What's Happening

I have spent more than half my life as a community organizer advocating for change in the prison system in Los Angeles. My first brush with the system was as a child experiencing my father cycling in and out of the system until he passed away in 2009. Despite witnessing my father’s struggles, I didn’t really become aware of the depth of injustice in the system until I was 16.
Tuesday, April 7th was my fifth day as the new State Field Director here at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Along with many of our allies in the movement against imprisonment here in California, myself and other folks at the Ella Baker Center were up in Sacramento to advocate for a series of important criminal justice bills that were being heard by the Public Safety Committees.
"Jobs, Not Jails" was the chant of the crowd of approximately 40 community members and faith leaders who gathered at the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland on Tuesday, January 20th. During the rally, people filled the Board of Supervisors' office to demand more county funding for jobs, education, healthcare, and housing. The participants also expressed their support of the #BlackFriday14 BART protestors, and urged the Alameda County District Attorney to drop the criminal charges against them.
Last night, 60 community members and faith leaders gathered in front of the Alameda County Administration building in Oakland to demand more funding for jobs, not jails, from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. 
Excerpted from Black Prophetic Fire by Cornel West in Dialogue with and Edited by Christa Buschendorf. Copyright 2014. Excerpted with permission by Beacon Press. In Black Prophetic Fire, Cornel West, in conversation with scholar Christa Buschendorf, aims to shed light on what is missing from the fight for justice today by examining past Black leaders. In the following excerpt, they discuss the work of Ella Baker.  
Excerpted from Black Prophetic Fire by Cornel West in Dialogue with and Edited by Christa Buschendorf. Copyright 2014. Excerpted with permission by Beacon Press. In Black Prophetic Fire, Cornel West, in conversation with scholar Christa Buschendorf, aims to shed light on what is missing from the fight for justice today by examining past Black leaders. In the following excerpt, they discuss the work of Ella Baker.  
Harlem,1964. Philadelphia, 1964. Watts 1965. Newark, 1967. Detroit, 1967. Omaha, 1969. Miami, 1980. Washington D.C., 1991. Los Angeles, 1992. Cincinnati, 2001. Oakland, 2009. Ferguson, 2014.
Proposition 47, Explained
This November 4th, when Californians go to the polls, they will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. This initiative is a criminal reform to reclassify some nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, permitting re-sentencing for prisoners serving time for crimes classified as felonies prior to its passage.
It’s a rare thing when two great thinkers come together, but that is exactly what is going to happen next week when Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent at The Atlantic and author of the article The Case for Reparations, leads an online book club that will delve into a study of the book, The New Jim Crow, written by acclaimed civil rights lawyer, legal scholar,
In a 2004 keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama delivered one of the most memorable lines of his political career. “There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America,” he said. “There's the United States of America.” It was a powerful, if simple, statement of unity and togetherness; the convention hall thundered with applause.