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If only I’d known on that day, as I taped onto the front door of apartment 11 on 575 Berk Ave. in the Monterey Pines Apartments in Richmond, California, a flyer that read, “Fight CPS and COURT CORRUPTION. Recall Judges Rebecca Hardie, Lois Haight, and Jill Fannin” – if only I’d known that behind that door would be the scene of a gruesome and senseless murder just three months later.
How is it that a social worker was caught committing perjury and yet no one has held her accountable? Where is the oversight of our child welfare system and juvenile courts? Where is the outrage that this is happening and American families are being unnecessarily destroyed in court proceedings that operate under a shroud of secrecy, in court proceedings in which criminal misconduct is covered up and the best interests of children are ignored?
Overcoming the foster care system is a lifelong struggle. After emancipating from the system, many youth are left to live on the streets. Zimbabwe Davis understands the struggles foster and former foster youth experience. He went from having all these challenges to becoming a champion, all while fighting to overcome the foster care system. I sat down with Zimbabwe to understand why he decided to create this dynamic film, and this is what he had to say …
Elaine Brown’s “A Taste of Power,” a memoir which chronicles her leadership of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense when co-founder Huey P. Newton is imprisoned, still resonates with me. The idea that a Black woman is nominated to the leadership position of the most powerful civic organization in the country at that time is still remarkable and speaks to what Kathleen Cleaver calls revolutionary imagination.
The Department of Labor has made the very bad decision that all Job Corps Centers are to stop enrolling trainees in February and may stop enrollment until next July. This is an incredibly bad way to shore up their budget. It is both penny wise and pound foolish. Education and training is one of the president’s highest priorities. Apparently the Department of Labor has not gotten that memo.
Jazz Hudson is one of the new up and coming poets out of the Bay who has been making a name for herself at poetry readings - one of the most loquacious and passionate young sistas to come out of the concrete jungle of Oakland in a long time.
Institutionally racist and classist U.S. adoption and foster care agencies, along with county-run child protective services agencies, are all established with a core mission that includes the goal to “protect” children in need, which is a good goal. But it becomes problematic when the concept of “in need” is judged through a Western, Eurocentric lens.
I was honored to be able to interview political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal and soak up some of his knowledge. In this interview we will discuss issues involving the foster care system, gang injunctions and the incarceration of young people.