As the results of this election continue to come in, we are in awe of the historic turnout. Nearly 160M people voted in the last several weeks by mail and in-person. Congratulations to the many organizers who poured their souls into mobilizing their communities in a year that required radical shifts in strategy and work during a dangerous global pandemic.
Elections are not the beginning or end of our work — they are simply a measurement of where we are as a country.
Last night showed us that white supremacy has an unyielding grip on all of our systems, including our politics. It has proven repeatedly to be dangerous to both our society and democracy, and revealed itself in yet another election. There is still plenty of long-term power-building and narrative-shifting work left to be done, especially with, for, and by communities of color. Like the rest of you, we are still watching. We are still fighting. …
Our hearts once again go out to the family and friends of Breonna Taylor. We #SayHerName today and every day.
We are not surprised that a Kentucky grand jury decided not to hold accountable any of the officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor. After all, when has the criminal justice system, which is rooted in slavery and white supremacy, ever worked for Black people?
We are, however, disgusted and angered, that the only charges levied were against an officer who ‘disturbed the peace’. The lives of Breonna’s neighbors — who are alive and well today — mattered more to this grand jury than her life. …
re:power is proud of the incredible work we’ve achieved this year, partnering with Black, Indigenous and other Communities of Color committed to racial justice to build power, organize together and create radical change. This work is only made better through the guidance and support of our Board of Directors.
We’re thrilled to announce the four movement leaders who have been unanimously voted to join re:power’s board in August 2020.
Jess Morales Rocketto, Civic Engagement Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Executive Director of Care in Action; Justin Myers, CEO of For Our Future and For Our Future Action Fund; Katrina Gamble, owner & president of Soujourn Strategies; and Aaron Dorfman, president and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) joined our board in July 2020. …
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This sentence from the Declaration of Independence has inspired heartfelt patriotic feelings in certain quarters for centuries. It shouldn’t. This country’s founding ideals of justice and equality were a lie when they were written in 1776 and are still false today.
For Black America, freedom wasn’t ringing in 1776. We have fought, marched, revolted, begged, and died for the recognition of our humanity, for our rights to education and to vote, for fair housing and jobs, to not be murdered by the police, and more. …
One month ago George Floyd was murdered in front of America. As a country, we launched into action fueled by the anger and despair of another Black life lost and by the urgency and desire to fix the system that could allow such tragedies to occur. The response to Floyd’s death, as well as Breonna Taylor’s and Ahmaud Arbery’s and so many others, has pushed our country to confront its racism directly, but it is painfully clear that we still lack a shared understanding of how to do this work.
As momentum around justice and equity for Black lives grow, the meaning of progressivism itself comes to the forefront. It is no longer enough to simply hold the values of racial justice, action MUST accompany those values. Black folks have been pointing to the decades of oppression and racism that led to this moment for years, pushing for bold reforms that could transform institutions, and putting their bodies on the line, once again, by showing up to protest day after day — week after week. White folks, and many non-Black people of color, are sharing pictures of themselves protesting on social media, calling the “Defund the Police” strategy too radical, and urging everyone to donate their money as the one simple thing they can do. …
Every June 19th, African American communities across the country celebrate Juneteenth. Sadly, this date — like many other moments in Black history which, incidentally, is American history and should be taught and studied — aren’t known to the broader public. So, here’s a bit of a primer: The Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery, went into effect on Jan. 1, 1863. Texas, unfortunately, didn’t get the message. Black people there weren’t free until two and a half years later when, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers told African Americans in Galveston that they were no longer slaves.
155 years later this country is in the midst of a different kind of civil war, one where the convergence of a global pandemic and the ugliness of systemic racism has made clear to many what Black people in America have been screaming all along: this is not the land of the free for us. …
A man was murdered this week.
Just four days ago George Floyd was murdered. By four Minneapolis police officers. George was unarmed, handcuffed, and lying face down on the ground. Three officers pinned George to the ground, and one pressed his knee into George’s neck and kept it there for more than 8 minutes. The fourth officer stood over them and did nothing to intervene. George begged for his life, as did concerned citizens on the street. The cries for mercy went unheard, and cellphone video captured the last minutes of George Floyd’s life.
A man was murdered this week.
Just four days ago George Floyd was murdered by officers sworn to protect and serve. They were fired from their jobs, but that is not justice for taking a life. Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison has asked us to wait “until all the evidence is available.” Millions of people around the world have seen the video…and the consensus is no additional evidence is needed. As of this writing, only one officer has been arrested. …
Najaah, YT and Carin, the latest additions to the re:power team. Each of them is dedicated to transforming how we think about power, who holds it, and how we wield it in our communities, whether it’s in the streets, on the campaign trail, in the courts, or in elected office.
Read all about Najaah, YT and Carin and make sure to check out our website for the latest updates on their work: www.repower.org.
Yterenickia “YT” Bell (she/her)
Project Director, Progressive Governance Academy
by Deepa Kunapuli
VP, Marketing and Communications, re:power
re:power showed up strong this year at #NN19 with presence on three panels/trainings, a booth in the exhibition hall, and a social event to meet and greet our community members.
By Arianna Genis
Deputy Communications Director, re:power
“ Reproductive Justice as a social justice movement is rooted in the belief that individuals and communities should have the resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about their bodies, genders, sexualities, and lives. It is also pro-sex, sexuality, gender, queer bodies; pro-access to abortion and contraception; birth rights and chosen families.”
— Spark Reproductive Justice Now
With each passing day, attacks on abortion rights are becoming more frequent and extreme. Within the last few years, six states — Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, and North Dakota — have passed “heartbeat” bills. This is a code word for abortion bans that begin six weeks into pregnancy. …