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We use direct actions to interrupt the status quo and bring awareness to key issues and different forms of state violence affecting the root causes of the plight of black and brown people around the world.,

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We stand against the many forms of state violence: police killings, mass incarceration, poverty and others.  We stand for justice for Tony Robinson and ALL Black lives lost at the hands of the state. We stand for community and self determination. We will not stop until we are free.

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YGB raising awareness and building community

Trump and Sessions Sign Three Dangerous Executive Orders Against Black Lives Matter
28 Feb 2017
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Trump and Sessions Sign Three Dangerous Executive Orders Against Black Lives Matter

Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General under the Trump Administration, is beginning his time in office with a stand between us and our goals for social justice. Sessions has a long history of displaying racism; he once called a white civil rights attorney a “traitor to his race” and famously said “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” And now, as Attorney General, Sessions is working with Trump to destroy the progress made by the Black Lives Matter movement.

On February 9th, Trump and Sessions signed three executive orders to place an emphasis on “law and order,” increasing punishment for federal crimes, and cracking down on undocumented immigrants. We know that if law and order were a successful deterrent to crime, we would have a crime rate of zero. It's been well documented that the punitive practices of the criminal justice system do more to create instability than safety; and with racism as the cherry on top, our prisons are disproportionately filled with people of color.

We must stand together to oppose such oppressive legislation, and to do that, we need people power.

To read more, click here. To donate to YGB, please click here.

Staying Engaged For February
04 Feb 2017
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Staying Engaged For February

Dear YGB Community, 

As President Trump plans xenophobic actions such as a border wall and a de facto Muslim ban, the time is now more than ever to stand united in grassroots solidarity to protect the rights of people of all races, religions, genders, and sexualities. That's why YGB is focusing on Three Key Areas: Understanding Black Needs, Building Collective Analysis, and Advocacy. You can learn more and get involved at ygbcoalition.org. We will also be staying engaged by showing up and showing out to the six events below that you'll want to be a part of.

Screening of “The 13th” Documentary
Thursday, February 2 from 6-9:30pm - 2312 S Park St

On February 2, Justified Art and GSAFE invite you to watch a free screening of “The 13th,” a powerful documentary about how the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery - except as a punishment for crime. The film also shows how Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and other presidents used the Drug War to target people of color, expanding our prisons from about 400,000 in 1970 to 2.3 million today - 20% of which are imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses. Click here for more info on the screening. If you cannot attend the event, you can catch "The 13th" on Netflix.

When The Marks Fade
Sunday, February 5 from 7-9pm - Freedom Inc (1810 S Park St)

“When the Marks Fade: Stories from Black Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault” is a play written and directed by T Banks. Following the play, there will be a discussion on the serious topics presented and dinner will be served.

Gender, Race, and Gender-Based Violence
Wednesday, February 8 from 7-9pm - Red Gym (716 Langdon Street)

This two hour event will discuss the intersectionality and relationships between race, gender, sexuality, and violence through the spoken word and a community discussion. Organized by PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment), the meeting will discuss specific forms of violence against Black women, queer folks, and trans folks that are perpetuated by both the state and the communities. The event will take place at the Red Gym’s Multicultural Student Center Lounge.

Madison Resistance March
Saturday, February 11 from 12pm-3pm - Brittingham Park (401 W Shore Dr)

This February 11, the marginalized people of Madison will unite to march from Brittingham Park to the City-County Building at 210 MLK Blvd, where we will speak up against discrimination of immigrants, refugees, and people of color. This protest will build solidarity in the resistance movement against bigotry. Click here for more info.

Lecture from Nikki Giovanni
Wednesday, February 15 at 7pm - Symphony Room at Gordon Commons (770 W Dayton St)

Nikki Giovanni is one of the world’s most well-known African American poets, whose work emerged during the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. A Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecturer, Giovanni will be discussing how “Black love is still Black wealth” on the UW Madison campus on February 15.

Black Love Fundraiser for Sankofa Behavioral and Community Health
Friday, February 17 from 6-9pm - 3001 S Stoughton Rd

Sankofa Behavioral and Community Health is a local Madison organization that prioritizes mental health, community education, healing, and liberation in a culturally relevant way. On February 17, there will be a fundraiser for Sanfora BCH, featuring poetry, soul food, and music by KinFolk Soul. More info here. Get tickets here.

"No Child Behind Bars" Event Shows Solidarity Between Palestine and Madison’s Black Community
04 Feb 2017
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"No Child Behind Bars" Event Shows Solidarity Between Palestine and Madison’s Black Community

This Monday, January 30, an event was held at the Urban League of Madison discussing the connected persecution of Palestinians in the Middle East and Blacks in America. The presentation began with an information session about the United States' imperialistic actions on the borders of the world. On the US-Mexico border, for instance, the boundary divides indigenous desert tribes, and it is common for American guards to rape immigrants and place children as young as five in detention centers for months to separate them from their mothers.

The presenters outlined an equally desperate situation in Palestine. A 16 year old activist in Palestine named Ahed Tamimi was supposed to speak at the event but was denied her visa due to "administrative review" during the Obama Administration. Tamimi's town is under threat of being changed from Zone B (under half Israeli control and half Palestinian Authority control) to Zone C (under 100% Israeli control). The Israeli government can declare any area Zone C in a heartbeat, instantaneously making people like Tamimi "squatters" set to be evicted by illegal Israeli settlements (funded with billions of American dollars). Palestinians have no right to a translator or due process, an unfair and unjust system that perpetuates apartheid.

But Tamimi is fighting back, using an advocacy movement to protect her homeland.

Further along in the presentation, the occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank in Gaza and the occupation of Black communities in America were tied together and connected to the military-industrial complex. Every year, for example, the Urban Shield convention meets near Oakland, California, where local police departments (such as the LAPD and the NYPD) meet with international militaries (such as those of Israel, the Philippines, and Bahrain) to train, militarize, and exchange military tactics. One of these tactics was a form of tear gas that was tested by the Israeli military on Palestinians before being brought to police departments in the United States. The military-industrial complex also ties in with economics, as Hewlett Packard holds info for ICE, inmates in California, and Palestinian civilians.

Today, to stop the persecution and colonialism of both Blacks and Palestinians, we must unite together against mass incarceration, American funding to Israel, the military-industrial complex, and xenophobic actions like Trumps Muslim ban. We stand for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement and Community Control over the Police, among other community-based solutions, to solve these devastating problems.

 

We cannot let the injustices of our community go unsolved. To fight for the liberation of Madison's Black community, please make a donation to YGB by clicking here.

Eric Upchurch: Solving Our Explicit Bias Toward Fakeness
27 Nov 2016
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Eric Upchurch: Solving Our Explicit Bias Toward Fakeness

YGB activist Eric Upchurch wrote a powerful piece for Madison365 about how we must acknowledge covert and subtle racism in everyone, including ourselves, to fix the problem. Writes Upchurch, "Everybody has a part of the problem; and that means you, too, reader. You don't have to be a slave master to perpetuate slavery."

Read Eric's article by clicking here.

Madison365: M Adams Gives Specific Policies For The #BlackLivesMatter Movement
07 Aug 2016
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Madison365: M Adams Gives Specific Policies For The #BlackLivesMatter Movement

A recent Madison365 article quotes Freedom Inc.'s M Adams, who worked for over a year to generate six demands and 40 specific policies to end systemic racism in conjunction with the Movement for Black Lives, an umbrella #BlackLivesMatter organization.

Here are the six fundamental demands:

◆ End the War on Black People
◆ Reparations
◆ Invest-Divest
◆ Economic Justice
◆ Community Control
◆ Political Power

Read the Madison365 article here. Visit the Movement for Black Lives policy page here.

 

31 of Wisconsin's 56 Black Neighborhoods Are Jails
02 Aug 2016
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31 of Wisconsin's 56 Black Neighborhoods Are Jails

Prepare to feel sick to your stomach.

The following is every Black neighborhood in Wisconsin. A Black neighborhood is a certain area where the majority of residents are African American. Using the Racial Dot Map, a website that places one dot on a US map for every American, it is possible to find each and every Black neighborhood in the state.

Every white person is represented by a blue dot, every Black person is represented by a green dot, and so on.

Eric Upchurch: Why Do I Only Hear All Lives Matter When I Say That My Black Life Matters?
02 Aug 2016
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Eric Upchurch: Why Do I Only Hear All Lives Matter When I Say That My Black Life Matters?

If All Lives Matter, why is it a problem for you when I say, “Black Lives Matter?” Don’t you get that’s why I have to say it? Because the mere mention of my life bothers you. And why is that? Do you think I’m saying it for no reason? Like I got all the time in the world and I’m gonna choose to spend it talking about Black lives just because? “Hello…McFly…” I ain’t got time for that. We’re dying in the streets, in the back of police cars, being locked up at a rate of 11:1, being beaten at the pool, on the lawn, at the mall. We fill the jails. And this ain’t for play. I got plenty reason. And your issue with this is that I say “Black” instead of “All?” C’mon now.

 

 There is nothing wrong with supporting all lives. There is something contradictory about squelching the exclamation of Black Lives under the guise of All Lives. If you say that All Lives Matter and then I say that Black Lives Matter (effectively agreeing with you), the statements are sequential. The theory goes that All Lives Matter and so Black Lives must matter. But that is not the reality that we live and the “All Lives Matter” that I hear is usually to contrast our “Black Lives Matter.”

 

Your “but, ALL Lives Matter” suggests that I shouldn’t cry out in the very real pain that I feel – the hurt, the disgust, the anger - “Black Lives Matter!” Tell me, how can All Lives Matter when I can’t even say, “Black Lives Matter” without you trying to silence me?

 

This note was inspired by a conversation that I had recently with a good friend of mine who was frustrated from having to defend herself every time she said that Black Lives Matter. The presence of that struggle is a testament to the need for that struggle and the insidious disease we are fighting.

 

 I want you to know that no matter what side you’re on here, I got love for you. I need you to know that it’s completely understandable that, given your experiences, you believe what you believe – assuming you’re as “rational” as the rest of us. But we must acknowledge that different  experiences lead to different rationales; and intent does not always equal impact.

 

To get us closer to a common perspective, let’s share in an experience. Recently, I lost a brother. We lost a neighbor, PM Deacon Julius Johnson. I participated in his memorial service Friday. I wasn’t as close to Mr. Johnson as I would’ve liked to be; but I’ve known him for years and felt his loss in my spirit – someone that was a pillar of love, joy and wisdom – an example for me in our fraternity. Our community lost a beautiful soul. I will miss him. Imagine how his close friends and family must have felt when they found out. Imagine tears making a river into the funeral home; and when there’s finally a long enough gap between the sobs, one of the staff get genuinely, caringly close,  and with a gentile hand on the back says, “You know All Lives Matter. Just remember that while you’re crying, ok?  It’s not just about his life. All..Lives…Matter (three small fist pumps).” No one was silly enough to take space at his memorial to exclaim that All Lives Matter. Now of course we can argue that our Julius didn’t die from police brutality or at the “hands” of the worst racial disparities in the nation. But common to the Black Lives Matter Movement, there is the very real feeling of loss and despair.

 

Remember that time you lost someone close to you? Or when your friend lost someone close to them? What good would it have done them to be reminded that All Lives Matter every time they exclaimed that they missed that person – that they wished that person was still alive? I’m hoping that your rational human mind can see that it wouldn’t make any sense – that it would be harmful, hurtful…traumatic.

 

So why do seemingly well intentioned people feel the need to assert that All Lives Matter when we say that Black Lives Matter? In this talk with my friend, we discovered what I will call the Noble Cause Paradox. It’s what happens when two views are “justifiably right” and seemingly opposing for the greater good – making both parties immovable. After all, what’s wrong with advocating for all lives? I doubt we’ll stone someone for saying that they want everyone to be able to live a happy and peaceful life free of oppression. However, this noble cause is used as a weapon to silence the voices that cry out, “I miss you. I wish it wasn’t this way. Your life matters. Black Lives Matter!” Your well timed “All Lives Matter” loses its nobility. That silencing – intended or not – is due cause for us to pump up the volume and scream it louder. BLACK LIVES MATTER! Wouldn’t you for your loved one? The paradox continues.

 
 

That feeling that you get – that rumbling restlessness – when you just have  to correct someone for saying Black Lives Matter – when you just have to make sure they know that All Lives Matter – I’d like to think that it comes from a noble cause. I’d like to think that you are such a good person that you want to make sure All Lives Matter. But noble or not, this is a kind of “invisible” racism. You want to make sure that we remember all lives because it would be “wrong” to leave them out. White folks always tryina “do the right thing” – Intent. But what you actually end up doing is silencing the cries of a group of lives that you say matter; and Black folks are once again left out, disregarded and dismissed – impact. Your anti-racism becomes racism. Your anti-hate becomes hate. Don’t hate. Appreciate.

 

When you say, “All Lives Matter” as a counter to my “Black Lives Matter,” you trade your hand made superhero costume for sheep’s clothing and devour what you claim to support. You are the gentle voice and hand on the back suggesting I quit my sobbing and remember the big picture. Your white privilege allows you to focus on the big picture – the majority picture - All Lives All the time. In your mind, you represent most. You feel naturally included and represented in the All. And why wouldn’t you be? 86% of All of your Madisonians – All of the people in your intimate and personal sphere All look like you. My survival demands that I focus on my subset of All lives, because it’s clear that it’s not a priority for you All. And it has to be a priority for somebody, because All Lives Mattered when my unarmed brother was gunned down with his hands up. All Lives Mattered when my family was jailed – when my sister was beaten. All Lives Mattered when my supervisor’s racism threatened my household – when my teacher sold me at a discount. What did your “All Lives Matter” do for me then and what is it doing for me now as my people’s blood fills the streets?

 

I yell “Black Lives Matter” because they do. If you agree, but you feel that restless rumble of All Lives Matter bubbling to the surface, please kindly shut the hell up and do something about why Black people feel the need to shout about the value and awareness of our lives. Every 8 hours an unarmed Black person is killed by an armed official. Why do you feel the need to correct me in my distress? I hope you can see the ignorance in that.

 

But in case you don’t get it, I hope you can get that Alton Sterling’s Life Matters. Philando Castile’s Life Matters. Freddy Gray’s Life Matters. Aprina Paul’s Life Matters. Aiyana Jones’ Life Matters. Eric Garner’s Life Matters. Mike Brown’s Life Matters. Tony Robinson’s Life Matters. Genele Laird’s Life Matters. My Life Matters too. You gonna “All Lives Matter” that? Stop. Recognize your “invisible” racism for what it is. Be better for us All…

Freedom Inc. Occupies Rimrock/John Nolan Intersection For Two Hours
24 Jul 2016
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Freedom Inc. Occupies Rimrock/John Nolan Intersection For Two Hours

On Thursday, July 21st, for the National Day of Action, Freedom Inc staged a protest at the police union and the corner of Rimrock and John Nolan Dr.

The protest began at 2:30, when a group gathered, listened to music, break danced, and felt the love outside. They then walked to the police union on the third floor of 660 John Nolan Dr, where a banner saying "community control of the police" was laid out. On top of this banner were three activists who had their arms locked with white tubes, as solidarity and unity are unstoppable.

After the police forced everyone to leave and began to take arrests inside, a series of chants were held outside. Then, the protesters moved into the busy intersection of Rimrock and John Nolan.

At the intersection, tensions were high. There were nearly as many police as there were protesters - about 40 of each - and it was ultimately a battle of who could withstand extreme weather - 110 plus degree heat and severe thunderstorms - the longest. The organizers held in there at the intersection for a full two hours - from 4pm to 6pm.

The fact that nearly 40 police officers could spend the entire afternoon doing nothing but watching and arresting nonviolent people is the exact reason that it is unnecessary to hire 40 new officers as is proposed - or frankly, not to fire Matt Kenny and all other unnecessary and/or racist officers in the MPD. It also says a lot about their role in the community that they single out protesters with derogatory language and arrest people for blocking the street without even opening it up after they're gone - giving their actions no logical purpose. We don't need them patrolling and over-policing us in order to have a peaceful society - as was seen Thursday, they created more divisiveness on their own than us protesters ever did.
 
It is also unacceptable that the police claim that we are trying to "push it" by excessively blocking the sidewalk, the crosswalk, and the streets, as if we are the uncooperative ones. In fact, they are uncooperative ones for beating, mass-incarcerating, and killing Madison's Black community as we all demand that they stop. The city and national government are really the uncooperative ones, for relentlessly supporting an institution - the police - that is inherently and systemicly undemocratic, violent, and racist, with roots in protecting white elites and suppressing Black people. The Blue Lives Matter people are really the uncooperative ones for not joining our revolution, as our goal of Community Control over the Police aims to make our police fundamentally and systemicly less racist, less corrupt, less violent, less reactionary, and more democratic, something only uncooperative people who refuse to challenge authority would reject. Who is really "uncooperative" here?
 
More importantly, it shows how backwards the conversation is that people who have been denied life or death systemic changes for years are somehow condemned for using non-violent civil disobedience to get it. Do you expect people to wait another hundred years for the system to change on its own? The protests are not a choice, but a necessity to save lives from mass incarceration and police brutality. In an empathetic and caring world, it wouldn't even be a debate whether or not to take time out of your day to fight for the equity of your fellow community members.
 
We will continue to organize for Community Control over the Police and the reinvestment of money into communities until we get it. Stay tuned to this website and the email list to make sure that you take action whenever possible - we need your voice!
 

YGB TO PETITION THE UNITED NATIONS

YGB needs your voice in order to get an investigation by the United Nations as we elevate the conversation of of racial disparities in Madison and fight for justice for Tony Robinson, the unarmed black teen murdered at the hands of officer Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department  

SIGN THE PETITION HERE SIGN THE PETITION HERE 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR GOFUNDME

YGB functions without traditional funding. We are not tied to the stipulations that come with large donors. Instead, we are supported by the direct will of The People. This gives us the freedom to raise our voice and mobilize our community toward an end to State Violence. Please help support this freedom by sharing or conotributing to our GoFundMe page.

SHARE OR SUPPORT OUR GOFUNDME PAGE HERE

FIRE MATT KENNY

YGB demands that Matt Kenny, the murderer of Tony Robinson, be fired. Far to often are killer cops left unpunished, and we want Kenny off the streets.

SIGN THE PETITION TO FIRE MATT KENNY HERE

ABOUT US

The Young Gifted and Black Coalition is a circle of young leaders determined to end state violence and raise the voice of communities of color. We are young Black Women, Queer Folks, Straight Folks and Feminist Men who are fighting for Black Liberation. Our focus is on the low income black communities that our core members call home. 

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