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SCCCCOR Strategies to Include Planning and Accountability
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November, 2014 E Newsletter
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SCCCCOR Updates

The Santa Cruz County Community Coalition to Overcome seeks to address structural racism as a root cause of racial disparities within public institutions in Santa Cruz County in order that all people receive equal treatment. Rather than providing temporary corrective solutions through direct services, we work towards systemic transformations so that those who are vulnerable will not face institutional racism.SCCCCOR is revisioning and developing new strategies to equip member organizations and individuals to more effectively carry out their work from an anti-racist perspective. SCCCCOR is challenging our community to adopt a goal of accountability and join together collectively to address systemic racism within institutions of law enforcement, education, immigration, social services, housing, employment and health care in Santa Cruz County.

Elements of this new strategic plan will include (1) system mapping, data collection & analysis, planning & accountability; (2) forming relationships with community stakeholders, institutions, families and youth; (3) tapping into the knowledge of experts in Juvenile Justice Reform; (4) educating and engaging the community on local issues impacting our youth that act as barriers to successful healthy development; and (5) participating in local collaborative efforts such as BASTA (Broad-based Apprehension, Suppression, Treatment, Alternatives), Youth Violence Prevention Task Force, and the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Commission.

SCCCCOR also continues to be involved in the issue of youth violence prevention and is an active participant in the Santa Cruz County Criminal Justice Council. As part of this effort, we will be addressing the issue of “DIrect Files” and the “school to prison” pipeline. A screening of the film “Juvies” which was produced by juveniles defendants charged and prosecuted in adult court will be presented as part of SCCCCOR’s ongoing public education program.

We would remind the community that SCCCCOR is also developing a Speakers Bureau with the goal to raise awareness about our mission throughout the county. If you or your  organization would like to host a presentation by one of our Speakers please feel free to call Steve Pleich at (831) 466-6078 or contact us by email at spleich@gmail.com. Also, please join us on line at http://overcomeracism.org/ and on Facebook at http:///www.facebook.com/groups/sccccor/

Upcoming Meetings

Please Note: SCCCCOR is in the process of scheduling its monthly meeting at times more convenient for both its members and the general public. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00 pm at Louden Nelson Center in Santa Cruz.

SCCCCOR Offices
Resource Center for Nonviolence
612 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz

TBA Law Enforcement/Education Action Group
Barrios Unidos

1817 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz

Resource Center For Nonviolence Please Support Sin Barras
A Community Partner in the Fight for Basic Rights for People of Color

Sin Barras is a group formed in 2012 in Santa Cruz, CA for members of the community that are directly affected by police terrorism and have loved ones in jail and allies dedicated to prison abolition.

We fight to abolish prisons and the prison industrial-complex.

We meet regularly to support prisoners and their struggles, organize rallies in support of prisoners, send literature to those who are behind bars, and have study groups ranging from Ruth Gilmore’s writings to works about gender in prisons to testimonies of Palestinian prisoners.

Community Meetings are every Wednesday 7pm at 111 Errett Circle Santa Cruz, CA (Fireside Room)

PACHAMAMA ALLIANCE

Our Mission

To empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture

and, using insights gained
from that work,

to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.

Transformational Workshops

Up to Us Educational Program

Awakening the DreamerTransform your world through a Pachamama Alliance workshop, including our flagship Awakening the Dreamer Symposium.
Find Workshops Near You »

Community TV: The Refugee Children of Central America: A Human Rights Crisis                                                        http://youtu.be/Op15rbZJgoc 

SCCCCOR OPINION

How a Century of Racist Policies Made Ferguson Into a Pocket of Concentrated Despair

Ferguson, Missouri, was a powder-keg waiting for a match long before August 9 and Michael Brown’s fateful encounter with Police Officer Darren Wilson. It is one of many predominantly black communities across the United States plagued by highly concentrated poverty, and all of the social problems that accompany it. White America has come up with a number of rationales for these enduring pockets of despair. An elaborate mythology has developed that blames it on a “culture of poverty” — holding the poor culpable for their poverty and letting our political and economic systems off the hook. A somewhat more enlightened view holds that whites simply fled areas like Ferguson — which had a population that was 99 percent white as recently as 1970 — because of personal racial animus, leaving them as hollowed-out, predominantly black “ghettos.”

But a study by Richard Rothstein, a research fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, comes to a very different conclusion. In his report, “The Making of Ferguson,” Rothstein details how throughout the last century a series of intentionally discriminatory policies at the local, state and federal levels created the ghettos we see today. BillMoyers.com spoke with Rothstein about the report. The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.

Joshua Holland: Most people believe that Ferguson became so racially polarized because of “white flight” — white people fled the area because of personal prejudice against African-Americans. In your report, you argue that this misses a crucial point. What are we overlooking?

Rothstein: The segregation that characterizes Ferguson, and that characterizes St. Louis, was the creation of purposeful public policy. We have a segregated nation by design.

The St. Louis metropolitan area was no different from most metropolitan areas of the country. The ghetto in the central city of St. Louis was redeveloped for universities, and for a number of other uses, and the African American population in the central city was shifted to inner ring suburbs like Ferguson.

It was done primarily with two policies: First, public housing was segregated, purposely, by the federal government, so that what were previously somewhat integrated neighborhoods in urban areas were separated into separate black and white public housing projects.

And then, in the 1950s, as suburbs came to be developed, the federal government subsidized white residents of St. Louis to move to the suburbs, but effectively prohibited black residents from doing so. The federal government subsidized the construction of many, many subdivisions by requiring that bank loans for the builders be made on the condition that no homes be sold to blacks.

Because black housing was so restrictive, there were so few places where African-Americans could live in St. Louis. So what was left of St. Louis’ African-American community became overcrowded. City services were not readily available. The city was zoned so that the industrial or commercial areas were placed in black neighborhoods but not in white neighborhoods. So the industrial areas, where African-Americans lived, became slums.

And then white residents in places like Ferguson came to associate slum conditions with African-Americans, not realizing that this was not a characteristic of the people themselves, but rather it was a creation of public policy.

This is a somewhat oversimplified description of a complex array of policies. But every policy that I described in this report can be found in every other metropolitan area throughout the country. These policies applied in the New York City area, and they applied in the liberal San Francisco area. It’s a story that characterizes the entire country, but you cannot understand what’s going on with Ferguson today without knowing this history.

Holland: Who was Adel Allen, and why is his story — which took place in nearby Kirkwood, Missouri — important for understanding how Ferguson came to be the city it is today?

Rothstein: Adel Allen was an African American engineer for the McDonnell Douglas Corporation. He was recruited from Kansas to work in the St. Louis metro area. When he got there, he couldn’t find housing anywhere in the suburban areas near the plant. He was about to move back to Kansas, because the only place he could find housing was in overcrowded conditions in the central St. Louis ghetto.

He finally got a white friend to buy a home for him in the town of Kirkwood. He moved into a block that was overwhelmingly white. There were 30 white families. Seven years later, there were 30 black families and two white families on that block. And this was largely because of practices in the real estate industry.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black vs. White Neighborhoods

Realtors engaged in a practice which came to be known as “blockbusting.” When a black family moved onto a block, like Adel Allen did in Kirkwood, the real estate agents would go door to door and try to panic their white neighbors into selling their homes at very reduced prices, with the idea that property values were going to be destroyed because African-Americans were moving into their neighborhood.

 

Those real estate agents then bought those properties at very low prices and resold them to African-Americans, who had to pay very high prices because they had no other housing options.

Now, this was something that was not considered unethical until the 1970s. In fact, licenses would be suspended by the state real estate commission if a real estate agent sold a home to a black family in a white neighborhood — until the first one sold, and then it was considered perfectly ethical for real estate agents to turn an entire block into an African-American block.

Once they moved into that block, all of a sudden, over the course of a few years, city services began to decline. Other parts of Kirkwood which were overwhelmingly white continued to get good services, but the African-American neighborhoods were denied. The rest of the city got sidewalks and curbs; the black blocks did not.

Holland: You also write, “State sponsored labor and employment discrimination reduced the incomes of African-Americans relative to whites in St. Louis.” So as a result, even absent these kinds of housing policies you describe, African-Americans would be hard-pressed to afford to live in a decent white suburb.

Rothstein: That’s right. In St. Louis, African-Americans were excluded from good-paying jobs for most of the 20th century. They opened up only beginning in the 1970s. For example, construction jobs during the enormous housing boom that created the suburbs in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s were completely closed to African-Americans because they could not be admitted to construction unions, and the federal government certified every one of those segregated unions as the exclusive agent for their trades in those construction sites. So it’s not simply the result of private discrimination by the unions. This was something that was sanctioned by the federal government. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the National Labor Relations Board first withdrew certification from a segregated union and the policy didn’t become widespread for at least another 10 years or so.

There are many other examples I could give you. During the enormous employment boom during World War II, St. Louis was a big center of arms manufacturing. Lots of workers flooded to St. Louis from the Ozarks and other areas, black workers as well as white workers. But the largest ammunition producer would not hire African-Americans until the war was almost over.

So all of those lost opportunities for employment created a situation where African-American incomes were much, much lower than white incomes.

 

Please Support the Fight Against Institutionalized Racism

County Wide Youth Violence Prevention a Priority
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August, 2014 E Newsletter

SCCCCOR Updates

The Santa Cruz County Community Coalition to Overcome seeks to address structural racism as a root cause of racial disparities within public institutions in Santa Cruz County in order that all people receive equal treatment. Rather than providing temporary corrective solutions through direct services, we work towards systemic transformations so that those who are vulnerable will not face institutional racism.In partnership with the county’s Criminal Justice Council Youth Violence Prevention Task Force, SCCCOR will be participating in the Community Leadership Transformation Training to begin in December.SCCCCOR will also continue to address the issue of “DIrect Files” the program by which juveniles are charged as adults and face imprisonment in adult custodial facilities as well as the “school to prison” pipeline. A screening of the film “Juvies” which was produced by juveniles defendants charged and prosecuted in adult court will be presented as part of SCCCCOR’s ongoing public education program.We would remind the community that SCCCCOR is also developing a Speakers Bureau with the goal to raise awareness about our mission throughout the county. If you or your  organization would like to host a presentation by one of our Speakers please feel free to call Steve Pleich at (831) 466-6078 or contact us by email at spleich@gmail.com. Also, please join us on line at http://overcomeracism.org/ and on Facebook at http:///www.facebook.com/groups/sccccor/

Upcoming Meetings

Wednesday 8/27/14
SCCCCOR Steering Committee Meeting
1:00 pm
Resource Center for Nonviolence
612 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz

TBA Law Enforcement/Education Action Group
Barrios Unidos

1817 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz

Upcoming Events

Santa Cruz City Council Campaign Forum

Tuesday, August 26th at 7:00 pm at Louden Nelson Center

SCCCCOR will be a cosponsor of the upcoming Santa Cruz City Council Candidates Forum Tuesday August 26th. The Santa Cruz Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Surfrider Foundation of Santa Cruz County, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Human Care Alliance, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Sierra Club- Santa Cruz Group are also co-sponsors. Brenda Griffin of the NAACP will be the Moderator. Please join us and learn more about the candidates.
Michelle Alexander and the New Jim Crow
In September on a date to be announced SCCCCOR will be screening a film featuring Michelle Alexander who will be discussing the “New Jim Crow.” Showing will be at the Resource Center for Nonviolence.

Resource Center For Nonviolence

PACHAMAMA ALLIANCE

Our Mission

To empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture

and, using insights gained
from that work,

to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.

Transformational Workshops

Up to Us Educational Program

Awakening the DreamerTransform your world through a Pachamama Alliance workshop, including our flagship Awakening the Dreamer Symposium.
Find Workshops Near You »

Journey to the Amazon

Pachamama JourneysAccept the invitation of our indigenous partners and journey with us to their ancestral rainforest home. Explore dates.
Discover the Experience »

SCCCCOR Community Engagement

Leadership for Community Transformation                                                                                                    Solve Problems, Shift Systems, Activate Potential

Vision: Communities with the connectivity and capacity to create the impacts they envision, design breakthrough approaches to addressing community challenges, and produce powerful results.
Mission:  A learning-in-action program that builds the capacity of a diverse group of community leaders to produce extraordinary results for positive individual, organizational and community change.  This program will:

  1. Build the skills, knowledge, competency and inner-capacity of participants to design and produce sustainable social change.
  2. Combine core concepts of Collective Impact and the leadership, civic engagement and project design skills for large scale social change of the Conscious Full-Spectrum approach to create a cohesive strategy for creating sustainable change.
  3. Source common values that lend themselves to manifesting our goals, creating a container of community engagement that shifts the way we create results
Participants will bring to the program a project that they hope will impact our community’s quality of life in the areas of Economy, Health, Education, Public Safety, Natural Environment or Social Environment.  The expectation is that participants will continue after the program to use the knowledge, capacities and project design skills in the community for positive change.
Participants:  We seek candidates from each sector of our Community Assessment Project:  Economy, Health, Education, Public Safety, Natural Environment and Social Environment, in addition to Media and Government.  You do not need to hold a traditional “leadership” position in the community.  Candidates, however, must have a proven commitment to positive social change, and have the desire to build their capacity to solve problems, think systemically and take action.  We expect any confirmed participant to commit to all three sessions in their entirety.
Format:
  • Three 3 day sessions over 4 months  (with optional refresher meeting between sessions)
  • On-going platform for sustaining active engagement and impactful results and learning
  • Annual Alumni events for sharing and  learningLocation: Watsonville Civic Plaza Community Rooms, 275 Main Street, Fourth Floor, Watsonville.
Topics covered:                                                                                  
  • Being the Potential: Launching Change
    • Who are we as community leaders?  What are our shared values?  What is it inside of us that motivates us and keeps us committed to our work?  Who do we need to be to create the change we want to see? What does it mean to be a global citizen in today’s world, but act locally?   How do we begin to look at our work through the three components of sustainable change (solving problems, shifting systems and activating potential)?
  • Being the Architect:  Designing Change
    • How do we design our projects and align grants and strategic plans to simultaneously solve problems, shift systems and activate our own and our community’s potential for change?  How do we plan differently to create the impact we want to create?  What are the different stages of leadership development? How do we talk about the change we want to create and enroll others in creating this change? How do we connect events, programs and other activities to measurable outcomes and impact?
  • Being  the Impactful Leader:  Stewarding Change
    • How do we run meetings differently and more effectively?  How do we empower others to lead the change they wish to see? How do we fundraise more effectively and sustainably?  How do we identify and use leverage points to create large scale systemic change? How do we effectively track and measure the change we are creating through our projects over time? How do we align multiple projects toward a unified goal?

Learning-in-Action Program Coach Bio:

Dr. Monica Sharma, trained as a physician and epidemiologist, worked for the United Nations since 1988 for 22 years. She has published and presented over 250 articles in journals and international forums.  Currently, she engages worldwide as an International Expert and Practitioner on Leadership Development for sustainable and equitable change.  She works with United Nations, universities, management institutions, governments, business, media and community organizations. She is the Tata Chair Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. As a practitioner, her proven track record of generating measurable results at scale, as well as enhancing leadership on every continent, is unique. She designs and facilitates programs for whole systems transformation and leadership development in both developed and developing countries. Using cutting–edge transformational approaches and methodologies,  the purpose is to achieve measurable and sustainable change.  She also designs and implements workshops – ‘learning-in-action programs’ – with both business and non-profit organizations on different aspects of Leadership Development for Sustainable Change. She is currently engaged with over 20 organizations worldwide.

Monica is now working to foster emerging leaders world-wide – proactively seeking out potential leaders, unleashing their power of effective creativity, enabling them to manifest their full potential. These leaders recognize the invisible, multiple patterns and systems that shape societal and planetary situations and actions; they distinguish, design and deliver actions sourced from self-awareness and empathy; manifest sustainable and equitable change, creating new patterns as they solve problems.

In 2009, Monica Sharma received “The Spirit of the United Nations Award”, given to a person whose work is an expression of the core principles, spirit and vision on which the United Nations was founded. Monica Sharma was honored because “of her inspirational leadership, skilled wisdom and devoted attention to the United Nations,…for guidance  in  developing effective strategic  frameworks for action for application world-wide…..that has manifested in effective programs and leadership development initiatives.” Monica Sharma also received the prestigious Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) 2009 Honorary Membership Award, for her contribution in fostering transformational leadership world-wide resulting in measurable change and for her strategic work with the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) related to nursing and health care.

Investment
To cover our basic expenses, the requested investment per participant is $350, which includes all three sessions of the program, materials and snacks.   We do offer a sliding scale and scholarships with proven need.  Please contact us for more information about this possibility.
SCCCCOR OPINION

Time to Consider True Election Reform

By Simba Kenyatta
Chairman, SCCCCOR Steering Committee

As a former city council candidate and as a poor, African American, my view of campaign finance reform is markedly different than what I hear is going to be proposed. I think that there should be no private money in public elections, at all. The city needs to come up with a way to finance our elections so that every candidate starts out with the same amount of money, and no more. Of course, the first reaction will be, we can’t afford that, and our budget won’t allow it. Well, I think we can’t afford not to. Middle class people tend to have middle class friends, poor people tend to have poor friends, and there, is where the problem lies. Just because you put a ceiling on the amount of money doesn’t do anything for people having a hard time raising any money because their friends and neighbors are as poor as the candidate, and raising money is much harder no matter how viable you might be as a candidate.We will have to be creative in financing the elections. I’ve often thought a quarter of a cent city tax on businesses would bring in enough money to finance it. I’m sure businesses will object but it would be a minor inconvenience, to support an actual democracy. They can pass that tax on to us because as a concerned citizenry we want to see the best candidates available, even if they are horrible at raising money. Sometimes as a candidate it felt way too close to begging. It would be nice to see businesses/corporations contribute toward a democracy instead of destroying it, as recent court rulings will allow them to do. I’m sure we have enough intelligent, forward thinking people to come up with a way to ensure equality in our electoral processes. Where there’s a will, there is a way.The other election problem is at-large elections. I know damn well we will never have another Latino city council member as long as long as there are at-large elections. Nor will we ever see a poor person elected to our all- white, largely middle class city council. We must institute district elections as soon as possible if we want to have a city council that represents everyone. Every last one of us should feel that we have a stake in our city government, that our voices and our needs count. That is not the case now and, truthfully, it never has been. Santa Cruz has never elected an African American and has had two, maybe three Latinos it its history. That’s shameful, this is 2014, for gods’ sake! I don’t expect that district elections will be acted upon anytime soon, because it doesn’t serve Santa Cruz’s power structure to expand the candidate pool. However, after reading the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on Watsonville’s suit to institute district elections, I think there may be a way to light a fire under the city councils asses to get district elections on their agenda sooner, rather than later.I hope you take this missive to heart and take the time to seriously consider my proposals. My only interest is to see Santa Cruz become a model for other cities to follow, by making sure our whole populace feels represented. Having a stake in the outcome of elections because you have a candidate or an elected official that represents you, stimulates civic participation. And, after all, isn’t that the outcome for which we’re striving.

Community TV: Santa Cruz Grand Jury Report
With Members of Sin Barras

http://youtu.be/rupHC7KHXt8

 

Please Support the Fight Against Institutionalized Racism

 

 

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