News

I Went to Prison for 19 Years, Here is Why I Didn't Become a Statistic.

I was held as a prisoner in Maine for two decades. Now I coordinate the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition (MPAC), a grassroots organization, advocating directly with the Maine department of corrections on behalf of prisoners and their families. When I am asked why I am so passionate about transforming the system that held me captive, I always respond the same way: I can’t walk away...

These LA Activists Are Showing How to Fight Surveillance Under Trump

On a hot August day at a community space on Los Angeles’ Skid Row, about two dozen youth of color from the undocumented-led Immigrant Youth Coalition (IYC) gathered for a workshop. At the front of the room an activist from the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which aims to end police surveillance programs, gave instructions to the participants. On pieces of paper folded into four quarters,...

Masjid Al-Rabia Leads Nation's First LGBTQ Muslim Prison Outreach Program

Hannah Fidler – a Chicago-based musician, teacher, activist and organizer – spends time writing letters to incarcerated LGBTQ Muslims across the United States every week, as part of Masjid al-Rabia’s prison outreach program based in Chicago. She writes to them about their favorite cowhelors, commiserates on the tendency of many Muslim communities to reject those who identify as queer, and discusses their personal hajj pilgrimages...

Residents Petition Sheriff-Elect Griffin to End 287g Program

CORRECTION: Agudas Israel Congregation is not participating in the petition effort, as stated in the story. When the new Henderson County sheriff takes over next week, some in the community want him to end the county’s partnership with federal immigration authorities that began in 2008 under Sheriff Rick Davis. First Congregational United Church of Christ in Hendersonville is urging Sheriff-elect Lowell Griffin to rescind that...

What Comes After the Tear Gas?

At the height of his pre-election push to make Americans fear a caravan of Central American migrants making their way through Mexico, President Trump held a press conference during which he suggested it may be necessary to use lethal force against asylum-seekers once they reach the U.S. border. “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” he said. “I told them...

Initiative Aims to Help Rhode Islanders Launch Co-Ops

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. — To an outside observer, the ball of blue Play-Doh in Leonardo Maldonado’s hands Saturday morning was just that. To Claudia Galeano, a participant in an exercise to imagine and then market the Play-Doh as a bar of soap, it was a product that opened a universe of possibilities. “I’ll clean where no one else does!” the Pawtucket resident from Colombia said...

Leading Health Group: Killings by Police Are a Public Health Issue

Public-health activists claim victory after the American Public Health Association on Tuesday approved a statement recognizing police violence as a public health issue. Three years of organizing came down to a few minutes and a room of public-health professionals voting with clickers. The American Public Health Association (APHA) on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a statement recognizing law enforcement violence as a public health issue. It was...

Following Nashville's Lead, Chattanooga Watchdog Group Renews Call For Police Oversight Board

A local watchdog group is renewing its call for a community oversight board that would allow citizens to investigate alleged police misconduct after the city of Nashville recently voted to create such an entity. "The Chattanooga Police Department is currently allowed to oversee [itself] through Internal Affairs, and [has] consistently failed to discipline or fire its violent ... and dishonest officers who patrol the streets,"...

Making Meaning of The Elections And Navigating What Comes Next

Alexandra Rojas celebrates with her campaign team on the night of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory. (WNV/Corey Abraham Torpie) We have officially made it beyond 2018 midterm election day in the United States — well, mostly. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is in a critical fight to challenge voter suppression in Georgia, a recount looks likely in Florida and other races remain too close to call...

Food Insecurity: A Denial of Human Rights

As the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) came to a close in Geneva, the U.S. government was conspicuously absent. When the U.S. pulled out of the UNHRC in late June, it was reminiscent of the petulant child in the sandbox who doesn’t want to compromise with others and goes home instead. It’s just one more reminder of the Trump Administration’s...

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