Race and Democracy

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle.
~ Frederick Douglass
I swear to the Lord I still can't see Why Democracy means Everybody but me .... I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath - America will be!
~ Langston Hughes The history of the United States is a history of race relations. Racism is the lubricant for an economic machine geared towards profit, and it is the poison that sickens American progress. Democracy has always been the subversive antidote to racial injustice. Read here for resources on race and democracy.

Community activists in St. Louis win decade long fight to create civilian board to investigate police misconduct

May 6, 2015
Rebecca Rivas
news photo

St. Louis City Mayor Francis G. Slay signed the civilian oversight legislation into law today (Wednesday, May 6) in his office with Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), who fought for more than 10 years for the legislation. Slay vetoed Kennedy’s original legislation after it passed the Board of Aldermen in 2006, so Kennedy has waited almost a decade to shake the mayor’s hand at this bill-signing ceremony.

Community activists in St. Louis win decade long fight to create civilian board to investigate police misconduct

May 6, 2015
Rebecca Rivas
news photo

St. Louis City Mayor Francis G. Slay signed the civilian oversight legislation into law today (Wednesday, May 6) in his office with Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), who fought for more than 10 years for the legislation. Slay vetoed Kennedy’s original legislation after it passed the Board of Aldermen in 2006, so Kennedy has waited almost a decade to shake the mayor’s hand at this bill-signing ceremony.

Why media mega-mergers are bad news for Latinos and communities of color in general

May 4, 2015
Arturo Carmona and Joe Torres

Comcast's decision to pull the plug on its $45 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable is a huge victory for the Latino community and communities of color.

The cable giant announced the move on Friday after the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice informed the company that they were against the deal.

The merger would have combined the two largest cable providers in the country, giving Comcast unprecedented control over both pay-TV and high-speed Internet access markets. 

Maryland bill would restore voting rights to ex-felons

April 30, 2015
Ari Berman
news photo

Freddie Gray’s neighborhood in Baltimore had the highest incarceration rate of anywhere in the city. More than 450 adults from Sandtown-Winchester are in state prison, and one in four juveniles were arrested from 2005 to 2009.

Participatory budgeting empowers communities of color in New York

April 10, 2015
Sondra Youdelman
news photo

NEW YORK — Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and New York City Council Members kicked off the voting period for New York City’s 2014-2015 participatory budgeting cycle — now the largest such process in the nation. This year, 24 Council Districts will allocate nearly $30 million citywide for residents to collaboratively develop into local capital projects through a year-long process of neighborhood assemblies, delegate meetings, and project expositions.

The Democratic Turn of the Century: Learning from the U.S. Democracy Movement

March 18, 2015
Ben Manski

Originally published by the journal Socialism & Democracy. Contact the author for permission to reprint.

Democracy movements arose in most regions of the globe during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Students of social change have studied many of these movements, but, remarkably, have so far failed to look at that of the United States.

Glen Ford on what true black community control of the police would look like

February 13, 2015
Glen Ford
news photo

A key activist in the early Sixties grassroots movement to overthrow American apartheid recently asked if the current Black Lives Matter campaign will be able to sustain itself. In the near term, the answer is almost certainly, yes. The momentum of the mobilization will be propelled forward by the dogged determination of a new generation of activists, building on the skills and experience of previously vetted organizers and the quickening, soul-wrenching drumbeat of police murder and repression.

Detroit's water crisis is a democracy crisis

October 21, 2014
Sarah Lazare - Common Dreams
news photo

Detroit's "unprecedented" shutoff of water utilities to city homes condemns residents to "lives without dignity," violates human rights on a large scale, and disproportionately impacts African-Americans, United Nations investigators declared Monday following a two-day inquiry.

Community organizing successfully ends militarized-policing convention's presence in Oakland

October 1, 2014
War Resisters League
news photo

On Friday, September 5th, hundreds of of protesters gathered in front of the Marriott in Downtown Oakland, CA, to stand against Urban Shield and declare two major victories: Urban Shield will no longer be held at the Marriott and it will no longer take place anywhere in Oakland. Reclaiming the streets in celebration of our power, we made it loud and clear that we do not welcome militarization and policing of our communities.

Jackson, Miss. using worker-owned cooperatives to advance economic democracy

May 17, 2014
Gracie Davie
news photo

When Iya’Falola Omobola first crossed the Mississippi state border 10 years ago, she felt uneasy. A friend told her that she was “feeling the energy from all those bodies hanging in the trees.” Yet, Omobola’s feeling soon changed. Born into a family of civil rights and labor organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, Omobola came to see Jackson as the Phoenix that rises from the ashes.

WATCH: Ben Manski, Leland Pan, Jolie Lizotte and more on the future of student organizing

November 7, 2013
Liberty Tree Foundation

Last August hundreds of people from across the country convened in Madison, WI for the  2nd Democracy Convention.  Made up of nine individual conferences, the Convention was an extraordinary space for individuals and organizations to network with and learn from one another in the service of building a larger, more dynamic democracy movement.

Syndicate content