CALL TO ACTION
Every day in the US and around the world people's lives and freedoms are taken away because groups in power seek to maintain control over others. There are systems and institutions that seek to oppress people through forces of racism, sexism, genderism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, xenophobia, and so many other lens of power dynamics. All these patterns of beliefs and systems, impact the mental health and well being of billions everyday. As a Social Worker, I look at Mental Health & Illness through an intersectional lens, also considering how social, political, and economic structures impact my clients.
Please take a look at some of the social justice initiatives I am currently advocating for.
Justice for Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black ER technician, was shot at least eight times by police officers who forced their way into her Louisville apartment just after midnight on March 13. Neither of the three police officers were wearing body cameras, CNN reported
How can I help demand justice for Breonna Taylor?
Sign a petition calling for justice for Breonna Taylor here.
Sign a second petition here.
Follow instructions to contact the Louisville Mayor's office here.
Donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund here.
Split a donation between bail funds across the country here.
Donate to Black Lives Matter here.
Sign the Black Lives Matter petition to #DefundThePolice here.
Donate to Campaign Zero, which campaigns for the enactment of policy to end police violence, here.
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Ahmad Arbery, 25, was chased and gunned down on February 23, 2020 while exercising in the Satalla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, GA. His assailants followed him, cornered him, and confronted him with a deadly weapon.
How can I help demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery?
Sign a petition to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery here
Justice for Sean Reed
Sean Reed was a 21-year-old Black Army Vet who was shot by police in Indianapolis while on Facebook Live. The officers on the scene first used a taser and then shot Reed 13 times. Afterwards, the officers can be heard laughing and one officer says, “I think it’s going to be a closed casket homie.”
How can I help demand justice for Sean Reed?
Sign a petition calling for justice for Sean Reed here.
Justice for Elijah McClain
August 24th, 2019, 23-year-old Elijah McClain was walking home after buying some tea at a local convenience store. According to Elijah's family, Elijah, who was anemic, preferred to wear a ski mask to keep his face warm while he was walking. The Aurora Police Department received a call of a "suspicious man". This call resulted in Elijah's death. After the McClain family requested the bodycam footage from the officers on scene it was reported that in the footage, "He is laying on the ground vomiting, he is begging, he is saying, 'I can't breathe.' One of the officers says, 'Don't move again. If you move again, I'm calling in a dog to bite you,'" -Mari Newman (the McClain's lawyer) . When the paramedics arrived they administered a dose of Ketamine to the already unconscious Elijah to "sedate" him. He was pronounced dead August 27th, 2019, at only 23 years old of a heart attack.
How can I help demand justice for Elijah McClain?
Sign and share the petition calling for a full investigation
Donate to (or share) the fundraising campaign started by McClain's mother, Sheneen McClain.
Email Aurora officials with this useful template inspire your own emails, tweaking content.
Look to the Justice For Elijah McClain Instagram account for further action items.
Organizations for Change
Below are some organizations that are constantly fighting to create support and change for historically oppressed and marginalized groups.
From their site: "As a nonprofit, we’re driven by the belief that our democracy works better when more people participate in civic life and when our campaigns and nonprofits are powered by the people they serve. That’s why we’ve built a powerful online fundraising platform for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, progressive organizations, and nonprofits. Our tools make it possible for anyone to build a grassroots campaign or movement and give donors an easy and secure way to support their favorite candidates and causes."
From their site: "#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives."
From their site: “Black Visions Collective envisions a world in which ALL Black Lives Matter. We use the guidance and brilliance of our ancestors as well as the teachings of our own experiences to pursue our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. We are determined in our pursuit of dignity and equity for all."
From their site: “Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.”
From their site: “The Community Justice Exchange is a national hub for developing, sharing, and experimenting with tactical interventions, strategic organizing practices, and innovative organizing tools to end mass incarceration. We provide support to community-based organizations that are building a new vision of community justice through bottom-up interventions in the criminal legal and immigration detention systems.”
From their site: "The Emergency Release Fund is a grassroots response to grave public safety issues. 100% of your contribution is used to post bail for trans persons, people of color, and underrepresented communities at risk of injury and death."
From their site: " EJI is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. We challenge the death penalty and excessive punishment and we provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people."
From their site: “HRC works to improve the lives of LGBTQ people worldwide by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law, and increasing public support around the globe.”
From their site: “Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders."
From their site: “The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.”
From their site: "The National Bail Out collective is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. We are people who have been impacted by cages — either by being in them ourselves or witnessing our families and loved ones be encaged. We are queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant.”
From their site: "The National Black Disability Coalition (NBDC) is a response to the need for Blacks with Disabilities in America to organize around issues of mutual concern and use our collective strength to address disability issues with an emphasis on people who live in poverty."