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GOODFest: The Ella Baker Center and Why We Need Equality-Based Charities Now More Than Ever

“We want to have honest conversations about how our country has continuously prioritized and profited from shackles, walls, and jails in communities of color”

As much as we love putting on a kick-ass show, GOODFest is nothing without its causes. They’re fundamental to our mission of creating a music event that does more than simply give you a few hours of entertainment.

The world is in a state of constant turmoil and there are an unprecedented number of worthy non-profits that need your attention, time, and dollars. So why did we choose to partner with the ones we did? Rather than prattling on about it second-hand, we thought it best to give the charities themselves a soapbox here to explain directly to you why they’re so vital.

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, one of our NPO partners for December 16th’s Bay Area GOODFest show, has spent the past two decades fighting systemic racism in policing, imprisonment, and other urban policies that disproportionately affect people of color in negative ways.

We asked them why the world so desperately needs equality-based charities these days. Here’s what they had to say.

“At the Ella Baker Center, we organize with black, brown, and low-income people to channel resources into the communities most harmed by policing and prisons. That work is more important now than ever.

Black and brown communities already face criminalization, surveillance, disenfranchisement, imprisonment, and death, and those threats will increase in 2017. In addition to the deportations and surveillance and disenfranchisement, the resources our communities need like education, job opportunities, healthcare, and housing are likely going to be eliminated or severely cut.

The Ella Baker Center is committed to spreading a vision of Truth and Reinvestment. What that means is reckoning with the reality of racial injustice in our country, and advancing real, long-term solutions that create opportunity for our families and neighbors. We want to have honest conversations about how our country has continuously prioritized and profited from shackles, walls, and jails in communities of color—from slavery to Jim Crow to our current criminal justice system. Especially now, as a white supremacist agenda is being explicitly promoted, a discussion of how we’ve arrived at this moment is necessary.

What this means for our work is that we have to be even more vigilant in protecting our communities, and even more bold and visionary in our demands. Now is not the time to shrink back and demand less—it’s the time to demand what we need to thrive. We are going to organize locally to make sure our communities get the investments they need. In California, we have a responsibility to be leaders and set an example for the rest of the country in terms of how to protect people’s rights and meet their needs. Local officials in a lot of cities and states might want to cut back on investments into needed community resources because of budget concerns and federal funding cuts. But we have to hold our elected officials accountable because our communities need those resources now more than ever.

Through our membership, we are creating a national, grassroots movement that anyone, anywhere can join to end criminalization and mass incarceration and advance community-driven solutions that create opportunity and power. Become a member today.”

For more info on GOODFest and its causes, or for info on how to tune in to our final show in our home of LA, check out the site here.

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