When: September 6th, 2013
Where: Cass Corridor Commons
4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201
East Michigan Environmental Action Council, 5E, Heru, and the American Indian Health and Family Services invite you to the film screening of, Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience, on September 6th, 2013. The showing will take place in the D. Blair Theater of The Cass Corridor Commons.
Focusing on the lives and experiences of the Native/Indigenous community in the Midwest, Our Fires Still Burn is a one hour documentary that works to dispel the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the United States. The narrative that Native and Indigenous peoples no longer exist in the US has been perpetrated in many forms since the beginning of colonization in the US, with perhaps the most famous example being the book (and movie), The Last of the Mohicans. The narrative usually argues something along the lines that because Native peoples are now dead (or are actively dying), we need non-Native peoples to "save and recover" (read; loot) Native artifacts (very often including actual bones of human beings). Another strand of the narrative argues that names like Washington Red Skins are actually compliments that honor long dead tribes rather than the offensive insults that Native/Indigenous peoples say they are.
Our Fires Still Burns argues that the narrative that Native/Indigenous peoples are dead is harmful in that it invisibilizes and makes unnecessary the voices of the very much alive Native/Indigenous community. But as Our Fire Still Burns shows, Native and Indigenous peoples continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society.
The film viewing of Our Fires Still Burn will appeal to native and non-Native alike, and will be followed by a question and answer session featuring many of the people appearing in the film, as well as film director Audrey Geyer. Ms. Geyer is an independent video producer and director whose programs have been broadcasted locally and nationally on PBS. She is the founder and current executive director of Visions, an independent video production company local in Metro Detroit. Visions work focuses on creating documentaries that tell the stories of communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media.
As East Michigan Environmental Action Council co-director, Diana Copeland says, the most important thing to do right now in light of various attacks on marginalized communities in Detroit is to build community responses to those attacks, "Conversations that happen where we can begin to get to know each other are essential and will only make our communities stronger."
For Immediate Release: July 28 2015
Contact: Keith Brunner, 802-363-9615
Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign statement on proposed 2016 Vermont Health Connect rate increase
In response to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont’s 8.4% rate increase request for their 2016 Vermont Health Connect health insurance plans, the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign is releasing the statement below.  Supporters of the campaign will be in Montpelier tomorrow (July 29) calling on the Green Mountain Care Board to reject the rate hikes and resume its role in guiding Vermont to a universal, publicly-financed healthcare system. 
“Private insurance is already too expensive under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Vermont Health Connect, and still we are not getting the care that we need. Insurance companies that make tremendous surpluses and pay their executives high salaries are asking for more of our money at a rate that surely exceeds any pay raises that we will receive, serving as another indicator that we must move beyond the ACA to a universal, publicly financed healthcare system without the need for insurance companies. 
BCBS is a non-profit company set up by Vermont law with the express purpose of lowering the cost of health services to the people of Vermont. As such, it is exempt from paying taxes and will receive a tax break of over $15 million this year. Yet BCBS is unable and unwilling to ensure that all Vermont residents can get the healthcare they need. That’s why the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign has proposed to dissolve BCBS and turn its assets over to a new public corporation that can operate Green Mountain Care as a true public good that belongs to all of us.  At this point, we urge the GMCB to consider the obligation BCBS has under the law, and to ask BCBS to work harder to meet this obligation.
It is unfair that one in five people are struggling with medical bills, while ten BCBSVT executives are paid up to half a million dollars each.  It is inequitable that low-income people pay proportionally more for healthcare than the wealthy, while making do with low-value insurance plans. Rising inequality in Vermont is directly linked to how the private insurance system works, and why we need to change this.
Inequality is growing, and so is healthcare spending, and this will continue unless the GMCB acts. We can no longer afford to protect and perpetuate a healthcare system that is both wasteful and unjust. We call on the GMCB to reject these rate increases, and to resume its role of guiding us to a universal, publicly financed healthcare system. Healthcare is a public good, not for private profits.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1] Currently both major insurance providers offering health insurance on the Vermont Health Connect have filed for rate increases for the 2016. The GMCB is in the process of reviewing these filings. BCBS and Cigna have requested an average premium price increase of 8.4% and 3.0% increases respectively. Some BCBS plans would increase by up to 14.3%. http://ratereview.vermont.gov/rate_review/BCVT-130082559
2] The GMCB is holding a public hearing on the BCBS proposal tomorrow from 9am - 3pm, in the 2nd floor Board Room, 89 Main St, City Center, Montpelier. Supporters of the HCHR campaign will be testifying in public comment between 12pm and 3pm. http://ratereview.vermont.gov/2016_VHC_Rates_Filed
3] In 2014 BCBS requested a 9.8% increase for its 2015 plans; GMCB approved 7.7%: http://ratereview.vermont.gov/rate_review/BCVT-129572217
4] See bill H.475, which was introduced in 2015 with the support of the HCHR campaign: http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2016/Docs/BILLS/H-0475/H-0475%20As%20Introduced.pdf
5] BCBS 2014 salaries and bonuses: http://www.dfr.vermont.gov/sites/default/files/BCBSVT-Act-150-filing.pdf
While the critical subject of a runaway U.S. criminal justice system is gaining momentum toward reforms, the Obama Administration is vigorously defending the mass detention of non-U.S. citizens, including the detention of women and children.
Dear VWC Members and Supporters,
Following a great deal of consideration and with tremendous gratitude, I’m writing to let you know that I am leaving my position as the Executive Director of the Vermont Workers’ Center.
After fifteen years of throwing my heart into building a movement with you all, it’s time for me to pass the torch to the next generation of VWC leadership. I feel tremendously confident in our team of interim co-directors who will be taking the reins — longtime VWC organizers Kate Kanelstein, Megan Sheehan, and Matt McGrath, who together with VWC President Ellen Schwartz will guide the organization through the transition and months to come. I’m also excited to announce that I will be transitioning to a new project called Rights and Democracy, which through its focus on legislative policy and electoral strategies will be a strong complement to the grassroots movement we’ve built at the VWC to change what’s politically possible in Vermont and beyond.
It is incredible to reflect back on what we have accomplished during these past fifteen years, and all the twists and turns of the organization. Never in a million years could I have imagined that I would have been on staff with the VWC for so long, and have had the good fortune to work with so many amazing people. The Vermont Workers’ Center has grown into a real statewide grassroots organization with hundreds of members and thousands of supporters across the state and region. Our work is seen as some of the most innovative for building power of working people in the country and I’m tremendously proud of what we have accomplished. It has been a true honor to work with some of the most brave, smart and committed people in Vermont and with partner groups across the country.
I have an enormous amount of confidence in the current VWC leadership and am excited to see how the VWC will grow and thrive in the years to come. I’m particularly enthused about the new long-term planning process, which will ultimately chart a vision for strengthening our movement and winning transformative change in the years ahead. My hope is that through the combined efforts of the VWC, the efforts of groups in the Human Rights Council and other labor allies, and my new project, we’ll be able to shake things up politically and ensure victory on universal healthcare and other issues impacting working families in Vermont.
It has been an honor to serve the VWC and the best people I have ever known, and I look forward to building with you all on this uncharted road to win real change. Our movement is fortunate to have such an amazing collection of committed leaders and the VWC is bursting with potential for so much more. If you are not already, I hope you will join me in becoming a VWC member and hope to see you out sometime soon.
In solidarity and with big hugs,
PS: We all have so much appreciation for James’ powerful leadership over the years. Please join us to celebrate on August 29th at 6pm at North Beach Pavilion in Burlington and honor James’s legacy by contributing today to the James Haslam Movement Builder Fund.
Ellen Schwartz, President, Vermont Workers’ Center
A federal judge in California has ruled that the Obama administration’s detention of children and their mothers who were caught crossing the border illegally is a serious violation of a longstanding court settlement, and that the families should be released as quickly as possible.
a wrap up of activities, updates and news you can use, July 24, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed legislation Thursday cracking down on "sanctuary cities" that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. Angry Democrats accused Republicans of aligning themselves with Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant views, and the White House threatened a veto.
Senior Movement Building and Alliance Coordinator [Full Time]
Join the dynamic staff at CPA as a Senior Movement Building and Alliance Coordinator to support the organization’s efforts to organize and empower Chinese immigrants to fight for justice and build a vibrant movement for social justice centered on the experiences of working-class immigrant communities. The position requires extensive relationship building and collaborative work with our partner and ally organizations.
The ideal candidate is a passionate, skilled and creative organizer; bilingual and bicultural; a self-starter and great team player with a long-term commitment to the social justice movement.
Organizational Description: Founded in 1972, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) is a grassroots membership-based organization that empowers the Chinese community in San Francisco and promotes justice and equality for all people. CPA’s campaigns and programs improve the living and working conditions of working class immigrants and give ordinary community members a stronger voice in the decision-making processes that affect them. Our core strategies are organizing, leadership development and alliance building.
Position Overview: The Senior Movement Building and Alliance Coordinator
is responsible for leading CPA’s participation and engagement in key alliances and advancing movement building efforts with local, regional and national partners. This includes the management and coordination of the San Francisco Workers Rights Collaborative and the San Francisco Progressive Workers Alliance. The position is supervised by the Organizing Director, as part of the Tenant Worker Center and requires extensive collaboration with other CPA staff, youth leaders, and allies.
Key Leadership Roles and Responsibilities in the Tenant Worker Center (80%)
- Lead the development and coordination of the San Francisco Workers Rights Community Collaborative
- Lead the development and coordination of the San Francisco Progressive Workers Alliance
- Lead CPA’s participation in other alliances, coalitions and solidarity actions as necessary
- Lead the development of policy, research and documentation to advance CPA’s work
- Support CPA’s participation, including policy and landscape analysis, in national worker and workers’ rights formations
Key Leadership Roles and Responsibilities on the Seeding Change Team (10%)
- Lead the development and coordination of Grassroots APIs Rising and other AA/AAPI formations
- Support the Asian American movement building and racial justice efforts as a member of the developing Seeding Change Staff Team
Additional Responsibilities and Shared Responsibilities (10%)
- Facilitate political education and skills training workshops
- Participate in service and contract delivery work
- Participate and/or facilitate workshops or trainings at conferences
- Coordinate exchanges and training activities
- Regularly document activities and maintain a database of contacts
- Prepare reports of activities for organizational and fund development needs
- Participate in CPA staff activities for planning and evaluation as needed
- Support other CPA campaigns, programs and organization-wide activities as needed
- This position may also include spending time on organizational-wide (such as electoral campaigns) and fundraising tasks as determined by organizational priorities and your supervisor.
- Commitment to social, economic and environmental justice and bottom-up social change
- Knowledge of issues impacting working class Chinese immigrants in San Francisco
- Experience leading and coordinating collaborative projects, coalitions and alliances.
- Minimum 5 years of experience with social justice oriented community and/or labor organizations
- Fluency in English is required; fluency and literacy in Cantonese/Mandarin is preferred
- Experience in leadership development and education preferred
- Good team player and problem-solver
- Takes responsibility and initiative in work
- Can work effectively independently and as part of a team
- Strong organizational and communication skills
- Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends
Salary & Benefits
This position is full-time, exempt, and includes competitive benefits. Salary range for the position is from $45,000 - 50,000
How to Apply
Please submit applications by July 31, 2015. Applications will be reviewed as received.
Send resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject Line should refer to job title. PDFs preferred.
Update and Overview of DACA and DAPA
The information below updates the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), as well as its expansion and the Deferred Action for Parent Accountability (DAPA) policies, as announced by President Obama in his Executive Action of November 20, 2014. DACA expansion and DAPA have not yet been implemented due to a pending lawsuit.
ALERT: USCIS is now recalling some 2,600 work authorization documents issued to DACA recipients that were incorrectly issued as 3-year permits. These must be returned to USCIS by July 30. 2-year authorization documents will be issued in their place. DACA recipients will not lose their status, but are cautioned to comply with the request to return the 3-year authorization documents and receive a replacement one. USCIS will reportedly visit the homes of those who do not return the 3-year work documents.
For more information on this issue, please click here.
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF DACA
What is DACA?
- Stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
- Announced on June 15, 2012 by the Secretary of Homeland Security, under the administration of President Obama.
- Permits temporary authorization for undocumented immigrants who meet certain guidelines to remain in the United States.
How long does DACA permit eligible recipients to remain in the United States?
- Eligible grantees are permitted deferred action for a period of two years, which may be considered for renewal.
What does deferred action mean?
- Deferred action means delaying the deportation of an undocumented immigrant for a certain period of time.
What are the eligibility guidelines to be considered for DACA?
- Came to the United States before reaching 16th birthday;
- Continuously resided in United States since June 15, 2007, up until the present time;
- Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Currently in school, have graduated or obtained certificate of completion from high school, have obtained General Education Development certification, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States of America;
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS.
FIRST TIME APPLICANTS
How to file for DACA for the first time:
- Collect documents as evidence to meet the guidelines (Find what documents you will need here).
- Complete USCIS form I-821D, I-765, I-765WS (Forms can be found here).
- Mail USCIS forms and fees (total $465).
- Submit biometrics.
- Check the status of your request online.
RENEWAL (As according to USCIS)
Who can request a DACA renewal?
You may request a renewal if you met the initial 2012 DACA guidlines and you:
- Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
When should to request a renewal?
- Between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on the current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
How to renew?*
Complete and sign:
- Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Use the most recent version of Form I-821D on the USCIS website or USCIS will reject your form.
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-765W Worksheet
- Follow the instructions on all three forms to submit them to USCIS. There is a $380 filing fee for Form I-765 and an $85 biometric services (fingerprints and photo) fee, so the total cost is $465.
*We encourage anyone who is considering a renewal for deferred action to carefully review the eligibility criteria and to consult with credible advocacy and legal groups before applying. The USCIS recommends submitting your renewal request 120 days (4 months) before your current period of deferred action will expire. We encourage you to not wait any longer than the suggested period of time.
What is the DACA expansion?
- Expands eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Announced on November 20, 2014 by President Obama in his Executive Action; however, it has not yet been implemented due to a lawsuit
What specific things does the DACA expansion allow?
- Expands the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010; it also extends the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years. | Details
- Allows parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents* program, provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks | Details
- Expands the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens | Details
- Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs | Details
- Promotes citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and provides an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee | Details
Phoenix AZ: Thursday July 16
In middle school, Jhovani Becerra witnessed his classmates get suspended for small infractions like mouthing off to teachers or violating the school dress code. The student from Denver, Colorado, thought such a system was perfectly normal.
It wasn't until high school that Becerra, 18, who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a young child, realized it wasn't. In his new school the administration offered emotional support to struggling students instead of a zero-tolerance policy that demanded blanket punishments for even minor infractions.
"Going to middle school, I thought that was the norm at all schools," Becerra, who recently graduated, told The Huffington Post. Teachers "only looked at the behavior and the consequences, not what's causing the behavior," he said. "I don’t want [my children] to grow up with schools like that."
Read the rest here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/15/denver-public-schools-disciplin...Campaigns: Padres & Jóvenes UnidosEnd the School to Jail TrackDenver Local Campaign
July 15, 2015
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in Solidarity with the National Black Theatre of Harlem
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement stands in full solidarity with the National Black Theatre of Harlem (NBT). We support their self-determination to use their historic space to bring Black people together rather than promote division and disunity among us. This is a critical tradition to uphold, especially in this historical moment when ALL Black lives are under attack through state violence and extrajudicial vigilantes. We must challenge the counterproductive view of narrow nationalism that excludes our LGBTQGNC community members from the Black family and the Black nation more broadly.
We know that in order to achieve full Black liberation, we must love, support, defend, and promote the well-being and human rights of ALL Black people, including our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Gender Nonconforming community members. We recognize the historic contributions Black LGBTQGNC people have made and continue to make to the liberation of our nation. As family is the unit of struggle, we honor, respect and welcome all formations of Black families that continue to build our movement and communities. As an oppressed nation, we must not allow patriarchy and heterosexism which is rooted in white supremacy to prevail and weaken our movement. We must not lose energy and effort, and make sacrifices combatting shadows. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is committed to dismantling patriarchy, heterosexism and all oppressions in dutiful service of our liberation.
We demand justice as does Paul Castaway’s family. Police killed him in the street, claiming he charged them with
a knife. Paul’s family says video tapes prove otherwise because Paul had a knife to his own neck the entire time. Why do the police kill an indigenous man with a knife to his own neck, when James Holmes, who is white, was brought in alive after killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in an Aurora movie theater? Racism in our police departments kill people of color - we stand with Paul’s family to demand justice! They can call him a criminal, bring up his prior offenses, they demonized Jesse Hernandez in the same way. The police blame the dead victim instead of addressing their deadly effects of racism. The first response to a person of color with a mental illness shouldn’t be to shoot them, it should be to get them help. If they can do it for white men, for James Holmes, for Dylan Roof, why couldn’t they do it for Paul Castaway? His dying words, we have to ask again, “What’s wrong with you guys?” (Photo source: @YourAnonNews)Campaign: Padres & Jóvenes Unidos
Initial goals for border drones were “unattainable”, the senior aviation official for Homeland Security told a congressional committee on Tuesday. Responding to ongoing pressure from auditors, DHS acknowledged that it must provide hard evidence that drones are the most efficient tool for border security.
Each speaker reiterated an undisputed fact: The fatal shooting of 32-year-old Kate Steinle on San Francisco's Embarcadero is a tragedy.
In recent weeks, there has been an upsurge in controversy over crime committed by immigrants, sparked by a recent murder in San Francisco, and by presidential candidate Donald Trump’s exploitation of the issue.