. A blatant lie. After his arrest, Lucca was charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest - charges notoriously levied against civilians who themselves are assaulted by the police. These charges have since been dropped -- but we know that this is not enough. As long as Deputy Krickovich and Sgt. LaCerra are allowed to remain on the force, there is little to stop them from continuing to brutalize the Black residents of Broward County, and their children, with impunity. The actions of the Broward County Sheriff Office have reinforced a hard truth. The police do not see Black boys like Lucca as children to be protected, but as threats to be eliminated. Demand justice for Lucca and accountability for our children now. Tell Sheriff Gregory Tony and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to fire Krickovich and LaCerra immediately!
    17,923 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by ANGELICA CURRY Picture
  • #BlackSchoolsMatter: Save Our Schools
    Raines and Ribault, two of Jacksonville’s oldest, predominantly Black high schools, are under threat now that the Duval County School Board is considering a consolidation plan for nearly 42 schools in its districts. After years of neglect and deterioration, at least 56 of Duval County’s school buildings have been rated ‘below average’ and are in badly need of repairs on a tight budget. The School Board’s solution? To potentially eliminate and consolidate two schools whose rich histories have deeply shaped Jacksonville’s culture and legacy. At an initial meeting to discuss a master facilities plan for the schools moving forward, parents were handed proposals developed by an external consulting entity that included no input from them whatsoever. And although the Board claims that it is taking the residents’ feedback into consideration moving forward, they have yet to present a plan for ensuring that the community’s approval is embedded into the decision-making around a proposal that has the potential to reshape the landscape of Jacksonville and its community forever. Raines, which was built as a result of the historic Brown v Education decision that would formally end racial segregation in education, is a testament to Black people’s commitment to providing opportunities for their children that they themselves were once barred access from. Ribault’s history is different but intertwined with that of Raines’ -- originally built to cater to the “whites-only” population of northwest Jacksonville, it quickly became predominantly Black during the 70’s as white people left the area en masse to live in the suburbs. In the meantime, both schools developed reputations as athletic powerhouses and built a formidable rivalry -- one that has brought the Black community of Jacksonville together to build traditions through games, sporting events, and tailgates for generations. Now, those traditions are at risk of disappearing with no guarantee that what will be built in its place will actually work for the communities it seeks to serve. Studies show that school closures hit Black students the hardest, and that those students rarely end up benefiting academically from their new schools. They are the most likely to be displaced, and the least likely to receive a better education for it. The lack of input from parents and alumnae for a proposal that will deeply affect their children’s opportunities and prospects is yet another reflection of the larger cycle of disinvestment from Black communities that these school closures and consolidations represent. We know that nothing that is built without us can be for us. We must protect the legacy of the community and traditions our schools have built in Jacksonville. We must defend the sanctity of our children’s futures and safety. Sign now to demand that Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene and the Duval County School board release an official plan for ensuring community input is not only a part of the Board’s considerations, but is tied to its final decision-making process. Give parents and alumnae the final say. Take action now to save our schools!
    1,516 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Friends of Northwest Jacksonville Schools Friends of Northwest Jacksonville Schools
  • #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!
    4,083 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Jamal Jones
  • 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
    19,424 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by Families For Freedom Picture