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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

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Matt Braunginn: Koval Unfit to Be Police Chief
15 Jun 2016
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Matt Braunginn: Koval Unfit to Be Police Chief

The Police Policy and Review Ad-Hoc Committee has just designated $350,000 (in addition to the initial $50,000) for an independent review of the Madison Police Department, which has recently been under fire from the ACLU for illegally instructing property owners to filter tenants based on criminal history. With $400,000, the committee can fully investigate any racist and/or illegal actions that the MPD may be hiding from the public.

Instead of acknowledging the MPD's faults, Chief Koval wrote an aggressive blog post on June 5th against the committee and Common Council, which initiated it. He depicted the Black Lives Matter movement as "perpetually offended" in a "PC world" - dog-whistle language, which is used by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump, specifically targeted at YGB's Brandi Grayson - and he even went as far as telling Common Council, an elected group speaking for the needs of a silenced community, "you are being watched" - patronizing language from a "public servant".

If the police department has nothing to hide, why would it be so worried about an investigation? If it were so representative of the needs of Madison and its Black community, why would it push off all of their ideas, such as community control over the police and guaranteed housing for the homeless?

It is clear that Chief Koval is not listening to the people and is unfit for his positions. If you are interested in reading more, please give a read to this Madison365 article, written by YGB founding member Matt Braunginn, which goes more in-depth on these topics by clicking here.

MPD Under Investigation From The ACLU
22 May 2016
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MPD Under Investigation From The ACLU

The Madison Police Department is currently under investigation from the ACLU.

According to the ACLU’s letter to Chief Koval, the MPD has been “seeking from landlords lists of their tenants”, “using trespass law to ban certain guests from visiting tenants”, and instructing landlords to use “criminal history information in screening tenants.” The MPD has consistently instructed property owners to perform background checks on potential and existing tenants.

This directly conflicts with the Fair Housing Act (FHA), a federal law, which states that “excluding potential tenants based on arrest records can never be necessary...since arrest records do not constitute proof of unlawful conduct.” The act correctly explains that when landlords consider incarceration history in their housing decisions, it makes it harder to reduce homelessness and harder to facilitate formerly incarcerated people’s reentry into society.

Not only are these MPD practices unlawful and unnecessary, they are also racist. Madison has a Black:white arrest ratio of 11:1, which means that when the MPD encourages property owners to deny housing to people with arrest or conviction records, this will disproportionately affect Black community members. On top of this, since 81% of Black and 71% of Latino householders in Madison are renters - much higher than that of the white population (46%) - and they have a much higher need for public housing assistance, there is an even greater need for affordable housing among communities of color because housing opportunities are being taken away by these racist MPD and landlord practices.

In the conclusion of its letter, the ACLU demanded that the MPD encourage property owners to comply with the FHA and not to screen tenants for criminal history. They also suggested alternatives to evictions.

We must demand that the MPD stop breaking the law and stop encouraging landlords to discriminate against people seeking housing! We must demand community control over the police!

Powerful Protest Calling on Madison to Invest In Communities, Not Cops
14 May 2016
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Powerful Protest Calling on Madison to Invest In Communities, Not Cops

The City of Madison is planning to add an extra $6 million per year to the police department's budget in order to hire 40 new police officers. And Matt Kenny, the murderer of Tony Robinson, would be one of the officers assigned to train them.

This authoritarian level of policing is unnecessary in Madison - cities with comparable populations and crime rates have 60 less police officers than Madison does, yet instead of removing police presence from the city, we're adding more.

We know that police presence doesn't solve crime. A study in Columbia, Missouri showed that when police presence increased, some forms of crime went down, but other forms of crime skyrocketed - 242 more burglaries and 459 more larcenies - concluding that the statement "police presence deters crime" isn't entirely accurate. The reason that police presence isn't the answer is because increasing surveillance of high-crime neighborhoods doesn't address the root causes of the problem, which include mental health and an inescapable cycle of poverty.

To solve the problem we need to take the proposed $6 million for the added 40 police officers and reassign it to the root causes of the problem. That means investing in Black mental health, and investing in Black economic empowerment programs. With the same money we can hire up to 150 mental health workers, or assign the funding to social programs and Black employment programs in order to combat Madison's disproportionate Black child poverty rate (currently 75%) and Madison's ridiculously high Black unemployment rate (currently 25%).

We need to wake up the governmental system and the police system of Madison - so, on Friday, May 13, a day after the one year anniversary of the non-indictment of Matt Kenny, a group of about 40 protesters gathered at Cathedral Park in downtown Madison, just two blocks from the State Captiol, at 3pm, with the plan of marching to the office of Mayor Paul Soglin to demand that the city of Madison invest in communities, not cops.

The rally pulled into Fairchild Street and the protesters started marching towards the Public Safety Building, where half of the inmates are Black. A banner saying "community control over police" was hung up over the street, and a banner saying "invest in communities, not cops" was placed on the side of a parking ramp. The protesters blocked off traffic, and their voices could be heard blocks away in all directions. After marching in the streets, they entered the City County Building and chanted in front of Mayor Paul Soglin's office, demanding that the city invest in communities, not cops.

Along the way, T. Banks and Junior of Freedom Inc, as well as Sharon Irwin, the mother of Tony Robinson, made speeches.

Junior: "Being a Black teenager in Madison is hard. Tony Robinson was a teenager and he was killed by a cop...his friends who called the police to help Tony didn’t want him to be dead...I don’t want to die as a Black teenager." Junior later said, "more police is not the answer. More police doesn't solve the problem of not having homes with food and clothes. Having more police won't make us stay in school. Having more police is not going to make us think twice before trying to do something we need. MPD should not hire more cops. They should put more resources into my school so more kids can eat and get what they need. They should take the money they need for hiring more cops, and put it into Black communities. We know what we need but don't have the money to get it."

Sharon Irwin: "If we don’t start taking accountability for the things that are happening, what happened to my son will be the first of many…we don’t need more police officers, we need more community support, we need more things for these children. These kids are suffering, and this is not the answer."

T. Banks: "The violence we are having in our communities is from economic deprivation. That is that people are in such desperate need and in poverty, that in order to survive, violence is happening towards one another. That’s why we are demanding that Madison build its people and not more cops. We demand community control of the police. We demand that money used to hire the 40 new cops will be poured back into the Black community so we can get jobs, have better schools, have food, have housing, have clothes, have transportation to be able to live, and have our basic needs taken care of. This is what the community wants. Not more cops. We want community control of the police. Not surveillance or more harassment - we are only trying to survive poverty. The community wants economic opportunity so we can determine our needs and get our needs met. We don’t want no more officers trained by Matt Kenny. We don’t want there to be more Black teens killed like Tony Robinson. We don’t want more officers to just respond to crisis and violence, and then perpetuate more violence! We want resources so that we, the community, can determine the accountability to our own communities. We want to build communities, not more police."

6 Upcoming Ways To Fight For Racial Justice
17 Apr 2016
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6 Upcoming Ways To Fight For Racial Justice

Decriminalize Black Bodies
UW Campus, 4/20
This 4/20, we will protest the mass incarceration of Black people by A) wearing all black, B) posting pictures to social media of non-Black people abusing drugs and getting away with it, and C) using the hashtags #HIGHEReducation, #BlackUnited, and #BlackStudentsUnited.
Click here for more info.

Unhood Yourself
Chazen Museum of Art, 4/22 from 5-9pm
This is a 4 hour exhibition and show created by #TheRealUW, an organization trying to fight the recent string of racially-biased incidents on the UW campus. Students of color at UW will share their personal experiences, educate participants about UW's history, and create a platform for change on campus and in the community.
Click here for more info.

Mental Health Care Without Policing
Milwaukee Public Library (Milwaukee), 4/23 from 1-4pm
Jess Heaney, a member of Critical Resistance, will be leading a workshop focused on the connections between Black mental health care, policing, and access to support. It's based off of the "Oakland Power Projects", an anti-policing initiative, and will build an increased sense of resources and relationships.
Click here for more info.

Join the YWCA to Stand Against Racism!
Fountain of Life Church, 4/28 from 8:30-10:30am
The YWCA invites you to join them in their fight for racial equity and women's empowerment. They will be delivering updates on Justified Anger's "Our Madison Plan" and Race to Equity's "Roadmap to Equity" plan. The YWCA is "on a mission to eliminate racism", and they need your help with this facilitated discussion to make that happen.
Click here for more info.

Dontre Day
Red Arrow Park (Milwaukee), 4/30 
This event will be held in Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park, the location where Dontre Hamilton was fatally shot on the same date in 2014. There will be entertainment for the entire family. If you want to volunteer at the event, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and share the event on social media.
Click here for more info.

JUSTICE4TONY Reception at MMoCA Gallery Night
Social Justice Center, 5/6 from 5-9pm
On this day, to honor the 14 month anniversary of the shooting of Tony Robinson, Tony's friends and family will hold an event, which includes an intimate photographic art exhibit documenting the difficult emotional times the Madison community faced in the aftermath of his brutal murder. There will be refreshments and a strong sense of community.
Click here for more info.


As more and more people take action, we will get closer and closer to racial equity. So, please put these events down in your calendars! Show up and show out!

Madison Magazine Article - How YGB Has Changed the Views of White Madisonians
07 Apr 2016
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Madison Magazine Article - How YGB Has Changed the Views of White Madisonians

A recent Madison Magazine article explained the cultural shift that YGB has sparked in Madison, through the eyes of a white person. The article is a personal narrative in which the author explains how YGB gave him the power to transform his assorted knowledge of racial issues in Madison into a full, comprehensive understanding of the systemic racism that plagues Madison.

The writer explains that through YGB he was able to connect the death of Tony Robinson to school failures, mass incarceration, and Black unemployment. The author implies that without YGB's raising of awareness, he would not have the empathetic connection to the family and friends of Tony Robinson that he has today, nor such a profound understanding and drive to take action against Madison's systemic racism.

And, most importantly, he said that these realizations have been experienced by a large portion of white Madisonians. The protests and messages sent by YGB have sparked a conversation in nearly every Madison household on the topic of Madison's relationship between the police force and the Black community, and this has changed our political system greatly; in a governmental discussion last year over Madison's $150 new jail proposal, multiple representatives emphasized that the desire of the people, as seen by YGB protests, is to deny the jail proposal - and that people power directly influenced how the representatives viewed the problem, and ultimately how they voted.

The Madison Magazine article perfectly debunks the myth that YGB protests are unproductive or wasteful - it proves that the protests have brought the conversation to tens of thousands of tables across the city, have challenged misconceptions, and have had social, political, and cultural impacts that cannot be measured or overestimated.

 

Read the Madison Magazine article:

http://www.channel3000.com/madison-magazine/opinions/heinen-i-cant-forget-tony-robinson/38165292

Youth Article - "The Shocking Racial Gap of Madison WI"
03 Apr 2016
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Youth Article - "The Shocking Racial Gap of Madison WI"

Lew Blank, a youth writer in Madison, recently wrote an article which explained the racial disparities in Madison through a geographic and economic lens. He utilizes a resource known as the "Racial Dot Map" to show a visual of the segregation of Madison's neighborhoods, and then compares the location of black and hispanic neighborhoods in Madison to the location of payday loan companies, fast food restaurants, impoverished areas, and failing schools. It's a good read for those looking for factual, clear-cut proof of how extreme the disparities are in Madison.

Read the article here:

https://fascinationhub.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/the-shocking-racial-gap-of-madison-wi/

 

In the Coming Weeks...
18 Feb 2016
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In the Coming Weeks...

Recommendations do not equate to liberation. So we continue to fight. We'll be gearing up for more community engagement, regular actions and direct services. Please stay in the loop as we prepare for the anniversary action of honoring the life of Tony Terrell Robinson, and continuing to demand justice for his murder by the Madison Police. May we always remember and never forget... "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains!" ~ Assata Shakur

Please sign and share our petition to the United Nations (here) for an independent investigation into the murder of Tony Robinson and the gross racial disparities in Dane County.  Please support our efforts by sharing or donating to our gofundme page here.

UN Workgroup Takes Freedom Inc. and YGB's Suggestions and Advocates for Reparations and Community Control of Police
08 Feb 2016
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UN Workgroup Takes Freedom Inc. and YGB's Suggestions and Advocates for Reparations and Community Control of Police

After countless months of community organizing and advocacy, the tireless efforts of partner organizations Freedom Inc. OWH, and too many others to name here, not to mention YOUR support as a community, the United Nations has recommended the United States end solitary confinement, adopt community control over police, and pay reparations to people of African descent for the affects of slavery! These wins are HUGE for us! They represent the result of a nation wide effort and the materialization of the will of a Madison community that stood up against State Violence. Learn more about the UN recommendations here.

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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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