“It does no service to the cause of racial equality for white people to content themselves with judging themselves to be non-racist...White people must take the extra step. They must become anti-racist.” - Clarence Page
Clarence Page, the famous Chicago journalist, challenges we white people to not just intellectualize racial justice, but to embody anti-racism. To solidify our commitment to ending white supremacy, not through words (or social media) alone but through actions. To concretize our beliefs. To solidify our commitment. To risk the privileges embedded in our skin.
Joe and friends in an action at the St. Paul Cathedral on Ash Wednesday: "Speaking up for unborn lives more than Black and brown lives is white supremacy."
Page’s words carry particular salience in the age of Trump. Ever-present white supremacy has unveiled itself in new and terrifying ways, manufacturing bold and bigoted federal policy meant to terrorize poor people and people of color. While the rise of Trump has ushered in an era of terrifying neo-fascism, the threat of Trump’s presidency has galvanized many Americans into action. Many white people in particular, cushioned from the effects of American xenophobia which far predates Trump, have increasingly awakened to the reality of the white supremacy so blatantly embodied by Trump and his cabinet. This new awareness has driven many white people into the streets, into leftist social and political organizations across the country, and into the NOC office!
In the spirit of this new energy, NOC has formed a new NOC ally group! The goal of the group is be a space where white folks who are interested in plugging into NOC’s work in a regular and committed way can convene to appropriately and strategically support the organization. It is an attempt to funnel this burgeoning anti-Trump energy into a space within NOC’s structure built to facilitate allyship work. We plan to meet monthly, to continuously learn from organizers about the status of NOC’s campaigns, and to act as a rapid response volunteer group supporting the incredible work of NOC’s organizers of color.
I have been working with NOC for the past three years, assisting the Field Team and helping NOC organize in South Minneapolis. At the beginning of this year my role has shifted to Ally Organizer, which means I will be convening and organizing the ally group’s volunteering, events, and meetings. Working with this incredible black-led organization as a white man has been one of the most humbling and educational experiences of my life. I am honored to work at NOC and thrilled to be organizing with the NOC ally group! I look forward to a year of joyful resistance!
If you are interested in joining the NOC ally group email firstname.lastname@example.org, or come to our next NOC allies meeting on Wednesday 3/15 from 6pm-8pm at 2104 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. You can RSVP here.
It’s 6:23pm on February 1st and we’re walking up the slippery steps of a house that’s unfamiliar in a part of St. Paul I’ve never been to. The house is warm, there are drinks, and there is light conversation among attendees. Laughter rings throughout the house as friends and family come together during the middle of the week.
We ground our guests in the history of resistance, and ask our audience what resistance means to them. Maggie Smith, a friend of our host that night, says for her resistance is having that difficult conversation with the family member who voted for Trump. By the end of our evening the room is abuzz with people eager to organize and assist in any way they can. “I feel like a lot of the people in that room had never really been inspired to take any kind of action, or have taken minimal action. We all walked away with a sense of purpose, direction, and inspiration,” says Maggie.
we have a long history of resistance in America. it's time for us to come together and share that history with each other! @mnnoc— tony the scribe (@tony_the_scribe) February 2, 2017
In 2017 NOC is taking a new approach to movement building. With the launch of our Resist Revolt Unite campaign, NOC is taking an active stance to protect Black and Brown communities under Trump’s fascist rule. We’re bringing conversations into the comfort of people’s homes in a setting where they otherwise wouldn’t have taken place.
By bringing neighbors and friends together in their homes to make organizing more accessible, we can build organizing hubs throughout the state where local communities can build resistance against hateful policies; revolt by working to create the change we need, and pledging to disobey unjust laws; and unite in radical hospitality.
We chose February 1 to launch to kick off Black History Month with 20 house parties all around the metro area -- and we've got many more planned!
You can sign up to host your own house party and build the resistance at www.mnnoc.org/resist.
As we brace for Trump's inauguration later this week, millions of people nationwide are preparing to begin a new chapter of resistance. Join us for a mass show of solidarity as we show that we will resist Trump's racist, misogynist, xenophobic and environmentally destructive policies every step of the way. Join us as we inaugurate the joyful resistance.
Here are some Twin Cities actions we'll be participating in today and tomorrow:
Thursday, January 19
The two founders of Home Depot have donated millions of dollars to Trump and one of Home Depot’s major investors supports Trump. Home Depot uses the Trump model of business for its janitorial services: using subcontractors that hire immigrant workers and sometimes face lawsuits for wage theft.
Janitors who clean Home Depot are paid poverty wages by their subcontractor and have been organizing for years to win fair wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. If Trump has his way, these worker’s wages will go even lower – as Trump told the country in November 2016, “wages are too high.”
You can stand with striking janitors at 5:30am at The Quarry, 1520 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
1900 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
3 pm - 6 pm
This march will join up with the mega-march. There will be hot chocolate. #NoDAPL #ResistCulturalGenocide
There'll be music, powerful stories, community resources, and opportunities to learn and become connected with initiatives that will help support a more fair, just and sustainable life for all.
Ginger Hop, 201 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
10 pm - 2 am
The night of the inauguration, join NOC and community for a night of music, dancing, and joyful resistance. As we prepare for the next four years, we refuse to surrender our joy -- we embrace it as an act of love and resistance. Join us for music, dancing, and community. We'll also have info about our Resist. Revolt. Unite. campaign and how you can join the movement.
2016 was a tremendous year of growth for us, even as the year marked a national turning point with the election of Donald Trump. We challenged cities and counties to change their policies, and won; we won key state policy changes even with a divided legislature; we moved $75 million in state and city budgets; and we pressed presidential candidates on the issues facing Black America. We took to the streets to mourn the deaths of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile and demand justice; we won policy changes to hold the police accountable and invest in public safety alternatives. And we proved over and over again that we can make the impossible possible; that organizing works. We're building a movement and gaining momentum.
Here's a look back at NOC's year in review for 2016:
- Allocated $35 million focused on jobs and employment in communities of color
- Passed sentencing reform with a negotiated agreement that reduced penalties for first time 3rd degree possession (raising threshold from 3g to 10g) and provided judges with more discretion for 4th degree possession, among other things. Not only will sentencing reform reduce the number of prison beds and save the state money, it also reinvests that money into drug treatment, mental health, and chemical dependency.
- Passed voting rights restoration in the Senate, but the House did not bring it up and it did not become law.
- Passed a bill that can add up to 25% of the maximum penalty for crimes that are committed as a result of bias, based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other protected classes -- making sure hate crimes are punished more appropriately.
-Working with partner groups, we successfully pressured the legislature to allocate:
- $1 million for full-service community schools;
- $25 million for early childhood education options, including pre-K;
- $12 million for education support professionals, such as school counselors and social workers
- As well as a policy change to shed light on a shortage report for diverse districts with a shortage of teacher diversity.
-After Philando Castile, an educator in the St. Paul Public Schools, was murdered by a St. Anthony police officer, we partnered with the St. Paul Federation of Teachers and Minneapolis Federation of Teachers for a #Teachers4BlackLives march in his honor, demanding justice for Philando and safety beyond policing in our schools.
-We helped shape the Minneapolis school board race through a candidate questionnaire and forum about racial equity in the public schools.
-We were proud to be part of the successful Vote Yes for Kids campaign to renew funding for the Minneapolis Public Schools.
The president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve's only president of color, Neel Kashkari, has made commitments to partner with NOC and allies in 2017. Kashkari will live a day in the life of a NOC member, and leverage the power of the regional Fed to create real world solutions to the region's overwhelming equity crisis.
Trump's election demands that we organize resistance more urgently than ever -- to win bold policy changes at the local and state level, stop Trump's destructive agenda, build independent political power, and advance a vision of the boldly progressive future our communities deserve. We're launching a campaign to Resist, Revolt, and Unite against Trump. Join us.
As we look to an uncertain future, we know that independent member support is what has allowed us to grow and succeed so much over the past few years -- and it's the key to staying strong, resilient and agile through the Trump administration. To all our members, thank you so much for all your support. If you're not a sustaining member yet, please become one today. You can also support us with a one-time contribution.
Thanks so much for all your support. This is how we build resistance and win -- together. We'll see you in 2017.
Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) is a grassroots, member-led organization building power in under-resourced communities and communities of color across the Twin Cities. NOC works at the intersection of race, the economy and public policy in an effort to produce systemic change in Minnesota.
The Executive Assistant will demonstrate effective and efficient project management, and must be capable of exercising initiative, discretion and good judgment. Strong writing skills, professionalism and confidentiality are crucial to this role.
This position will report to the Executive Director in Minneapolis, MN. We offer a generous compensation package commensurate with experience.
Watch archived livestream of our Black America forum with special guest Senator Bernie Sanders.
Additional livestream: http://theuptake.org/2016/02/11/sanders-forum-to-focus-on-the-black-experience-in-minnesota/
The forum does not represent the endorsement of a candidate. It represents a historic opportunity for community members to converse with a presidential candidate and ask for real responses about the pressing issues facing Black communities.
This forum will focus on the Black experience in America, and specifically in Minnesota, home to some of the worst racial disparities in the country. Topics will include how the federal government can divest public resources from structures that cause and widen our racial disparities, and invest in radical solutions being developed in Black communities and other communities of color.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined our invitation to participate.
This will be a ticketed event with limited space. Ticket information will be available soon. Livestreaming satellite locations will be available for those who are not able to attend in person. To volunteer to host a satellite location, please email email@example.com.
More details, including the finalized time of the event, will be forthcoming. Please direct media inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a world where #OscarsSoWhite is trending, films like Nate Parker’s Birth of A Nation come as less of a breath of fresh air and more as a much-needed deep gasp from America. Films at international festivals like Roger Ross William’s Life, Animated and Tahir Jetter’s How To Tell You’re A Douchebag are increasingly necessary in a culture that attempts to devalue Black lives and voices.
As a 2016 Sundance Ignite Fellow, which provides support and mentorship to emerging filmmakers, I had a chance to attend the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, pitch work to a variety of diverse filmmakers, and have conversations with people that were shaping the culture of cinema as we know it. In photographing and filming the actions at the 4th Precinct here at home with NOC, it has started to become increasingly important to make connections between Black voices in national cinemas and the Black voices that are right here at home.Read more
As the current board co-chair of NOC, I'm pleased to announce we're now accepting applications for the 2016 board of directors. The board we elect this spring will be an important part of building NOC to be bigger and more powerful than ever before. We're looking for great candidates who can help drive us to the next level.
Applicants should be members of NOC and should have attended a NOC event in the last three months. To apply, email a cover letter with your contact information and interest in joining to me at email@example.com. The deadline to apply is February 18 at 5 pm.
Those who apply will go through a five-question phone interview with me. The current board committee will select a slate to be voted on at our annual meeting this spring.
Please pass this on to others who may be interested. Thanks for being part of NOC!
In social justice circles, we often talk of the abolition of the criminal justice system as it stands today: prejudiced, unaccountable, and dangerous. But when we finally arrive at that promised land, when we have deconstructed the American criminal justice system and created systems that empower us, what happens? When we have made it so none of our citizens feel endangered by the people who have sworn to protect and serve them, how will we move forward? Will we acknowledge that the war on drugs led to nothing but pain and lost opportunity for communities of color? Will we assess the financial and emotional costs of those lost opportunities?Read more