News Coverage

Drummond: Time to fix California's whack crack laws

Oakland Tribune
by Tammerlin Drummond
Aug 13, 2014


Oakland's Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is one of the co-sponsors of the California Fair Sentencing Act, which the Legislative Analyst's Office says would save millions of dollars.

"It's really modest in terms of what it's trying to achieve," says Jennifer Kim, state policy and field director for the Ella Baker Center. "It just doesn't make any sense to treat a drug that has two different names differently just because of who is using it."

Alternative event to National Night Out shifts focus away from surveillance

San Francisco Bay Guardian
by Rebecca Bowe
Aug 05, 2014


National Night Out gatherings, which are sponsored by the National Association of Neighborhood Watch, are scheduled to take place nationwide. Block party attendees are encouraged to come out and meet their neighbors as a way of banding together against crime. Yet some have questioned the heavy emphasis this event places on suspicion and surveillance as tools for promoting neighborhood safety.

To offer a different perspective, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights has organized a community gathering Aug. 5 at the Lake Merritt amphitheater, billed as the Second Annual Night Out for Safety and Democracy.

Ending mass incarceration a priority for Ella Baker Center's new director

by Matt O'Brien
Dec 31, 2013


His goal as the new executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is a big one: curbing the incarceration of African-American and Latino youths. But those who work alongside Zachary Norris say the 36-year-old has the right blend of smarts, passion and people skills to tackle one of the nation's most vexing problems.

Ella Baker Has a New Boss; Meet Problem-Solver Zach Norris

by Katy McCarthy
Oct 03, 2013


Learn more about the life and motivation of Ella Baker Center's Executive Director Zachary Norris. This is an 

Governor's Plan Runs Into Resistance

by Max Pringle
Aug 27, 2013


California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to alleviate prison overcrowding is generating opposition from activists who oppose adding more space to the state’s prison system.

“There are clear, viable alternatives to reduce the prison population, including compassionate release, including expanding good time credits. So it’s a false choice that the governor is making,” says Zachary Norris with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

Capitol Alert: Activists urge Gov. Jerry Brown to release prisoners

by Laurel Rosenhall
Aug 27, 2013


Anticipating that Gov. Jerry Brown will soon release a plan to expand California's prison capacity in response to a federal court order to reduce inmate crowding, activists who say the state should not spend any more money on its prisons protested at a rally outside the Capitol today.

"The governor is planning to raid the reserves to expand prisons," said Zachary Norris, executive director of the Oakland-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

"If we are raiding the state's meager reserves to pay for prisons, we are not investing in the future of this state."

The Fight Against Putting Teens in Solitary

by Toshio Meronek
Aug 21, 2013


A lawsuit against East Bay juvenile authorities and legislation in Sacramento seek to greatly limit the practice of locking up youth in solitary confinement for months at a time.

Across the Country, Neighborhoods Gather, Celebrate National Night Out

by Katy McCarthy
Aug 08, 2013


In cities across the country, millions of people held street parties for National Night Out. Ella Baker Center Executive Director Zachary Norris explains how this is an opportunity for neighbors to have a more nuanced conversation about public safety.

Today on Your Call: How should neighbors look out for each other?

by Rose Aguilar
Aug 06, 2013


Ella Baker Center Executive Director Zachary Norris joins Rose Aguilar on KALW's Your Call radio call in show to discuss how we can create true safety in our communities. After George Zimmerman, it's become more apparent than ever that we need to see our neighbors, not watch them. Zachary and the other panelists Akil Truso and Todd David answer questions such as "How effective are neighborhood watch programs?" and "What is the right role for law enforcement to play in community building?"

Listen to the full show on


Making Connections event addresses ways to improve life in black communities

by Theresa Adams
Feb 27, 2013


In celebration of Black History Month, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and other community leaders hosted the 2nd Annual African American Organizations Making Connections “Strategies and Outcomes for Our Black Community” event on Saturday.


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