Million Hoodies Launches ‘We Keep Us Safe’ National Week of Action
MILLION HOODIES LAUNCHES ‘WE KEEP US SAFE’ NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION
In response to Trump Administration threats to human rights, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice amplifies grassroots efforts to reimagine community safety
For Immediate Release
October 23, 2017
With the election of Donald Trump as president, there has been an alarming number of targeted attacks on our nation’s most vulnerable communities - immigrants, women, the poor, queer and trans people, Muslims, and Black people. Around the country, states are consolidating power by attacking public education, increasing police budgets and ICE enforcement; while the federal government repeals policies that have historically provided mobility and protection for communities of color.
To protect and defend the most marginalized and strengthen communities against attacks on our humanity, from October 23 to October 28, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice kicks off a week-long national conversation around reimagining safety with the ‘We Keep Us Safe’ Week of Action. The ‘We Keep Us Safe’ Week of Action is a political intervention that encourages grassroots innovation to demand investments in humanity and our planet, safety beyond policing, real community control, worker rights, community defense, and divestment from militarization and other programs that oppress our people.
Million Hoodies chapters in five communities and college campuses from Greensboro, North Carolina to Bard College host local events, community forums, and direct actions to make entire campuses, cities, towns, and communities safe by building “Freedom Cities.” Freedom Cities is a movement that makes the case for grassroots organizations to be centers of innovation to build successful models of community safety.
“The ‘We Keep Us Safe’ Week of Action is crucial for our community because it is time to have a conversation about this illusion of safety that we are surviving under; we need to come together and create systems that caters to our needs because the current ones are proving once again that they were never meant to care for or consider those who are marginalized,” said Cabrini Austin, Co-Chair of Million Hoodies West Florida chapter. “This week shows that we are taking matters into our own hands because there isn’t safety for us within these institutions. We must acknowledge that there is strength in unity and use that to our advantage for the sake of our communities.”
“As a community of disenfranchised people, we must keep each other safe. Holding onto our Black and Brown siblings, we have the power to create our own sense of freedom through efforts to alleviate food insecurities and using our history as blueprints to tear down the systems that keep us unsafe,” said Million Hoodies Greensboro chapter’s Actions Co-Chair, Nya McNeil.
“The Trump administration may want us to live in fear, but we are here to fight like hell for the most marginalized communities,” said Dante Barry, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, “In a period where the Administration has fulfilled its every promise to criminalize our communities - including the targeting of Muslim and Black dissidents - and where undocumented immigrants are being threatened with mass deportation, we believe that Million Hoodies can make the necessary cultural interventions to prepare and empower communities to be human rights responders."
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice was formed in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin on March 19, 2012, killed because his Black body was seen as criminal. While activists rallied in Union Square and demanded justice for Trayvon Martin across the country, the organization started to ask one of the most fundamental questions: who has the right to feel and be safe in this country? Yet, we find ourselves still asking the same question five years later. Today, the organization creates space for young Black and Brown people to discover their agency in rethinking and rebuilding a world in which they are not inherently criminalized and have access to a social safety net.
Participating Million Hoodies chapters in the We Keep Us Safe Week of Action include: New York City, Bard College, Cornell University, Greensboro, and West Florida. A full listing of actions and community events can be found at https://wkus.millionhoodies.net/actions/.
Million Hoodies Movement for Justice is a human rights membership, chapter-based organization made up of 8 local groups founded in March 2012 in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Million Hoodies develops the leadership of young Black and Brown people and organizes for the dignity and safety of our communities. You can find more about Million Hoodies online at www.millionhoodies.net