Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out | Art 180 Opens Exhibition About School Push-Out

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Art 180, a RVA-based organization that allows marginalized young people to create change by expressing themselves through music, poetry, dance. On October 5th, they opened a mixed-reality exhibit, “Lift Us Up! Don’t Push Us Out” that raises awareness about the school-to-prison pipeline. Art 180 partners with Performing Statistics, a project that connects incarcerated teens with artists and advocates to transform the juvenile justice system. Continue reading “Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out | Art 180 Opens Exhibition About School Push-Out”

Richmond Stands United on the International Day of Peace

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Community members, advocates organizers and activists joined the Richmond Peace Education Center in a spirit of liberation and empowerment to stand united on the International Day of Peace. We celebrated RVA’s rich diversity by standing against White supremacy, systemic racism and all forms of oppression. Speakers included Princess Blanding, from Justice and Reformation for Marcus-David Peters, Rebecca Keel of RISE for Youth, Seema Sked from Fight the Muslim Ban, Lacette Cross of Black Pride RVA and more.

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How “#HelpNotDeath” Became a Rallying Cry Against Police Brutality and the Mental Health Stigma

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At an art build for the National March For Justice and Reformation for Marcus-David Peters, I met with Princess Blanding, a co-founder of Justice and Reformation to interview her about how the death of her brother influenced her advocacy for police reform. The RPD recently ruled the death of unarmed Marcus-David Peters “a justifiable homicide” and acquitted the officer of all charges. Continue reading “How “#HelpNotDeath” Became a Rallying Cry Against Police Brutality and the Mental Health Stigma”

Patrisse Khan-Cullors on Intersectionality, Art and Black Lives Matter Memoir

After delivering a speech at a March For Our Lives demonstration in Richmond, VA about the significance listening to Black youth in the fight for gun reform, I was offered the opportunity to write for the ACLU of Virginia’s to share my thoughts on juvenile justice, racial justice and womanism. I was then invited to the ACLU National Membership Conference, where I had the unforgettable experience of meeting Patrisse Cullors, an advocate for prison abolition and LGBTQ+ rights who founded Dignity and Power Now and co-founded #BlackLivesMatter.

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When Black Girls Are Robbed of their Innocence

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I’m grateful to Art 180 for providing me with a platform to share my story about racism, harassment on the internet and how it affects the mental wellness of Black girls and women at their gallery called “Everything is Connected”. My painting is an embodiment of how the lack of intersectionality affects the well-being of Black women. Even though Black women are the most disrespected, unprotected and neglected people in America, we’re often expected to show up for people who marginalize our voices. We’re often placed at the back of movements for gun reform, feminism, immigration rights, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ Rights. When we bring up how misogynoir plays a factor in all these injustices, we’re branded as angry, accused of attacking/clashing with other people, being disrespectful, and not exchanging our opinions peacefully. I speak from experience. Continue reading “When Black Girls Are Robbed of their Innocence”

What Civil Rights Activist Nupol Kiazolu Wants you to Know About Womanism

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“White women, you need to show up for Black women and women of color, just like we show up for you… Intersectionality is working together, coming together as a collective. The people united will never be divided.” – Nupol Kiazolu

Teen Vogue has described 18-year-old Liberian activist Nupol Kiazolu as “the activist we need today”. With being the president of the Black Lives Matter of Greater New York Youth Coalition, she has been recognized by Women in the World, and DoSomething.Org with her fellow honoree, Naomi Wadler who spoke at the March For Our Lives about how Black girls are affected by gun violence at disproportionate rates. I am immensely proud to share the same generation as young Black women like Nupol who are impacting the world already.

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Richmond Marches For Justice and Reformation For Marcus David Peters

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“Young advocate and our guest blogger @blaquefeminist attended yesterday’s march to demand justice for Marcus-David Peters, who was fatally shot by Richmond police. Seeking to hold the RPD accountable, she shared these thoughts in a recent blog post.” – ACLU of Virginia

Virginia, we have a problem. We need to come to terms with our state’s history of the marginalization of the black community. Virginia is where the first enslaved Africans were brought to Virginia. We live in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy. A racist act of terrorism occurred last year in Charlottesville. Virginia pushes black youth out of schools and incarcerates them at alarming rates. Continue reading “Richmond Marches For Justice and Reformation For Marcus David Peters”