Read the Latest Media on #WWCW

“'Some of the worst racist tragedies in history have been perfectly legal': Kimberlé Crenshaw on Eric Garner, Broken Windows and police impunity", Katie McDonough, Salon Magazine, 12/5/14   

"So in a way, what i think Garner reminds us is this whole business about "the rule of law." It kills me. When the president says it, it just kills me. The whole thing of, We are a nation of laws. I mean, what are we talking about? Some of the worst racist tragedies in history have been perfectly legal. We've been able to use these processes to create kangaroo courts, legal lynchings." 

 

White House Turns to Girls of Color by Jesse Holland, Associate Press, 11/12/14
(Huffingon Post,  ABC News, Washington Post)

"Anything less than full inclusion in My Brother's Keeper is "basically another frame for separate and still unequal," said Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, executive director of the African American Policy Forum....Crenshaw said the exclusion was "just an intersectional failure that is breathtaking," considering that minority women were a key, unwavering demographic that helped lift Obama to two terms in office."

 

 

Watch Kimberle Crenshaw on Democracy Now! speaking about Loretta Lynch, MBK and the White House's recently released report on women of color
 

 

 

White House to Women and Girls of Color: We Care, Time Magazine, 11/12/14 

"Separate and unequal is just not sufficient given the level of crises facing women and girls of color," says Crenshaw. "I guess giving something is better than nothing, but this is a far cry from a solution that promotes equity." 

SLIDESHOW: In Plain Sight: Toward Engendering the Fight for Racial Justice

Photos by Mia Fermindoza

Washington DC Briefing- "Gendered Perspectives on Police Brutality & the My Brother's Keeper Initiative"

Please join us for a Lunch Briefing on: "Gendered Perspectives on Police Brutality & the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative" featuring the following panelists:

1300 Longworth House Office Building 

Washington, DC 

Monday, September 29, 2014 

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 

CLICK HERE to RSVP by Friday, September 26

12:00 Lunch served 

12:30 Panel Discussion 

Barbara Arnwine, J.D. (Panel Moderator) 
President & Executive Director, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Kimberlé Crenshaw, J.D., L.L.M.- Background and Context for the MBK Initiative
Professor of Law, Columbia and UCLA Law Schools Co-Founder and Executive Director, African American Policy Forum

Marlon Peterson - A Black Man’s Perspective on MBK 
Director of Community Relations, The Fortune Society

Dr. Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. - Has the Case Been Made for Excluding Women and Girls? 
President, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Terry O’Neill, J.D. - The Troubling Legacy of Moynihan
President, National Organization for Women

Lisalyn Jacobs, J.D. - Criminalization of the Single Mother of Color
Vice President for Government Relations, Legal Momentum

Barbara Arnwine, J.D. - Women of Color and Police Brutality & Wrap Up 

1:30 Q & A 

Town Hall Hearing: Breaking Silence- A Hearing on Girls of Color

Girls for Gender Equity and The African American Policy Forum come together to ask:

Why are girls of color...


•OVERLY-DISCIPLINED through suspensions, zero tolerance and arrests in school?
•INCARCERATED at the highest rates in history?
•DISCONNECTED from family & community?
•OVER-SEXUALIZED in the media?
•HARMED by abuse, trauma, and violence?
•TRAFFICKED and sexually abused? 

What can we do about it?
On International Day of the Girl, cis and trans girls will tell you #WhyWeCantWait. 

Professor Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw will moderate. Join us. 

Childcare and lunch provided for confirmed guests - RSVP to girlsmattergge@gmail.com.

GGE Town Hall Forum 10-11.png




#WhyWeCantWait Stands with #Ferguson

Today we are all in Ferguson in spirit as those who loved and mourn Michael Brown gather to lay him to rest. The events that have transpired in Ferguson, MO in the weeks following his senseless death have dramatized the violent contours of anti-black racism in the US.

We know that those who are putting their bodies on the line to protest the devaluation of Black life in America are moving in the same courageous spirit of young people a half century ago who refused to allow the Freedom Struggle to be snuffed out by fear and repression. The degree of police repression being permitted in Ferguson is a vivid reminder that neither the passage of time nor the election of a Black president fundamentally alters the dynamics of anti-Black racism on the ground.

Confronting the conditions that continue to disproportionately ravage Black communities demands a level of accountability and direct action which cannot be realized so long as our leaders hope to find some middle ground between white supremacy and racial justice.  We know that so long as media coverage foregrounds exaggerated and often false narratives of civil disorder rather than the continuing repression of the police, our communities will be not be safe.

Having called on the president to embrace a robust racial justice agenda that attends to the concrete needs of men, women and children of color, we remain committed to closing the profound gaps between the president’s signature racial justice initiative and the conditions under which many of our brothers and sisters live.  As the letter from 200 Black Men to President Obama urging a realignment of My Brother’s Keeper ("MBK") stated, “the obstacles we face are not simply matters of attitude adjustment and goal setting, but the consequences of deteriorating opportunities, the weakened enforcement of civil rights laws, and the increasing emphasis by government actors on policies that focus on punishment, surveillance, and incarceration.”

It is clear that MBK’s focus on mentoring and other individual level-interventions will do little to stop the Darren Wilsons of this world. Nor will it address the realities of those who live under siege and are forced to negotiate a social world in which their life outcomes remain circumscribed by racism.  As we have argued, these conditions cannot be deflected onto single-headed households or any of the other explanations that that ignore the structural, historical, and gendered dimensions of white supremacy.

As we asserted in our statement on August 14, “Black lives matter: girls and boys, men and women, heterosexual or same gender loving, transgender, the poor, the middle class, the well-off, the disabled, and the immigrant.” This simple assertion -- belied by the treatment of Black people in Ferguson and elsewhere -- prompted key members of our team to organize with others on a series of "Black Lives Matter" rides to Ferguson on Labor Day weekend. Four members of our core group will be in Ferguson working with local organizations to secure justice for Michael Brown, his family, and for the city of Ferguson. Information about the rides, including how you can participate or support the riders, can be found here and here.

We would also like to share with you the thoughts of a number of our core group of organizers, including pieces in Salon and The New York Times as well as interviews on MSNBC and Democracy Now!  Please share these links across social media. Please know that both the men's letter and the women's letter remain open for signing and we ask the you continue to encourage others to do so.  Finally, please stay posted for further updates from #WhyWeCantWait -- including a date for the rebroadcast of our July 10th webinar and Save the Date notices for other events this fall.

In solidarity,

AAPF


Click here to read our statement on Ferguson


Featured Media from #WhyWeCantWait Organizers

Kirsten West Savali in Dame Magazine - August 18: "Black Women Are Killed By Police, Too"

Marlon Peterson in The Brooklyn Reader - August 18:
“Open Letter to the Media, If/When I am Gunned Down by the Police or a Random White Person.”

Brittney Cooper

in Salon - August 12: "In defense of black rage: Michael Brown, Police and the American dream."
on HuffPost Live - August 18: “Screaming at the American Dream”
in Salon - August 19: “America’s New Racial Low Point: More Crying Black Mothers, and Tear Gas On Our Dreams”
in Salon - September 3: "'I am not afraid to die': Why America will never be the same post-Ferguson" 

Paul Butler

in The New York Times - August 14: "Control and Containment Requires Nonlethal Force Not Armed Cops"
in The Washington Post - August 15: "Ferguson police broke the law when they stopped civilians from videotaping them"
on Meet the Press - August 21: “Flashpoint in Ferguson: Race and Policing in America”
on NPR - August 20: “With Ferguson, Obama Forced to Face Race Yet Again”
on The Lead with Jake Tapper - August 22: ”Experts: Uphill battle to convict Officer Wilson”
on Now with Alex Wagner - August 22: "Barely an incident report on Brown shooting”

Salamishah Tillet

on The Ed Show - August 14: "The Political Impact of the Ferguson Protest"
on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show - August 23 & 24:

“Criticism of Obama’s response to recent crises”
“How the media has portrayed Michael Brown: The Perfect Victim”
"The state of trust in Ferguson”
“The stark demographic realities of Ferguson”

Kimberle Crenshaw

on The Ed Show - August 14: "History of Police Violence"
on Democracy Now! - August 18: "Ferguson Protests Erupt Near Grave of Ex-Slave Dred Scott, Whose Case Helped Fuel U.S. Civil War"
on Women's Magazine (radio show discussing how an intersectional feminist perspective is missing from the mainstream and left analysis in these "post-racial" times), archived at www.kpfa.org/womensmagazine.

Check Out 2 NYTimes Op-Eds by Kimberle Crenshaw and Luke Charles Harris

Click here to read Kimberlé Crenshaw's opinion piece in the New York Times, "The Girls Obama Forgot."

Here are a few quotes from the article that you are free to tweet or post. Remember to include #WhyWeCantWait!

"What needs to be fixed are not boys per se, but the conditions in which marginalized communities of color must live" 

"Mr. Obama gave a shout-out to all the 'heroic single moms out there,' but did not utter the word 'girls' even once." 

"Black girls have the highest levels of school suspension of any girls. They also face gender-specific risks" 

"Median WEALTH of: Blk women—$100, Blk men—$7,900, Hispanic women—$120, Hispanic men—$9,730, White women—$41.5K"

 

Then Click Here to read Luke Charles Harris's opinion piece in the New York Times, "Support the Women Who Raise Black Boys."


Frequently Asked Questions About MBK

1. What is the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Initiative?

MBK is a joint program of the federal government, foundations, and businesses to help boys and men of color succeed in school, work and life.  Leading foundations have pledged nearly $200 million to support projects and activities to advance achievement and opportunity for boys and young men of color.

Tweet: MBK is a $200 million public-private initiative 2 improve life outcomes & address opportunity gaps 4 mboc. #WhyWeCantWait

2. What foundations have partnered with the POTUS around MBK?

The leading philanthropic partners of MBK are members of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color – a coalition of 30 philanthropic institutions “committed to leveraging philanthropy’s role in improving life outcomes for boys and men of color.”  Eleven foundations that are principal partners in MBK “had more than $150 million in active commitments toward improving the life chances of boys and young men of color.”  Their plan for investment acknowledges that African American, Latino, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander boys face different obstacles, and outlines multiple strategies to tackle them.  It does not, however, address the barriers that their female counterparts confront; nor does it anticipate a targeted investment in their wellbeing.

Tweet: MBK is supported by the Executive’s Alliance: http://bit.ly/1wClylH 30 philanthropic institutions & funded by 11 foundations #WhyWeCantWait

3. This is President Obama’s biggest racial justice program.  Shouldn’t we just wait to see how it plays out?

There are only two years left in the Obama Presidency and this is likely to be his signature initiative. Now is the time to act to ensure that the crisis facing women and girls of color will be addressed.  We have an opportunity to ensure that restoring the Nation’s commitment to a robust and viable vision of racial justice will be among the most celebrated accomplishments of this historic presidency.

Tweet: There are only 2 yrs left in the Obama Presidency. Now is the time to act on behalf of women/girls of color. #WhyWeCantWait

4. Why is it wrong to focus on the persistent opportunity gaps that boys and young men of color face in this country?

It is not wrong to address the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. While many of us have concerns about the framing of these problems, we do applaud the White House for elevating the concerns facing young men of color. But girls and young women of color are in also in crisis, and they warrant the same targeted investments in their well being as their male peers. Simply put, it is not acceptable for the federal government and private philanthropy to address only the crisis facing boys while ignoring the many ways that girls of color also confront egregious circumstances that compromise their hopes and dreams for the future.

Tweet: It is right to focus on mboc. It is equally right to focus on wgoc. Both are in crisis and need help. #WhyWeCantWait

5. Are you saying that gender-targeted interventions can never be used within a racial justice campaign?  

Not at all, but let’s be clear.  It is one thing to use gender-focused interventions as a tool to enhance the effectiveness of programs that address the needs of youth of color.  Both boys and girls can benefit from targeted interventions.  It is quite another thing to use gender as a means to exclude girls from racial justice interventions altogether.   When addressing racial disparities facing our youth, there is no persuasive justification for failing to acknowledge the crisis facing girls of color, even though they suffer in the same schools, confront similar if not identical racial disparities, and struggle to find affirmation in a society that has yet to convey that their wellbeing matters.  The wellbeing girls and young women of color is marginal at best in society at large; it is all the more troubling when all those who should be advocating for them--their President, community leaders, stakeholders and activists--have essentially told them to wait. This is why we can’t.

Tweet: We can have gender specific programming within racial justice interventions without excluding wgoc. #WhyWeCantWait

6. But aren’t boys and young men of color farther behind than everybody else, including girls of color?  Isn’t this what MBK addresses?

As Paul Butler demonstrates, it is a myth that girls of color are doing better than boys of color across the board. Girls live in the same impoverished communities and attend the same failing schools as boys.  They also suffer from distinctive racial disparities that parallel those faced by their male counterparts.  On many measures, girls of color face social outcomes that are closer to their male peers than to girls of other races.  For instance, among all boys, Black boys have the worst rates of suspension, incarceration, and homicide.  Among all girls, Black girls have the worst rates of suspension, incarceration, and homicide.  These are problems that boys and girls endure together and they should be confronted together.

The goal of racial equality has never been advanced by framing it as a race to the bottom in which males and females compete to be the most deserving of the attention that they both require.  Racial justice advocacy has always emphasized the shared fate of communities as a whole. We should not depart from this tradition by abandoning women and girls of color now.

Tweet: Among boys, blk boys have worst suspension, incarceration, homicide rates. Among girls, blk girls rate worst. #WhyWeCantWait

7. Doesn’t the White House have a similar initiative for girls and young women of color?

No.  Despite mounting evidence that girls and young women of color are also in crisis, the White House has not put forth any public-private initiatives that target the obstacles with which they are confronted. Foundations have been similarly absent in foregrounding the concerns of young women and girls of color.  There is, for example, no Executive’s Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Girls and Women of color as there is for men and boys of color.

Tweet: Despite mounting evidence that girls & young wmn of color r in crisis too the WH hasn’t offered any specific wgoc initiatives #WhyWeCantWait

8. But doesn’t the White House’s Council on Women and Girls address the specific needs of girls and young women of color?

No. The Council on Women and Girls is not an initiative that specifically addresses the crisis facing young women and girls of color. Nor does it have the presidential directive, infrastructure or resources to do so. Unlike MBK, it has not been tasked “to assess the impact of Federal policies, regulations, and programs of general applicability on ‘girls and young women of color’.” Nor has it been instructed to “recommend... incentives for the broad adoption by national, State, and local public and private decision-makers of effective and innovative strategies and practices for providing opportunities to and improving outcomes for ‘girls and young women of color’.” Moreover, it has not been backed by an Executive Council of 30 philanthropic institutions.

Tweet: The WH Council on Women & Girls does not focus on problems specific to women/girls of color.  #WhyWeCantWait

9.  Hasn’t the White House already pursued a number of initiatives that help all women such as the Lily Ledbetter Act, Sexual Assault Reform, Raising the Minimum Federal Wage, ACA etc.?

Yes, women of color may benefit from race neutral policies just like men of color. For example, the President has pursued several policies that are not targeted toward men of color, but will disproportionatey help them, such as an overall increase in the minimum wage. Yet the President rightly observed that these general policies do not replace the need for targeted measures to address the specific needs of boys and young men of color. The same holds true for their female counterparts.

Tweet: Progs that don’t explicitly acct 4 race/racism have a limited benefit 4 ppl of color. Targeted initiatives are more effective. #WhyWeCantWait

10.  What about the Council on Women and Girl’s efforts to encourage girls to be in the STEM-fields. By helping all girls, aren’t they helping girls of color too?

We applaud the efforts of the Council to make sure that no girls in our country fall behind. But, encouraging girls of color to enter the STEM fields through mentoring programs does not make up for the lack of high quality primary education, especially in math and science. Like boys of color, Black and Latina girls are concentrated in under-resourced schools across the country with out-of-date textbooks and science labs.  Due to race and gender biases, they are often tracked out of advanced placement classes in these fields even when they are available.

Girls of color are disproportionately subject to pathways that lead away from academic and professional success to what is commonly referred to as the school-to-prison and the school-to-low wage work pipeline. MBK and BMOC explicitly engage these concerns for boys and young men of color. The WHCWG does not.

Tweet: Like boys of color, w/o access to quality educational options, girls of color fall victim 2 the school-to-prison or low-wage work pipeline. #WhyWeCantWait

11.  What about the Council on Women and Girl’s focus on preventing sexual assault on college campuses.  Doesn’t that count?

We support the President’s recent focus on preventing sexual assaults on college campuses.  But, 44% of rape victims are under the age of 18, and of that group, African American and Native American girls are more likely to be victims of sexual assault than anyone else.  The ripple effect is profound: students who are survivors of sexual assault are more likely to drop out of school and not attend college, to be tracked for low-wage jobs, and to face housing insecurity, economic instability and incarceration over the course of their lifetimes.  An anti-violence initiative that targets this population should incorporate place-based and culturally-sensitive strategies to ensure the safety of girls and young women of color in their homes, neighborhoods and schools.

Tweet: AfAm & Native girls more likely 2 b victims of sexual assault than any other group leading 2 dropout, low-wage work & poverty #WhyWeCantWait

12.  If the Initiative helps boys and young men of color, aren’t you also helping girls and young women of color?

We believe that no racial justice project should rely on trickle down approaches for effectiveness — either implicitly or explicitly.

The singular myth underwriting this idea is the notion that “we are all in this together, so if any one is helped, then we are all helped.” Helping only half of the community is not an effective or efficient way to advance the whole.

Tweet: No racial justice initiative should be segregated. Our community needs both wings to soar. #WhyWeCantWait

13.  Doesn’t it make more sense to have two initiatives –one for boys, and one for girls – instead of dividing dollars and resources?

People of color have long understood that “separate but equal” usually means “separate, unequal but good enough” for nonwhites. Although we have rejected this idea when it comes to race, some people continue to think that “separate, unequal, but good enough” is perfectly acceptable for our daughters.  We do not.

My Brother’s Keeper and BMOC have no parallels for girls of color at either the governmental or philanthropic levels. A professional and community-based infrastructure, a substantial knowledge and funding base, a multiyear commitment, and a Presidential mandate exist for MBK. Even an equally resourced effort cannot put women and girls on similar footing. Efforts to replicate this capacity outside of the existing infrastructure would be costly and counterproductive. Philanthropic partners must invest more resources in this Initiative to expand its content and scope so all our youth are served.

We love our children equally and our investments in them—including time, attention, concern and hope-- should demonstrate our commitment to them. Equality is the way forward, not separate and unequal.

Tweet: We favor more resources, not less, including targeted interventions for men/boys of color AND women/girls of color. #WhyWeCantWait

14.  How does addressing the crisis of youth of color, both boys and girls, help our communities and country?

Our youth are suffering together and the commitment to lifting their prospects should be shared together.  It makes no sense to continue to bar girls and young women from benefiting from the infrastructure, resources and commitments that have been developed over the course of the last decade to address the crisis facing our male youth.  Including girls and young women also strengthens these efforts by shifting away from deficit-based beliefs that it is the boys that are the problem to the structural-based understanding that the problems stem from the racially unequal environments they share as a community.

Tweet: BMOC & WGOC are suffering together #WhyWeCantWait

15.  You say that MBK excludes women and girls, but in fact, the report uses gender-neutral terms? That means that the changes the initiative would bring would be for everyone right?

It is true that the report refers to “youth of color” throughout and we see this as a step in the right direction. It is important to note, however, that the report presented to the President neither acknowledges nor presents data on the status of girls of color. Gender-neutral interventions that are not informed by a gender-sensitive assessment of how girls are experiencing certain conditions may not be effective.

Second, the concerns targeted in the report are those that disproportionately impact boys. While the fact that many girls of color face these risks is too often overlooked, girls are also disproportionately subject to challenges related to their gender. Sexual harassment in school, caretaking responsibilities and other factors affect girls’ to a greater extent than their male counterparts. The exclusion of these concerns means that even though the language of the report may be gender neutral, the substance is not.

Tweet: MBK is not gender-neutral. No mention of girls of color is made & none of the strategies address targeted issues for wgoc. #WhyWeCantWait

16.  Isn’t it true that Black communities just need strong Black male leadership and MBK is designed to provide precisely that?

We think our communities are stronger when everyone has access to the resources they need. The idea that Black men are weak and absent and Black women are strong and dominate dates back to 1965 when Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that rising rates of out-of-wedlock births and the matriarchal structure of Black culture led to crime, poor academic performance and the breakdown of the Black community. According to Moynihan, this so-called “tangle of pathology” was the source of racial inequality. Racial equality would not be advanced by government programs or laws until Black men and women were remade into proper men and women.

These ideas are being lifted up by many of those who reject our call to integrate gender equality into MBK. The “tangle of pathology” was a bad idea then, and its a bad idea now. It’s time we use a framework that we know works -- one that sees everyone in the entire community as equally valuable and rejects sexism and patriarchy as inconsistent with our commitment to mutual uplift and solidarity.

Tweet: Moynihan’s tangle of pathology thesis was bad social policy 50 years ago, and it is bad social policy today. No to Moynihan 2.0. #WhyWeCantWait

17. These arguments seem reasonable. What has been the response from the White House and Foundations supporting MBK?

We have reiterated to the White House our availability to meet with the President’s key MBK advisors to share the concerns of more that 1600 men and women of color. Carrying their messages forward, we propose broader, more inclusive engagements to re-align MBK towards racial justice objectives that advance the interests of our communities as a whole. We continue to await confirmation of our request and look forward to collaborating with other institutions and stakeholders to shape meaningful and lasting interventions to meet the current crisis in communities of color.

Tweet: The WH shld open dialogue to align MBK to a gender-equitable vision of racial justice that works for us all. #WhyWeCantWait

Listen to the Recording of Men's Webinar on MBK

Last month, hundreds of people tuned in to listen to Janine Jackson, Kiese Laymon, Darnell Moore, Luke Harris, Marlon Peterson, and Paul Butler speak about "My Brother's Keeper" and their Letter from Over 200 Concerned Black Men to President Obama. For any who missed the discussion, or for those who'd like to revisit it, complete audio of the Webinar is embedded below. 

Behind the Campaign to Realign My Brothers Keeper: Who Are We?

Who is behind the campaign to realign My Brother's Keeper? 

We are a group of activists, academics, and stakeholders who are working collaboratively to broaden the scope of MBK and similar initiatives.  We work together and individually to elevate the need for antiracism to embrace a commitment against gender hierarchy, structural racism and all converging axis of domination.    

Some of the key organizers include:

Oscar Blayton                                                   Kiese Laymon
Paul Butler                                                        Nakisha Lewis    
Devon Carbado                                                Darnell Moore
Brittney Cooper                                                Mark Anthony Neal
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw                        Marlon Peterson
Kristie Dotson                                                   Aishah Shahidah Simmons
Farah Griffin                                                     Joanne N Smith
Ricardo Guthrie                                                Salamishah Tillet
Luke Charles Harris                                         Scheherazade Tillet
Robin Kelley                                        

Below, check out a selection of fantastic op-eds and interviews by this group of key organizers, and colleagues.

-"We Need to Be Our Brother's and Sister's Keeper" by Luke Charles Harris at Black Press USA:
-"Why Girls of Color Should Be Included in My Brother's Keeper" by Salamishah Tillet at The Root
-"Why Did President Obama Leave Out the Girls?" by Paul Butler at CNN
-"'Not Going to Lie Down and Take It': Black Women are Being Overlooked by this President" by Brittney Cooper at Salon
-"Black Men and White Women Leapfrog Over Black Women" by Oscar Blayton at Black Press USA
-"Am I My Sister's Keeper?: An Interview with Kiese Laymon" by Hope Wabuke at Ms. Magazine
-"Black Girls Also Victims of Gun Violence" by Marlon Peterson at Black Press USA
-”Darnell L. Moore on Love, Liberation and Critiquing ‘My Brother’s Keeper” by Darnell Moore at EBONY
-"A Systems Perspective to ‘My Brother’s Keeper" by Marlon Peterson at The Brooklyn Reader

Why We Can't Wait: Women of Color Urge Inclusion in "My Brother's Keeper"

Click Here to sign the letter  

NOTE: Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only and do not imply the endorsement of the listed institution.

Why We Can't Wait: Women of Color Urge Inclusion in "My Brother's Keeper"

 June 17, 2014

President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C.. 20500

Dear President Obama,

We write to join the concerns expressed by the letter from 200 Black Men about My Brother’s Keeper (MBK), and to share our hopes that together, we can re-align this important Initiative to reflect the values of inclusion, equal opportunity and shared fate that have propelled our historic struggle for racial justice forward.

While we applaud the efforts on the part of the White House, private philanthropy, social justice organizations and others to move beyond colorblind approaches to race-specific problems, we are profoundly troubled about the exclusion of women and girls of color from this critical undertaking. The need to acknowledge the crisis facing boys should not come at the expense of addressing the stunted opportunities for girls who live in the same households, suffer in the same schools, and struggle to overcome a common history of limited opportunities caused by various forms of discrimination.

We simply cannot agree that the effects of these conditions on women and girls should pale to the point of invisibility, and are of such little significance that they warrant zero attention in the messaging, research and resourcing of this unprecedented Initiative. When we acknowledge that both our boys and girls struggle against the odds to succeed, and we dream about how, working together, we can develop transformative measures to help them realize their highest aspirations, we cannot rest easy on the notion that the girls must wait until another train comes for them. Not only is there no exceedingly persuasive reason not to include them, the price of such exclusion is too high and will hurt our communities and country for many generations to come.

Those who have justified the exclusive gender focus of MBK often remind us that male youth of color are like the miner’s canary: their plight warns us that something is wrong in the mine. Indeed, something is desperately wrong when so many of our youth are falling victim to the consequences of punitive discipline, underfunded schools, poor job prospects, declining investments in public space, decreasing access to higher education, and worsening prospects on the job market.

Clearly American society continues to be a toxic environment for many of our young people. Yet male-exclusive initiatives seem to lose sight of the implications of the canary’s distress: it is not a signal that only male canaries are suffering. It makes no sense to equip the canary with a mentor, a gas mask and or some other individual-level support while leaving the mine as it is and expecting the females to fend for themselves. If the air is toxic, it is toxic for everyone forced to breathe it.

The President is right that our youth need to be sent a message that they are valued, that their lives matter and that someone cares enough for them to invest time, resources and attention to confront the obstacles undermining their futures. Yet apparently, the “kids” who warrant such wide-scale investment do not include girls and young women of color. But, let this much be clear: today, many women and girls of color are under siege in the United States and the myth that they are not must be challenged.

Our daughters’ lives are disproportionately at risk, as data on violent victimization make clear. Native American girls are victims of rape or sexual assault at more than double the rate of other racial groups, while Black girls have the highest rates of interpersonal victimization from assault and are more likely to know their assailant than all other groups. Additionally, the homicide rate among Black girls and women ages 10-24 is higher than for any other group of females, and higher than white and Asian men as well.

Our daughters’ access to education is disproportionately compromised. Black girls are more than 3 times more likely to be suspended from school than white girls, and are disproportionately funneled through the juvenile justice systems. This is the first step in a process that leads to the over incarceration of Black women, whom are 3x more likely to wind up behind bars than white women. Additionally, the four-year graduation rate for Latinas is the lowest among all girls. Dropping out of high school places all youth at risk, but the negative effects on their long term economic security is even greater for girls than it is for boys.

Our daughters’ economic futures are disproportionately undermined by wage and wealth inequality. Women of color face both gender and race barriers in the job market, and typically make less than both men of color and white women. The median wealth for Latinas is $120 and for Black women it is $100 dollars, This means that just about half of Black women and Latinas are forced to walk an economic high wire without any net whatsoever. Considering that the majority of all households depend on women’s wages and wealth, the economic future of female youth is vital to the community as a whole, including the sons and daughters that are dependent on their mothers’ well-being.

Our daughters are ignored and under-researched. Although the exclusion of girls has been justified as data-driven, the fact is that little data is gathered on them. This situation creates a vicious cycle in which the assumptions that girls are not in crisis leads to research and policy interventions that overlook them, thus reinforcing their exclusion from efforts like MBK to bring successful programs to scale. MBK is not only built on this foundation, but extends it further by failing to require the inter-agency task force to report data that address the wellbeing of girls of color as well as boys. This erasure simply adds to the crisis that girls of color face, forcing them to suffer in relative silence.

In short, women and girls of color are not doing fine, and until they are, men and boys will not be doing fine either.

Girls and young women must be included in all our efforts to lift up the life chances of youth of color. To those who would urge us to settle for some separate initiative, we need only recall that separate but equal has never worked in conditions of inequality, nor will it work for girls and women of color here.

To those who would urge us to take up our concerns with the White House Council on Women and Girls, we note that the Council, like many gender-focused initiatives on women, lacks an intersectional frame that would address the race-based challenges faced by young women of color in a racially-stratified society. We note as well that the scale and magnitude of the issues addressed within MBK are specific to the needs of communities of color. The White House Council on Women and Girls should of course, be encouraged and supported to do more; however, girls and women of color suffer, struggle and succeed with the men and boys in their lives. Only together will our collective well-being improve.

Moving forward, we are mindful that those who risked their lives to challenge racial injustice believed that we all deserved better lives: men as well as women, girls as well as boys. Holding up the reality of our shared fate, we call on all MBK partners--public as well as private--to expressly include women and girls of color in this historic effort. We stand ready to work together to realize the aspirations that we all share for our youth and for our community.

Flip through the eBook to see the full list of signees: 

Source: aapf.org/2014/06/woc-letter-mbk

What's Right and Wrong about My Brother's Keeper: Black Men Engage

June 13th- National Briefing

What’s Right and Wrong about "My Brother’s Keeper": Black Men Engage

MBK3
MBK3

On May 30th a Letter of 200 Concerned Black Men Calling for the Inclusion of Women and Girls to the President’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Initiative was sent to President Barack Obama. The open letter questions how attempts to address the challenges facing males of color, without integrating a comparable focus on the complex lives of girls and women who live and struggle together in the same families, homes, schools, and neighborhoods, advances the interests of the community as a whole.  The men who came together to lift up this issue are organizers, professors, recently incarcerated, filmmakers, taxi drivers, college students, high school teachers, ministers, former pro­-athletes, fathers of sons, and fathers of daughters. These men, identifying as straight, queer and transgender, all share a commitment to the expansion of "My Brothers Keeper" ­­(MBK) and all other national youth interventions to include an explicit focus on the structural conditions that negatively impact all youth of color.

Friday June 13th at 2:30 PM EST/ 11:30 AM PST

RSVP for the Webinar Here

Please join a roundtable of leading critical race scholars, lawyers, journalists, and thought leaders for a national webinar on President Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Initiative and  the recently released open letter entitled "Letter of 200 Concerned Black Men Call for the Inclusion of Women and Girls in ‘My Brother’s Keeper.’"

Moderated by FAIR’s Janine Jackson, the conversation will provide information about the content of ‘My Brother’s Keeper’, and will present a case for the inclusion of girls and women in this exclusively male initiative.

Our conversation will cover the following issues:

  • How the premise that informs the exclusion of Black females from MBK–that Black males are worse off than Black females–is faulty.
  • Why the lives of and issues that impact Black girls and women tend to be invisible.
  • Why Black men need to be self-reflective about our place in a system that privileges men.
  • Why Black Male interventions are not necessarily progressive even for Black men.
  • What we all must to do to reclaim a vision of racial justice that centers the concerns of the entire community, women as well as men, girls as well as women. 

Confirmed Participants Include:

Janine Jackson
Janine Jackson
kieselaymon
kieselaymon
darnellmoore
darnellmoore
lukeharris
lukeharris
marlonpeterson
marlonpeterson
paulbutler
paulbutler
  • Janine Jackson (Moderator), Program Director at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
  • Kiese Laymon, Author of "Long Division" and "How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America"

--> "Am I My Sister's Keeper?" --> "Hey Mama"

  • Darnell Moore, Managing Editor, The Feminist, Writer, and Co-Founder of the youth initiative You Belong.

--> "Mother to Son: A Conversation on Black Womanhood and Survival" --> "Darnell L. Moore on Love, Liberation and Critiquing 'My Brother's Keeper'"

  • Luke Harris, Co-Founder of African American Policy Forum

--> "Why We Need to be Our Brother's and Sister's Keeper"

  • Marlon Peterson, Director of Community Relations at the Fortune Society

--> "Dear 02a3172: Letters to and From a Caged Bird" --> "A Systems Perspective to 'My Brother's Keeper'" --> "Black Girls Also Victims of Gun Violence"

  • Paul Butler, Former federal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice and the author of “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice"

--> "Black Male Exceptionalism? The Problems and Potential of Black Male-Focused Interventions"

This event is hosted by the African American Policy Forum.

Letter of 250+ Concerned Black Men and Other Men of Color calling for the Inclusion of Women and Girls in "My Brothers Keeper"

Click here to sign the letter. 

Posted here is the Letter of 200 Concerned Black Men Calling for the Inclusion of Women and Girls to the President’s "My Brother’s Keeper" Initiative. The open letter questions how attempts to address the challenges facing males of color, without integrating a comparable focus on the complex lives of girls and women who live and struggle together in the same families, homes, schools, and neighborhoods, advances the interests of the community as a whole.  As Kiese Leymon, one of the organizers noted,  “The men who came together to lift up this issue are organizers, professors, recently incarcerated, filmmakers, taxi drivers, college students, high school teachers, ministers, former pro­athletes, fathers of sons, and fathers of daughters. These men, identifying as straight, queer and transgender, all share a commitment to the expansion of My Brothers Keeper ­­ and all other national youth interventions ­­ to include an explicit focus on the structural conditions that negatively impact all youth of color.”  All Black men who believe that it is vital for our community to hold up the reality that shared fate requires a shared focus on interventions that work are encouraged to sign the letter by clicking here: 

NOTE: Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only and do not imply the endorsement of the listed institution.

Letter of 200 Concerned Black Men calling for the Inclusion of Women and Girls in "My Brother's Keeper"

 May 28, 2014

President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C.. 20500

Dear President Obama,

We write as African American men who have supported your presidency, stood behind you when the inevitable racist challenges to your authority have emerged, and have understood that our hopes would be tempered by the political realities that you would encounter.  While we continue to support your presidency, we write both out of a sense of mutual respect and personal responsibility to address what we believe to be the unfortunate missteps in the My Brothers Keeper initiative (MBK).  In short, in lifting up only the challenges that face males of color, MBK -- in the absence of any comparable initiative for females -- forces us to ask where the complex lives of Black women and Black girls fit into the White House’s vision of racial justice?

Your acknowledgment that race-conscious policies are still needed, and that addressing the needs of those left behind “is as important as any issue that you work on” was inspiring to us. We agree with your sense that racial inequality remains an urgent American problem that, as you indicated, “goes to the very heart” of why you ran for the presidency. We knew very well that you were echoing Dr. King’s observations when you noted that “groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways...require unique solutions.” We understand, as do you, that those ‘’who have seen fewer opportunities that have spanned generations” include men and women in our communities who have struggled side-by-side against the opportunity gaps, shrinking resources and disparate conditions that contribute to the desperate circumstances facing our community. So we were surprised and disappointed that your commitments express empathy to only half of our community -- men and boys of color. Simply put, as Black men we cannot afford to turn away from the very sense of a shared fate that has been vital to our quest for racial equality across the course of American history.

As African Americans, and as a nation, we have to be as concerned about the experiences of single Black women who raise their kids on sub-poverty wages as we are about the disproportionate number of Black men who are incarcerated. We must care as much about Black women who are the victims of gender violence as we do about Black boys caught up in the drug trade.  We must hold up the fact that Black women on average make less money and have less wealth than both White women and Black men in the United States just as we must focus on the ways in which Black men and women are disproportionately excluded from many professions.

We are not suggesting a national moratorium on Black male-oriented projects. But our sense of accountability does reflect the fact that our historic struggle for racial justice has always included men as well as women who have risked everything not just for themselves or for their own gender but for the prospects of the entire community. Moreover, we are concerned that your admonishment to Black and Latino men to be more responsible and to stop making excuses frames problems of educational attainment, unemployment, and incarceration consistent with those who say Blacks suffer from a “culture of pathology.”  We believe in a vision of accountability and racial justice that is neither male-centered, heteropatriarchal or victim blaming.

Taking the lives of Black girls and women seriously would increase the likelihood that we would recognize and lift up loving parents regardless of whether they exist in single, dual, same-sex or opposite sex families; decrease our tendency to express nostalgia for a family structure whose absence wrongfully becomes the putative focal point for all that ails us; and put into sharp relief the fact that the obstacles we face are not simply matters of attitude adjustment and goal setting, but the consequences of deteriorating opportunities, the weakened enforcement of civil rights laws, and the increasing emphasis by government actors on policies that focus on punishment, surveillance, and incarceration.

We recommend an expansion of the MBK -- and all other national youth interventions -- to include an explicit focus on the structural conditions that negatively impact all Black youth.  Of course encouraging young Black men and women to do their very best is important, as is holding them accountable when we think that is warranted. Our interventions, however, must acknowledge that the life chances of youth of color are impacted by the converging dynamics of racism, sexism, class stratification, homophobia and other such factors. For example, MBK, in its current iteration, solely collects social data on Black men and boys. What might we find out about the scope, depth and history of our structural impediments, if we also required the collection of targeted data for Black women and girls?

If the denunciation of male privilege, sexism and rape culture is not at the center of our quest for racial justice, then we have endorsed a position of benign neglect towards the challenges that girls and women face that undermine their well-being and the well-being of the community as a whole. As Black men we believe if the nation chooses to “save” only Black males from a house on fire, we will have walked away from a set of problems that we will be compelled to return to when we finally realize the raging fire has consumed the Black women and girls we left behind.

 

Signees

  1. Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr., Civil Rights Icon and Mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  2. Danny Glover, American Actor, Film Director and Political Activist
  3. Darnell L. Moore, Editor, Founder of ‘You Belong,’ Brooklyn, NY
  4. Devon Carbado, The Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  5. Marlon Peterson, Program Coordinator at ‘Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets’, Brooklyn NY
  6. Robin D. G. Kelly, The Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in United States History, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  7. Oscar H. Blayton, Lawyer, Williamsburg, VA
  8. Ricardo Guthrie, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
  9. Michael Hanchard, SOBA Presidential Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University
  10. Luke Charles Harris, Co-Founder of the African American Policy Forum, Department of Political Science, Vassar College, New York, NY
  11. Kiese Laymon, Author, English Department, Vassar College, Jackson, MS
  12. Mark Anthony Neal, Professor Of African and African American Studies
  13. Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, Pastor for Formation and Justice, First Baptist Church, Jamaica Plains, MA
  14. Dr. James Turner, Founding Director, Africana Studies Center, Cornell University
  15. Michael Dawson, John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science and the College Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, The University of Chicago
  16. David Ikard, Associate Professor of English at Florida State University, Ph.D.
  17. Nyle Forte, Teacher and Baptist Pastor, Newark, NJ
  18. Walter Fields, Executive Editor and Columnist at North Star News, Irvington, NJ
  19. Houston Baker, Distinguished University Professor of English and African American Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  20. Cedric Robinson, Department of Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
  21. Charles Steele, President and CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Atlanta, GA
  22. Thomas Sayers Ellis, Professor, Poet, Photographer
  23. Eduardo Bonilla Silva, Professor of Sociology at Duke University, Durham, NC
  24. Mychal Denzel Smith, freelance writer and social commentator, Knobler Fellow at the Nation Institute, Brooklyn, NY
  25. Wade Davis II, Speaker, writer, activist, educator, former NFL player, Co-Founder of You Belong, Executive Director of You Can Play, New York, NY
  26. Scott Poulson-Bryant, Award-winning Journalist and Author, co-founding editor at Vibe Magazine
  27. Alexander Hardy, Writer
  28. Saeed Jones, Writer and Editor, A 2013 Pushcart Prize Winner, Brooklyn, NY
  29. Charles Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  30. Cleve Tinsley IV, Ordained Baptist minister, Adjunct Professor of Religion and Culture at Rice University and Springfield College, Houston, TX
  31. Al-Lateef Farmer, EOF Recruiter/Student Development Specialist at Mercer County Community College Philadelphia, PA
  32. Kamasi Hill, Evanston Township High School, Chicago, IL
  33. Robert Jones, Jr., Writer and Founder, Son of Baldwin, Brooklyn, NY
  34. Robert Hill, Afro-American and Caribbean History, Editor of the Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  35. Ted Bunch, Activist, Educator, Co-Founder of A Call to Men, Rockville Centre, NY
  36. Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin, President/CEO at Our Glass Entertainment, Jackson, MS
  37. David Whettstone, Public Policy Advocate & Writer, Washington, DC
  38. Adisa Ajamu, Executive Director at the Atunwa Community Collective Development Think Tank, Los Angeles, CA
  39. Herman Beavers, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  40. Wren Brown, Actor, Los Angeles, CA
  41. Oscar Alexander Robles, Manager of Non-profit Partnerships, Former Co-Director in the Coalition for Equitable Communities at Florida State University
  42. Ade Raphael, Student, Irvine, CA
  43. Seth Bynum, Student, Montclair, NJ
  44. Julian Williams, Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, Vassar College
  45. Ocasio Wilson, Albany, NY
  46. Merio Maye, Far Rockaway, NY
  47. Terrell Tate
  48. Dashawn Walker, Bowdoin College Class of 2014, Portland, ME
  49. Ken Miles, Harlem, NY
  50. Elijah Winston, Student, Gilbert, AZ
  51. Matthew Brown, Student, Brooklyn, NY
  52. Juan Thompson, Student, Chicago, IL
  53. Jon Conningham, Digital Media student at the University of Washington
  54. James Cantres, Student, African Diaspora at NYU
  55. Chad Anderson, Program Associate, Office of Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons
  56. Jafari Allen, Associate Professor of Anthropology & African American Studies at Yale University
  57. Guthrie Ramsey, Professor of Music at University of Pennsylvania
  58. Monroe France, Assistant Vice President for Student Diversity/Director of Multicultural Education and Services, NYU
  59. Clifton Hall
  60. Isaiah M. Wooden, Ph.D candidate and Director-dramaturg, Department of Drama at Stanford
  61. Aaron Talley, Activist, Writer, Educator, Blogger for the Black Youth Project, Detroit, MI
  62. La Marr Jurelle Bruce, Lecturer in Theater Studies, Yale University.
  63. Dr. Van Bailey, Inaugural Director of the Office of BGLTQ Student Life at Harvard College
  64. Donald P. Gagnon, Associate Professor of English at Western Connecticut State University
  65. Donald Anthonyson, Organizer, Families for Freedom, New York, NY
  66. Andrew Cory Greene, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, Alternative to Incarceration and Higher Education Intervention, New York, NY
  67. Abraham Paulos, Director of Families for Freedom, NY
  68. Duane Robinson
  69. Hashim K. Pipkin, Writer and educator, Randallstown, MD
  70. Bryson Rose, Ohio University Program Coordinator of Pregnancy Prevention at the Hetrick-Martin Institute HMHS, New York, NY
  71. Luis Inoa, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Residential Life at Vassar College, Brooklyn/Queens, NY
  72. Akeel St. Vil, Brooklyn, NY
  73. Tony Porter, Educator and Activist, Co-Founder of A Call to Men, Rockville Centre, NY
  74. Guy Lefevre
  75. Kleaver Cruz, Writer and Teacher, Dream Director at Leadership Institute in the Bronx, New York, NY
  76. Walter Cruz, Graphic designer, New York, NY
  77. Abraham Gatling, Watertown, CT
  78. Kendall Coleman Bronx, NY
  79. Russell Robinson, Professor and Distinguished Haas Chair in LGBT Equity, UC Berkeley Law
  80. Quincy James Rineheart, M.Div., Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  81. Ahmad Greene-Hayes, Williams College ’16, Williamstown, MA
  82. Paul Daniels, II, Morehouse College ’12, Atlanta, GA
  83. Tim’m T. West, Activist, Educator, Artist, Director of Youth Services at the Center on Halsted, Chicago, IL
  84. Derrick Walker
  85. Weslee Glenn, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cal Tech, Los Angeles, CA
  86. Vaughn E. Taylor-Akutagawa, Activist, Entrepreneur, Researcher, and Executive Director at Gay Men of African Descent, New York, NY
  87. Charles McKinney, Associate Professor and Director of Africana Studies Program at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
  88. Hiram Perez, Assistant Professor, English Department at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
  89. Preston Mitchum, Adjunct Professor, Advanced Legal Research and Writing at Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  90. Kiyan Williams, Artist, Performer, Stanford ’13, Stanford, CA
  91. John Murillo III, PhD candidate, English Department at Brown University, Providence, RI
  92. Dymir Arthur, Dean of School Culture at Achievement First, Brooklyn, NY
  93. Alan Mullins
  94. Kevin Lawrence Henry Jr., PhD candidate in Education at University of Madison-Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  95. Michael Dumas, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education Leadership at NYU Steinhardt, New York, NY
  96. Riko A. Boone, Counselor at The Door, Outstanding HIV prevention work of the the year awardee, New York, NY
  97. Devon Tyrone Wade, Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology at Columbia University, New York, NY
  98. Aunsha Hall-Everett, Consultant at Harm Reduction Coalition, New York, NY
  99. Allen K. James
  100. Durrell Callier, Doctoral student at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign’s School of Education, Policy, Organization & Leadership, Champaign-Urbana, IL
  101. James Roane, Graduate Student in History at Columbia University, New York, NY
  102. George Bellinger, Jr., AIDS Activist, New York, NY
  103. Darius Clark Monroe, Filmmaker, Director of Evolution of a Criminal, Brooklyn, NY
  104. Richard Yarborough, Professor of English at UCLA, Faculty Research Associate at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  105. Alex Blue V, Doctoral Student in Ethnomusicology at UC Santa Barbara, University of Northern Texas
  106. Alvin Starks, Creator and Former Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the Open Society Institute, Brooklyn, NY
  107. Devon Peterson
  108. Chris Mcauley, Associate Professor in Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara, PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Santa Barbara, CA
  109. Clarence Lusane, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, American University, Washington, DC
  110. Monty Pender, Transportation Director, ABCD, Canton, OH
  111. James Gordon Williams, Theorist, Composer, Pianist, a Yale Bouchet Scholar
  112. Roderick Ferguson, Professor of American Studies at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  113. Johari Jabir, Assistant Professor of African American Studies at University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL
  114. Scot Brown, Associate Professor of History at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  115. Tyrone Forman, Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  116. Eddie Bruce-Jones, Lecturer in Law, Program Director, Admissions Tutor at Birkbeck University of London, London, England
  117. Obari Cartman, Photographer, Artist, Activist, Chicago, IL
  118. Maurice Jackson, Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  119. David Melton
  120. Dr. Clemmie Harris, PhD candidate, Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  121. Justin Stucey, Producer and Business Developer at Production Glue, New York, NY
  122. Gregory Davis, J.D./M.A. in Afro-American Studies and Law at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  123. Roland Roebuck, Activist, Washington, DC
  124. R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the City College of New York, CUNY
  125. Davarian L. Baldwin, Paul Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies, Trinity College, CT
  126. Dr. Brian Peterson
  127. Christopher Stackhouse, Maryland Institute College of Art Brooklyn, NY
  128. Nahum D. Chandler, Associate Professor of African American Studies University of California, Irvine
  129. Darrell Moore, Philosophy, De Paul University Chicago, IL
  130. Jason Saunders, Graduate student, UVA
  131. Robeson Taj Frazier, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  132. Avery R. Young, Teaching Artist, Urban Gateways, Chicago, IL
  133. Johnny E. Williams, Department of Sociology, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  134. James Ford, Occidental College
  135. Herman Gray. Department of Sociology, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA
  136. Arthur Little, Professor of English, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  137. Abdul Ali, Goucher College, Towson, MD
  138. David H. Anthony, III, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
  139. Kai M. Green, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  140. Bill Fletcher, Jr., Activist/Educator/Writer, Mitchellville, MD
  141. Tommie Shelby, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  142. Peniel E. Joseph, Founding Director, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Tufts University, Somerville, MA
  143. Marcus Anthony Hunter, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Yale University. New Haven, CT
  144. Professor Joseph Wilson, City University of New York, NY
  145. Neil Roberts, Associate Professor, Africana Studies Program, Williams College
  146. Jonathan Collins, Doctoral Student, Department of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  147. Erik S McDuffie, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
  148. Tavia Nyong'o, New York University, New York, NY
  149. Sidney J. Lemelle, Professor of History and Africana Studies, Pomona College Claremont, CA
  150. Minkah Makalani, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX & Brooklyn, NY
  151. Darnell Hunt, Director, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA
  152. Pete Carr, Attorney
  153. Robert O’Meilly, Zora Neal Hurston Professor of English, Columbia University, New York, NY
  154. Robert Williams, Assistant Professor of African American Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  155. John Keene, Author/Artist/Professor, Rutgers University, Jersey City, NJ
  156. Makungu M. Akinyela, Ph.D., LMFT, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
  157. Eric A. Hurley PhD, Department of Psychology, Pomona College, Claremont CA
  158. Geffrey Davis, Ph.D. Candidate, University Park, PA
  159. M. Keith Claybrook, Jr., CSU, Dominguez Hills/ Claremont Graduate University, Compton, CA
  160. Michael Stoll, Professor of Public Policy, and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty
  161. Fred Moten, University of California, Riverside, CA
  162. Steve Edwards, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Elite Daily, New York, N.Y.
  163. Jerry G. Watts, Professor of English, Sociology and American Studies, CUNY Graduate Center
  164. Brian Tate, President, the Tate Group, Brooklyn, NY
  165. Frank Guridy, Department of History at UT-Austin, Austin, TX
  166. Eric Miller, Professor, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA
  167. Tarell Alvin McCraney, Playwright, Steppenwolf Ensemble Member, Chicago, MacArthur Grant Recipient 2013
  168. Dr. Tony Laing, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  169. Damien Sojoyner, Scripps College, Los Angeles, CA
  170. Bryan Epps, The Shabazz Center, Newark, NJ
  171. Percy E. Holmes, Education Specialist, Brooklyn, NY
  172. Robert Warren, Personal Trainer and Fitness Expert, New York, NY
  173. Benjamin Reynolds, Clergy and Doctoral Seminary Student, Chicago, IL
  174. Jason Craig Harris, Humanities Educator, New York, NY
  175. Robert West, LGBT Advocate and Non-profit Administrator, New York, NY
  176. George Turner, Trial Lawyer
  177. Jelani Lindsey, Attorney, Rancho Cucamonga, Los Angeles, CA
  178. Robert Reid-Pharr, Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies, City University of New York, NY
  179. Michael Mitchell, PhD student, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
  180. Geoff Ward, Professor and Parent, School of Social Ecology, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
  181. Bennett Capers, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY
  182. David Troutt, Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law, Newark, NJ
  183. Kevin Powell, New York, NY
  184. Nick Mitchell, Ethnic Studies
  185. Prescott Saunders, Data Analyst, Poughkeepsie, NY
  186. William Johnson, Professor at University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  187. Nicholas Brady, Graduate Student, University of California, Irvine
  188. Professor Ronald S. Sullivan, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
  189. Professor Robert Westley, Tulane Law School
  190. David Wasserman, Public Defender, Los Angeles, CA
  191. Lester Myers, Security Guard, Forrest, MS
  192. Professor Thomas Mitchell, University of Wisconsin Law School
  193. Stephen Ward, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  194. Christopher Marsburn, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology & Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine
  195. Kent Faulcon, Actor, Writer, Director, Los Angeles, CA
  196. Andre Ware, Actor, Writer, New York, NY
  197. Paul Pelt, Chef, Washington, DC
  198. Theodore Craighead, Paris, France
  199. Melvin Smith, Jr., Architect, Birmingham, AL
  200. Milton Jennings, Engineer, Hyattsville, MD
  201. Anthony Norris, Clinton, MD
  202. Larry A. Stephens, Det. Sgt. Detroit, MI
  203. Rahsaan Patterson, Actor, Singer, Los Angeles, CA
  204. Herb Ruffin
  205. Byron Hurt, Filmmaker, God Bless the Child Productions, LLC
  206. Evan K. Marshall, London, UK
  207. Kori Natambu, Writer and Editor, The Panopticon Review, Berkeley, CA
  208. Maurice Wallace, Duke University, Durham, NC
  209. Eric Darnell Pritchard, Assistant Professor of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  210. Ben Kabuye
  211. Devon Tart, Student, NY
  212. Aaron Evans, Jobs Plus Coordinator at Community Solutions, NY
  213. Quardean Lewis-Allen, Founder, Made in Brownsville, New York, NY
  214. Ryan Greenlee, Educator, Artist
  215. Zach Murray, Youth Advocate and Activist, Oakland, CA
  216. Fred H. Moore, Jr.
  217. Trey Williams-Former, Director of Student and Academic Services for the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  218. Ovid Amorson, Human Being, Philadelphia, PA
  219. Torrence Gardner
  220. T. Hasan Johnson, Associate Professor in African Studies, California State, Fresno, CA
  221. Michelle Kemp, Atlanta, GA
  222. Nathan Griffin
  223. Emahunn Campbell, Ph.D. Candidate in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-America Studies at UMass Amherst
  224. Marc Chery, Librarian
  225. Steven C. Pitts, Associate Chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, Berkeley, CA
  226. Mitchell Saddler, Father
  227. Terry Smith, COO, Talented 10th Mentoring, NFP
  228. Darol Kay, Activist and Scholar, Irvine, CA
  229. Justin Jones, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
  230. Raymond Winbush, Ph.D, Director, Institute for Urban Research, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
  231. Dante E. Clark, Actor and Writer, Bronx, NY
  232. Kevin K. Gaines, Robert Hayden Collegiate Professor of History and African American Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  233. Jordan Medina, Racial and Economic Justice Advocate, Oakland, CA
  234. Ty Schwoeffermann, Health Equity Coordinator for Urban League of Portland, Portland, Oregon
  235. Cornelius Moore, Co-Director, California Newsreel, San Francisco, California
  236. Dennis Tyler, Assistant Professor of English, Fordham University, New York, NY
  237. David J. Pate, Jr., Ph.D., MSW, Associate Professor
  238. Albert "Tootie" Heath, Jazz Musician, Santa Fe, NM
  239. Jonathan Fenderson, Assistant Professor, African & African American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  240. William "Pete" Glass, Retired, Sayulita, Mexico
  241. Chad Williams, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of African and Afro-American Studies, Brandeis University
  242. Isaac Miller, Episcopal clergy, Philadelphia, PA
  243. Keith Gilyard, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and African American Studies, Penn State, University Park, PA
  244. Antoine Hardy, Instructor of Speech, Writer, Doctoral Candidate, Shreveport, LA 
  245. Justin Brown, Educator, Greensboro, NC
  246. Adrian Castrejon, UN Las Vegas, ND
  247. Matt Richardson, UT Austin, TX
  248. Jose Santillana, UNLV Public, ND
  249. Alvaader FrazierAttorneyalvaader@me.comNew York, NY
  250. Brandon Alston, Haverford College, Alum, Philadelphia, PA
  251. Anthony Browne, Professor of Africana Studies, Hunter College, New York, NY
  252. Joshua Jackson, student, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  253. Bakari Wallace, PhD Candidate/Social Worker, Detroit, MI
  254. Lawrence R Sneed, SGA @ Gamestop, Brooklyn, NY
  255. Sumit Baudh, Student, CA