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The fight for #JusticeForMikeBrown is not over
Yesterday, a St. Louis grand jury refused to charge Officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Mike Brown on Ferguson streets. Following the news of non-indictment, courageous community members across the country took
to the streets to organize and express their outrage about the injustice of the grand jury decision and the corrupt and discriminatory system and process that produced it. Not surprisingly, mainstream media outlets are spending more time unfairly criminalizing and dehumanizing protesters than they are shining a spotlight on the blatant prosecutorial misconduct in the case, the national crisis of discriminatory and increasingly militarized police violence, or the growing list of unarmed young Black men who have died at the
hands of police.
At Coleman Advocates, we stand in solidarity with protestors in Ferguson and beyond, fighting for racial justice for Black and Brown communities everywhere. Coleman’s Executive Director travelled to Ferguson twice in recent months and last month, she wrote a very personal and moving open letter about her motivations as a Black mother and a Black
organizer, and her hopes for the growing national movement catalyzed by local organizing in Ferguson. As always, but especially today, our hearts are with Lesley McSpadden, Mike Brown’s mother, and with the countless other justice-seeking mother’s and loved ones of the young Black and Brown men and women who have been killed or brutalized or unjustly arrested by police.
In a time when law enforcement agents kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow era lynchings, discriminatory and violent policing is a national crisis. Yesterday’s miscarriage of justice means that today we must fight even harder…organize more creatively, educate with more heart, collaborate more strategically, advocate more fiercely, and stand even more firmly on the side of justice.
Please consider signing the online petition to pressure our national leaders to secure justice for Mike Brown. The petition calls on President Obama and US Attorney General Holder to take action to hold Mike Brown’s killer accountable. The Department of Justice is investigating Mike Brown's death and has the power and
responsibility to arrest and prosecute Officer Wilson under federal criminal charges.
To plug into the growing movement to end police violence and to find out about local events and actions in your city, check out fergusonaction.com and blacklivesmatter.com.
Click here for information about your rights related to free speach, protests, and demonstrations in California.
Two landmark victories for worker's rights in San Francisco!
Last week, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Retail Worker Bill of Rights at its first vote on the measure, moving forward with fair scheduling and full-time work for 40,000 retail and restaurant workers in the city. Some of the policies passed last week will be among the first of their kind in the country.
We are grateful to Jobs with Justice San Francisco for leading the campaign to win this precedent-setting worker’s rights victory. Coleman is proud to be a member of this long-term, strategic alliance of labor, community, faith-based, and student organizations working together to build a strong, progressive movement for economic and social justice locally and nationally.
"This is an incredible victory for people in our city who are scraping by paycheck to paycheck and hour to hour," said Gordon Mar, executive director of JWJSF, in a statement. "San Francisco is on its way to ensuring more men and women in our community have schedules and hours that allow them pay their bills, plan their lives and take care of their loved ones."
Our deepest gratitude also goes out to the brave current and former workers of the Yank Sing restaurant, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), and the other organizations and agencies responsible for last week’s other landmark worker’s rights victory: a $4 million dollar settlement and model workplace changes for workers at Yank Sing, one of the most well known and popular dim sum restaurants in San Francisco and the country.
The settlement, which affects 280 workers, was the result of a collaboration between CPA, Asian Law Caucus, the California Labor Commissioner, and the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement. Yank Sing stepped up, turned its practices around, and made the commitment to be a model employer for the rest of the industry. The settlement includes not only back pay but also many improvements in the workplace. During the course of the settlement discussions, Yank Sing implemented fully paid
healthcare for full-time workers, where approximately only 10% of restaurants nationally offer any healthcare at all.
Last year, CPA began organizing Chinese immigrant workers from Yank Sing, and over a period of months, a handful of workers grew to nearly 100 current and former workers. Through workplace actions such as worker and community delegations, letters and calls to management, and a collective rest break action, these workers, mostly monolingual Chinese immigrant
women, worked together to transform their workplace and set a new standard for model employers in the restaurant industry.
In San Francisco and across the country, workers are organizing in new and transformative ways like with the recent passage of Proposition J – SF $15 minimum wage and the SF Retail Worker Bill of Rights. These are all important experiments in the 21st century. Led by workers in partnership with CPA, the Asian Law Caucus, community organizations, and labor unions, this is a victory for all of us -- when workers organize, everyone wins.
Students Challenge the CA State Board of Education for a Voice, and Win!
After a year of intense deliberation among lawmakers, education advocates, unions, parents, and students, the State Board of Education unanimously voted in the permanent Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) regulations. The regulations require districts to include students in the development of their LCAPs and will set the tone for how districts across the state will prioritize and spend new funds that will directly affect millions of low-income students, English learners, and foster youth, in a statewide effort to close the achievement gap that has afflicted black, brown, Southeast Asian, and immigrant students in California for decades.
Just a year ago, districts were not seeking student voice as they developed their plans under the emergency regulations adopted by the State Board in January. As a result, an unprecedented number of inspired and well organized students across the state challenged the State Board of Ed to give them their rightful place in LCFF with the launch of the Student Voice Campaign.
To learn more about the Campaign and this important win for student voice, click here.
Support Expansion of Ethnic Studies in SFUSD Schools
Ethnic Studies arose as a counter to the traditional mainstream curriculum, which continues to marginalize scholarship by and about African Americans, Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other groups. As students of color go through the school system, the curriculum’s overwhelming whiteness disengages many from academic learning.
Ethnic studies is supported by extensive research documenting a positive relationship between racial/ethnic identity of students of color and academic achievement. Research also demonstrates a positive social impact on all students, especially in terms of cross-racial/ethnic understanding and community-building. Our students deserve a high school curriculum that embraces and highlights the positive contributions their communities and ancestors have made to the city, state and nation.
Click here to sing the petition to support the expansion of Ethnic Studies so that it is included in ALL SFUSD schools.
Stand in solidarity with Walmart workers this Friday
This Friday, Walmart workers across the country will strike to protest the illegal retaliation they face while standing up for $15 and full-time work. These strikers are taking on the nation's largest private employer and one of the biggest examples of inequality in our society. Will you stand with them?
Workers at more than 2,000 stores have issued a call for $15 and full-time. Now it's our chance to join that call. Join Jobs with Justice SF for the Bay Area action at the Milpitas Walmart store. Shuttles will run from Fremont BART every 15 minutes and the BART schedule can be found here. In the North Bay, join activists at the Rohnert Park Walmart at 1pm.
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Coleman supporters listening to E.D. Neva Walker talk about Coleman's legacy of partnership with probono, public service, and civil/human rights attorneys at a recent Board-led community-building event in downtown San Francisco. Special thanks to Board members Greg Tanaka, Steven Bingham, Richard Judd, and Malea Chavez for hosting the event.