The Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition stands in solidarity with those experiencing pain and injustice in Ferguson. That same pain is all too common in communities of color around the country. Today we mourn Michael Brown's death anew and decry the injustice he and his family endure by the Grand Jury's decision. But Michael Brown is a reminder of hundreds of unarmed young men of color who have been killed by police and hundreds more who have been pushed into the school-to-prison pipeline by punitive school discipline policies and over-policing in communities of color.
We live in a time when the number of Black people in jail, prison, or on probation is too close to the number in college. We live in a time where police killings of Black people nearly equate to the frequency of lynchings at the end of the 19th Century. Over-criminalization. Negative perceptions. An ignored history of racism and disadvantage. These are some of the root problems that are put on display through the killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent decision to not indict the officer that killed him.
We urge people to channel the pain and anger they feel into continued organizing that extends beyond the night of November 24th, 2014 when a Grand Jury in Missouri chose not to indict Darren Wilson, who killed the unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9th, 2014. We urge our brothers and sisters around the nation to join together to organize for change in their communities so that we don't have another Ferguson.
The Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition is driven by youth leaders who work with passion and determination to change the reality of punitive school suspension policies and over-criminialization in communities of color in Los Angeles County and throughout California. We know that real change is going to take more than one night of protest. It is going to take unity and a dedication to continued action. The structural inequities that work to hold our communities back are not going to undo themselves: we know that we have to take the fire, pain, and anger we feel right now and use that as fuel as we work everyday to change the institutions and perceptions that try and hold us back. We know that the moral arc of the universe is long and that it bends towards justice; but we also know that it is not going to bend on its own. We have to bend it by working together with passion and intention.
We know that WE ARE THE CHANGE!
Brothers, Sons, Selves is a coalition of community-based organizations from across Los Angeles County that are organizing and working with African American, Latino and Asian Pacific Islander youth in low income communities to address inequity through grassroots policy campaigns and intentional leadership development. The members of the BSS Coalition are Brotherhood Crusade, Californians for Justice, Centro Community Hispanic Association, Children’s Defense Fund California, Community Coalition, Gay/Straight Alliance Network, InnerCity Struggle, Khmer Girls in Action, Labor/Community Strategy Center, the Social Justice Learning Institute, the Weingart East LA YMCA, and Youth Justice Coalition. The BSS Coalition is a strategic partnership between Liberty Hill Foundation and The California Endowment.