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Until Freedom Is Won: The Power of Black Organizing Across Generations

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 -
10:00am to 11:00am PST
Zoom Webinar
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Black communities and communities of color are continuing to push in this movement moment to address the education system and how it is complicit in the criminalization of Black youth, thus feeding the School to Prison Pipeline and contributing deeply to anti-Blackness in the public education. This program will focus on the uniqueness of this moment as Black communities face increased challenges in the midst of the pandemic, coupled with a long-standing push out from schools. Our panelists will explore both what is at stake in this moment, and the challenges and opportunities for this movement going forward.

Join us to:

  • Learn more about the landscape of Black-led organizing against the criminalization of BIPOC youth in the education system
  • Further understand their role in meeting this movement moment
  • Hear examples of why support for Black organizing is crucial for Black communities to thrive


Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., Executive Director, Grantmakers for Girls of Color

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. is an award-winning author and social justice scholar with three decades of experience in the areas of education, civil rights, juvenile and social justice. In April 2020, Dr. Morris became the inaugural Executive Director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a philanthropic collaborative that supports a world in which all girls and young women of color are healthy, safe, thriving, and fully empowered to dream and shape their desired reality on their terms, while dismantling structural barriers created by racism, sexism and ageism and other forms of oppression that prevent their full participation in our country’s future. 

Dr. Morris is the Founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI), an organization that works to interrupt school-to-confinement pathways for girls, reduce the barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated women, and increase the capacity of organizations working to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence in African American communities. She served as an adjunct associate professor for Saint Mary’s College of California between 2013-2018 and has taught at the University of San Francisco and California State University, Sacramento. Dr. Morris is a 2012 Soros Justice Fellow, the former Vice President for Economic Programs, Advocacy and Research at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the former Director of Research for the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley Law School. She has also worked in partnership with and served as a consultant for federal, state and county agencies, national academic and research institutions, and communities throughout the nation to develop research, comprehensive approaches and training curricula to eliminate racial/ethnic and gender disparities in justice and educational systems. Her work in this area has informed the development and implementation of improved culturally competent and gender-responsive continua of services for youth.

Jackie Byers, Founding Director, Black Organizing Project

Jackie has over 20 years of experience working in low-income communities of color as an organizer and trainer on a broad array of issues, including tenant organizing, youth organizing, regional equity, and more.

She is the founding Director of the Black Organizing Project (BOP) in Oakland. Prior to Directing BOP, Jackie served as the Associate Director for the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) where she had the opportunity to support community organizing work by providing training and developing some of the most talented young organizers in the country.

Jackie is a native of Minnesota where she worked as a Lead Organizer for neighborhood based organizations in Minneapolis working on affordable housing. Prior to moving to Oakland, she was the Training Director for the Organizing Apprenticeship Project (OAP) in Minneapolis. Before leaving Minnesota she served as an active board member with Headwaters Fund For Justice.  Jackie is a firm believer in the importance of community, spirit and culture as essential to the transformation of individuals as well as institutions.  

Lateefah Simon, President, Akonadi Foundation

Lateefah Simon is a 20-year veteran organizer for racial justice in Oakland and the Bay Area. She has been the President of the Akonadi Foundation since 2016. That same year—driven by the death of Oscar Grant—she ran and was elected to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors—of which she now serves as President. Lateefah is also a member of California State University's Board of Trustees and frequently turned to by state officials for strategic advice on policy matters related to racial justice. Lateefah received the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award in 2003—making her the youngest woman ever to receive the award—in recognition of her work as Executive Director of the Young Women's Freedom Center.

Previously, Lateefah served as Program Director at the Rosenberg Foundation—where she launched the Leading Edge Fund to seed, incubate and accelerate bold ideas from the next generation of progressive movement leaders in California. She also held the position of Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she launched successful community-based initiatives, including the Second Chance Legal Services Clinic. Lateefah also spearheaded San Francisco's first reentry, a highly effective anti-recidivism youth services division under the leadership of then-District Attorney Kamala Harris. Previous to serving in this role, Lateefah became—at the age of 19—the Executive Director of the Center for Young Women's Development (now named the Young Women's Freedom Center), a position she held for 11 years.




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