racial justice

Systems That Oppress Women Create Dangerous Circumstances for Girls of Color

by Holly Joshi, Co-Director at MISSSEY. Originally published in the East Bay Express here

It's time to dismantle the old-boys' networks that protect perpetrators and leave women vulnerable.

After a decade in the anti-trafficking movement, I am always surprised by the shocked reactions of others when they first learn about the prevalence of child sex trafficking locally. Disgust, anger, and a strong pull toward action I understand. The shock catches me off guard. When I find myself in discussions with the shocked, I often wonder if we are living in and experiencing the same country. As a woman of color from Oakland, I understand sex trafficking as a horrific byproduct of a society that over sexualizes, marginalizes, and oppresses entire populations of people. 

The truth I have come to understand is that there are, in fact, multiple Americas. This country presents as the land of safety, endless opportunity, and freedom for some and as a place of continuous strife, danger, and despair for many others. This country centers, caters to, coddles, and encourages the success of white, middle- and upper-class, cis-gendered men while everyone else exists on a continuum of worth and experiences America accordingly. 

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Not Only a Pipeline: Schools as Carceral Sites

by Connie Wun, Founder/Director of Transformative Research: An Institute for Research and Social Transformation. Originally published here.

In this article, I argue that schools operate as multilayered sites that do more than funnel students into prison or prime them for incarceration. Schools are part and parcel of a US logic of punitive carcerality, positioning Black and Brown bodies under constant observation and scrutiny through the school’s architecture, policies, and practices. I examine the relation-ship that this logic has to Black girls and their experiences with school discipline, including their resistance to the conditions of schools as carceral sites.

Drawing from Black feminist theory (Richie, 1996) and critical prison studies (Rodriguez, 2006), I collected data via participant observations and in-depth interviews at Foundations High School, located in northern California.1,2 Based upon a qualitative study of 20 Black and Latinx girls and their experiences with school discipline, this paper focuses on three girls whose narratives exemplify the experiences that they and their peers have with school discipline and punishment.

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Power That Feeds the Soul

by Yonayda Rodas, Advocacy Intern at YWCA San Francisco & Marin and junior at San Rafael High School, originally published in their blog here.

A reflection on San Rafael’s May Day immigration rally.

On Monday, May 1st, I was fortunate enough to be able to march alongside my fellow immigrants. The energy around us was not one of hate and violence, despite all the shouting, but one of peace and serenity. With every shout and cheer from the crowd I felt more and more uplifted to keep on marching and the blazing sun wasn’t going to stop us. The red cards my fellow friends and I handed out stated the rights immigrants in this country have towards ICE and each card that was passed gave people more hope towards almost any situation they were facing. I was surrounded by hardworking and inspiring people who had dreams and goals in life and who were not willing to give up or to look back but to continue to move forward facing the obstacles that stood between them and their dreams. People of all different ages attended the march. Some were mothers who had come with children and others were teenagers like me who were curious about what they can do to stand up for what they believe is right. It didn’t matter how old you were or from what country you had migrated, we were all there for the same cause and that made me feel entirely whole. It can be argued that these types of marches do not do anything for the community but they are wrong because once an individual realizes that they do not stand alone, they will do all that it takes to get the rights that they deserve. I shall always remember this day as one of true significance and of power that feeds the soul. Visit our Action Center to call on your Assembly Member to support the California Values Act, SB 54.