KEY MOMENTS AND EVENTS
FFJ Field Advisors are thought leaders and partners in the work to support and sustain grassroots movements. Their visions for justice and what is needed from philanthropy provide invaluable insights to guide our efforts.
Watch the REPLAY of the livestream from the Grantmakers for Girls of Color National Funders Convening.
April 7th: Please join us for a conversation with Alvin Bragg, New York's first special prosecutor for police-related civilian deaths, and the organizers and victims’ families who campaigned to create his position. Moderated by Kai Wright of The Nation, we’ll get an inside look at the special prosecutor’s role and what work lies ahead.
Feature: Freedom Inc.’s Creative Response to the Criminalization of Black Communities in Madison, Wisconsin
FI works at the intersection of prison abolition, LGBT rights, education rights, and reproductive justice. FI aims to challenge the fundamental root causes of violence through leadership development and community organizing in Black and Southeast Asian, particularly Hmong communities in Madison.
The Making Black Lives Matter Initiative site will provide background on Hill-Snowdon’s MBLM Initiative that is focused on supporting Black-led organizing in order to help revitalize and strengthen the institutional and political power of the Black community. The website describes Foundation’s framework for supporting Black communities to develop the power necessary for them to thrive and introduces the Black Social Change Funders Network as a vehicle to help philanthropy better coordinate its efforts to achieve social change in the Black community.
Leaders from 42 foundations announced today that they have "banned the box" by adopting fair chance hiring policies or ensuring that questions about criminal convictions do not appear on applications for employment with their foundations.
JC members and leaders are New Yorkers whose lives are impacted by police violence, including families who have lost loved ones to the New York Police Department. Since 2004, Justice Committee has received 14 North Star Fund grants totaling over $150,000, including the 2015 Frederick Douglass Award.
Over the past year and a half, people from across the country have risen up and are calling for a transformation of our country. Across all of the demands and work coming from different parts of the movement, we seek at least three basic things.
Black Lives Matter organizers say their announced protest at the Mall of America was a “planned diversion” and a “decoy.” Their real goal was the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport. Protesters did show up at the nation’s largest shopping mall Wednesday afternoon, but they quickly left and boarded trains for a quick trip to the nearby MSP airport where they blocked traffic and caused delays at both of the airports.
December 3rd, 2015 (Minneapolis) — We recognize that Black people in America, some of whom are LGBTQ, are systematically oppressed and we stand together affirming that Black Lives Matter. As LGBTQ organizations, we acknowledge that while our work is bound up with movements for racial healing and justice, and many members of our organizations and communities have shown up in support of this movement, we historically haven’t done enough to align our missions with work for racial justice. With this letter, we want to publicly state our support in a unified way, and ask our friends and supporters to step forward with us.
Watch Now: Funder Briefing on Policing Reform – Building on NYC Successes for a National Reform Movement.
In the past two years, Communities United for Policing Reform (CPR) has played a critical role in leading a campaign to pass landmark police accountability legislation in New York City and partnering with families of New Yorkers killed by police to secure executive action by Governor Cuomo to establish a special prosecutor for police killings throughout New York State. In spite of these victories, there remains much more to accomplish to transform police systems, policies, practices, and culture to be more accountable and transparent to the communities they serve. We invite you to join CPR and funders for a briefing to contextualize the recent victories and to learn how the philanthropic sector can partner with advocates to support this critical work.
On November 15, 2015, at about 1 a.m., Minneapolis police shot Jamar Clark, an unarmed 24-year-old black man. Last night, hundreds of protestors shut down a major highway in a bid for justice.
In this Five Questions edition, Dagenais discusses the importance of bringing all Baltimoreans to the table — particularly those with limited access to opportunity — to achieve lasting, positive change.
On Friday, June 12, 2015, more than 70 funders gathered together at The Atlantic Philanthropies to coordinate and mobilize resources in support of organizing in response to ongoing events of police brutality and state sanctioned violence faced by communities of color across the country.
Northwest Detention Center Resistance Coalition members locked down to protest deportations at the private facility.
This rush to judgment occurs in the educational system as well, mainly because of the enforcement of zero-tolerance disciplinary policies that have long targeted black, Native American and Latino students.
Yesterday, we helped the folks on 125th organize an incredible rally and press conference, complete with poems and songs and street theater. Here is a full round-up of press coverage!
September 1 from 3:30pm – 5:30pm, at Liberty Hill Foundation, Los Angels, CA
By Tracey Kaplan, San Joe Mercury News 08/11/2015 Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday making California the first state in the nation to ban the use of grand juries to decide whether police officers should [...]
By Tia Oso, Black Alliance for Just Immigration. I did this to focus the attention of the nation's largest gathering of progressive leaders and presidential hopefuls on the death of Sandra Bland and other black women killed while in police custody, because the most important and urgent issue of our day is structural violence and systemic racism that is oppressing and killing black women, men and children.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an executive order Wednesday appointing a special prosecutor to handle cases involving civilians who die at the hands of police.
By Nakisha M. Lewis, Tynesha McHarris, and Allen Kwabena Frimpong. But the systemic changes needed to end the violence won’t happen unless this movement gets the resources to build an infrastructure that harnesses a strong network of organizers and organizations.
This week, there were fires in at least six predominantly African American churches. Arson at religious institutions has decreased significantly over the past two decades, but the symbolism remains haunting.
Relatives of New Yorkers who died at the hands of law enforcement returned to Albany to push the Legislature to reject anything short of the appointment of a special prosecutor to review such cases — a stance that makes Gov. Andrew Cuomo their ally and an unlikely opponent.
by Dante Barry, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, in The Nation, May 6, 2015: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake has lifted the citywide curfew, and the National Guard plans to implement a drawdown. Now is the time for Mayor Rawlings Blake to put an end to Baltimore police militarization.
The tragedies of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, John Crawford, Jessie Hernandez and others have ignited a national movement around police reform and racial justice. How can grassroots groups capitalize on the increased attention to organize [...]
#BlackLivesMatter has infiltrated America’s modern vocabulary. It’s the rallying cry for a movement that began getting a lot of national attention after the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. But #BlackLivesMatter began before Ferguson.
Baltimore is rising up to protest the police killing of Freddie Gray, the long history of over policing and police brutality, and the severe under-resourcing of Black communities in Baltimore.
However, the visibility, or lack thereof, of black women in the protest narrative has also been problematic; early in the week, religious leaders explicitly called for men to march in front of women, for the purpose of protection, which the women in the crowd largely ignored in favor of a more egalitarian marching formation.
#BlackLivesMatter Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Justice put forward an open letter. Read the letter and sign your name.
After Ferguson: Conference Call looking at the role of the faith community in mobilizing around racial justice
Listen to the following conference call with Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners’ Senior Director of Mobilizing about how this movement is being mobilized and organized in the aftermath of Ferguson and how communities of faith can and are being engaged in this movement at this critical moment.
Arizona is a testing ground for conservative legislation that targets and harms communities of color and sets precedent for other states to follow suit, as seen with SB1070.
Funding partnership opportunities in Missouri, California, New York and nationally.
AG Holder announces first six pilot sites for the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice
“The Department of Justice is committed to using innovative strategies to enhance procedural justice, reduce bias and support reconciliation in communities where trust has been eroded,” said Attorney General Holder.
Members of the University of Chicago Police Department carry guns, make arrests, and patrol tens of thousands of residents unaffiliated with the university—but they don’t have to disclose any information about stops, arrests, and policies. Two Illinois Representatives are finally trying to change that.
The development comes a week after a Department of Justice report heavily criticized the Ferguson police department for bias against African American citizens. The report charged that police disproportionately use excessive force against blacks and that black drivers are stopped and searched far more often than white motorists, even though they're less likely to be carrying contraband.
An Open Letter affirming the protesters' point of view and vision for this movement.
President Obama on Monday called for prompt action to change police practices across the country after the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island at the hands of white officers exposed frustrations about law enforcement in minority communities.
The challenges facing LGBT youth of color in Denver have been magnified since police fatally shot 17-year-old Jessica "Jessie" Hernandez in late January. Hernandez's death was another stark reminder of the dangers faced by queer youth of color in the city.
On 16 May 2010, Aiyana was shot dead by Weekley in the middle of the night, as she slept on a sofa inside her home on the east side of Detroit. Her grandmother, Mertilla Jones, was close by.
In cities across the nation, protestors took the streets with a call to reclaim Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy this holiday weekend. The actions were part of a coordinated effort, dubbed #ReclaimMLK on social media, that sought to build off of them momentum of last year’s rallies against police brutality.
On January 15, 2015, A non-Black group of Pan-Asians, Latinos, and white people, some of whom are queer and transgender, linked their bodies together across the I- 93 highway in a highly coordinated action in Boston. This act of civic participation was in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Black people. Here is the solidarity statement.
Sign on to the pledge if you commit to fund at least one additional racial justice organization before the end of 2015, or to increase your giving to a racial justice group you already support.
We need a renewed commitment from you to take this to the next level. It's time to make 2015 the year of resistance. Take the pledge at FergusonAction.com.
Police reform organizers traveled to Capitol Hill and the Federal Communications Commission on Friday to push for open access to the Internet, which they say is an increasingly vital organizing tool in the wake of the controversial deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
Black journalists, artists and organizers representing Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), and more have joined the Dream Defenders for a 10-day trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.
As those who stand with the victims of police violence, we know all too well the deep sense of loss that a community feels when they lose a loved one...Unfortunately, we continue to see elected officials and police leadership twist this tragedy into an opportunity for them to silence the cries for justice from families who have lost their loved ones to police violence. Our families matter, too.
Attempts to link today’s tragic events with a movement that holds justice, dignity and respect for all as its core values are cheap political punditry, and dangerous in their divisiveness.
Members of newly organized all-Black groups, including The Blackout Collective, #BlackBrunch and #BlackLivesMatter, joined with Asian allies in #Asians4BlackLives group and white allies in the Bay Area Solidarity Action Team to lead an occupation of the Oakland Police Department and demand an end to the war on Black people in Oakland and everywhere.
Join NCRP and esteemed panelists in exploring what foundations can do in response to recent events in Ferguson, New York City, and across the country.
We are calling for eleven days of action – one day for each of Garner’s cries – across NYC starting Wednesday, Dec 10th ending on Saturday Dec 20th and invite you to join us.
The 2015 conference will spotlight individuals who are leading philanthropy as well as contemporary cutting-edge philanthropic strategies to support Black communities.
We walked out of that meeting unbought and unbowed. We held no punches. There was no code-switching or bootlicking; no concessions, politicking or posturing. The movement got this meeting. Unrest earned this invite, and we can’t stop.
Protestors say Ohio has its own examples of police force that ended in the deaths of young black people.
Learn about upcoming global Ferguson solidarity actions at Ferguson Action and Ferguson National Response Network.
The Justice Department will conduct a federal investigation into the chokehold death of an unarmed black man after a grand jury in New York City declined to indict the white police officer who applied the move, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday.
Citing "centuries of racism that have brought us to this day," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the fact that protesters have rallied around the statement "Black lives matter" reflects a sad situation, that such an idea needs to be both stated and repeated.
#FergusonNext is a solution-based collaboration between Guardian US Opinion, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Page, Ebony.com, Colorlines, The St. Louis American and The St. Louis Riverfront Times.
Breaking: Ferguson Activists Meet with President Obama to Demand an End to Police Brutality Nationwide
Today President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder met with seven Black and Latino organizers – from Ferguson, Mo.; Columbus, Ohio; Miami, Florida; and New York City – who have been leading some of the ongoing actions to disrupt a status quo that is intolerable.
Dear Mr. President, I write this letter with high hopes that it reaches you with a sober heart and a pair of open ears...
Four years ago, my son Kenneth – an Iraq war veteran and father to a 4-year-old son – was shot to death by a police officer in a 7-Eleven parking lot. A judge later ruled that my son posed no threat to anyone – but the officer who killed my son has never been charged and still works for the Albuquerque Police department.
Within the criminal justice system, we must continue to challenge individual and institutional racial bias. Already, organizers and advocates are working to transform this system, organizing to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, demand greater transparency and accountability of police departments, or to decrease “shooter bias” in police officers. We need to support this work.
Today, a St. Louis Grand Jury refused to indict Mike Brown's killer — Police Officer Darren Wilson...Now his killer may never be held accountable — unless President Obama and US Attorney General Holder take action.
Last night it was announced that the grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown...The role of philanthropy as committed partners remains critical, as we all understand the need to build just and vibrant cities, and inclusive democracies.
For immigrant rights organizations, our struggles are connected but distinct. We know of unjust policing and federal deportation programs that have created chaos in all our neighborhoods. But we are not Mike Brown.
St. Louis rapper Tef Poe told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that he has “come to terms with the fact that in the United States of America it is perfectly legal for police officers to murder people of color.”
Ferguson is on fire. Immediately after St. Louis prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury had failed to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, waves of unrest roiled the city.
For 108 days, we have been in a state of prolonged and protracted grief. In that time, we have found community with one another, bonding together as family around the simple notion that our love for our community compels us to fight for our community...
The National Bar Association Responds to the Grand Jury’s Decision Not to Indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown
The National Bar Association is questioning how the Grand Jury, considering the evidence before them, could reach the conclusion that Darren Wilson should not be indicted and tried for the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Can Ferguson turn into a sustainable movement?: The MHP table talks about how the current moment stemming from Ferguson can turn into a sustainable movement. Melissa Harris-Perry November 22, 2014 on MSNBC
Hundreds of civil rights lawyers from across America are descending on Ferguson, Missouri as police and protesters prepare for a grand jury decision on whether to charge the officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in August.
Police arrested about six people overnight after they tried to block a street in a protest calling for a grand jury to charge a white police officer over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen in August.
A Missouri grand jury has been hearing evidence for months as it weighs whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, which was followed by sometimes violent protests. Some answers to common questions about the grand jury:
The Ferguson Protester community is home to many voices and experiences. Informed by many voices, this letter serves as a statement of purpose for those who may not yet understand the movement in #Ferguson or why protests still continue, 102 days later.
Gov. Jay Nixon (D) issued an executive order on Monday declaring a state of emergency in Missouri as the nation awaits a grand jury decision in the case of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
The St. Louis County police have purchased "650 teargas grenades, smoke-and-gas grenades, smoke canisters and 'hornets nest' CS sting grenades, which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation,"
Amnesty International releases new Ferguson report documenting human rights abuses.
An interview with Serena Sebring, SONG's North Carolina organizer, by Caitlin Breedlove, SONG Co-Director.
From Ferguson to LA, New York to Beavercreek, the story is becoming clearer and clearer. We need a fundamental shift between our communities and law enforcement... John Crawford was a young black man who picked up a toy gun from a shelf at the Beavercreek, Ohio Wal-Mart. After 911 caller Ronald Ritchie made false accusations about his behavior, Officer Sean Williams responded to the dispatcher and within minutes shot and killed Crawford. He was on the phone with the mother of his children, and the last words she heard him say were "it's not real."
Viewpoints on the weekend of actions, this moment in organizing, what lies ahead, and what the critical resource needs are right now. With accounts by Bukky Gbadegesin, Organization for Black Struggle (OBS); Jeff Ordower, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE); Rashad Robinson, ColorofChange.org; and Sherrilyn Ifill, Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
To All People of Conscience: The Ferguson Legal Defense Committee (FLDC) has issued the following EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION for all lawyers, legal workers and law students of conscience in anticipation of a major reaction to the (non or under) indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown.
"Yes, in 2014, 50 years after the Civil Rights Act, African-American and Latino communities are still fighting to end systemic discrimination, and for the inclusion of our voices and concerns in the national dialogue...."
Marking two months since Mike Brown was killed by police and still no justice. A series of direct actions, protests, and marches, October 10 - 13, 2014. Visit the website for an account of the weekend, solidarity actions, and participating organization.
In a third day of civil disobedience, local and national clergy members with up-stretched arms cross police lines and were arrested during a protest at the Ferguson Police Department.
A perspective from Terrance Pitts, Program Officer at Open Society Foundations and an ABFE Fellow, during his weekend in St. Louis/Ferguson during the national mobilization, FergusonOctober.
During a weekend of protests two months after Michael Brown's death, clergy members speak out for unity and repentance.
This new generation of protesters represents a marked break with the older generations of black leaders in the city. They disagreed with the tactics of the civic leaders and clergy members who, for example, urged protesters to obey police curfews widely viewed by the young people as disrespectful of the community's legitimate outrage.
Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.
ColorofChange.org: We have a key opportunity to transform discriminatory and violent policing nationwide
National leaders are paying more attention to racial profiling and police brutality than they have in years, due to the hard work of Black youth and community leaders in Ferguson and across the country. In order to capture the momentum of this moment and secure long-term, systemic reforms that transform policing nationwide, we need the federal government to intervene and set a higher standard of policing. If enough of us demand action, we can change things. Will you join us in calling on the federal government to implement critical reforms to end abusive, militarized, and biased policing targeting Black and brown communities?
The recent shooting death of African-American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is a painful reminder of the deeply entrenched divisions and tensions that plague too many American communities fractured by decades of racial discrimination, [...]
Ferguson City Council announced today that they are implementing several changes and new programs in response to community concerns. These new laws and policies are designed to reduce court fine revenue used for general city operations, reform court procedures, and establish a Citizen Review Board to provide citizen oversight and guidance for the police department.
A new movement is being born in the darkness of Ferguson, Missouri. The new reality, the new nadir has established the structural conditions for the birth of a new movement. We need to supply the consciousness.
In Ferguson, Mo. protests are in their 13th day. And while a governor-imposed curfew has been lifted and National Guard units have been withdrawn, a “state of emergency” remains in place. Amid a flood of related reading, these articles and resources have stood out to me. I hope their insights will fuel your own discussions about Ferguson and the larger systems at play.
St. Louis Activist: Decades After 1968 Urban Uprisings, Key Economic & Race Issues Remain Unresolved
The upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri, has called to mind the racial divisions that split open in the 1960s with a series of uprisings in cities across the country.
Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) and Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) have identified several critical ways for allies outside of Ferguson to support OBS's organizing efforts: financial resources, legal support, and solidarity actions in localities across the country.