Denounce Hate, Celebrate Love

Denounce Hate, Celebrate Love
In front of Dutchess County Office Building 
Poughkeepsie, NY 12580

Tuesday, August 15, 6:00 PM 
We are standing in solidarity with Charlottesville. Join us. Bring a candle. Bring a sign. Bring your hearts, your minds, your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers-- everyone you know. See you in front of the Dutchess County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie Tuesday, Aug. 15th at 6 pm-- after a bit we'll walk down to 44/55 and hold our signs there. Info: 845-464-2245

ACLU and the Right to Know Act

Testimony of the New York Civil Liberties Union Before City Council Public Safety Committee in Support of the Right to Know Act
June 29, 2015

The New York Civil Liberties Union (“NYCLU”) respectfully submits the following testimony in support of Intro. 182 and Intro. 541, collectively known as the Right to Know Act. We also include comments on several of the other bills being considered today.

Friday at 8 pm, rally for Sam Harrell

Dear members,

  We write with devasting news from the Department of Justice: no criminal charges will be filed against the correctional officers who killed Sam Harrell by either the federal or county prosecutor.

  Please meet us at Beacon High School at 8pm tomorrow for a small, but heartfelt protest: FRIDAY 8PM. Bring signs (or just yourselves) and we'll walk along the sidewalk to the boundary of the Fishkill prison.

      We at Beacon Prison Action are horrified that the Dutchess County DA and the Department of Justice have decided not to pursue any charges against the officers who killed Sam Harrell, ensuring that the deep culture of violence in our state prisons and the utter lack of accountability for corrections officers will continue.

"An Evening of Real History"

Pierre Leroy speaking on the subject of the Haitian Revolution, at the "An Evening of Real History" event, at the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center, in Kingston, NY, on Saturday, July 29, 2017. Photo by Jim Peppler. Copyright/Jim Peppler-2017.

COPYRIGHT:Jim Peppler 2017


Second Annual ENJAN Gathering

ENJAN's Second Annual Regional Gathering on Saturday, August 5 from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm, with optional March for Justice workshop at 10:30 am.

At this regional gathering, we will have an opportunity to build our connections, discuss key issues, and think together about how we might support each other's efforts into the future.

Location: Christ the King Episcopal Church, 3021 State Rt. 213 East, Stone Ridge. (Same venue as last summer.)

Please bring a dish to share.  We encourage everyone to bring their own dishes and silverware to decrease our environmental impact.

Schedule of Events
10:30 March for Justice Workshop- presented by Colia Clark
11:30 Introductions & Welcome
12:45 Potluck lunch and BBQ
2:15 Breakout groups
3:30 Closing

Join us for the March for Justice Workshop at 10:30 am! Colia Clark will be kicking off the event by discussing the March for Justice in the context of the criminal justice system today and its relationship to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

What’s Happening This Week?

What’s Happening This Week?
Tuesday, July 25th, 8:30 a.m.
Kingston City Court (1 Garraghan Drive)
Solidarity Against State Sanctioned Violence

On July 20th, a 24-year-old Kingston resident was walking home from work when police stopped him to question where he was going, and where he had been. They asked him what was in his hand, and he was holding a beer. 3 - 4 cop cars arrived and because he had no identification on him, the officers kept asking him to repeat his name. A cop came up behind him and tried to put his hands behind his back. Before he knew it, he was face down on the ground. 

While on the ground, curled up in a fetal position, he was pepper sprayed and tased by officers of the Kingston Police Department. He is bruised, scratched and swollen. 
His charges were: Littering, Open Container and Resisting Arrest. 

On Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. he is scheduled to appear in court, and we must send a message of support and solidarity, and let the  Kingston Police Department know that we won't accept this behavior. #BlackLivesMatter !

Evening of Real History July 29

Great event Saturday, July 29th, 6:30 at African Roots Library, 43 Gill Street, Kingston.  Pierre will we speaking about the Haitian Revolution.  Hope you can come.  Terry Leroy

Saturday, June 17th, 5:00 p.m.

Juneteenth: Keeping History Alive, Remembering Those Who Stood Up
Saturday, June 17th, 5:00 p.m.
8 Hone Street, Kingston, N.Y. (New Progressive Baptist Church)
This co-sponsored event commemorates the anniversary of the day the last slaves in Galveston Island, Texas were freed -- two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. Today, we celebrate the spirit of justice and freedom by recognizing community members who continue to fight for these standards. This year’s celebration will feature guest speakers, a theatre presentation, and two special tributes: We will be thanking  Drew Andrews of Kingston’s Center 4 Community Education for using art as a means of empowerment and bringing his love of dance to our schools and streets.  (If you have seen a hip-hop performance at any of Kingston’s festivals in the last ten years or so, chances are Drew was behind it.) We will also be celebrating Journey Truth, who has devoted her 105 (and counting!) years of life to speaking out for equality. 
To learn more about the history of Juneteenth, check out this article.
For the full event details and to R.S.V.P, click here.

Movement For Black Lives

Land is Power. Land is Liberation. Land is The Commons.
On Juneteenth 2017 (Monday, June 19th) Black people across the country will take back land and reclaim space, from vacant lots to empty school buildings. We are taking back land that should be used for the good of the people; land that has historically been denied to Black people. Through these actions we will confront the institutions and individuals that have been built off the extracted wealth of Black people and Black land.

Click here to join the call.

This is an open call, led by the Black Land & Liberation Initiative, to Black folks to launch actions in their own communities, or to join actions that are being planned.

Learn more about this initiative on the BLLI info call Wed, May 24th at 5pmPST/8pmEST.  For more info read the manifesto.

Movement For Black Lives

NYS NAACP call for justice



1. On April 21, 2015, Mr. Samuel Harrell a non-violent African American Inmate (bi-polar) was involved in a confrontation with New York State Correction Officers at Fishkill Prison.  A confrontation that led to Mr. Harrell being beaten to death by numerous correction officers.  

2. Prior to the fatal beating by correction officers, Mr. Harrell was not charged or accused of any type of weapons related offense.

3. After the beat down, correction officers called for an ambulance, but according to medical records, the officers mentioned nothing about a physical encounter. Rather, the records showed, they told the ambulance crew that Mr. Harrell probably had an overdose of K2, synthetic marijuana.

4. An autopsy report by the Orange County medical examiner concluded that Mr. Harrell, 30, had cuts and bruises to the head and extremities and had no illicit drugs in his system, and died of cardiac arrhythmia, “following a physical altercation with corrections officers.”

5. The Orange County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.

6. The New York State Correction Department has failed to take any type of appropriate disciplinary actions against the officers and supervisors who not only appeared to beat Mr. Samuel Harrell to death but lied in an attempt to conceal and or justify their actions.

(18 months and counting)

Undoing Racism Training

Subject: Hudson Valley Leaders Organizing Training for Undoing Racism

Challenged by How to Deal with Race Issues in Your Organization? 
Concerned about the Impact of Race and Racism in our HV Communities?

We invite you to take part in a half-day of organizing training led by Ron Chisom, co-founder of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB). Ron will bring several PISAB  northeast organizing leaders to share insights and years of experience organizing to undo racism across the nation.

Date, Time and Place:
Saturday, May 20th  10:00am – 3:00pm 
The Sharpe Reservation
436 Van Wyck Lake Road, Fishkill, NY 12524

Cost: $10 includes lunch
This is an invitation-only event for HV organizing leaders.
Please RSVP by May 13, 2017 to:

 Tracy Givens Hunter (
or, Pete Heymann (

Session participants will engage in a comprehensive exploration of how we as anti-racist organizers and social justice activists can gain organizing skills, strategies and tactics to better lead the effort to bring Undoing Racism Workshops back to the HV.

Undoing Racism Workshops are unique 2 1/2 day workshops offered by The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, a national, multiracial, anti-racist network from New Orleans dedicated to ending racism in our lifetime.

Now in its 38th year, PISAB has provided training, consultation, and leadership development to more than 500,000 people in organizations nationally and internationally.

The PISAB analysis moves beyond a focus on the symptoms of racism to an understanding of what Racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it still persists and how we can effectively organize to Undo Racism in our communities.

Key areas of discussion will include:
1. Assessing where we are in our level of organizing skills
2. Hearing success stories strategies and tactics
3. Learning from History
4. Sharing organizing experience
5. Organizing to Undo Racism

Let’s gather together to organize to Undo Racism. 

Please RSVP now.


Peter Heymann

May 10 Lobby Day in Albany

May 10th Day of Advocacy and Action

Please join Challenging Incarceration and New Yorkers struggling for justice statewide for our May 10th lobby day in Albany, Unite for Parole and Prison Justice: A Day of Advocacy and Action. This legislative action and advocacy day will focus on amplifying our message of an end to mass incarceration, state violence and torture, and identity-based oppression, and the promotion of community empowerment. Our May 10th legislative advocacy will place a particular emphasis on bringing people home through a more humane parole system.

Unitarian Universalist Principles and Black Lives Matter

Black Lives of UU endorses #Vision4BlackLives Policy Platform

from the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism Organizing Collective

Today The Movement for Black Lives released it’s #Vision4BlackLives Policy Platform which we whole heartedly endorse as an Organizing Collective. This truly visionary platform seeks to restore Black humanity and dignity through Black political will and power. It features as set of six demand categories each of which are deeply explored & researched on the policy platform website:
In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda. We are a collective that centers and is rooted in Black communities, but we recognize we have a shared struggle with all oppressed people; collective liberation will be a product of all of our work. — from #Vision4BlackLives Policy Platform
While we certainly see a direct link between this policy platform and our own 7 Principles of Black Lives, the grounding of the #Vision4BlackLives in the goal of affirming Black humanity & dignity also show a clear connection to our Unitarian Universalist Principles.

The Movement for Black Lives is asking individuals and organizations to formally endorse the #Vision4BlackLives. Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism has already taken that step as an Organizing Collective. We encourage all UUs and all UUA entities to read, digest and endorse this critical step towards collective liberation.

May 1 March for Sanctuary

Celebrate International Workers' Day by making Poughkeepsie a sanctuary city.

On May Day, rally and march for workers' rights to sanctuary cities, public transit, education, and good jobs. As the Poughkeepsie Common Council introduces a sanctuary-inspired resolution on May 1st , show them how the Hudson Valley feels about defending our neighbors!

Monday, May 1st starting at 4:30pm.
4:30pm Gather at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie (29 N Hamilton St.),
5pm March to City Hall
5:30pm Rally at City Hall (62 Civic Center Plaza)
6pm Speak out on sanctuary-inspired resolution at Common Council meeting
RSVP here or contact Community Voices Heard, the coordinating organization for more details:

Two-Year Vigil for Samuel Harrell

On April 21, 2015, correctional officers at our local prison beat to death Samuel Harrell.  Two years later, those same officers are not only free from criminal prosecution but are still on the job.

Please join Beacon Prison Action as we mourn Sam's death, call for accountability for this heinous crime, and organize toward systemic reform:

Two-Year Vigil Friday, April 21st 7pm Polhill Park, Beacon (corner of Main St & 9D in Beacon) Tell us you're coming on facebook

Please sign up to help on the 21st & 22nd! All throughout the day of the vigil and the following day, we'll be handing out information and helping people address postcards to the local prosecutor and the Governor's office.  Please sign up for a shift here or by emailing Kate at

Two-Year Vigil Friday, April 21st 7pm Polhill Park, Beacon (corner of Main St & 9D in Beacon) Tell us you're coming on facebook

Please sign up to help on the 21st & 22nd! All throughout the day of the vigil and the following day, we'll be handing out information and helping people address postcards to the local prosecutor and the Governor's office.  Please sign up for a shift here or by emailing Kate at

April 17 lecture on children and race relations at Vassar College

LECTURE: Wilma King, "'We are all bound together in one great bundle of humanity’: The Interconnected Lives of Enslaved and Emancipated Children in North America" (4/17)

Vassar, Rockefeller Hall, room 300

Wilma King is the Arvarh E. Strickland Distinguished Professor in African American History and Culture Emerita, University of Missouri. She has published examinations of slavery and freedom in nineteenth-century North America. This lecture focuses specifically on interconnections among black children, enslaved and emancipated, and attempts to answer questions about how and when they learned of legal differences among themselves and their contemporaries, black and white. 

Black Lives Matter presents "There is a Field"

Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley presents: There is a Field

Map data ©2017 Google

Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley and DonkeySaddle Productions PRESENT: There Is A Field, a play about a young Palestinian teenage boy who is shot to death by an Israeli Police Officer, based on the true story of the death of 17 year old Aseel Asleh in October 2000, written and produced by Jen Marlowe. Based on interviews and primary sources collected over fourteen years, the documentary-style play offers a uniquely personal lens for understanding inequality as the root of state violence and impunity.
This will be a reading of the play by local community members working in conjunction with DonkeySaddle Productions.

April 5 : Shannon Wong, Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union

Shannon Wong, Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union
Lower Hudson Valley Chapter will present:

"Protecting Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in NYS"

Family Partnership Center April 5, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Please reply to confirm your attendance, and how many others will also attend, as soon as possible to facilitate appropriate planning.

Room to be Announced based on the number of people interested.
So Don't Delay - Let Me Know!

I Am Not Your Negro: Saturday, April 1st

Engage Film Series Presents: I Am Not Your Negro: Saturday, April 1st at 10:00 am in Rhinebeck. Free benefit screening (suggested donation $10), followed by a panel discussion anchored by Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley, Showing Up for Racial Justice Ulster County, and the Million Hoodies Project of Bard College. Proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter, Hudson Valley

Saturday, March 25, 7:30pm at Pointe of Praise Family Life Center in Kingston

TMI Project Presents: #BlackStoriesMatter

The TMI Project offers storytelling workshops to cultivate change in participants and inspire audience members. Partnering with Citizen Action of New York in the Hudson Valley, TMI Project will stage its latest performance, #BlackStoriesMatter, to bring to light part of the contemporary black experience. "#BlackStoriesMatter is our way of participating as an organization in the national outcry of injustice that has been amplified as a result of senseless killings at the hands of law enforcement, frequent racial profiling, and the history of racism in this nation," says TMI Project Executive Director Eva Tenuto. In addition to numerous storytellers, the event will feature performances by Brooklyn Tech's Step Team, The Lady Dragons, and the social justice dance team from Center for Creative Education. Saturday, March 25, 7:30pm at Pointe of Praise Family Life Center in Kingston.

March 28 film screening and discussion

March 28 5-7:30 pm film screening and discussion. Documentary "13" explores the history of race and the criminal justice system. Discussion by Paul Donnelly, a teacher in the Poughkeepsie  City School District and instructor for Vassar College's Urban Education Initiative. Location Hudson Hall, Dutchess Community College

School To Prison Pipeline

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Please bring your friends and share widely.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
6-8pm @ Mid-Hudson Heritage Center
317 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY

Join the End the New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) Lower Hudson Valley Chapter for a community discussion and workshop to:
• Identify concerns and share statistics about area high schools
• Discuss the impacts of the school-to-prison pipeline on students, families and communities
• Propose strategies, programs and policy solutions
• Provide training about knowing your rights with police in schools and knowing your rights when facing suspension
Paul Donnelly, teacher
Jocelyn Johnson-Kearney, community organizer
Geri Willmott, educator/activist
Shannon Wong, NYCLU Lower Hudson Valley
ENJAN (End the New Jim Crow Action Network) Poughkeepsie
NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union) Lower Hudson Valley Chapter  |  |
NYCLU: 914-997-7479  |

Focus on First Ladies, and Women Who Created Black Lives Matter



7 p.m. Saturday, March 25th
Howland Cultural Center * 477 Main Street * Beacon NY 10524 * 845-831-4988
Screening documentary film, THE LEGACY OF MICHELLE OBAMA
A musical commemoration of the  90th birthday of Leontyne Price, renowned lyric-dramatic soprano who starred as Cleopatra in the 1966 opening of the then-new  Metropolitan Opera House.
Presented by Goldee Greene
Tribute to a game-changing trio of women who created Black Lives Matter:  Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza.

Led by Tracy Givens Hunter.
Suggested donation: $5          Refreshments served.
Special thanks to Aaron Verdile/EXT Productions for technical support