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December Newsletter

Casey Goodson

On December 4, deputy Jason Meade fatally shot Casey Goodson Jr., a 23-year-old Black man when he was entering his home in Columbus, Ohio. Because Franklin County sheriff's deputies are not issued to wear body cameras there is no footage of the shooting. The Justice Department, FBI, and Columbus Division of Police are investigating the case.

Take Action:

1. Call to demand the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbus PD arrest and charge Jason Meade:
      a. Franklin County Sheriff’s Office: +1 (614) 525-3333
     b. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine: +1 (614) 644-4357
     c. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther +1 (614) 645-7671
2. Donate to the Goodson family’s GoFundMe

Minneapolis Police Department Defunded

Over the last five years, Minneapolis police have used violence against Black residents at a rate at least seven times that of white people. After years of complaints against the disproportionate use of violence and protests following the death of George Floyd, Minneapolis City Council members voted to remove nearly $8 million from the police budget earlier this month. The money will instead go to Minneapolis’ Office of Violence Prevention which supports mental health professionals and trained city workers, rather than police, responding to crises and minor complaints.

Brandon Bernard Executed

Brandon Bernard, a 40-year old Black man, was executed by the federal government for a 1999 robbery that resulted in two murders. Bernard was 18 at the time of the crime, but other accomplices were just months younger and escaped the death penalty being tried as juveniles. He was the youngest person in the United States to be executed by the federal government in nearly 70 years. This comes after thousands of calls for clemency including five jurors and a former US prosecutor. Four more executions are planned under the Trump admin which would bring the total to 13 federal executions since July.

Take Action:

1. Urge your local elected officials to abolish the death penalty

Ahmaud Arbery

On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Abery was fatally shot in Glynn County, Georgia. New body camera video showing police officers checking on Arbery before speaking with the men charged with Abery’s death has been released.

Take Action:

1. Demand that the next Attorney General under President Biden investigates the Arbery case.

Termaine Joseph Hicks

In 2001, Termaine Joseph Hicks was falsely accused of rape and sentanced to sentenced to 12½ to 25 years in prison. This month, after 19 years of incarceration, Hicks was exonerated.

Breonna Taylor

Nine months after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, the Louisville Metro Police Department will fire Detective Myles Cosgrove who is believed to have fired the fatal shots and Detective Joshua Jaynes who obtained the warrant to raid Taylor’s home.

Stories

Michaela Stith

Welp: Climate Change and Arctic Identities is a travel memoir about navigating social life in Tromsø, Norway as a Black, mixed-race girl from Alaska. Though many Americans perceive the Arctic as icy and barren, over 4 million people live there and one-quarter of them is Indigenous. In the U.S. Arctic, Alaska has some of the highest rates of gun violence, substance abuse, suicide and accidental death in the country. Moreover, climate change is progressing at more than double the rate of the rest of the world, causing coastal erosion and storm surges that have already relocated multiple towns.

The author, Michaela Stith, was driven by her own experience with systemic racism and climate change to spread awareness and seek policy solutions around the world. After graduating from Duke University, she moved to Norway to support Indigenous leaders’ environmental policy work at the Arctic Council – the world’s leading intergovernmental forum for the Arctic region.

“I read many travel memoirs in preparation for my year and half in Norway,” Michaela says, “but multiple erased people from the Arctic, and even those books that acknowledged people didn’t warn about the racism I would encounter there. My hope is that, in reading this book, you will enjoy a beautiful, real narrative about the north that fully considers racism, climate change, and other systemic problems Black and Indigenous northerners experience.

"Michaela Stith raised over $6,000 toward her new book in December 2020. You can get your copy on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble starting April 2021. To arrange speaking engagements, contact michaelaastith@gmail.com

Additional Resources

Books to Read (from Black-owned bookstores): The Wretched of the Earth - Frantz Fanon

Videos to Watch: A Conversation with President Obama: Reimagining Policing
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