May 2010

By Alicia Caballero-Christenson

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Permaculture for the People
Recently, I attended a two week training on Permaculture. The day before the training began, I asked myself, 'What am I doing? Two weeks away from my desk, my cell phone, my home? What does this have to do with creating green-collar jobs?' My fears continued on the drive up to the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in Santa Rosa, 'Isn't Permaculture for wealthy people who want to use composting toilets and have time to bake their own bread with wheat they grew?'

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As we recently reported here on the Ella Baker Center blog, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) recently pulled an appalling bait and switch. Using a website and email campaign, they offered $200 and amnesty to any of 14,000 parolees who had broken contact with their parole officers.

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A growing movement of people committed to justice are joining the efforts to resist the racist immigration law passed in Arizona. The passage of SB 1070 by Governor Brewer sparked national outrage, catalyzing forward motion for immigrant rights and lending a sense of urgency to stop the hate and terrorizing of immigrants and people of color.

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The following post was provided to us by Brett Myers with Youth Radio.

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The California State Department of Education recently released student performance rankings based on standardized tests. In the suburban Pleasanton school district, every single school scored in the top 20 percent statewide.  In the city of Oakland, however, 50% of our schools received the lowest possible rank.

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On May 22nd, California will observe the first annual Harvey Milk Day, honoring the life of the first out gay person to be elected to any public office. When he was murdered by fellow San Francisco Supervisor Dan White, he left a legacy of out and proud organizing that is celebrated by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer movement today. Many Americans got the chance to learn about Harvey when the film Milk was released in 2008, but even that was only a glimpse.

TAGS: harvey milk
Over the weekend, the The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) pulled an appalling bait and switch. Using a website and email campaign, they offered $200 and amnesty to any of 14,000 parolees who had broken contact with their parole officers. However, when 150 individuals showed up, many accompanied by their family members, they were arrested and taken to Alameda County Jail.

TAGS: CDRC
Earth Amplified
Remember a few years ago when everyone around the country asked the Ella Baker Center, "What is a green job?" Just a few years later,  I, MC AshEL Seasunz, have been working with MC/Producer J.Bless, to complicate the conversation by raising the question "What is green hip-hop?"

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In these dark times, a good Supreme Court decision gives us freedom lovers something to smile about. The justices today ruled that youth deserve a chance at parole in nonhomicide cases. It is cruel and unusual punishment to lock youth up for life, with no chance for parole. California and 36 other states will now be forced to recognize what we've known all along: youth deserve a chance to learn from their mistakes and turn their lives around.

TAGS: Books Not Bars