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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.

The following is a message from Amelia Royko Maurer.


Dear All -  
Our alders need your support.
Did you know, for a civilian to have a chance of successfully filing a complaint with the police and fire commission it would cost them between $30,000 and $60,000?  The Council has introduced new ordinance to make the PFC process accessible to all people by reimbursing legal fees for those who file successful complaints and It isn’t too late to help them.  Please write your alder as soon as possible.  
Chief Koval, Dan Frei (Madison Police Union President) and Alder Skidmore are misrepresenting this proposed ordinance as one that would allow the council to veto PFC decisions (not possible under current state law) and would encourage people to file frivolous complaints with the PFC and therefore deter officers from applying to MPD.  This accusation is, once again, absurd.  Currently, it costs a civilian anywhere from $30,000-$60,000 in attorney’s fees to go through the whole PFC process.  Under the proposed legislation, if their complaint is dismissed, they pay their attorney fees.  Does Chief Koval really think someone is going to assume that financial risk with a frivolous complaint?  And any officer that would not apply to MPD for fear of being held accountable or because it upsets them that a civilian with a legitimate complaint would be reimbursed their attorney fees isn’t a cop we want in the first place.   
In reality, this proposed ordinance would make the PFC accessible to people who have legitimate complaints.  It's still a big risk for the civilian but the policy makes the process a bit more fair.   Additionally, this policy just reaffirms the council’s statutory power to use their discretion on reimbursing a police or fire chief.  If the chief is found to have committed a violation as charged in a PFC complaint, the council may use their discretion on whether or not to reimburse attorney fees for that charge.  They already have this statutory power but they are wanting to add it the city rules.
Can you help support the council in passing this ordinance? 
Goal: Make filing a legitimate complaint with the Police and Fire Commission affordable and accessible to all people.
Action: Please write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include your full address in the email body.  Thank you!
Letter Template:
Dear Alders, 
Please make the PFC process accessible to people of all means and support the ordinance put forth by sponsors Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Maurice S. Cheeks, Denise DeMarb, Rebecca Kemble, Larry Palm, Matthew J. Phair, Marsha A. Rummel, Ledell Zellers that includes:
1. Reimbursement of legal fees for civilians who successfully file a police and fire commission complaint against an officer.
2. Reimbursement of city employees who successfully defend themselves against a complaint and by successful we mean he or she is fully exonerated, if the charges are dismissed (for any reason), or if the complaint is otherwise withdrawn or discontinued. 
3. If the City employee or official is successful as defined herein, but the PFC found some violation of a legal standard (such as a code of conduct) by the City employee or official, the Council may make a reasonable adjustment in the reimbursement for such findings. 
4. Similarly, if the employee or official is successful on some charges but not others, the Council may make a reasonable adjustment in the fees and costs to be reimbursed. 
Please include and vote in favor of these proposals/observations as well:
5. Court Actions. This ordinance does not apply to any proceedings in court, reimbursement for which will continue to be considered under existing state law and any agreements with employee associations. If a court reverses or modifies any ruling of the PFC, the Council may consider such a decision in determining whether to reimburse for all proceedings before the PFC. 
6. Request for Reimbursement. A separate resolution shall be introduced upon the conclusion of matters before the PFC, providing for reimbursement for any person under this ordinance. The separate resolution is needed to determine if the person qualifies under this ordinance and to appropriate the funds for reimbursement. 
7. Authority. This ordinance is adopted pursuant to the authority granted under Wis. Stats. §§ 62.09(7)(e), 62.11(5) and 895.35. The Council is determining that it will reimburse under the circumstances set forth in this ordinance. In all circumstances not covered by this ordinance, the Council retains the rights to reimburse or not reimburse as provided by state law.” 
Section 6.18 entitled “Reimbursement of Legal Fees Before the Police and Fire Commission” of the Madison General Ordinances is created to read as follows: 
• The Fire Department employees including the Fire Chief are covered by the reimbursement standards of Sec. 5.15, MGO.” 
• Resolution RES-16-00697 (Legistar # 44195), the City of Madison Police and Fire Chiefs Reimbursement Policy, is hereby repealed. 

Support YGB when you purchase Citizen.


Citizen by Claudia Rankine examines the daily verbal slights - whether intentional or not - that are prevalent in daily life and the media. This book examines how microaggressions and verbal insults affect people of color throughout their daily lives in trying to “speak, perform, and stay alive,” and that they prove that we do not live in a so-called “post racial society.”


Support YGB when you purchase Citizen 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 Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching.


Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith explores Smith’s challenges with coming of age as a Black man in an environment of systemic racial oppression. Smith explains that we must overcome the stereotypes of Black masculinity - anxiety and depression aren’t taboo, and we should all fight alongside the LGBT and feminist communities in their pursuit of justice, regardless of racial stereotypes.


Support YGB when you purchase Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching 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 The Fire This Time.


The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward expands upon James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and states that Baldwin’s claim “the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon” still rings true today. Through a series of essays and poems, Ward shows that we are yet to live in a “post-racial” society and large amounts of work must be done if we are to see one.


Support YGB when you purchase The Fire This Time with the Amazon link below.


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



Dear YGB Community,

As the summer nears, we must continue to stay engaged in the fight for Black liberation.

Largely as a result of your work and your advocacy, the City of Madison is looking to push for progressive reforms to our criminal justice system. We must advocate for these changes as well as bigger ones that aren’t currently on the table, such as the legalization of Marijuana, the decriminalization of poverty, and, of course, Community Control Over the Police.

To keep the fight strong, please participate in the following June events:



Freedom Inc. Open House
Friday, June 2, 6pm to 9pm - 1810 S Park St

Supporters and friends of Freedom Inc. are encouraged to attend the Freedom Inc. Open House. Dancing, poetry, raffles, graffiti art, and Hmong, Khmer, and African food will be shared. More info here.

Forward 2017
FridayJune 2 from 6pm to 9pm and Saturday, June 3 from 9am to 9pm - Edgewood College (1000 Edgewood College Dr)

Forward 2017 is a two day series of engaging workshops and powerful discussions on social justice struggles in the Midwest. These events will be led by students, educators, and community activists committed to transforming Wisconsin. Please click here for registration and more information.

TRANSforming Faith
Saturday, June 3, from 9am to 4pm - First United Methodist Church (203 Wisconsin Av)

This Saturday, the First United Methodist Church will host a one day, seven hour conference to strengthen the understanding between transgender youth, their parents, and faith leaders across the state. In honor of Skylar Lee, this event will feature a diverse list of speakers and is open to all members of the public. Click here for more info.

PP&J and HHN City Meeting
Tuesday, June 6, 5:15pm - CIty County Building (210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) Room 357

This will be a meeting between the PP&J (Public Protection & Judiciary) Committee and the HHN (Health and Human Needs) Committee, as requested by LWV, NAMI, and MOSES. The meeting will discuss the police, the sheriff, and the proposed jail.

Equality March for Unity and Pride
Sunday, June 11, 12pm - UW Library Mall (728 State St)

On Sunday, June 11, tens of thousands of people will gather in Washington D.C. to march and organize for LGBTQIA+ rights in the face of the homophobic Trump administration. However, if you can not attend the Washington march, a solidarity march will be held in Madison. Click here for more info. 

County Board Meeting on Mead and Hunt
Thursday, June 15, 7pm - City County Building (210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) Room 201

This County Board meeting will oversee a presentation from Mead and Hunt, who are proposing the new jail plan. We must come out to speak against this proposal, which would cement us into a system of mass incarceration.

Stop AB 190! Pilgrimage for Justice
Wednesday, June 28, 12pm - Wisconsin State Capitol

This year, Wisconsin Republicans introduced a xenophobic and heavily authoritarian anti-immigrant bill, AB 190, which “has police and public employees work as ICE agents” according to Voces De La Frontera. This Wednesday, we will march against the bill and other abuses of immigrant rights. Click here for more info.

Please continue to stay engaged by showing up and showing out to these events!

Young Gifted & Black Coalition

Support YGB when you purchase The Fire Next Time.


The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin is a bestselling book that delved into Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and the lasting effect of racial injustice on a person. This personal, introspective book inspires all people, Black and white, to join the fight to end racism. According to The New York Times, the book is "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose.”


Support YGB when you purchase The Fire Next Time 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 The Souls of Black Folk.


The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois examines how there is a growing divide among the political ideals of the Black community between moderates and conservatives and aggressive, radical protesters. Throughout the book, Du Bois explains the necessary strategic framework for Black protest in order to end Black oppression.


Support YGB when you purchase The Souls of Black Folk 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 What’s the Matter with Kansas.


What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank is a comical, New York Times best-selling book about how conservatives won over the heart of America with explicitly anti-American policies. Nowadays, many average Americans see extreme conservatism as a good thing for the working class despite how it’s led to lower wages, increased wealth inequality, dwindling unions, and a weaker working class. Throughout the book, Frank explains how this misconception came to be.


Support YGB when you purchase What’s the Matter with Kansas 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 When Affirmative Action Was White.


When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson reveals how the New Deal programs of the 1930s and 1940s were largely favored towards white people. Southern Democrats specifically signed mechanism that excluded maids and farm workers. These policies were equivalent to Affirmative Action for white people argues Katznelson.


Support YGB when you purchase When Affirmative Action Was White with the Amazon link below.


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



The recently proposed Assembly Bill 48 - whose full text can be found here - is self-described as a “Blue Lives Matter” bill. Drafted by Wisconsin Republicans, the bill seeks to classify anti-police activity as a “hate crime.” Currently, hate crimes are defined as crimes committed against someone due to their race, religion, gender, or disability. If AB 48 passes, police status will be included under this umbrella.


This ridiculous proposition neglects the entire purpose of classifying something as a hate crime in the first place: to protect the vulnerable from oppression. Police officers are certainly not vulnerable in a police state, and they have full authority - both physically and societally - over everyone in the city, making them the furthest thing from oppressed.


Protected classes are parts of us that cannot be chosen. Police officers can choose their job; people of color cannot choose their skin tone. Black Lives Matter rallies do not constitute discrimination against the police. On the contrary, they are calling for a moratorium to the rampant and systemic discrimination committed by the police. We MUST be able to talk about this without it being a hate crime!


It’s time for the Wisconsin legislature to get its priorities straight and realize that Madison’s low income people of color are the ones that are being discriminated against - not the officers in blue uniforms who marginalize them. Please tell your elected official to vote no on this bill.

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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 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.



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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