Liberation. Black Liberation. Trans-Black Liberation. Poor Black Liberation. Loud Black Liberation. Disabled Black Liberation. Fat Black Liberation. Femme Black Liberation. Formerly Incarcerated Black Liberation. Real liberation only develops when we collectively divest from oppressive structures and create our own safe spaces that center the voices, needs, and concerns of marginalized folks. Black Lives Matter Sacramento is wholeheartedly engaged in the dismantling of anti-Black racism in our local government, education system, and law enforcement. We are also very aware that reform of inherently oppressive systems can only lessen further harm—it will take us holding each other’s hands through the storm and creating our own social collectives based in love to heal.
Local Government: Our Sacramento communities are being hit by wave after wave of injustice. On November 29th, City Council presented their new policy for the Office of Public Safety & Accountability and the Police Review Commission. Despite months of pushing the city to adopt real policing reform that puts power into our communities’ hands by providing the commission with subpoena, investigative, and disciplinary power, the council chose to instead obscure their meaningless proposal with rhetoric. No thanks. We refuse to accept their symbolic gestures; we want justice and liberation—nothing less. We’ll do it ourselves. Four days later Black Lives Matter Sacramento held a public meeting to begin a community conversation about abolition and creation of alternatives to calling the police. We filled the room and the discussion got deep! Folks shared their experiences with law enforcement, and overwhelming voiced that police invoke fear, mistrust, and trauma in communities of color. Please join us as we continue the conversation on January 7th, 2017. Here are some resources to educate yourself.
Education: Last Thursday, December 8th, BLM Sac in coalition with Showing Up for Racial Justice attended the Folsom Cordova Unified School District board meeting after a middle school teacher stated to his only Black student, “Equality—When you hang one Black person you hang them all.” The individual anti-Black racism of this statement was violent enough to warrant protest; however, the district’s response, or lack thereof, compounded the harm. FCUSD has much work to do in unpacking not only the meaning of equality, but also the implementation of it. A historical overview has illuminated several instances of discrimination along with current inequity:
• Black students being disproportionately expelled—at 4x the rate of their white peers
• Black students being disproportionately suspended—at 7x the rate of their white peers
• White teachers being disproportionately hired—90% compared to 2% of Black teachers
SURJ and BLM demanded reparation for the student, accountability for the teacher, and transformation for the district, specifically: 1) The teacher and district at large will apologize to the student, his parents, and the entire student body for their participation and collusion with racism. 2) SURJ and BLM will participate in the establishment of a working group comprised of concerned community members, students, parents, and district representatives to establish a restorative justice model for this incident and future incidents that compromise the safety and wellbeing of students. The school board president immediately apologized, said the behavior was reprehensible, and assured the chambers filled with concerned community members that the district would do everything needed to change the dynamic… Maybe, but why did they stay silent for an entire month and only speak up against racism when a press conference was held twenty minutes before their meeting? The coalition will move forward on working with FCUSD to establish policies and programs to lessen the harm for marginalized children, but we know that a district comprised of almost exclusively white administrators and educators will fall far from liberation. To excise white supremacy from education, we will need to create our own places of radical learning, our own anti-racist and unapologetically Black curriculum, and our own non-hierarchical teaching methods. Black Lives Matter Sacramento is building the framework for a Freedom School to debut next summer—Stay tuned for transformative education.
Gentrification: Many of our siblings are drowning in state violence. They are unhoused in a gentrified city without adequate no-barrier shelter. They are living outside in the rain, without access to food, warmth, and health care. They are criminalized by Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance that prohibits people who are unhoused from sleeping—a basic function of life. They are further oppressed by ordinances that require community members to get permits to distribute food to their unhoused friends and neighbors. Yes, it is illegal to distribute food to multiple people who are unhoused in Sacramento—and no, BLM Sac DGAF. Saturday morning, Black Lives Matter Sacramento joined in feeding hungry neighbors with Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement Program (CWC) from CSUS, “…an association of faculty, staff, students, and community members who are committed to recognizing and upholding the tradition represented in African American culture that is best expressed in relationships between traditional African American colleges and students.” The CWC organized the preparation of over 1000 sack lunches to distribute to local organizations from Loaves and Fishes to Wind Youth Services. BLM Sac helped make the lunches and passed them out throughout Oak Park.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento is committed to holding our current institutions accountable for systemic racism, as well as forming new non-hierarchical structures that center folks at the intersections of oppression. Join us in washing away the dead and nurturing new growth.
City of Sacramento, You’re on Notice!
*****First of a series of events targeting City Council*****
City of Sacramento government is FAILING at every single attempt they make to "manage" this city.
Location is intentional. WE WILL BE HEARD in this event!
This won’t be city council, they can’t walk out, and WE WILL BE MAKING THE AGENDA!
When: January 7, 2017
Where: Meet up at Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment
Address: 801 12th Street, 95814
Community Alternatives to Police
What does it look like when we take it upon ourselves to protect our communities from the police, while maintaining actual peace in our communities?
What does it look like when we take it upon ourselves to de-escalate situations the right way? While keeping dignity and respect for our community members?
What does it look like when we care for, instead of criminalize, those without homes or those with emotional challenges?
How do you envision it to work?
Let's talk about it as a community.
From there we can build a structure that helps to end state violence on Black folks.
Let's take our communities back!
BLM Sacramento Open Meeting
Six months ago, we had our first open meeting and it was beautiful.
Hundreds of folks showed up to learn about what the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter is working on locally, and many joined us in our efforts.
The time has come for another meeting.
Join us to talk about Black liberation, getting justice for all of the folks taken by law enforcement in Sacramento, and mobilizing the community so that we can be more effective for change!
When: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Where: Wellspring Women's Center
Address: 3414 4th Avenue, 95817
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm