September 30, 2016



Saturday, October15, 2016 9:30 am – 1 pm

Light Breakfast & Networking: 9:30am TOPICS:

Restorative Justice • Alternatives to Mass Incarceration School-to-Prison Pipeline • More 

In the Cafeteria, Downstairs at The Family Partnership Center 29 N. Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie, 

WHAT:  Poughkeepsie’s End the New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN) will host a teach-in on alternatives to Dutchess County’s plans to build a larger and more expensive jail. 

The teach-in is co-sponsored by Beacon Prison Action • Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance • Hudson Valley Black Lives Matter Coalition • Kingston ENJAN • New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) • Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson • Poughkeepsie Progressives • Poughkeepsie Unitarian Universalists • Race Unity Circle • Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library

 WHO: The event will feature several speakers and panelists, including noted civil rights attorney Michael Sussman, Dutchess County legislator Francena Amparo, Shannon Wong (NYCLU Lower Hudson Valley Chapter Director), and a representative from the Mid-Hudson Valley Black Lives Matter Coalition, among others. The End the New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN) will also release its 7-point plan for reducing the county’s jail population.

HOW/WHY: A solution to Dutchess County’s “jail problem” is long overdue. Though the county legislature passed a $192-million-dollar bond for a new facility, a bigger and more expensive jail is the wrong “solution” to jail overcrowding. Because the real sources of jail overcrowding are the failed policies of mass incarceration, End the New Jim Crow Action Network (ENJAN) calls on the county to implement several proposals that would significantly reduce the number of people in jail, increase public safety, and make Dutchess County a more equitable and just place to live for all its residents. This event informs concerned citizens about the complex and important issues of alternatives to mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and more. • • 845.475.8781

September 26, 2016

From Center for Constitutional Rights

Police are a constant lethal threat to Black Americans 

"After the killing of 193 Black Americans this year," CCR Executive Director Vince Warren told Democracy Now!, "I'm quite prepared not to believe the police department narratives of anything that happened in these investigations." He was speaking last Wednesday after the police killings of Terrence Crutcher – the Oklahoma man whose car broke down who was shot with his hands in the air – and Keith Lamont Scott – the North Carolina father reading a book waiting in his car to pick up his son from school. The number has gone up since then.

In these cases and in so many others, video and eyewitness accounts contradict police explanations and excuses.

As usual, when police provocation escalated peaceful protests in Charlotte, officials and politicians were far quicker to denounce "unrest" than the police violence people were protesting. "Black lives are so dehumanized," said Vince, "that it is OK structurally – it's OK in the context of the police department, it's OK in the context of the criminal justice system – to kill Black people."

Vince was joined by Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson and Bree Newsome, the artist and activist who removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capital. Commenting on the fact that the police simply left Terrence Crutcher to die, Rashad said Black people, "even in their death are seen as deserving – not deserving of medical support – deserving of the situations." Earlier this year Color of Change and CCR filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents on the police surveillance of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"We've lost complete faith in the system because the system is designed to do the exact opposite of what Black people need," Vince told Democracy Now!.

Underscoring the systemic nature of police bias against Blacks, a Massachusetts court ruled last week that Black men who encounter Boston police have a legitimate reason to run away. Being "motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled" is a rational response to such encounters.

"This issue is as old as policing in America," Bree Newsome told Democracy Now!

September 11, 2016

There’s oppression, there’s social injustice, and these kids live it.

Woodrow Wilson players and coaches
take a knee during national anthem.

Nearly every player and coach on the Woodrow Wilson high school football team kneeled for the playing of the national anthem on Saturday, following head coach Preston Brown’s decision to do so. After Brown told the team and his staff of his plans to protest his concerns over racial inequalities, Phil Anastasia of reports, most of them chose to do the same. “I still love America. I still love our military,” Brown said, according to “But this was our way of saying that things have to change in our country. There’s oppression, there’s social injustice, and these kids live it.”

September 5, 2016

Reclaiming Our Schools

The Race Unity Circle of Poughkeepsie and the Alliance for Quality Education is sponsoring a public forum and community discussion Reclaiming Our Schools on Wednesday, September 21, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, 317 Main Street, Poughkeepsie. Speakers include Albert Cook, Jasmine Gripper, and Paul Donnelly.

September 2, 2016

A Vision for Black Lives



Black humanity and dignity requires Black political will and power. Despite constant exploitation and perpetual oppression, Black people have bravely and brilliantly been the driving force pushing the U.S. towards the ideals it articulates but has never achieved. In recent years we have taken to the streets, launched massive campaigns, and impacted elections, but our elected leaders have failed to address the legitimate demands of our Movement. We can no longer wait.

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.

We believe in elevating the experiences and leadership of the most marginalized Black people, including but not limited to those who are women, queer, trans, femmes, gender nonconforming, Muslim, formerly and currently incarcerated, cash poor and working class, differently-abled, undocumented, and immigrant. We are intentional about amplifying the particular experience of state and gendered violence that Black queer, trans, gender nonconforming, women and intersex people face. There can be no liberation for all Black people if we do not center and fight for those who have been marginalized. It is our hope that by working together to create and amplify a shared agenda, we can continue to move towards a world in which the full humanity and dignity of all people is recognized.
While this platform is focused on domestic policies, we know that patriarchy, exploitative capitalism, militarism, and white supremacy know no borders. We stand in solidarity with our international family against the ravages of global capitalism and anti-Black racism, human-made climate change, war, and exploitation. We also stand with descendants of African people all over the world in an ongoing call and struggle for reparations for the historic and continuing harms of colonialism and slavery. We also recognize and honor the rights and struggle of our Indigenous family for land and self-determination.

We have created this platform to articulate and support the ambitions and work of Black people. We also seek to intervene in the current political climate and assert a clear vision, particularly for those who claim to be our allies, of the world we want them to help us create. We reject false solutions and believe we can achieve a complete transformation of the current systems, which place profit over people and make it impossible for many of us to breathe.

Together, we demand an end to the wars against Black people. We demand that the government repair the harms that have been done to Black communities in the form of reparations and targeted long-term investments. We also demand a defunding of the systems and institutions that criminalize and cage us. This document articulates our vision of a fundamentally different world. However, we recognize the need to include policies that address the immediate suffering of Black people. These policies, while less transformational, are necessary to address the current material conditions of our people and will better equip us to win the world we demand and deserve.

We recognize that not all of our collective needs and visions can be translated into policy, but we understand that policy change is one of many tactics necessary to move us towards the world we envision. We have come together now because we believe it is time to forge a new covenant. We are dreamers and doers and this platform is meant to articulate some of our vision. The links throughout the document provide the stepping-stones and roadmaps of how to get there. The policy briefs also elevate the brave and transformative work our people are already engaged in, and build on some of the best thinking in our history of struggle. This agenda continues the legacy of our ancestors who pushed for reparations, Black self-determination and community control; and also propels new iterations of movements such as efforts for reproductive justice, holistic healing and reconciliation, and ending violence against Black cis, queer, and trans people.