Social Justice Warriors - Usher's New Look Disruptive Innovation Summit



our final panel of the day is going to be titled social justice warriors our moderator you might have seen her on TV you might have heard her on the radio and she's wonderful office y'all y'all make some noise but more ivory right here thank you oh good thank you how's everybody all right I hope you still have some good energy left for this panel all right we're gonna talk about some very important issues social justice and I can't wait for you to meet the people who are coming here to talk to you about what they've learned what they can share with you and how they got excited about social justice and changing things that affect all of us especially you and I have a 19 year old daughter so this is very important to me all the time your age group about what happens with our laws so first I want to bring Sean pica to the stage he is the executive director of Hudson link give it up next we have Ciara Taylor she is apple it'll educate political educator from the popular education project give it up next we have Jason Flom he is the CEO of lava records and of course hahaha and of course someone you know very very well everybody put your hands together for your founder mr. Usher Raymond right all right I'm very excited to have everybody here today and the most unique thing about this panel is all the different places and spaces and life experiences that these panelists come from and so I just want to fart we're gonna because we're also gonna be pressed for time I want to try to have a little time for you to ask questions so we're gonna just jump completely right in and I just want to start and we'll go right down the line asking you how did you grow your passion for social justice and end up in the position that you're in today Sean all right no pressure first guy up I think for me the answer is pretty simple I grew up in the largest cell block in the country living in a single room place with 800 other men with officers watching there every day made me think about how I wanted my future to look like hi yes my name is Ciara Taylor come from Miami sunny place shady people 305 wassup so my passion for social justice really got started when I was an undergrad I had some activity around elections and stuff like that but it was until I went to college and I was a sporran language major Spanish major French minor at Florida A&M University an HBCU in Tallahassee and the summer before my senior I ICU rattler all right all right all right the summer before my senior year we got Governor Rick Scott into office and he decided to cut everything basically and of course education was among the first things to be cut and so I got into social justice because I realized I did not know who to be pissed that I was pissed I was angry I was upset and I didn't know who to get upset with and so I found social justice there just trying to figure out who the hell I needed to talk to very good all right yeah um hi I'm Jason Flom first of all have a question how's everybody doing out there that was a week that was week I said how's everybody doing out there I get a whoop nobody's awake now right okay so my name is Jason Flom I grew up in the music business in New York signed a few people you've heard of like Katy Perry and Lord and it goes way back Kid Rock and you know a whole bunch of people but more importantly for the last 25 years I've been working on reforming the criminal justice system we have the you know in America was supposed to be bass country of the world we have one of the worst criminal justice systems well actually probably the worst in history we lock more people up per capita than any country in the history of the world we lock more people of color up per capita than South Africa did during apartheid and that is this completely unacceptable I don't believe that anybody should go to prison for something they put in their own bodies and I don't believe that we should have a system where people love just because they can't afford to post bail because that violates the Sixth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment and it is my mission to end mass incarceration and you know create a change that results in us spending money where it should be spent on education and not incarceration so that's why I'm here well education great that you would say that because that's part of what I feel like I do you know no not in the formal and traditional perspective but for me being in a position of influence and having the opportunity to influence people and give them the proper information is what allows you to be prepared allows you to be capable of making a decision and having the information to protect yourself so that's part of what I think my contribution to this space is I'm the baby of the bunch I've never been incarcerated so I don't necessarily understand but I do have an incredible amount of empathy because I feel like in many ways not only my people but also to my age group it's specifically targeted and what I feel like I do every time I meet someone like you and you and you and you is give you guys an opportunity to be able to be prepared as you're a leader as your educator as a person who can help us face the issues that we have no idea are happening we see what's happening but we don't know the results of it we don't know the reality we don't see the positives we don't see you know how you can take a negative and turn it into a positive how there is redemption in understanding you know in hindsight what you could have done to make a difference so that's part of why I wanted to not only be a part of this panel not to mention I just wanted to be closest to you guys so I could hear like specific details even more than everybody else but um I'm just I'm happy that I got this panel and I'm happy that I'm able to be here I'll get what I can but these are the experts so we're constantly working yeah yes everybody where we're constantly working on reform in Atlanta we need a lot of criminal justice reform all across Georgia we need that but um you spoke of not ever being incarcerated you were Sean incarcerated for 16 years re-entry is a very big issue in our community you are not the prisoner that we normally see nor are sort of the programs geared towards when we think about re-entry in our community our fathers our uncle's our cousin's our sisters whatever please talk to how after being moved to nine different prisons being in jail for 16 years when he was 16 years old changed her life and what motivated you to begin work in the re-entry arena well I had to start by saying what some people that I went to prison at 16 New York is one of only two states that sentence their teenagers as adults there was no special prison for me I went directly to a maximum-security prison serving a 24 year sentence I couldn't even wrap my head around the fact that I would be there for two decades and I wasn't prepared for that and all I could think of was that I couldn't even survive this what what came out of that immediately was the older men that were already there and I think in the 80s it was unusual to have a sixteen seventy or running around whereas now it's kind of the norm but these older men and some staff that literally stepped up to the plate grabbed me or that came out all wrong but worked with me men to me let me change that story quick but not a lot of opportunity whose prison humor but um but really mentored me in a way that no one hears about and I think when education was a part of my kind of upbringing these men raised me made me go to school and you know while they were playing cards and working out with weights I had to go to the school building and go and work on a college diploma but it was an unbelievable direction that changed my life and I wanted to ask Jason in terms of you were you for many years you've been with the Innocence Project 25 and so you were a younger man when you were in the industry you had really sort of no reason but to enjoy what you were doing what was the touch point that drew you into saying you know what it's time for me to use my resources to enter into a world and make a difference you know I saw something on television a story of a guy who had been wrongfully convicted and Innocence Project was brand new in those days and they you know they talked him at the story how the Innocence Project had gotten him out using DNA and I just thought to myself oh my god I can't imagine anything worse than being locked up for something you didn't do and then being stuck in the system and nobody nobody listens to you nobody believes you and you're just there and I said I have to get involved in fact I want to give a shout out there's a gentleman here named Jonathan Fleming right over there who served 24 years at seven months in prison for a murder that was committed in Brooklyn when he was in Florida and he had he had videotape evidence that he was in Florida at hotel receipts plane tickets phone records and still they managed to convictive so he's a great example of somebody who's gotten out into turn and you know really really taking that experience and turn it into a positive so I get so much you know I'm a founding board member of the Innocence Project cuz I joined them almost at the beginning and I get so much joy and if you if that's the right word from being around people like Jonathan who are people who were convicted of a crime they didn't commit and yet come out with this sense of hopefulness and grace and all they want to do it seems like has helped other people as as Sean is doing all they want to do is help other people prevent them from going into the system in the first place prevent them from from being wrongfully convicted and help the other guys after they get out so it's this amazing little community and I feel very honored to be allowed to be a part of it and to be able to do my little piece to help you know people like like Jonathan and other people in his situation see are you specifically target the younger demo to teach skills that can later on help in this arena so talk about your work a little bit and how your engagement and especially around technology is being used to move the needle in social justice okay yes so like I said I got started really in social justice and undergrad fighting the higher education fight which I lost and so I ended up having to go into a political science major and so during my senior year is actually when Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford Florida and Trayvon Martin to me was you know just growing up in Florida growing up in a suburb as Trayvon Martin did and was killed in I feel like our parents tried to shield us from a lot and thinking that okay we have this good area we have these good schools you're going to be safe and so Trayvon Martin was sort of that first wake up call like no no one's safe you're not even safe in your own community you're still an outsider in your own community and so after Trayvon Martin was killed it'd have been about 40 days since he was killed and no one did anything about it he wasn't arrested rather people were speaking up people were marching and so I got together with a bunch of students from Florida universities and colleges that I had worked with around higher education fights around immigration fights and we decided that we were going to do something and so that year I believe was about like the 47th anniversary of the March for Bloody Sunday from Selma to Montgomery for for Voting Rights and so we decided to reawaken that spirit of activism and we were going to march 40 miles as our ancestors had done in Selma to Montgomery and we were going to march from Daytona Florida to Sanford Florida to address and call for the arrest of George Zimmerman that's that evolved when we got to Stanford we didn't really have a game plan we were just like okay we're here and we're angry and we're gonna tell you that you need to arrest George Zimmerman and we thought we were going to get arrested and we weren't arrested instead we were taken in to speak with leaders from Sanford Florida as to speak with we had the Department of Justice there we had all these commissioners and mayors and political folk who got on the phone with us and we're talking to us in person and we decided to you know they agreed that they would arrest George Zimmerman and so of course we left there feeling victorious we go outside I remember I was the person to do the press conference to tell everyone what we did and how we got we were going to get George Zimmerman arrested and something funny happened the community there in Stanford were furious with us they were pissed we were like why are you so upset we said we want to George Herman arrested we're getting him arrested what's the problem but the problem was that the community and Stanford they had been trying to talk to their elected officials for years they had tried to talk to their Police Department for years because Trayvon Martin wasn't the first one killed and Stanford in that way and so what we did going into another community that wasn't our own we took away the agency of the people in those communities and went over their heads and addressed their elected officials directly which was very disrespectful and so coming out of that moment we decided to build an organization the dream defenders in Florida and I decided to take on role as political director to help sort of navigate that that gap in politics helping people know who to be pissed at and who they should go to to talk to and how do you talk to them and how do you get bills passed and how do you lobby firth for things and so I became the the organization's political director and I'm sorry I want to give too much time but I just want to sort of go through this evolution so that was a political director for about a year and a half two years and then something else happened we had Eric garner killed in New York which happened about three years ago four years ago three years ago to this day July 17 2014 we had Mike Brown killed July or August 9 2014 and then the following year July Sandra bland was killed and when Sandra bland was killed that was it for me I had a mental breakdown or spiritual awakening as people like to refer to it I was just so deeply depressed we had been we we thought we were organizing we had you know stuff on Twitter we had stuff on Facebook we had stuff on Instagram we had celebrities retweeting and liking our posts what were we doing wrong we thought we had had we were getting the fire to organize people and we realized that we actually weren't moving things we actually weren't changing things and I became depressed and getting out of that depression what helped me was understanding history and being connected to community and understanding and healing myself and so I moved from being the political director of dream defenders the director of political consciousness which is just basically a term for political educator and I'm helping people to understand our history and how we got here and strategies that those before us have used in the past to have victories and to win the fights that they were up against so that we could use that for today so when we see something happen I'm sure and you know the the deaths she's talking about we think like we want our entertainers we want our players we want them to do something and say something and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't so what is the conversation after it happens like between the the millionaires they black men call each other up is there a conference call and LeBron says uh sure we should do this at the game and wear the shirts or we should what is that thing that happens that either does create something or everybody says nah y'all we got to move back from that I mean to each his own right sure there's a ton of calls and there's the need to address the obvious but the history of the issues that we deal with not only in our social system but historically as minorities in this country we can't unravel all of it but what we can do is organize what we can do is have round or the round table but discussions in panels like this that began to ignite and ignite the spark that was ignited in you so that you guys will go back to your communities and understand how to properly organize to properly without you know maybe some of the hiccups Oh either the discoveries that you found in the process right living vicariously through the mistakes that were made or the perception of a mistake that was made so that you guys could be more effective that's the one thing that I personally have felt has been the greatest contribution of time effort and likeness in addition to that finding ways to utilize the platform to exploit the issue explode the issue without it being too benevolent because what happens is in a world where sensational sensationalized media gets more attention than the actual thing it's very hard to have that conversation there's not a shortage of a person who has an issue with our system there's not a shortage of people who want to talk about it and advocate for it right but sometimes the negative is so much louder than the positive that you can't you can't break through the clutter so being able to invest in people individual people and with solutions organizations that are like-minded if you feel like I really want to do something but we can't now having the opportunity to bridge that gap to begin to understand okay well can you come here and make this issue that we're trying to we're trying to address more of a priority that's one um musically you know I created a song chains right because that was the only thing that I felt like I could do at the time and it was really based around the idea of incarceration but utilizing the reality of police brutality at the same time and the issue was that we're not facing it and until we face it we can't fix it so I put together a campaign with a tech novel with a technology company out of Brazil that had this very specific face recognition technology where in order to when you look at the the actual video it begins to play if you look away it stops it starts over which then in some way gets people to wait a minute oh we have to face the issue in order to so anyway those efforts and that's millions of dollars that you know in an effort that people would never even recognize but that's one thing and how many times can it play it's worth a million impressions if so many people are able to see it but it doesn't stop and even being confronted by the reality you know with all of the work that I think the Cleveland Cavaliers do and LeBron James to be away from his home and have nigga written on this house it's like you can't escape the reality of what happens in America and how we are perceived as minorities in America so how do we become more strong we become more stronger by uniting by uniting our efforts the more we talk about the issues the more we van together the more we support each other that's the only way we're gonna find a solution it may not necessarily be in our educational system but the education of the issue is where we begin to start can we come up with the remedy outside of schools can we come up with the remedy in the streets can we come up with the remedy and an idea in a conversation that begins to go before Congress or go before men and women of Congress and question them so that they are left with the responsibility to recognize some of the issues that are happening it's all it's all of that yes I want to ask a question of the audience how many of you have had someone you loved incarcerated raise your hands that is unacceptable you know and I'll tell you what if you went to the neighborhood that I grew up in there would've been one hand up you know it's like we as a country have become complacent about the idea that it's okay to lock up people because of their socioeconomic status and because of the color of their skin now another show of hands how many of you know that you have the power to do something about it and how many of you want to do something about it okay so there we go now we're on now we're on a good start because you do have the power and the fact is that there's too many people that don't vote I mean that you hear it over don't forget anybody says buh-buh-buh you're probably tired of hearing about it right from every celebrity probably this guy but the fact is there's a very simple thing you can do like people don't realize is that and there's a great organization called just as a safety pack that's doing work to get bad prosecutors thrown out and get get good ones elected and when there's a race and most of you aren't old enough to vote now but you will be soon and the fact is when there's a race and you're thinking well my vote doesn't matter it does matter because some of these races are decided by a handful of votes and just boning out somebody who's who's acting in a way that is discriminatory and in a way that is racist and in a way that is cold and and heartless is a huge act of defiance and is going to change the game when we get these bad guys thrown out of office and we bring in somebody good the difference can can affect you in a very real way in terms of the person that you love or care about or even yourself or anybody because it can happen to anybody being locked up for something that they shouldn't be locked up for whether it's because they didn't do it or because it shouldn't be something it shouldn't be a crime in the first place whether that means you know walking down the street without identification or you know riding your bike while black or god knows what write these crazy things they arrest people for so that's just one example but there's a lot of examples and the good news is is a lot there's more people now there's more awareness that this issue this criminal justice issue has got to change then there's ever been in my 25 years of working on it and we're winning victories every day you know this week we abolished cash bail in Chicago you no longer can lock somebody up in Chicago because of the fact that they don't have enough money to post bail done finished we did it in Houston recently so two thousand people this year have had to be released just because we filed a lawsuit that said you can't lock people up because they can't post bail because we have two separate systems of justice if you're rich you go home that's why you ever see a mug shot with a celebrity when they get arrested they're laughing why because they're lawyers waiting outside to take them to a like get a lobster or strip club wherever they're gonna go whereas a poor person is gonna be stuck in jail for a long time just because they can't post bail well you know what we're gonna change that and we're changing it right now it's really it's really Jason's point is about the political education that Ciara is talking about a small thing that bothers me a lot on that whole issue of being aware is jury duty for example is a big problem in the black community and we will see all-white jury and start screaming I can't believe it was all-white jury that convicted her or convicted him or whatever well that's because black people don't show up for jury duty so if we did then the jury wouldn't be all white and then when your cousin's your best friend's uncle comes up in front of that jury it wouldn't be an all-white jury so when that notice comes in a black family they say no I'm gonna go in they're not crazy they're not gonna put me on that jury because I don't want to even be here well you just set it up so there'll be a white jury and that person's going to jail it's all these small things that we got to consider when we're thinking about how do we become a social warrior and really really make an impact so think about those small things Shawn I wanted to ask you to speak a little bit I don't know why I keep getting out of this chair it's hard to get back in with I'm like so anxious I'm heights I'm always Shawn talk a little bit about your work in re-entry and what you're doing that has become so innovative graduating so many people who are coming out of jail and how important re-entry is as an issue right now so I did not create this program the women in Bedford Hills the only Maxim security prison in New York created this program when the college programs were taken away in 1994 the minute singsing heard that the women had created this thing and we literally sent word through the prison grapevine and we got a playbook back from the women and like all good ideas we borrowed it from the women and started it at sing-sing I was in the first graduating class so a no one I received my bachelor's degree from nya College when I entered the system I was in the ninth grade so to be able to go home with a college diploma I did not think of that as part of my future because all I heard from the folks around me was that once you're in prison for 8 10 15 20 years when you go home you're gonna be doing a cleaning job or a construction job so when I got home and realized that that education was real my diploma did not say sing sing it said nya college on it and I was was able to use that to get into the social services field and become a caseworker so I mean that was obviously a huge change in your life and you've gone on to help so many other people make that huge change we have 588 men and women currently attending a a and BA degrees and six prisons so I am I am gonna go down the line in each person's expertise but what is your hope for social justice reform currently if you could you know think of one thing you would like to see change well I would just say that this is not some magic trick I'm performing in the first ten years we didn't have a single student go back to prison after release we're in this country 68% return to prison in the first three years this is not some magic sauce secret sauce we gave them education the same thing that most of us did not get in the first place so I have 588 men and women in six prisons but there's 52,000 in New York alone I'm paying for everything how come this is not in every single prison everywhere yes Sierra what is your hope for criminal justice reform in the arena you're working and now considering our present climate yes oh reform I'm about revolution revolution is getting at the rear and digging it out this whole system is messed up and it doesn't matter how good you are what grades you got how beautiful you are you might end up in jail and it might not be your fault and if you don't end up in jail you might end up unemployed you might end up losing your home you might end up there's so many possibilities for failure in this country and I'm just gonna tell you all that because it's real and because I love you and that's my job what we have to do is we have to as uh sure said get organized that's what marcus garvey was talking about that's what Kwame Toure was talking about Stokely Carmichael from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee turned into the student national Coordinating Committee we have to get organized we have to bring our communities together and although I'm a tech activist and we can talk about that too you have to get off your computers off your phones and into the streets because we need you it's not enough to be conscious Kwame Toure talked about the role of revolutionary is not to make the unconscious conscious but make the unconscious conscious of their unconscious behavior so what am I like what does Kwame talking about here we're talking about making sure that our values the things that we hold dear are by us for freedom our values for justice you know Cornel West said justice is what love looks like in public our value of love how are we returning to this and then as the culture as Meadows was said do it for the culture culture is how are we doing the ways the things that we're doing so how are we aligning our values with action with making sure that the culture is aligned with the values the rural values that we have that are innate within us it's not about the government and what the government is doing although and that's and this is this current political climate is been this way since the beginning of this country and that's why boating itself is not alone and that's what tweeting is not alone and that's why I changing your profile picture on Facebook is not alone you need to team up with people and get out in the streets and I'll just quickly because we're in Atlanta I was sitting down with a brother of mine from the National Education Association here in Atlanta National Education Association of the NEA their job right now is to organize teachers to make sure that our public school systems are saved and they're not privatized and taken away from the people who need them most in Atlanta right now it's a big issue and it's not just the issue of the privatization of schools and changing over to charter schools although that is definitely an issue because teachers aren't compensated well they can lose their jobs at any moment and they don't get benefits and it's just not sustainable for anyone they're based their job is based off of test scores which we all know isn't teaching us so what we're talking about here in Atlanta is not only are they privatizing the schools and making them charter schools but what they're doing is when they make these charter schools they're giving incentives to banks and big business and corporations to invest in these charter charter schools for return investment of 39% so what they're doing is they're the first thing they want to do to gentrify a neighborhood or move people our people poor people people of color out of their homes they privatize the school they give vouchers to wealthy people for mixed incomes to move into the neighborhoods they stop the commuter route the bus route so that people who live in the neighborhood can get access to the schools that they've been going to and then in return these big businesses are making a Bank off of you all and what are they doing there was a charter school here in Atlanta Latin Academy they were missing about 6,000 dollars in the budget that they said that they needed to help this charter school get started where did that money go strip clubs strip clubs and instead of actually being held accountable all they had to do was shut down that charter school and they skip town and who knows where the hell they are so you have to get involved you have to get organized it's not enough to be conscious on your own you need to make sure you have a team of people with you keeping you accountable and keeping you on the struggle every one every great hero has a team you know undercover brother you had smart brother you a conspiracy brother you had sister girl you know undercover brother couldn't have done that on his own sorry I'm dating myself but yeah y'all need a team get a crew all right thank you Jason what what is your hope in the work that you're doing right now well first of all I just want to say that we were we were hanging out in the wherever that room is over there backstage I guess you'd call it right and so he said you got to come out and see these kids right and I came out and caught the poetry right before we went on Freedom Riders Hank sweetness I mean I need a I need a tape of that stuff cuz that was a lot of knowledge drop right there these kids are incredible so yeah my hope is that we are actually turning a corner I think the fact that we have such a terrible terrible unimaginable situation in Washington right now is actually going to you know the pendulum always has to swing back the other way and I think that it's making the states react in a way that is very positive there's a lot of change that can be made on a local level on a state level those changes are being made and and that's it and that's not as big of a task but I mean everything happens locally you can make a difference the people here all of you have potential I'm gonna quit there's a great quote that says you miss 100% of the shots you don't take so I'm gonna say right now like if you guys if I could say anything believe in yourselves take that shot ask that question go for what it is that you want don't let people tell you that you know you're not you can't because of this or that or because you've had whatever situation you're in I've seen the potential just in those three kids that were up there and I know there's so much potential in this room and then my hope on the criminal justice side is not to be a broken record but to go back like I think that you know we have a situation now where 96% of criminal cases end up in plea bargains and that's because of the that's largely because of the bail system and so we are going to reform the bail system so that when somebody does get picked up for some ridiculous crime or whatever crime it is and we don't even know if they're guilty or not they're gonna go home instead of going to jail and then you know we've shown that people will show up for court you know I started thinking the Bronx called the freedom fund which is a fund where we post bail for people who are unable to post bail for themselves so that they spend that time and for trial at home instead of being in Rikers Island enough like kalief Browder or this kid right now there's another case happening in New York right now it's a similar case and and it will that I think will decrease the the motivation for cops to pick people up for things that they really shouldn't be picked up for it all in the first place if they know they're not just gonna sit in jail that have to plead guilty just to go home so I think the ripple effect from that I mean don't forget we have between four and five hundred thousand people in jail every night in America just because they can't post bail so if I can't fix if I could fix one thing I'm gonna fix that we are fixing that we're making huge strides there's great organizations like the Bronx defenders like the Civil Rights Corps if you want to look that up so it's called the Civil Rights Corps incredible work they're doing and I think that's gonna be a game changer and I'm happy to have great people like the people up on this stage fighting the fight with us and I'm really honored to be able to speak to all of you and I'm looking forward to seeing you do great things so your real reason I'm here is because I should promise he teach me to dance because I can't be asked for this I don't know if I can help you I have rhythm first so I don't have the solution right but what I do is I have a heart full of optimism I have a heart full of passion that is based off of an old philosophy and a new passion the new passion is based off of what I see every day the new passion is in the evidence that a negative can be turned into a positive or whether the perception of a negative can be turned into a positive I don't think that there is any bad period I think that there's only the opportunity for lessen the tragedy of life ends when we stop when we stop trying to find viable solutions when we stop living that's when it stops now Mohammed Ali had a quote I wanted to cuz everybody's been giving great quotes but I wanted to find a quote that I felt was was significant we become ultimately we become what we think that's a real statement that means what we ingest the things that we choose to focus on the things that we give our attention that's what we become now I'm speaking to an audience of like-minded influences and there was a process of what took you to get here this wasn't just an easy oh I'm just gonna know we all you got us all had to go through something to get here and what you're left to do now is process what you're what you've been introduced to and make it relevant to the people whom you can influence I don't know what more I can say what more I can do to ignite people in this position like myself other influences to make social justice or injustice a priority but I do know that there is such value in recognizing the history of what we are and who and who we are the the constitutional history that we look at not to be disregarded the doctor the people who have died to not recognize them and look at it as well that's something that someone else is gonna make a priority it'll-it'll you know we'll figure it out taking that opportunity to vote taking the power back within your community by using your voice by speaking to each other by communicating by igniting and exploiting the issues when you recognize that they're there what I wanted to do even though I know we halfway through the panel I really wanted to hear from you guys because I want to know how its influencing you you know I've always found it very complicated to be in a position of influence and no matter how old I get I still try to stay young because I never wanted to benevolently dick to other people how they should move which is why I established the new-look foundation the way that I did it was peer-to-peer and the most influential role model is someone who has like-minded who has is like-minded it influenced and sees things the way that you do we have to speak to a world who has a ton of information every day that's just out there always but where do you put your attention where do you activate where do you where do you engage how do you engage y'all got a kiss flight so we don't have the time for a lot of questions but we can at least get through it can we try to get through four are we gonna get the mics to this dude can I get two mics out please two mics out please how many questions you say four make them concise clear okay there will be no closing we're gonna close with the questions there would be no closing we're gonna close with the questions right here stand up on your own gotcha can I get a microphone let me grab that one switcheroo hello I was really like stirring see I was talking about the closing schools my name is Rebecca I'm from Detroit one thing that we I saw since the graduates I graduated in 2011 till now it's like our schools is probably we have we went from like 300 schools so we are like 38 and the city of Detroit is very big and now there are just places of blight it's like really devastating and so what would you suggest would be a way that we can I don't know like bring more attention to it and just kind of hole even the existing school boards accountable or something because it's like now this has become an eyesore in the community when it used to be a place for community and so this it's really something that I know me and my sister talk about all the time and it like bugs us because we're like man's old school and it looks like this and it's it's been looted majority of the schools are looted and they're literally empty so I just wanted to know what what can we do to bring attention and right now no you answer go okay yeah so Detroit strong history revolution you all have the black revolutionary workers with general Baker coming from the 70s I mean man they were powerful I think one of the biggest things I don't live in Detroit but one of the biggest influencers that I know from Detroit will to one is the Michigan welfare rights organization it's a group both mostly led by black women who are a part of the revolutionary League of black workers and they're dealing with all sorts of issues gentrification water shutoffs I know school is one of them and the other group that I think would be really dope to connect with is we are cultural creators and I can link you with them but it's a group and they just create art it's about 48 dudes who have been taken off the street put gotten cameras and video equipment and computers and they're just ready to use the art that they're producing from we are culture creators to actually doing some in the community I think they would have more knowledge on what's going on in terms of the school closings and I would love to link you with them yeah no doubt so my name's Trinity Tucker from Milwaukee and you all are talking about like recidivism and like helping people in jail but what are you doing to like stop the school to Prison Pipeline for people of color not just black people about people of color wow that's it that's a big question I mean unfortunately that's that's not an area which I'm personally involved being that I'm doing you know so many different fighting so many different aspects of this fight but I do know that we have to you know resist what's going on in Washington any way we can because left up to them they like to keep that pipeline very much alive and turn it on a bit higher I mean does anybody have any specific thoughts to answer that question because I got you are you here in Atlanta no no I'm from oh sorry my bad memory that's why I have a notebook up here I think one of the things you can do is if you go to reclaim our schools org that website has a list of organizations that are a part of ending the school to Prison Pipeline across the country they have fact sheets ways to connect and get your teachers involved as well and they also have sort of like a strategy game plan for how they're going to deal with Trump and des Vosges education agenda so I would go to reclaim our schools work and and if you do anything else I'll give you my numbers so yeah one of the things that we are doing is as the minimum when our returning to the communities after long sentences 15 18 25 years we've created a way to get into the high schools and tell our stories just like I'm saying it today it's been very effective one thing about the folks your age is that you need to hear from from us that have been through this already and understand how I got to being in prison for 24 years so you don't make the same decisions that I did and also because so many of your families have been affected understanding what those dreamers have been through it's been very powerful so that's one of the things that we've been doing in New York also you need everybody when you see a problem in your community needs to hold your local elected officials responsible prison a private prison cannot open unless it has the proper permits and planning which goes through your entire local government so the first thing you need to know is who is your state senator who is your local city council person who is your the pipeline to the mayor you think president you think the Department of Education know it starts locally right where you are and if somebody is running for office and they do not represent what you want which is if they want to bring a private prison into your district you do not want that person to win so you are going to start working against that person winning and voting and doing all those things to make sure those people aren't there private prisons happen through permitting and land buying and so that happens at the local level who's the next question I'm tymberlee from Detroit okay my question is a lot of our peers don't listen to a lot of adults or older dogs they talk about what you guys are talking about so how do we as the youth and as them being our peers to get them more involved and get them aware of what's going around because a lot of people like I heard someone say earlier I don't even know my amendments so like how do you engage that because they teach it in school but sometimes we don't pay attention or we just don't recall that once released so how do you keep them engaged when school is over once once summer time gets here like how do you keep our peers as one engaged in the system I think an easy answer to that is I made a single mistake in the ninth grade and got a 24 year prison sentence for it I think that if you don't listen loud and clear and tell your friends to listen loud and clear every single person is perceptible to that same mistake I had never been in trouble before I was a good you know good kid and I up one time and it cost me 24 years and that could happen to anybody here and that's a long time to make a mistake for you need to make sure your friends hear it even if you have to go from here and say I heard this kid talk about kid I wish I heard this guy talk about when they met that was a kid and and learn more about it yes yeah I'm really sorry because I know that we have you know time constraints yeah that caused us to have to get out of here but what I'm hoping is that from the panel if there is an email or someplace that all right our guys could contact our audience could contact and just ask a question is it is it okay yeah and also for anybody in Atlanta I want to let you know that I am running for office right now and I want to have I didn't do it for that reason I did it for the question that you just asked which is that if anybody wants a hands-on experience and wants to come volunteer on my campaign and understand more just find me and I will give you that opportunity okay our email addresses yeah yeah here we go my email address is most spelled mo ivory like the soap Ivo ry mo ivory at gmail.com I am s pica at Hudson link org and the website is ww-what are you like as in cat dot M as in Mary o I are e Taylor ta Y lor at gmail.com I am Jason dot flung at lava records com or you could get me on Instagram when it's at its Jason Flom because I'm going to be posting up those poets on my Instagram you could be sure as soon as I get that as soon as I get that clip and then you could DM me on yeah and in addition to that we're gonna make sure we distribute a mass email that goes out with everyone's information on it so you guys will be able to pinpoint it if you didn't if you didn't want anybody write it down I'm slow too our team don't type fast thank you guys so much give it up for petal

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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