Many of us continue to feel mobilized in response to the ongoing history of racist brutality and more emboldened white supremacy in our country. We know that our community wants to find ongoing ways to respond and that actions unfold in real time. Feel free to 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. 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.
1. UU-Related EVENTS
No updates at this time – see Voting Rights
2. VOTING RIGHTS
National Legislative Action (UU for Social Justice)
It is critically important that the Senate pass S.1 – For the People Act of 2021.
Please use this link from UUSJ to call and write your senators and ask them to support the bill and not let the filibuster rules prevent it from passing.
S.1 is consistent with our 5th principle and surveys around the country have shown that this bill is supported by a majority of voters, whatever their political persuasion. It will:
- expand and protect voting rights for all,
- end partisan and racial gerrymandering,
- get dark money out of politics, and
- restore transparency and accountability in our government.
It will greatly counteract the voter suppression bills that have been introduced in many states.
3. INDIGENOUS SOLIDARITY
A. Calling Attention To Indigenous Boarding Schools And Truth & Reconciliation
August 4, 6-7:30 PM, RSVP here
This past week, the remains of 182 people were found in more unmarked graves at yet another residential school in Canada! Please educate yourself and others by reading up on the Truth and Reconciliation process in Canada (TRC Report) and this critique of the state-led reconciliation process. Join us and Knapsackers as we begin to engage with the TRC Report.
When: August 4 from 6-7:30pm. More info & please RSVP here
B. MA Legislative Initiatives:
- Send an automated email to ask your state rep and senator to co-sponsor five bills in the MA Legislative Agenda.
- ⭐️We really need your help in spreading the word across the state!
- Please fill out this short form and get involved!
4. PRISON, POLICING AND RACIAL JUSTICE
Note: We often include instances of people of color, activists and others unfairly swept into the criminal justice system for whom there is a community effort to act in solidarity with their cases. Most of these posts come from Building up People not Prisons, Families for Justice as Healing, and Showing up for Racial Justice.
A. Support the Jail Voting Bill (H. 836, S. 474) and Voting rights for those behind bars
When: Calling every Thursday in July from 5-7:30 p.m.
The Democracy Behind Bars Coalition (DBBC) is a coalition of advocacy and community organizations, direct service and religious groups, and individuals committed to ensuring that democracy does not stop at prisons and jails in Massachusetts. Sign up here: https://bit.ly/dbbc_phonebanks.
Call legislative committee chairs about the Moratorium Bill, which is now in committee! If you haven’t heard, directly affected women came together to write groundbreaking legislation to stop all jail and prison design and construction across Massachusetts for 5 years. Contact legislators and keep the pressure on architecture firm HDR who was chosen to design the prison.
Take this time-sensitive action before Wednesday 7/28! Governor Baker’s new Parole Board nominee, Sherquita HoSong, has a history of working in carceral institutions and is unqualified to promote racial justice in the parole board role. This position is essential for ensuring incarcerated people can return to our communities and we must turn out in opposition to her nomination.
D. Demand district attorney Danielle Doherty drop charges against Ernst Jean Jacques “Shimmy”, a black activist
- Call 978-745-6610 ext 5078
- Send a letter to 10 Federal St, Salem, MA 01970
- Save the date for Shimmy’s next court date: August 18, 2021
- Videos show that an older white woman at a Trump event threw water at Shimmy during a counter protest. He pushed it away, and was accused of assaulting her while she was not prosecuted at all. Swampscott Select Board members Peter Spellios and Polly Titcomb requested that Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett drop all charges against Ernst Jean-Jacques Jr., a counter-protester accused of assaulting an elderly supporter of former President Donald Trump at a December rally.”Failure to dismiss the charges against Mr. Jacques will further compromise the public’s confidence in our legal system and in the important service that police departments provide in our community and throughout the Commonwealth,” Spellios and Titcomb wrote in a letter to the DA.
- Many have rallied to his defense for the false charges.
- Watch for updates from the legal team on Instagram @FFCof2020
When: September 7 – 13
Get your sneakers on now… and sign up for a 90 mile march to raise awareness across Massachusetts for the jail and prison construction moratorium. Register online and take a look at the route!
5. IMMIGRATION JUSTICE
Please take action to support the following bills
Action from the National Domestic Workers Alliance
Call your Senators today to tell them that they need to ACT NOW, BE BOLD, and pass economic recovery that works for ALL OF US because #WeCantWait.
The “Better Care Better Jobs Act,” introduced in the midst of bipartisan negotiations on the physical infrastructure plan, would expand access to home- and community-based services to people with disabilities and older adults, create jobs and raise wages for care workers, and provide support to family caregivers. President Biden reiterated his commitment that robust recovery for families and the economy requires an investment in the physical infrastructure and the care infrastructure. Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our economy to be inclusive and equitable with a bold economic recovery package that must include the Better Care Better Jobs Act to build a robust care infrastructure and provide a pathway to citizenship to the millions of immigrant domestic workers and essential workers who keep our country running everyday.
State (important Massachusetts proposed legislation)
*SUPPORT THE FAIR WORK WEEK BILLThe COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issues working families, particularly Black and Latinx women and mothers, have been facing for decades— unpredictable work schedules, fluctuating paychecks, and underemployment. Call on your legislators to support the Fair Work Week Bill to give restaurant, retail, and hospitality workers more control over their schedules and lives.*FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER: SUPPORT THE #MASAFECOMMUNITIESACT!
Take action to support the Safe Communities Act! Passage of this bill remains an urgent public health and public safety priority to protect our communities and neighbors.
*SUPPORT THE WORK AND FAMILY MOBILITY ACTThe Work and Family Mobility Act would allow all folks in Massachusetts to apply for a driver’s license and/or ID card, regardless of immigration status. Use this link to email your state representative and senator about co-sponsoring the Work and Family Mobility Act and use this link to find your legislators’ phone numbers to call and ask them to co-sponsor.
6. EDUCATION JUSTICE
A. HELP ENSURE THE BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS EXAM SCHOOL POLICY HAS 100% OF SEATS ASSIGNED BY RANK IN SOCIOECONOMIC TIERS – THIS WOULD BE A MAJOR STEP TOWARD EQUITY IN BPS!
- Call the mayor at 617-635-4500
- Call the School Committee at 617-635-9014
- Tweet and post about it on social media using the hashtags #bospoli #BPSchat and #KeepIt100
- Sign the petition to make the exam school policy equitable
- Here is a document with messaging from the Boston Coalition for Education Equity and some other resources to help understand the exam school admissions policy fight
B. HELP THE BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS DECIDE HOW TO SPEND EDUCATIONAL RELIEF FUNDS
7. HOUSING JUSTICE
A. CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS: PROTECT YOUR NEIGHBORS FROM EVICTION
READ: BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ALLOWED EVICTION MORATORIUM TO EXPIRE
On July 31, the federal eviction moratorium expired, and efforts to pass a new bill failed before Congress went on recess for the summer. We might see “a years’ worth of evictions over several weeks”. Call about a COVID Housing Equity bill now.
Over 14,000 eviction cases have been filed in MA since October. Prevent more mass evictions with the COVID 19 Housing Equity Bill (HD3030): Call your representatives now!
B. Support Housing Rights for Justice-involved Individuals
Justice 4 Housing is a grassroots organization committed to ending housing discrimination and homelessness for justice-involved individuals.
- Call your legislators and committee chairs to support two bills H.1799/S.866 An Act Relative to Homes for All and H. 4041 An Act Securing Housing Options for Eligible Tenants with a History of Criminal Justice Involvement.
8. BROOKLINE COMMUNITY EVENTS
No updates at this time
9. FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES
A. National Anti-Racism Teach-In Experience
Race Hill (online)
When: Friday, August 6
The Anti-Racism Teach-In is a national anti-racist conference and global movement designed to identify, analyze, and challenge racism and white supremacy. The Teen Experience is a one-day event centered on middle and high-school students. In its third year, this explosive gathering provides a productive space for attendees to explore the foundational history of racism and bias and recognize the presence of racism in ways that are often overlooked. With guest speakers Jason Reynolds (Stamped), Tiffany Jewell (This Book Is Anti-Racist), and Joel Christian Gill (Fights). Register here.
B. Black Heritage Trail Tour
Boston African American Historic Site (in person)
When: Wednesdays through Sundays starting July 28, 10-11:30pm
Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial, 24 Beacon Street
Join a Park Ranger from the National Parks of Boston to explore the rich history of Beacon Hill’s 19th century Black community on the Black Heritage Trail. Before, during, and after the American Civil War, this community struggled and organized for equal rights and access to equal education, championed the movement to abolish slavery, and even housed freedom seekers on their journey along the Underground Railroad.Register here.
10. CLIMATE JUSTICE
SAVE CRANE LEDGE WOODS
A multi-national company intends to clear cut 14 acres of urban wild forest surrounded by Hyde Park, Roslindale, and Mattapan, and construct 9 buildings with 270 rental units and 415 parking spaces. This would eliminate Boston’s best opportunity for inland climate resistance and would destroy a crucial wildlife habitat and local ecosystem. Learn more at SaveCraneLedgeWoods.org
- Submit your comments to the BPDA opposing the project and demanding full conservation of Crane Ledge Woods. Be sure to select “oppose” from the drop-down menu.
- Sign the petition to Save Crane Ledge Woods.
11. LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Open white supremacists are building power in New England. Some anonymous local organizers have put together this website — share knowledge to disrupt their organizing!
12. DONATION OPPORTUNITIES
Give What You Can and Share With Your Networks
- Support the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Networks’s Beyond Bond & Legal Defense Fund
- Support the MA Coalition of Domestic Workers first annual fundraiser
- Support the Mass UndocuFund for community members who did not receive stimulus checks or other forms of relief during this crisis
- Become a monthly sustainer for the Asian American Resource Workshop
- Donations funding mutual aid during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: