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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.,


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.

Support YGB when you purchase Punished.


Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys by Victor M. Rios, a former gang member who went on to get a PhD at UC-Berkeley, explains the struggles of youth of color to come of age amidst issues with poverty, violence, and institutionalized racism. These problems begin at a young level with elementary school teachers labeling them as “dangerous,” and this translates to the school-to-prison pipeline. Rios calls this the “youth control complex” and argues that we need social programs and positive reinforcement to solve these problems.


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


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

Support YGB when you purchase At the Dark End of the Street.


At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle L McGuire describes “Black women, rape, and resistance - a new history of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the rise of Black power.” In the book, McGuire explains that Rosa Parks was not simply “tired” one day when she chose to sit down in no man's land as history books would tell you. In fact, she was part of the larger movement for Black rights and an end to the assault of Black life.


Support YGB when you purchase At the Dark End of the Street with the Amazon link below.


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


Support YGB when you purchase Dog Whistle Politics.


Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney Lopez describes forms of discrimination that are akin to that of a dog whistle: they may be imperceptible to some, but to others they are a nuisance. For instance, mentions Lopez, President Ronald Reagan used dog whistle language by describing people of color in need of food stamps as “welfare queens” and “strapping young bucks.” Lopez explains how this language is still used by politicians and plutocrats today at a heightened level following the election of Obama, and it has led to the demolition of unions, the defunding of public schools, and an increase in wealth inequality.


Support YGB when you purchase Dog Whistle Politics with the Amazon link below.


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


Collaborative Impact with Weighted Direct Democracy

Advocacy Toward Social Justice



Support YGB when you purchase Racism without Racists.


Racism Without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva describes how white people use a variety of arguments to distract from - and ultimately justify - real issues of race. Similar to Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow,” Bonilla-Silva describes this more discrete form of racism as “the new racism,” which has not gone away after the election of Obama. We must do radically more than we are currently doing, argues Bonilla-Silva, to solve the large underlying racial problems in society.


Support YGB when you purchase Racism without Racists with the Amazon link below.

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



Support YGB when you purchase A Peoples History of the United States.


A People’s History of the United States, a landmark book by Howard Zinn, teaches the true history of the United States through the lens of the people. We know that the history taught at schools is often biased towards the wealthy and ignorant of the experiences of everyday people, but Howard Zinn is here to change that. From the times of America’s colonization up to the late 20th Century, Zinn explains history through the lens of Native Americans, African Americans, factory workers, American women, the working poor, and migrant laborers. Zinn shows the power of the people to win major battles, such as women’s and Black suffrage, the eight hour workday, laws against child labor, and more.


Support YGB when you purchase A People’s History of the United States with the Amazon link below.

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


Support YGB when you purchase Hillbilly Elegy.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance has been called “a riveting book” by The Wall Street Journal and “essential reading” by The New York Times. The book offers an in-depth look into the “white working class” that helped Trump win the Presidency. The book labels the poor white experience as “the true story of what a social, regional, and cultural class decline feels like,” an experience we must truly understand if we are to make progress in changing minds and appealing to all Americans in our pursuit of racial justice.

Support YGB when you purchase Hillbilly Elegy with the Amazon link below.

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



Dear YGB Community,

As we continue to develop our three key areas of focus - Understanding Black Needs, Building Analysis, and Advocacy - we need our people to continue to build community by attending the events below.



No Cops In Schools Rally

Tuesday, April 4, 4pm - Kohl Center (601 Dayton St)

We know from a recent report that although Black students make up 19% of Madison schools, 84% of arrests by MMSD-paid cops in/near high schools involve Black people. This Tuesday, Freedom Inc. will change that by gathering to get police out of schools! More info here.

ResourceFULL Black Businesses

Thursday, April 27th, 5pm - The Atrium Community Room (2300 S. Park St. )

In order to build community power, we MUST build our collective resources and thereby, build our ability to self determine. The Madison Alliance for Black Economic Empowerment (MABEE) has partnered with the Small Business Administration, and the Black Chamber of Commerce, to bring us an event that will connect Black businesses to resources, to each other, and grant up to $10,000! Help us build a thriving HIVE community, by supporting MABEE and attending the event. More info here.

More Events

JFC Budget Hearing

Monday, April 3, 10am-5pm - 30 S Hickory St in Platteville

This Monday, a budget meeting will be held to determine where the state of Wisconsin’s funding will be allocated. Attend the meeting to speak out in favor of divesting from cops and jails and investing in schools, anti-poverty measures, and people of color led community development instead. More info here.

Resisting Imperialism: Free Palestine and End the Wars!

Wednesday, April 5, 7pm - Ingraham Hall (1155 Observatory Dr.)

Every year, billions of American dollars are funneled into the Israeli and Saudi militaries, which have killed thousands of innocent people, and maintaining 800 American military bases on foreign soil. Instead of imperialism, this money should be invested in jobs and anti-poverty measures for the people. On April 5, the ISO will discuss these issues with Boston organizer Khury Petersen-Smith. More info here.

36th Annual Conference of the Labor History Society

Saturday, April 8, 8:30am-3pm - Madison Labor Temple (1602 S Park St)

Join unionists, scholars, activists, and a variety of organizations and historians to discuss future efforts for worker’s rights. Register here.

Screening of “Walk A Mile In Their Shoes”

Saturday, April 8, 1pm - Farley Center (2299 Rose Rd, Verona)

"Walk A Mile In Their Shoes” is a powerful documentary that shows the stories of five marginalized individuals in hopes of dispelling stereotypes. It will be screened next Saturday in Verona. More info here.

“Behind the Walls”: A First Wave Performance

Saturday, April 8, 4:30pm - First Unitarian Society (900 University Bay Dr.)

On Saturday, April 8, the spoken word group First Wave will perform “Behind the Walls,” a powerful experience of hip hop, poetry, and urban arts. More info here.

Charlene Carruthers: Movement Building for Queer Liberation

Wednesday, April 12, 7pm - Elvehjem Building (800 University Av.)

Charlene Carruthers is a Black, queer/lesbian, feminist community organizer who has been working for Black, youth, and women’s empowerment for over a decade. On April 12, join Carruthers at the Elvehjem Building. More info here.

May Day Rally Organizing Meeting

Saturday, April 15, 10am - Union de Trabajadores Inmigrantes (1310 Mendota St, #115E)

For all community organizations who want to organize at the May Day Rally, come to the May Day Rally Organizing Meeting on April 15. More info here.

Madison Climate March

Saturday, April 22, 2pm - Capitol Building (2 E Main St)

Trump has already begun to roll back the few environmental regulations instituted under the Obama Administration, and our climate is in severe danger. On April 22, we will march to protect our air, land, and water. More info here.

Support YGB when you purchase Beloved.


Beloved by Toni Morrison is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988. The book follows the life of Sethe, who grew up on a slave plantation in Kentucky and escaped, only to be discovered by her former owners. Under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1860, slave owners were allowed to track down their slaves across state borders, and Sethe, fearing for the life of her children, was forced to kill her unnamed daughter. The book then follows Sethe’s life years later, where she is haunted by the ghost of her dead daughter. The novel delves into the issues family relationships and the psychological impact of slavery in a beautifully artistic way.

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

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



Support YGB when you purchase They Came Before Columbus.


They Came Before Columbus by Ivan van Sertima describes the supposed presence and legacy of Africans in ancient America. The book uses many details and builds evidence to claim that Africans were present in the New World prior to Columbus’ arrival. This book is one of the most compelling claims to “Pre-Columbian Trans-Oceanic Contact Theories.”


Support YGB when you purchase They Came Before Columbus with the Amazon link below.


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


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:


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 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  



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.



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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