Topic

Racial Justice

417 petitions

Started 2 days ago

Petition to City Manager Ed Augustus

Tell the Citizen Advisory Council to Consider Diversity Goals in Selection Process

Worcester is a Gateway city with an increasingly diverse population and a historical legacy of being welcoming to immigrants. Because of this history: People of color make up 38% of our population Worcester Public Schools are home to students who speak 85 languages Despite this, our city has struggled with addressing institutional racism and years of policies and practices that have led to disparate outcomes across key quality of life indicators that include health, education and economics and under representation in city government. The city’s Charter was changed in 1986 to establish a Citizen’s Advisory Council (CAC). The purpose of the CAC is to publicize and recruit candidates for vacancies on the city’s volunteer boards, and to advise the City Manager of candidates for those positions. The Charter specifically addresses inclusion and diversity goals in filling those vacancies. Unfortunately, the process for selection of candidates onto these boards and commissions does not prioritize goals for racial diversity, equity and inclusion. This opens the city up to the potential threat of selecting candidates, including local professionals, whose actions are in direct contradiction to the goals of equity and inclusion to fill these positions. City Manager Ed Augustus has demonstrated a commitment to improving citizen access to city services by establishing a city diversity and inclusion office and hiring a strong candidate to fill it. He has made public statements in support of inclusion and diversity, and has made attempts to engage the community in discussions of racial inequity in the city. We’re calling on Mr. Augustus to follow up on those steps and commitments by ensuring that all citizens who serve on city boards and commissions recognize and are committed to the city’s stated goals for racial diversity, equity and inclusion. Instructions given to the Citizen’s Advisory Council in interviewing applicants should include directives to address those goals with candidates. Furthermore, to support the city’s goals of being a safe and welcoming city and to prevent future blind spots that could cause potential harm to our community, it is recommended that the City’s Diversity Director report directly to the City Manager to help our city government prioritize those goals.

Concerned Citizen
106 supporters
Started 1 week ago

Petition to Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig

Drop the charges against victims of Davis Police violence on Picnic Day 2017

On April 22, 2017, three plainsclothes Davis police officers reported that they were attacked by an angry mob. However, video evidence and witness accounts contradict their statements. The Davis Police lied about what happened that day, and not only are they currently evading any consequences and still serving on the police force, but five young adults (all of whom are of color) are facing felony charges as a result of their misconduct and blatant dishonesty. The police initially reported that a mob of people surrounded their car and attacked them out of nowhere. Video taken from a dash cam shows that this did not happen. Instead, it shows the officers driving their unmarked van straight into a large, but calm, crowd gathered on a streetcorner. Officers then quickly got out of their car (once again, the car was unmarked; the individuals involved had no idea that they were police officers) and getting violent with the crowd. A video taken from a witness’s cell phone at one point shows an officer taking a young woman into a chokehold. The Davis Police reported that it was obvious they were police officers, but they do not appear to be wearing badges on the film, and from their regular clothing it is apparent that anyone could have taken them as simply violent people that they needed to defend themselves against. Witnesses have also come forward and corroborated that the people arrested and charged did not start this fight. Witnesses said that the crowd was upset that the police nearly ran them over and began arguing with them, but the police began the violence when they got out of the vehicle and began attacking people. Five young men and one young woman have been arrested in this case, and only one has evaded charges. For simply defending themselves against this attack, the remaining five are facing charges of felony assault likely to produce great bodily harm against a police officer, and felony resisting arrest with force. Elijah Williams, who engaged with the officers to free the woman in the headlock, is also charged with obstructing a peace officer in addition to the felony charges. Meanwhile, the officers involved are facing no charges and have faced no repercussions. They are still on active duty. This petition hereby calls on the Yolo County District Attorney to drop all charges against Elijah Williams, Antwoine Perry, Angelica Reyes, Alexander Craver, and Iszir Price to be dropped immediately.

Stephanie Parreira
47 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Fairfax County School Board

Rename J.E.B. Stuart High School after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

We have been friends since 8th grade in Fairfax County, Virginia, and attended J.E.B. Stuart High School. When our school was founded in 1959, it was named after Stuart, a Confederate General, to protest the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling that ended the segregation of public schools. Today, this school is attended by a diverse group of students who should not have to attend a school that bears the name of a man who fought to keep African Americans enslaved. So we're calling on the Fairfax County School Board to rename it Thurgood Marshall High School. Not only was Marshall the first African American Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights leader, he was our neighbor and a member of our community. When we were at J.E.B. Stuart in the late ’70’s, the school symbol was Stuart riding a horse and waving the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag was at the center of our basketball court and on our athletic letter jackets and wasn’t removed until 2001--but the symbol of Stuart on a horse waving a flag (now solid blue) remains. No one should have to apologize for the name of the public high school you attended and the history of racism it represents, as we and so many alumni of Stuart have felt the need to do our whole lives. The killings of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist who proudly flew and wore the Confederate battle flag was a tragic reminder of how these symbols of hate continue to fuel racism and violence. And it’s sparked a national conversation about the appropriateness of honoring the Confederacy, especially in institutions of learning. Renaming schools is not an uncommon practice. In fact, in 2013 a father in Jacksonville, Florida launched a successful petition on Change.org to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. Forrest was a Confederate General and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. We have the support of many current students, represented by Students for Change, and former students, represented by Alumni for Change, as well as the Fairfax County NAACP and People Demanding Action. It’s time to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School.Please sign our petition to help us honor a true leader and hero by creating Thurgood Marshall High School. Bruce Cohen is an Academy Award-winning producer of film, television and theater. Bruce won the Best Picture Oscar for producing AMERICAN BEAUTY in 1999. He earned additional Best Picture nominations for MILK (2008) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012). He was nominated for an Emmy for producing the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2010. Bruce has always been passionate about promoting fairness and equality. He graduated from J.E.B. Stuart in 1979. Julianne Moore is an Academy Award-winning actress, who won the Best Actress Oscar this year, as well as the Golden Globe and the SAG Award, for STILL ALICE. She earned four additional Oscar nominations for Best Actress in THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999) and FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002) and Best Supporting Actress in BOOGIE NGHTS (1997) and THE HOURS (2002). Julianne works diligently to effect change for many causes that are close to her heart. She attended J.E.B. Stuart from 1975-77.

Julianne Moore and Bruce Cohen
35,265 supporters