Support Protesters in Chicago

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 1, 2015

Contact:
Camesha Jones
240-533-2876
chicago.chapter@byp100.org

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE BYP100 ON THE FIRING OF CPD POLICE SUPERINTENDENT GARRY MCCARTHY

BYP100 calls for resignation of Mayor Emanuel and States Attorney Alvarez, defunding of policing and investment in Black futures

 

The Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is pleased to learn that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken one necessary step towards holding himself and the city of Chicago accountable for its promotion and support of systemic violence against Black people by firing Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Mayor Emanuel’s decision to fire Supt. Garry McCarthy comes as a result of massive community organizing and direct confrontations between young Black organizers and the Chicago Police Department to expose the ongoing structural abuses of power Black people are subjected to everyday. Now, Mayor Emanuel, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and all top elected officials involved in the cover-up surrounding the execution of Laquan McDonald must make the right decision and resign immediately. They have demonstrated a deep ineptitude to exercise compassion and good judgment as leaders and should not be trusted to make decisions that impact our lives.

As young Black people who organize Black communities in Chicago, we are clear that Supt. McCarthy, Mayor Emanuel and State’s Attorney Alvarez represent elements of a system that must not only be reformed, but radically changed. These changes must include not only new leadership, but also a clear commitment to defund policing and invest in the futures of Black Chicagoans.

  • We demand a participatory city budget in which the public has the power to defund the Chicago Police Department and invest those dollars and resources in Black futures by setting a living wage, fully funding healthcare, social services, public schools, sustainable economic development projects and Black businesses that support Black communities.
  • We demand an immediate end to the criminalization of Black people for minor possession of marijuana and other petty crimes.
  • We demand the immediate firing of Officer Dante Servin without a pension for the killing of Rekia Boyd, as well as all other officers who have contributed to the deaths of Black Chicagoans.
  • We demand a fully independent civilian police accountability council with hiring, firing, subpoena and budgeting power. The creation of a Police Accountability Task force appointed by Mayor Emanuel is insufficient and undemocratic.

Public officials now have the opportunity to decide what kind of city they want to help build alongside the young Black people leading in this critical moment. Our vision is based in a fundamental belief that no city should spend 40% of its budget on policing our lives while systematically destroying our communities. This irresponsible allocation of the budget is indicative of the fact that the power of how to spend public funds should not lie with these out-of-touch leaders, but with the public themselves. We are calling on all young Black people, elected officials, clergy and community leaders to join us in a call to defund policing in Chicago and instead invest in Black futures.

 

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Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do our work through a Black queer feminist lens. We are affiliated with the Black Youth Project.
www.byp100.org – @BYP_100 –  facebook.com/BYP100

 

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"Social movements are creators of history. out of their oppositional stance, their utopian critique, new historical opportunities arise."

Colleagues!

I want to share an opportunity in the wake of the video release of the Chicago police murder of Laquan McDonald to change everything that should be changed about U.S. policing. Mobilizing resources to confront police violence in black communities is urgent but it is equally urgent to mobilize resources for a transformative vision of what black life could be in this country. The Black Youth Project 100 combines direct action organizing and community-building with bold and transformative vision that "all local, state and federal budgets to defund the police and invest those dollars and resources in Black futures." This demand along with other transformative demands are on their website here.

The moment protests against individual instances of police misconduct become a broader movement for the fundamental reorganization of our cities to put fully funded human services over militarized policing we will begin to see real change. That moment is approaching but needs our support to help change the narrative. Please, support Black Youth Project 100 and other groups fighting to #StoptheCops and #FundBlackFutures by spreading the word.

Please, support Black Youth Project 100 and help change the narrative. These are not individual and isolated cases of violence but part of a larger system that can and must be broken down and replaced with a more humane and vibrant future.

--
Austin Belali Thompson
Director, Youth Engagement Fund
Democracy Alliance
Twitter: @BrotherAustin

 

December 10, 2018

Welcome to the new NFG website!

Thank you for visiting Neighborhood Funders Group's new website! We've completely redesigned and improved how it works to make it easier than ever for our members to use as an online resource.

We're currently in soft launch mode before we publicly announce the new site in January 2019, so thanks for taking an initial sneak peek! Please excuse our digital dust as we finish testing all of the features of our new website. You can find a temporary archive of our old site at old.nfg.org.

What new features can you find on the site?

  • Search the entire website for news, events, and resources using the search bar at the top of every page
  • See where all of the members of our national network are based, right on our member map 
  • Discover more related content, tagged by topic and format, at the bottom of every page
  • Look up NFG member organizations in our member directory
  • Log in to view individual contacts in the member directory and register for events in the future

If your organization is an NFG member, first check to see if your account has already been created for you. Click "Forgot Password" on the log in page and try entering your work email address to activate your account and set your password.

Let us know at support@nfg.org if you come across any issues logging in, or anywhere else on the site. Stay tuned for our official launch announcement, and thanks for visiting!

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December 4, 2018

From Sector Newcomer to Board Member

Marjona Jones joined the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock four years ago after working in the field as an organizer for 14 years. She came to Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) through an existing relationship between Veatch and NFG: Molly Schultz Hafid, former assistant director at Veatch, also served as an NFG board member and co-chair for the Funders for a Just Economy (FJE) working group. “She was outgoing co-chair when I was hired at Veatch — the relationships she had built through that working group were important to me as well because I also worked around economic equity,” says Marjona. Initially, NFG was a space of learning for Marjona as a newcomer to the sector:

I joined [FJE’s] program committee, and then was invited to join the coordinating committee. It was an education! It was really about supporting the working group in order to create opportunities for funders to come together, hear about grantees, and think about how to create more space within philanthropy for this. That takes building relationships within philanthropy. That takes creating more breadth for funders to leverage what we have, and more, for our grantees. We’ve got to do that by educating one another within philanthropy.

NFG was also a space of affirmation and sustenance for Marjona, whose organizing background and perspective from the field anchors her work as a grantmaker and informs her relationships with grantees. At NFG, she found a commitment to racial and economic justice that matched her own. She has gone on to become centrally involved in NFG, joining Funders for Justice (FFJ), participating in Project Phoenix, and now serving on NFG’s board. 

An Intersectional Framework

NFG centers people in its work, helping funders understand the meaning of an intersectional analysis and apply it to their grantmaking. Marjona lifts up FJE’s Working at the Intersections program as an example:

Something I really want to share is a report that Working at the Intersections put out [titled Journey Towards Intersectional Grant-making] about best practices for how we want and need to support work at the intersections of identity. “Intersectional” is often just a buzzword, and so we thought it would be good to offer understanding around how that perspective plays out, and how it plays out within philanthropy too.

To me, it was a beautiful convening that we did [with Working at the Intersections]. It really opened up folks to talk about what it is we deal with as women of color within philanthropy. We need to be mindful about how that impacts the field of philanthropy, and how we move our work. There are layers that we have to be very intentional about if we really care about justice liberation and how all those things intersect. If we aren’t mindful of this, we can be really shortsighted then in funding program work because we are so siloed in philanthropy — ‘This week she will show up as a worker, next week she will show up as a woman, the following week as a person of color…’

Because of [Veatch’s’ general support grants], our funding isn’t requiring people to carve up their identities, which I think is a disservice. Requiring people to show up in this way sometimes impacts and distracts from the work.

In speaking about how NFG promotes an intersectional approach in the philanthropic sector, Marjona also highlights her participation in NFG’s Project Phoenix: Connecting Democracy, Economy, and Sustainability, a year-long cohort collective learning program for funders. For Project Phoenix, the term “new economy” means intersectional activities with an intention to support a democracy that works for all, an economy that provides good jobs and promotes local economic prosperity, the growth of ecologically sustainable and non-extractive sectors, and a re-prioritization of the role of capital in society to better serve these goals. Marjona shares how participating in Project Phoenix expanded her understanding about environmental grantmaking:

Project Phoenix really helped me understand my work a great deal, because it was focused on democracy and the environment. It was hard for me as a general support funder to see our role in moving that work because we have an environmental portfolio, but we didn’t have a way of supporting those intersections [of racial and economic justice].

Project Phoenix was helpful for me to understand all the different ways the work that we fund had a place [in the environmental landscape]. It was important for me to understand where we fit in the larger field of philanthropy. And it was also really helpful to understand our current socio-economic moment — capitalism, it extracts not just resources from the ground but it extracts resources from working-class, poor communities; it extracts people, it extracts lives, it extracts health. Prisoners are used as free labor to make goods and then those goods are sold back to us. It extracts our wealth — from the way the banking system works to the way it suppresses wages.  

So it helped me understand when you are talking about climate change and environmental protections, you need to be talking about worker protections, and housing, and health, and education. All of these things are connected. You can’t talk about these things in a vacuum. Those organizations that are focused on the environment without thinking about people need to be focused on people as well.

Amplifying Resources and Awareness in Critical Times 

Marjona shares an example of how NFG plays a powerful and responsive role in amplifying resources for racial justice through the network of funders with whom the organization has built a shared values framework and provided concrete, immediate avenues for funders to take action. With the organizers in 2014 who were taking a stand on the ground to protest the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Marjona understood the importance of supporting them with navigating the same criminal justice system that was being used to target and intimidate them. She worked closely with NFG’s Funders for Justice program staff to convene a conference call to mobilize resources and support the organizers’ legal costs: 

There were protests happening in St. Louis, and they needed emergency funds for bail support and organizers to work on legal aspects such as defending people, going with them to court, and helping them through the process. I felt that was critical because it is something that gets left out of grant proposals. People are going to put their freedom on the line — what happens to them once they are arrested, charged, and have to go to court? This is a concern especially in St. Louis, where folks are often new or first time offenders.

I remember emailing Lorraine [Ramirez, Senior Program Manager] at Funders for Justice, asking, ‘Can you send this out to the listserv?’ And she said, ‘Why don’t we do a call?’ I helped get folks on the phone, and they ended up getting support. It wasn’t a large call; it was just a handful of funders. But, I feel like if there had not been FFJ, I would have had to do that legwork myself, and to be honest, I don’t know if I would have been able to call funders individually to get that support while I had the work of my docket. I could not have brought people to the table so quickly on the strength of my own relationships.  

Because NFG has been organizing within philanthropy over the years with convenings and webinars, they have built up integrity in the field. People know to go to NFG if they have questions about black organizing and police brutality. So when NFG puts a call out asking if we can move resources for something, people will join and pony up.

Supporting Members to Engage Actively 

The ways that NFG supports its members to go deeper and develop a broader understanding of their role and potential for impact is important to Marjona in her work:

I think folks [at NFG] understand that we need to organize. They understand that philanthropy has to be as organized as we expect our grantees to be. NFG’s convenings and information sharing help create conditions so that can happen. A lot of [the staff at NFG] are former organizers... I said it before, and I will say it again, I don’t know if I would still be in philanthropy if it had not been for NFG.

Veatch has always had a commitment to racial justice, but we have increased our giving to over a million dollars to racial justice organizing — and part of that was from our work with NFG. We said to ourselves, ‘Yes, we are doing this, but we can do more. So let’s figure out how to be creative, and how to support our colleagues in being creative as well.’

After what happened with the Ferguson uprising, there was so much handwringing on the left. Helping to break through that to take action was important — because this isn’t just about Missouri, and this goes beyond Michael Brown. This is about the nation. It helped people do something, get in the game, and be public about how they were going to support that work. Was it perfect? Hell no! Especially when you have got money and power in the mix. But it did move funders in the right direction, and that’s what we need. Because it’s really easy to sit in our offices and say, ‘I [only] have this much money, and I have to get this docket out the door.’ But we have a greater responsibility. NFG helps you understand that greater responsibility, as well as how you can take that responsibility, hone it, and bring it into the program work