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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.

Lew Blank

YGB raising awareness and building community

Lew Blank

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As if America’s racist, paternalist culture weren't bad enough already, we now have a president who can actively endorse police brutality and receive an ovation of cheers.

 

On July 28 at a rally on Long Island, Trump exclaimed, “when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’” In response, the crowd applauded.

 

In this speech, not only does Trump use the racially coded, dog whistle term “thug,” but he openly advocates for violence, effectively against people of color, who are predominantly affected by police brutality. This attitude of “not being nice” is exactly what killed Eric Garner for selling loose cigarettes, Philando Castile for following the officer’s orders to a tee, and Tony Robinson for having a mental health disturbance.

 

In fact, it’s integral to the safety of the community that the police are “nice” and non-violent. Police brutality erodes trust between officers and community members, and this can cause a lot of damage. If Trump truly cares about safety, he should advocate for non-violent police practices instead.

 

Support our Community Engagement and Advocacy work at YGBCoalition.org.

Hello YGB Community,

In light of all that's been happening in our city, we're happy to share a list of opportunities to come together and build community. It's this kind of fellowship that helped YGB build community and strategy at the recent WiLD training. Please stay tuned for some next steps from us on moving toward real and lasting change that elevates community power. Until then, please enjoy these upcoming opportunities to stay engaged.

Darbo-Worthington Peace Walk and Block Party
Thursday, August 24, at 4pm - Mentoring Positives Inc. (414 Rethke Av)

On August 24, Mentoring Positives will host an event that will feature art provided by Community Unity Arts, local food carts for an excellent dinner, and a march through the neighborhood to call for peace and justice. By sharing food and art together, our community members will become connected on a deeper level. Click here for more info.

Infamous Mothers Campaign
All Month

Infamous Mothers is an organization based in Madison that “taps into, cultivates and releases the power of women who mother from the margins of society.” One of Infamous Mothers’ latest campaigns is to donate 10,000 of their books to mothers in low-income communities, prisons, domestic abuse shelters, drug rehabilitation facilities, and YWCAs. Please support this effort by donating here (August 30 is the last day to donate).

Other Events:

SURJ MKE Workshop: Civil Rights History Bus Ride

Saturday, August 5, at 10am - Wisconsin Black Historical Society (2620 W Center St in Milwaukee)

This Saturday, the Milwaukee organization SURJ MKE will be hosting a historic bus tour of some of Milwaukee’s most important sites from the Civil Rights Movement. The bus tour will feature Peggy Rozga, who was part of the NAACP Youth Council in the 60’s. More info here.

SE WI NORML at Center St Daze
Saturday, August 5, at 11am - E Center St. in Milwaukee

We know that the criminalization of marijuana is a leading cause of the disproportionate amount of people of color in the Dane County Jail. During Milwaukee’s Center Street Daze event this Saturday, stop by the SE WI NORML tent to buy t-shirts and pins in support of legalizing marijuana. More info here.

Immigration Information Forum
Saturday, August 5, at 1pm - South Division High School (1515 W Lapham Blvd in Milwaukee)

This Saturday in Milwaukee, there will be a public forum to learn and discuss the latest updates on immigrant rights in America - specifically, what’s going on with DACA, how AB190 will hurt immigrant communities, what Milwaukee is doing on the topic of immigration, and more. More info here.

Social Good Summit
Thursday, August 17, at 9am - Madison Public Library (201 W Mifflin St.)

If Madison’s businesses dedicated more of their focus to uplifting marginalized communities, our city would be in a much better place. This all-day conference will mobilize social good entrepreneurs with resources and community input. Part of Madison’s Forward Fest. More info and tickets here.

African Fest Madison
Saturday, August 19, at 11am - Central Park (202 S Ingersoll St.)

To celebrate the diversity of our heritage, the African Fest on August 19 will bring together Madisonians to enjoy Africa’s culture, food, music, and people. More info here.

Sanfoka MKE 2017
Saturday, August 19, at 2pm - Washington Park Bandshell (4599 W Lloyd St in Milwaukee)

On August 19, Sanfoka Milwaukee will host a free festival to celebrate “the beauty of Black lives, music, and culture.” More info here.

Back to the Silk Road
Saturday, August 20, at 12pm - Badger Rock Neighborhood Center (501 E Badger Rd)

Gather together on August 20 to enjoy a drum circle, goods to purchase, and food to support social change through collective work. More info here.

Data for Impact Conference
Tuesday, August 22, at 8am - Memorial Union (800 Langdon St.)

As part of the Forward Festival, the Data for Impact Conference will provide a vital lesson on how to use small, detailed pieces of data to make a big difference in issues like racial justice. More info here.

9th Black/Latino Unity Picnic
Sunday, August 27, at 1pm - 1602 S Park St.

Join us on August 27 for the Black/Latino Unity Picnic (Noveno Picnic por la Unidad) to unite over the commons struggles of working people of color. The event will feature music, poetry, delicious food, activities for children, and dancing. More info here.

Hello YGB Community,

In light of all that's been happening in our city, we're happy to share a list of opportunities to come together and build community. It's this kind of fellowship that helped YGB build community and strategy at the recent WiLD training. Please stay tuned for some next steps from us on moving toward real and lasting change that elevates community power. Until then, please enjoy these upcoming opportunities to stay engaged.

Darbo-Worthington Peace Walk and Block Party
Thursday, August 24, at 4pm - Mentoring Positives Inc. (414 Rethke Av)

On August 24, Mentoring Positives will host an event that will feature art provided by Community Unity Arts, local food carts for an excellent dinner, and a march through the neighborhood to call for peace and justice. By sharing food and art together, our community members will become connected on a deeper level. Click here for more info.

Infamous Mothers Campaign
All Month

Infamous Mothers is an organization based in Madison that “taps into, cultivates and releases the power of women who mother from the margins of society.” One of Infamous Mothers’ latest campaigns is to donate 10,000 of their books to mothers in low-income communities, prisons, domestic abuse shelters, drug rehabilitation facilities, and YWCAs. Please support this effort by donating here (August 30 is the last day to donate).

Other Events:

SURJ MKE Workshop: Civil Rights History Bus Ride

Saturday, August 5, at 10am - Wisconsin Black Historical Society (2620 W Center St in Milwaukee)

This Saturday, the Milwaukee organization SURJ MKE will be hosting a historic bus tour of some of Milwaukee’s most important sites from the Civil Rights Movement. The bus tour will feature Peggy Rozga, who was part of the NAACP Youth Council in the 60’s. More info here.

SE WI NORML at Center St Daze
Saturday, August 5, at 11am - E Center St. in Milwaukee

We know that the criminalization of marijuana is a leading cause of the disproportionate amount of people of color in the Dane County Jail. During Milwaukee’s Center Street Daze event this Saturday, stop by the SE WI NORML tent to buy t-shirts and pins in support of legalizing marijuana. More info here.

Immigration Information Forum
Saturday, August 5, at 1pm - South Division High School (1515 W Lapham Blvd in Milwaukee)

This Saturday in Milwaukee, there will be a public forum to learn and discuss the latest updates on immigrant rights in America - specifically, what’s going on with DACA, how AB190 will hurt immigrant communities, what Milwaukee is doing on the topic of immigration, and more. More info here.

Social Good Summit
Thursday, August 17, at 9am - Madison Public Library (201 W Mifflin St.)

If Madison’s businesses dedicated more of their focus to uplifting marginalized communities, our city would be in a much better place. This all-day conference will mobilize social good entrepreneurs with resources and community input. Part of Madison’s Forward Fest. More info and tickets here.

African Fest Madison
Saturday, August 19, at 11am - Central Park (202 S Ingersoll St.)

To celebrate the diversity of our heritage, the African Fest on August 19 will bring together Madisonians to enjoy Africa’s culture, food, music, and people. More info here.

Sanfoka MKE 2017
Saturday, August 19, at 2pm - Washington Park Bandshell (4599 W Lloyd St in Milwaukee)

On August 19, Sanfoka Milwaukee will host a free festival to celebrate “the beauty of Black lives, music, and culture.” More info here.

Back to the Silk Road
Saturday, August 20, at 12pm - Badger Rock Neighborhood Center (501 E Badger Rd)

Gather together on August 20 to enjoy a drum circle, goods to purchase, and food to support social change through collective work. More info here.

Data for Impact Conference
Tuesday, August 22, at 8am - Memorial Union (800 Langdon St.)

As part of the Forward Festival, the Data for Impact Conference will provide a vital lesson on how to use small, detailed pieces of data to make a big difference in issues like racial justice. More info here.

9th Black/Latino Unity Picnic
Sunday, August 27, at 1pm - 1602 S Park St.

Join us on August 27 for the Black/Latino Unity Picnic (Noveno Picnic por la Unidad) to unite over the commons struggles of working people of color. The event will feature music, poetry, delicious food, activities for children, and dancing. More info here.

This July, the Oregon legislature passed a bill that would charge first-time users of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, and MDMA with misdemeanors instead of felonies, a major advancement in the fight to soften punishments on drugs.

 

The goal of this initiative is to remove resources from mass incarceration and reallocate them towards restorative and effective drug treatment, a process that will reduce both mass incarceration and racial disparities in jails, as drug-related charges are much more likely to be inflicted upon people of color. In the words of Oregon Senator Jackie Winters, “we are trying to move policy towards treatment rather than prison beds.”

 

Non-violent drug offenders are people, not criminals, and by giving them strategies to eliminate their addiction instead of locking them in cages, we can actually attack the root of the problem. It’s also noteworthy the economic effects of a felony charge can be causes of substance abuse themselves. This is especially true without access to housing and employment, as poverty can often be a cause of drug addiction.

 

We must support Oregon’s effort to decrease punishments on non-violent drug offenders and stand for even more radical steps to shift our criminal justice system from punishment to rehabilitation. Here in Madison, we must fight for the same goal until we see a Madison community where people of color are given help - not jail time - for possession of drugs.

Dear YGB Community,

Tonight, we will gather to attend a public hearing and speak out against the new Dane County Jail proposal. There, we will be able to register and testify against the new jail proposal and make our voices heard by Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney and a host of Dane County Supervisors.

To learn more about how the proposed new Dane County Jail will expand solitary confinement, please click here: http://bit.ly/2tp0Edv

Come to register and/or testify:
Today (Wednesday, July 12) at 6pm
Fitchburg Community Center (5510 Lacy Rd. in Fitchburg)
https://www.facebook.com/events/149678952243930/

If you cannot attend the public hearing tonight at 6pm, please contact your Dane County Supervisors by clicking on this link: https://board.countyofdane.com/Supervisors

We know that mental health and economic resources are the solution to the problems we face in our community - not new jails. That's why Mead and Hunt's proposal to expand the Dane County Jail is so disastrous. Not only would the new jail cost $100 million in taxpayer dollars, but it would expand the inhumane practice of solitary confinement. There are still no signs that this proposal will attempt to downsize the jail or take steps to end Madison's long history of mass incarcerating its Black population.

That's why we must resist the new jail proposal and urge the city to end solitary confinement - not expand it.

On Wednesday, June 21, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed an anti-heckling law with a vote of 61-35 and zero Democratic votes. Proposed by Assembly Republicans, the law will crack down on heckling and protests against speakers on Wisconsin campuses, threatening those who resist such speakers with harsh punishments like expulsion.

 

Although the bill claims to protect free speech, it actually infringes on it. Of course, if there is someone in the crowd that is attempting to violently or permanently silence a speaker from getting his or her word out, security personnel should be allowed to intervene to allow the speaker to convey his or her message. But shouts, chants, rallies, and boos that allow the speaker to speak but also make it clear that his or her message will be countered with resistance should not only be permitted, but encouraged. Verbal disagreement is vital to having an open discussion and a functioning democracy in general, and it's only fair that dissenting opinions have a voice too - not just the dominant narrative.

 

Of course, speakers should have the right to have their voice heard on campus. But protesters should have the same First Amendment right to resist. People with conservative opinions should be allowed to speak, but dissidents should have the same right to oppose and resist their arguments. The heckling bill fails to make this vital distinction, and that’s what makes it a disastrous piece of legislation.

Support YGB when you purchase Kindred.

 

Kindred by Octavia Butler begins when a twenty-six year old woman is celebrating her 26th birthday in California in the 1970s, but suddenly she is kidnapped from her home and whisked away to the South. There, she finds herself in a time period over 150 years earlier - 1815 - the times of the slaves. This science fiction novel delves deep into the racial climate then and now.

 

Support YGB when you purchase Kindred with the Amazon link below.

If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

 

From Nino Rodriguez:

 

 

 

Community members have questions, and want answers!

Why are Dane County’s elected officials about to spend $99 million to more than doublethe jail's capacityto cage people—mostly Black people—in solitary confinement?

 

The conclusion that the jail proposal will drastically increase the capacity to cage people —especially Black people—in solitary confinement is based on a careful review of the floor plans and cell descriptions in the old Option 1 plan, as adjusted by the new Option 3 plan.

The following are key questions that community members need answered, along with the best answers currently available:

 

 

Q: What is “solitary confinement”?

A: Caging a person, isolated, without meaningful social interaction, more than 22 hours per day.

 

 

Q: In the current jail, how many cells are used for solitary confinement?

A: 44 cells, according to the Sheriff’s Office, as of July 2015. See page 3: http://bit.ly/2rtCd1W

 

 

Q: In the new jail proposal, how many cells are designed to hold one person?

A: 114 cells are “single cells” designed for single occupancy.

 

 

Q: Will the new jail cells’ doors eliminate bars, which have been a safety hazard?

A: Yes, all new cells will have solid doors. This means that all 114 single cells could be used for solitary confinement because the doors can be completely sealed.

 

 

Q: How many new cells are designedto be used for solitary confinement?

A: At least 50 of the new cells are designed for isolation, with high-security doors, and slots for food. These cells are designed to isolate people as much as possible, including during meals. Additionally, there are at least four "safety cells" with “rubberized” surfaces, but no sink or toilet.

 

 

Q: Who will be most impacted by this increase in solitary confinement?

A: Black men and women. 72% of people in “segregation” in June 2015 were Black people; see: http://bit.ly/2suQnjL. In the new jail design, female areas have proportionally more single cells.

 

 

Q: Didn’t the County Board commit to reducing the use of solitary confinement?

A: Yes, Resolution 556 stated “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County Board supports... eliminating or reducing solitary confinement.” See page 11: http://bit.ly/1IQ7oWR.

 

 

Q: What can community members do to stop solitary confinement?

A: Demand that Dane County elected officials immediately stop all jail construction plans, and instead make a significant capital budget investment in planning effective jail alternatives, such as transitional housing, a restoration center, and community-based mental wellness facilities.

Support YGB when you purchase Octavia’s Brood.

 

Octavia’s Brood by Walidah Imarisha explores the connection between fiction - be it sci fi, fantasy, or horror - and actual movements for social change against war, prisons, and capitalism. Says Jeff Chang, the author of Who We Be, to summarize the book, “our job begins with speculative fictions that fire society's imagination and its desire for change.”

 

Support YGB when you purchase Octavia’s Brood with the Amazon link below.

 

If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

Dear YGB Community,

We're grateful for your support in helping YGB attend the WiLD Organization and Leadership training. There, we'll strengthen our capacity to meet Black needs, Build Collective Analysis, and Advocate for real solutions. If you haven't already, please find out how you can support and share at https://www.gofundme.com/YGBTraining.

In the meantime, please show up and show out to the following July events.

 

Protest Paul Ryan

Friday, July 7, 11:30am - Sheraton Madison (706 John Nolen Dr)

On Friday, Paul Ryan will be receiving an award from the Boy Scouts of America at the Sheraton Madison. Be there at 11:30am to protest. More info here.

Emergency Rally Against the Muslim Ban
Friday, July 7, 6pm - Corner of Howell and Layton in Milwaukee

This Friday, nearby the Milwaukee airport, we will gather to protest the Supreme Court’s devastating and xenophobic decision to push forward parts of Trump’s de facto Muslim Ban. More info here.

5th Annual Love Water Not Oil Tour
Sunday, July 9, 6pm - Majestic Madison (115 King St)

This year, the Love Water Not Oil tour will come to Madison, featuring Nahko, Annie Humphrey, and more in a concert with a powerful message. More info here.

Mass U.S. Imprisonment: Then and Now
Tuesday, July 11 - From 2-4pm at Fountain of Life Covenant Church (633 Badger Rd) and 6-8pm at First Unitarian Society (900 University Bay Dr)

Sam Mihara is a former prisoner at Heart Mountain Camp in Wyoming, one of America’s racist Japanese internment camps. On July 11, Mihara will speak about mass incarceration, one of the few people former internment prisoners to speak about the experience.
 

Reception: Faces of Incarceration
Saturday, July 22, 6pm - Overture Center (201 State St)

The artists of Atwood Atelier in Madison have spent hours studying the faces of those who have been incarcerated and have recreated them on canvas to encourage compassion and empathy for the formerly incarcerated. View this powerful exhibition in the Overture Center and, at 8pm, listen to a panel discussion featuring formerly incarcerated participants and criminal justice experts. More info here.

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Press Conference VIEW ALL 

Expecting a Non-Indictment

Anticipating a continuation of historic and recent national trends, the Young, Gifted & Black Coalition (YGB). expects Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne to announce his decision not to indict Madison police officer Matt Kenny for breaking into an apartment and shooting unarmed 19 year old Tony Robinson multiple times in response to a distress call for help.

The Young, Gifted & Black Coalition (YGB). are holding a community form and press conference to announce their plans for the expected non-indictment and future actions. The press conference will be held on Friday, April 3, 2015 at the South Madison Partnership Space, located in the Villager Mall, at 2312 S. Park St., Madison, WI, beginning at 5:00pm. The Press Conference will be live streamed here.

 

Press Conference VIEW ALL 

Family of Tony Robinson Speaks on Independent Investigation

On Friday April 3, 2015, the Madison Police Department released hundreds of documents related to the police killing of Tony Robinson, Jr. None of these documents referred to the moment when Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny encountered and killed Tony Robinson, Jr. As a result, the family of Tony Robinson, Jr. is quickly losing faith in the supposedly independent process that produced the report that District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is currently reviewing.

“We worry that the MPD and other officials are setting up a kangaroo court,” said Jerome Flowers, Tony Robinson’s friend. “Tony’s character is what’s being put on trial.”

The family of Tony Robinson, Jr. will hold a press conference to share their concerns with the investigation and pending release of the DA’s decision. The family will also lay out their requests for the District Attorney and the Madison Police Department. Supporters will meet in front of 1125 Williamson Street, the house where Tony was killed at 11 am on Monday April 6th. Supporters will then march to the County Courthouse at 215 S. Hamilton Street to hold the press conference in front of the building. For more information visit:

www.facebook.com/fergusontomadison.

 

Police Brutality VIEW ALL 

 Violent and Unlawful Arrests 

Between 6:30 and 7:30 pm on Tuesday April 14th, Madison Police officers at the intersection of East Washington and 4th Street arrested more than ten peaceful protestors. Roughly 35 people, mostly youth remained in the intersection after a day-long protest, for which residents shut down East Washington for several hours to demand justice for Tony Robinson and as a part of a national action against police violence and mass incarceration. As the young people continued to sit in the intersection, 30-40 officers approached the group from the west, spanning both sides of East Washington. The officers approached the youth telling them they had 5 minutes to leave before they would be arrested. While the youth deliberated as to whether they would take arrests, the police ambushed the group. Officers arrested three people initially, Jivonte Lee Davis, Mary Jo Walters and another protestor.

They subsequently approached Leslie Amsterdam (Peterson), a member of the media, who was recording the arrests. They told her to move, and when she revealed herself as a member of the media, they destroyed her camera and forcibly arrested her. The remaining youth then decided that since they could not be in the street without being arrested, they would march legally in the crosswalks across East Washington during the light changes. After roughly an hour, they were caught in the median during a light change. Two adults, Adeyemi Balogun and Brandi Grayson attempted to protect the youth from the police.

“They grabbed Brandi and dragged her, so I grabbed her,” reported Balogun. “Then they jumped on me. They came up behind me and grabbed my neck. Then another cop grabbed me and they had me wrapped up. They just kept saying ‘stop resisting, stop resisting!’ But I wasn’t doing anything.” Grayson was violently thrown to the ground and then drug along the ground before she was arrested. Balogun along with approximately six more people, including youth, were arrested at that time. Marnie Schroeder, another arrested person described the scene: “He [CJ Terrell] wasn’t talking, wasn’t doing anything and they slammed him to the ground. They had their knee on his neck and his face in the dirt. I tried to put my hand under his face to protect it, but then they arrested me.” Community members are outraged but unsurprised by this gross display of state power by MPD. “This is a clear example of the state violence we have been talking about for months,” said Grayson. “They brutalized me, and they arrested our babies who were mourning and protesting against the police violence that led to the murder of their friend, Tony Robinson.”

 

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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