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We use direct actions to interrupt the status quo and bring awareness to key issues and different forms of state violence affecting the root causes of the plight of black and brown people around the world.,

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We stand against the many forms of state violence: police killings, mass incarceration, poverty and others.  We stand for justice for Tony Robinson and ALL Black lives lost at the hands of the state. We stand for community and self determination. We will not stop until we are free.

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YGB raising awareness and building community

Wisconsin Sees a Doubling in Failed GPS Monitoring Program Since 2013
15 Jul 2018
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Wisconsin Sees a Doubling in Failed GPS Monitoring Program Since 2013

The use of GPS monitoring for people on parole is ineffective, expensive, and oftentimes sends people to jail for doing nothing wrong.

 

In May 2017 alone, there were 52 arrests for wearers of ankle bracelets. Of these, 13 were a direct result of a malfunction in the GPS bracelet - with no violations of parole whatsoever. In other words, a quarter of those arrested did absolutely nothing wrong.

 

But in spite of cases like these, the Wisconsin state government has stood idly by as the use of GPS monitoring has roughly doubled in Wisconsin since 2013. This has led to a massive waste of Wisconsin tax dollars and lots of unnecessary jail time for people who did nothing wrong.

 

While it’s surely valuable for incarcerated people to be able to go to work and see their family while on parole, a much better way to do that would be simply to incarcerate less people by legalizing marijuana and implementing community control over the police. At the very least, we should place people on parole without any GPS tracking. There are plenty of ways to combat mass incarceration without replacing it with bad technologies like ankle bracelets.

 

Instead, unlike many states like Wisconsin’s neighbor, Minnesota, which don’t have a GPS monitoring system, Wisconsin dishes out $9.7 million every year to the flawed system.

 

These arrests of innocent people are in part a result of the poor GPS reception of the ankle bracelets, an issue that is especially pronounced in rural areas. Due to these technological errors, many innocent people are locked up for violating their parole because the GPS signaled they went to a prohibited place, even if they didn’t actually go there. These arrests further damage their family and social life, as well as their opportunity for employment.

 

And it could get even worse. A bill was proposed in Wisconsin in February that would punish bracelet wearers with a felony if they intentionally failed to charge their ankle bracelets, which targets people with low incomes and long work hours and expands our epidemic of mass incarceration. This draconian move could tarnish the lives and career opportunities for many people who wear the bracelets.

 

We don’t need to spend $9.7 million a year on this failed system. Instead, we should spend our funds to provide services, economic and mental health resources to our communities of color in order to give people power, not chains.

 

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In order to make any progress, we have to Build our collective understanding and Build collective analysis to advocate for better collaborative solutions.

 

You can help by Joining our Coalition of Supporters, or by donating here.

 

If you have any personal stories of racial violence to share, please reach out to us at YGB by sending us a Facebook message or emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

#NoMuslimBanEver: Independence Day for Whom?
11 Jul 2018
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#NoMuslimBanEver: Independence Day for Whom?

And so Trump is getting the wall he wanted after all.

 

Although it isn’t a physical wall, it is a barrier even harder to climb than concrete and barbed wire. It now takes the form of a Congress-approved policy. As July 4th has come and gone, many people of color in the United States question what there is to celebrate while videos of children of immigrants representing themselves in courtrooms or crying out for their parents in cages on the border spread across social media like wildfire. Across the United States, protests calling for #FamiliesBelongTogether and #NoMuslimBanEver have been ongoing.

 

On June 26, the US Supreme Court approved in a 5-4 decision Executive Order 13769, colloquially called the Muslim Ban or Travel Ban. The order, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, singles out mainly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and also countries with sizable Arab-speaking diasporic communities such as Venezuela. It is important to note that this is not the first time the Supreme Court has approved this policy. On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court allowed Trump’s order to go into effect even though there were still legal challenges in the process of being addressed.

 

Although the policy-makers approving the order claim it is for safe vetting procedures and due to a lack of collaboration with the U.S.’s security restrictions, these banned countries have had very little, if any, terrorist activity in the United States. In fact, since 9/11, white Americans are the biggest terrorist threats we see today.

 

Many Muslims, whom many attest to already being targeted at airports, now live with an institutionalized order that brings those fears to the forefront, especially for those who have family in affected countries.

 

Hana Alasry, a Yemeni-American Muslim community organizer based in Detroit, said, “I think the biggest thing that I’ve been reflecting on is as the lawmakers, courts... are debating back and forth with several iterations of the ban coming through, the complexity of the back and forth really doesn’t mean much to immigrants from that country, most of whom aren’t familiar with how the US laws work.”

 

“They know one thing and one thing only: here’s a national ban that says they’re not human enough to enter this country. That’s that. They’re not interested in higher-level debates about this versus that part of the legislation. They just want humanity,” Alasry said.

 

Locally in Madison, Muslims and faith leaders have spoken out against the Muslim ban in recent days.

 

Maria Ahmad, co-founder of Book-A-Muslim, mentioned in a phone-interview how her husband, Syed Umar Warsi, is concerned about going to visit his family in Pakistan, a country that had formerly been on the ban list. She added that because of his long beard and name, his profile makes him all the more susceptible to additional targeting.

 

Ahmad, speaking to Muslim youth seeking guidance, advised: “Realize this is where you live. There is no need to apologize.”

 

Ahmad added that Muslims will “always be othered unless you’re a white, Christian male.”

 

She encouraged youth to find community in order to find other people to go through this together.  Echoing the feelings of many POC communities in the U.S right now, Ahmad mentioned that the “America for the people by the people” doesn’t seem too accurate right now, but if we engage and get involved politically and locally, we can make change happen.”

 

She also encouraged community organizers to be more accommodating as Muslim allies in the movement, and gave an example of a rally in DC for Muslim rights where no prayer times or spaces were accommodated for. (One of the five pillars of Islam is prayer, and Muslims are encouraged to pray five times a day).

 

She concluded with: “Learn about the people you are being an ally with versus simply doing what you think is the right thing to do.”

 

Sheikh Alhagie Jallow, Islamic leader in Madison, said that the Supreme Court -decision was very unfortunate and sad, and that every Muslim “is affected either directly or indirectly”. He noted: “Most of the countries that are being banned are also being targeted. They have nowhere to escape to.” He added that the mentality of many of those who are fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria or Yemen is that of saving their own lives.

 

Jallow remained optimistic, however. “Whatever Allah (Arabic term for God) puts, a good result will come out of it, insha’Allah (God-willing).” He continued by saying, “As Muslims, we must always be positive, and look to the story of the Prophet (Muhammad).” The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was persecuted in his own home city of Mecca and forced to flee. The Quraysh, the most powerful tribe in Mecca, had forced Muhammad and the early Muslims to leave because they saw Islamic beliefs and values as a threat to their own political reign. Jallow ended on on a hopeful note, “What were the results after 20 years?” Islam had become successful and accepted by many. “The situation is either with us or against us… let’s just be positive.”

 

Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, President of Wisconsin Voices for Justice, issued a press release on June 26, declaring that the organization is “dismayed and distressed” at the Supreme Court’s decision. She concluded with, “As people of many different faiths, many of whom have ourselves faced discriminatory immigration policies throughout  history...proclaim solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We will continue to work for understanding and to build bridges among our various faith communities and to work against the forces of discrimination and hate.”

 

“We are living in dark times”, Margulis said in a phone interview. Yet, she, too approached it with optimism in encouraging others to “know each other, learn about each other’s faith” as well as to remember that “no one is alone in this.”

 

If you are interested in becoming involved in issues relating to social justice, community organizing, and human rights, please consider donating and/or joining the Young, Gifted, and Black Coalition (YGB). YGB is a grassroots organization based out of Madison, WI, dedicated to assessing and addressing the needs of people of color locally through various mediums including journalism, workshops, and networking. For more information, visit www.ygbcoalition.org.

From the YGB Black Curriculum: The Black Panthers Speak
06 May 2018
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From the YGB Black Curriculum: The Black Panthers Speak

Support YGB when you purchase The Black Panthers Speak.

 

The book, “The Black Panthers Speak,” edited by Philip S. Foner, provides readers with a “sweeping collection of the most vital and representative writings of the Black Panther party.” The book includes excerpts from Huey P. Newton, Fred Hampton, and Panther women like Kathleen Cleaver, as well as perspectives on the party’s court battles and our country’s power structures.

 

Support YGB when you purchase The Black Panthers Speak by clicking on the image below.

 

If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

 

From the YGB Black Curriculum: From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
15 Apr 2018
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From the YGB Black Curriculum: From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

Support YGB when you purchase From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.

 

The book, “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, recounts the shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York City and the protests against police impunity that followed. In response to the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor argues that, given the long history of structural racism in the United States, we should initiate a broaden push for Black liberation movement as a whole.

 

Support YGB when you purchase From #BlackLivesMatter to Black LIberation by clicking on the image below.

 

If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

 

From the YGB Black Curriculum - Detroit: I Do Mind Dying
30 Mar 2018
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From the YGB Black Curriculum - Detroit: I Do Mind Dying

Support YGB when you purchase Detroit: I Do Mind Dying.

 

The book, “Detroit: I Do Mind Dying” by Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin, documents the history of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement, an organization of Black workers at a Chrysler plant in Detroit, and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, a group of Black Marxists that was also based in Detroit. The book chronicles the movement for Black liberation led by these groups and its importance in the fight for workers rights for people of color.

 

Support YGB when you purchase Detroit: I Do Mind Dying by clicking on the image below.

 

If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

 

From the YGB Black Curriculum: Organized Labor and the Black Worker, 1619-1981
26 Mar 2018
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From the YGB Black Curriculum: Organized Labor and the Black Worker, 1619-1981

Support YGB when you purchase Organized Labor and the Black Worker, 1619-1981.

 

This book by Philip Foner recounts the radical history of Black workers in the American labor movement between 1619 and 1981. While these movements may be traditionally framed as white-dominated, they were actually led largely by workers of color. This serves as an important reminder that the "working class" is not just white, but it is strongly led by Black workers and union members.

 

Support YGB when you purchase Undivided Rights by clicking on the image below.

 

If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

 

From the YGB Black Curriculum: Undivided Rights
22 Mar 2018
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From the YGB Black Curriculum: Undivided Rights

Support YGB when you purchase Undivided Rights.

 

Undivided Rights describes the largely unknown history of women of color organizing for their reproductive rights. The book outlines the personal stories and experiences of women of color and how women of color have used activism to resist reproductive coercion in their communities. This message conveyed in this book is especially important as it demonstrates the integral leadership of women of color in defending their reproductive rights, something that pushes beyond the mainstream pro-choice narrative.

 

Support YGB when you purchase Undivided Rights by clicking on the image below.


If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

 

 

From the YGB Black Curriculum: How We Get Free
01 Mar 2018
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From the YGB Black Curriculum: How We Get Free

Support YGB when you purchase How We Get Free.

 

How We Get Free by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a collection of interviews and essays written by modern activists and members of the Combahee River Collective, a group of radical black feminists who fought for the liberation of women and people of color in the 1960s and 1970s. The texts reflect on the importance of the group to the struggle for Black feminism.

 

Support YGB when you purchase How We Get Free by clicking on the image below.

 

If you would like to see our entire list of book recommendations, please click here.

 

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YGB TO PETITION THE UNITED NATIONS

YGB needs your voice in order to get an investigation by the United Nations as we elevate the conversation of of racial disparities in Madison and fight for justice for Tony Robinson, the unarmed black teen murdered at the hands of officer Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department  

SIGN THE PETITION HERE SIGN THE PETITION HERE 

FIRE MATT KENNY

YGB demands that Matt Kenny, the murderer of Tony Robinson, be fired. Far to often are killer cops left unpunished, and we want Kenny off the streets.

SIGN THE PETITION TO FIRE MATT KENNY HERE

ABOUT US

The Young Gifted and Black Coalition is a circle of young leaders determined to end state violence and raise the voice of communities of color. We are young Black Women, Queer Folks, Straight Folks and Feminist Men who are fighting for Black Liberation. Our focus is on the low income black communities that our core members call home. 

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