Racial and Immigration Justice: Take Action This Week

Dear Friends:  

Many of us continue to feel mobilized in response to the long history of racist brutality and white supremacy in our country, most recently with the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others. We know that our community will want to find ongoing ways to respond and that actions will be unfolding in real time.  We will post here as we hear about them, and please email Martha or Almas with information we may want to include. 
 
The Racial Justice Action Committee wants to help FPB members increase our collective impact in the critical work of racial and immigration justice and, at the same time, build a supportive community. 
 
Movement for Black Lives emphasizes that there are opportunities for those who are unable to physically show up to still take action. 
Stay safe, know that you are not alone, and reach out for connection when you need it.  First Parish in Brookline is a caring community with a justice, anti-racist mission.  We can be there for each other as well as for the world beyond our doors.
 
For more information, contact Martha Leader or Almas Dossa.
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1. UU SPONSORED EVENTS

A. Harvest the Power Justice Convergence & Teach-In, November 19-26. This series of virtual events will include a diverse array of programming from indigenous leaders, climate justice activists, and others. This UU justice convergence will provide many opportunities for learning and spiritual grounding to guide us as we to live into our journey for what’s next, as we reckon with our history, and we move forward to make it. First Parish in Brookline member Ann Gilmore has been very involved in the planning of this convergence.
 
B. Closing the Racial Wealth Gap in Boston
Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry
When: Tuesday, November 24, 6-7:30pm
A presentation by King Boston’s Executive Director Imari K. Paris Jeffries. Register here.   This is one of a series of conversations. FPB member Karla Baehr is the chair of the board of UUUM. 

2. RACIAL JUSTICE RALLIES, VIGILS, AND MARCHES

Listings of upcoming Black Lives Matter Demonstrations in the Boston Area: 
 

3. LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY 

A.  For Department of Corrections Advocacy

Please consider reading the report (or summary) and sending this email to the Governor, Commissioner Mici and Undersecretary Peck

The November 172020 DOJ Report on the DOC investigation (3 p summary) is a clear indictment against the DOC.  The behavior described in this report would not be tolerated in any other government agency and the fact that it is happening in the DOC is unacceptable.

B. Advocacy Day for Priority Legislation

Many important bills need to pass before the legislative session ends on Dec 31st!.  UU Mass Action is partnering with Mass Peace Action to hold a virtual lobby day on Thursday, Dec 10th 

You'll be advocating for these priority bills and also asking the State Representative(s) to commit to voting for the proposed rules changes in January, to allow for greater transparency in the legislative process.  More information about the Transparency is Power campaign is below.

Police and Prison Reform.  We need accountability and reform in policing.  The people of Massachusetts were promised reform.  We need you to honor this promise before the legislative session ends.  We also call on you to pass no cost phone calls for incarcerated people.  It’s time to stop profiting off people’s pain.  

No cost phone calls S.2846

Policing Reform and Racial Justice S.2820

Protect our homes and families.  Our homes are vital to our survival.  Now, more than ever, since they are also now our classrooms, our workspaces and where we recover from illness. Housing relief can’t wait.

Guaranteed Housing Stability Act (S.2918/H.5018)

Protect our workers.  Frontline workers have been crucial to the survival of all Baystaters throughout the pandemic and yet, they are often underpaid and without paid sick time benefits.  Worker justice can’t wait.

Emergency Paid Sick Time (S.2882/H.4928)

Protect our Health.  The communities with the worst air quality, primarily Black and Brown communities where English is not the primary language, have been the hardest hit during the pandemic.  This is unacceptable and completely preventable.  Our health can’t wait

Environmental Justice (H.4912, amendment #52) 

Protect immigrant families.  Immigrants have been under relentless attack the past four years and yet, Massachusetts has done nothing to protect families.  Immigrant families can’t wait

Safe Communities Act S.1401 /H.3573

Work and Family Mobility Act (S.2061/H.3012)

Indigenous Rights Legislation. No one will have justice as long as the very symbol of our Commonwealth is a hateful, racist symbol and Indigenous rights are denied.  Indigenous rights can’t wait. 

Change the State Flag & Seal S.1877 / H.2776 

Prohibit Native American Mascots in Public Schools S.247

Protect Native American Heritage S.1811/H.2948

REGISTER between now and Sun Dec 6, 9:00 PM (we really need your help with this!  We have a very short time to make appointments - we need to know your coming by Dec 6th)

Join the Info Meeting on Tue Dec 8, 7:00 PM At this meeting we'll discuss the logistics of the meetings, go over the bills and explain the transparency campaign.  This will be your opportunity to ask any questions you may have

4. INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY 

51st Annual National Day of Mourning
When: November 26, 2020  12:00 Noon
Where: Coles Hill, Plymouth, MA 
In 2020, while some supporters will attend in person, we will also livestream the event in Plymouth and have substantial additional online content, with messages from many struggles as well as music.
 
To watch livestream on UAINE Facebook page: 
Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/3PM7BiBFd           facebook.com/groups/UAINE 
 
For More Information/Orientation:
United American Indians of New England (decolonizing since 1970)
 www.uaine.org

5. PRISON AND POLICING

There are numerous efforts to decarcerate or to provide effective protections for those behind bars during the pandemic - Below are just a few:

A. Families for Justice as Healing is leading a statewide campaign to push for clemency for incarcerated women. Learn more from FJAH and find out how to call your Governor’s Council member to support this campaign! Use this link and scroll down for instructions to identify your Governor’s council member and scripts to contact them and the Chair of the Board of Pardons, Gloriann Maroney. 

B. From Families for Justice as Healing

Covid19 continues to be a Humanitarian Crisis in our Jails and Prisons. 
Let Our People Go! Use the links below:
 

C. Stop a Covid19 Outbreak at MCI Shirley

#DeeperThanWater has been informed of 2 incarcerated people at MCI Shirley who were denied medical care after informing their block nurse of COVID19 symptoms. If we act to support them NOW we can stop a new outbreak at MCI Shirley.
D.  This regularly updated link offers more actions from Building Up People not Prisons:  WEEK OF ACTION: BUILDING UP PEOPLE NOT PRISONS
 
Policing: 
E. Boston Police Department Contract: 
Sign Families for Justice as Healing petition to “protect our people from police and prisons” - demands for the new Boston Police Department contract with the city by signing this petition!

6. Racial Justice Opportunities For Children, Youth, and Parents

A. The ABCs of Racism: Starting and Sustaining Conversations + Action about Race and Racism with Kids
Wee the People
When: Saturday, December 5, 8-10am and 7-9pm
"Mama, why is that lady brown?" "Who started slavery?" "What happened to Breonna Taylor?" The questions kids have are ones that most adults are not equipped to answer. This two-hour interactive session introduces participants to the building blocks of racial literacy. Geared for White audiences, it explores the barriers that prevent adults from engaging in race talk with kids, examines the social science of race awareness in children, and identifies strategies to slow down the moment and engage honestly, directly, and authentically. All funds go to wellness and bodywork reparations for Black & brown people in Boston. Get tickets here.
 
B.  Family Workshop: Talking about Race and Racism with My Child
When: December 12 from 1pm-2pm EST
For details and registration:  Register
Offered by Roots ConnectED

7. DONATION OPPORTUNITIES

Policing, incarceration, and deportation are rooted in white supremacy and anti-blackness. Black immigrants make up about 7% of the total non-citizen pop. in the U.S., but they represent over 20% of immigrants facing deportation because of the criminal punishment system. Donate to the Black Immigrants Bail Fund (a fund co-run by the Haitian Bridge Alliance and African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs) to join them in the call to #abolishICE.
 
We’re nearly halfway to our goal! As Indigenous organizing ramps up in October and November for Indigenous Peoples Day and the National Day of Mourning, and the continued push for the Indigenous legislative agenda, please join SURJ Boston in raising $1000 for the United American Indians of New England (UAINE). Donate at this link and email us at  to let us know how much you gave.  
 
C. BOSTON IMMIGRANT JUSTICE ACCOMPANIMENT NETWORK:
Join BIJAN and Movimiento Cosecha in fundraising $5,000 to provide emergency response & mutual aid to those impacted by Hurricane Eta.
 

8. Looking Ahead to 2021: Immigrant Rights in Massachusetts


When: Monday, November 23rd at 6:30PM

Driving Families Forward Virtual Roundtable with healthcare professionals, impacted individuals, immigration experts, lawyers and more on why we need immigration reform in Massachusetts and allowing everyone, regardless of immigration status, to drive is important now, more than ever! RSVP here.