This month, you're supporting movements for police accountability and the end of police violence against black and brown communities
Black Panthers at 50: Poem written and performed by Cat Brooks.
Bay Area Members are funding the
Anti Police-Terror Project
APTP is a grassroots organization committed to building a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police-terror from communities of color. They support families impacted by police violence, they build community alternatives to policing, and they work to dismantle our unjust legal system.
National Members are funding the Brooklyn Movement Center
Brooklyn Movement Center works tirelessly to identify the issues that are most important to black and brown communities in New York and then build the skills and power of local leadership to address those issues. From police accountability to food sovereignty to education to anti-street harassment, BMC is transforming how marginalized folks are heard, seen, and resourced to create change for themselves.
April Recommended Actions
Can you commit to taking at least one action this month in support of reducing policy violence?
Bay Area Actions
Support and follow APTP on the interwebs
Put these numbers in your phone (and use them when needed)
When you witness an incident where your default response would be to call the police,
consider calling non-police emergency numbers instead. This reduces potential further
violence that could occur due to police involvement and escalation.
Alameda County (Oakland):
Emergency & medical incidents- Oakland Fire Department: 510-444-1616
Mental health crises - Mobile Crisis Team: 510-981-5254
Emergency & medical incidents- SF Fire Department: (415) 558-3200
Mental Health Crises - SF Mobile Crisis Treatment Team : 415-970-4000
Move funding from policing to community alternatives
Join the DefundOPD (Oakland Police Department) campaign by completing this brief survey.
Share APTP's work with your circle of influence
Amplify APTP’s vision by inviting APTP to give a presentation at your office or with a circle of friends about their work building an alternative to policing. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to make this happen.
Get down with BMC's vision
Support alternatives to local policing
Change your default response. If you see an incident happen, think twice before calling the police. Read this article and spend 5 minutes researching alternatives to policing in your city and inputting alternative emergency phone numbers into your phone.
Get involved with your local SURJ chapter
If you are White, check out the next general meeting of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) if they have a chapter in your city. SURJ is a well-trusted, member-run organization that mobilizes white people for racial justice.
Meet Our April Artist: Tosha Stimage
"One of my main goals with my art is to sift and dissect the stereotypes of threat, anger, and violence that our culture uses to define people of color."
Tosha is a multi-media visual artist based in Oakland. She was born in Jackson, Mississippi and holds an MFA from California College of the Arts. She uses a variety of mediums to examine and reflect on the limitations of language and challenge visual languages as an ongoing investigation of racial ideologies.
She says this about the piece that she created for Blue Heart:
This piece, titled bitter/sweet, is a woven collage that dissects and reassembles the familiar image of Rodney King after being beaten by several LAPD officers and a German chocolate candy formerly named “Mohrenkopf” or “nigger head”. The image of a person is the most readily accessible form of identification. Weaving two different images together disrupts the familiar and passive process of assumption and encourages a deeper form of visual inquiry and engagement. At its core, the work attempts to create new possibility in our ways of seeing and perceiving the “other.”
Meet the Movement Leaders
Cat Brooks, Founder and Director of APTP
"Do your homework and then go talk to your people, have the hard conversations at the dinner table. Combating liberalism means challenging unprincipled behavior anywhere we see it regardless of fear of consequence or conflict."
Photo credit: Urgent Action Fund
Recommended readings and resources for Blue Heart members
Cat Brooks, co-founder of APTP, shares powerful words about what activism is needed in this political moment.
15 min read
Ta-Nehisi Coates gives a scouring and powerful analysis of our country's history and how that informs the need for reparations to black people in the U.S. If you have not read this article, it is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand racism and economic marginalization in our country today.
Learn how police union contracts make it more difficult to hold police officers accountable for misconduct. This is a root cause of the police force using unnecessary violence--they know they are protected in courts.
1 hour watch
The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals from all corners of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, revealing its profound human rights implications.
The Guardian has created an explorable database of individuals killed by the police in the U.S. You can search by location, race, armed/unarmed, and cause of death. What does police violence look like in your state?
Share Your Thoughts
What about this month's materials inspired you? What made you uncomfortable? What questions or ideas are you left with?
Share your thoughts, questions, and resources with other Blue Heart members across the country through our private Facebook group.
Blue Heart Impact: Your Dollars at Work
Each month, at least $10 of your subscription goes to that month's partner organization. For Boost Up, Pollinate, and Amplify Members, $20/mo or more goes to our partners.
By choosing to be a Blue Heart member you are investing in social change not supported by traditional philanthropy. We believe that model is broken. Responding to the root causes of injustice requires building the self-determination of the communities most marginalized by our dominant, extractive economy. And this means funding the small, scrappy, movement-building organizations on the front lines. By voting with your dollar, you believe this type of transformation is possible.
Up Next at Blue Heart