Dismantling White Supremacy & Creating Collective Liberation
Essential Reading from the Unitarian Universalist Association on Eradicating Anti-Blackness
Get Connected. Stay Committed.
Get connected to local, statewide, and national organizations committed to dismantling systems of white supremacy and anti-blackness. Not sure where to start? Read on below to see descriptions and find out how to connect to various national, state, or local grassroots movements & coalitions organizing in California.
Though not an exhaustive list, the coalitions and organizations listed below are BIPOC (Black-Indigenous-People of Color) led movements, mobilizing around agenda set by directly-impacted community members in their respective regions of California.
National & Global Movements
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) formed in December of 2014, was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy. Under the fundamental idea that we can achieve more together than we can separately. M4BL is an abolitionist, anti-capitalist movement that centers the leadership of Black voices that have been most marginalized, using an intersectional, relational lens to proactive organizing and transformation.
Statewide California Organizations
ACCE is a multi-racial, democratic, non-profit community organization that builds power to fight and stand for economic, racial and social justice. ACCE is committed to ground-up, grassroots organizing to build a strong people’s movement that can create transformative community change. In addition to working for statewide change, ACCE has chapters in Contra Costa County, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Diego.
The Ella Baker Center works locally, statewide, and nationally to shift resources away from prisons and punishment and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong. At the local level, they organize with allies to demand that elected officials enact budgets that reflect the needs and values of the people. At the state level, they advocate for legislative and policy change that abolishes abusive practices in prisons and jails, strengthens family connections, ends the economic burdens placed on people by mass incarceration, and reinvests in communities. At the national level, the work on changing the national narrative around “public safety,” so it is less focused on fear and punishment, and more focused on having a living wage job, healthy food, and affordable childcare, healthcare, and housing.
IM4HI is a statewide California organization connecting clergy and people of faith to the work of social justice in Los Angeles County, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Inland Valleys. Their ministries include criminal justice reform, and immigration justice, providing education, advocacy, and witness opportunities for people of faith working to create a more just California and world.
- Learn more about IM4HI’s Los Angeles-Based “Justice Not Jails” Campaign
- Learn more about IM4HI’s SF Bay Area-Based Immigrant Justice organizing ministries
- Learn more about IM4HI’s Inland Empire-Based Immigrant Justice organizing ministries.
Bring the H.E.A.T. is an organized intervention to protect the basic health, safety, and well-being of all people by demanding a series of immediate and sweeping changes to the current policing system in the United States, which is a violent and repressive force that threatens rather than protects the safety of Black people and other marginalized groups.
We are far beyond the point that minor reforms can adequately fix this problem. We need to completely abolish the system of policing and mass incarceration in this country in favor of a new public safety system. In the interim, Bring the H.E.A.T. is a framework to defund the police and reconstruct the remaining systems of the department while establishing new, community-led public safety systems for the future, with three core demands:
- The firing of all racist police.
- The defunding of our current American Policing System.
- The reconstruction, the erecting of new community-based alternatives in place of the current system.
Central Coast & Santa Barbara Channel
CAUSE is a base-building organization committed to social, economic, and environmental justice for working-class and immigrant communities in California’s Central Coast. They build grassroots power through community organizing, leadership development, coalition building, civic engagement, policy research, and advocacy. CAUSE organizes on several issues, including immigrant rights, housing justice, workers’ rights, environmental justice, voting rights, and supporting youth of color.
- CAUSE’s Organizing in Oxnard
- CAUSE’s Organizing in Santa Barbara
- CAUSE’s Organizing in Santa Maria
- CAUSE’s Organizing in Santa Paula
- CAUSE’s Organizing in Ventura
Faith in the Valley is a city-, county- and Valley-wide organizing effort comprised of five multiracial, multi-faith PICO federations that are consolidating into one regional organization, building on their work over the past 15 years in five counties: Fresno, Merced, Kern, Stanislaus and San Joaquin. As an anchor member of PICO California, their mission is to unlock the power of people to put faith into action in the public square, and to advance a movement for racial justice and health equity. They seek to build relational power, lift up a new narrative about the lives of people of color, and drive civic engagement efforts that move community priorities forward.
- Faith in the Valley – Fresno County
- Faith in the Valley – Kern County
- Faith in the Valley – Merced County
- Faith in the Valley – San Joaquin County
- Faith in the Valley – Stanislaus County
Inland Empire / Riverside / San Bernardino
COPE was formed out of a listening campaign with African American clergy, lay, and community outreach ministries in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties who wanted to see meaningful change in their communities. Their mission is to train and develop the capacity of religious and lay leaders in congregations and across the Inland Empire to protect and revitalize the communities in which they live, work, and worship. Their work focuses on civic engagement, education reform, healthcare access, and criminal justice reform.
Los Angeles & LA County
Dignity and Power Now (DPN) is a Los Angeles based grassroots organization founded in 2012 that fights for the dignity and power of all incarcerated people, their families, and communities. Their mission is to build a Black and Brown led abolitionist movement rooted in community power towards the goal of achieving transformative justice and healing justice for all incarcerated people, their families, and communities. Grounded in the principles of abolition, healing justice, and transformative justice, they have multiple programs centered around activism, health and wellness, and leadership building, including a coalition to end sheriff violence, a coalition to stop jail construction, an arts and wellness collective, a rapid response team of healers, a leadership institute for high school aged youth affected by incarceration, a leadership institute for people coming home from prison, a reentry program inside Soledad State Prison, and an influential media department.
The JusticeLA Coalition (JLA) began in the Fall of 2017 from the community based advocacy of countless families separated by the largest jail system in the world. In partnership with grassroots organizations, advocates, directly impacted communities, and stakeholders, they work to reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, re-imagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care. Since their launch, they have successfully stopped LA County’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan and lead the development of LA County’s Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup report.
The Mission of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) is to help people dealing with poverty create & discover opportunities, while serving as a vehicle to ensure we have voice, power & opinion in the decisions that are directly affecting us. LA CAN’s constituency consists of extremely low-income and homeless people, primarily those living in Downtown LA and South Central LA. LA CAN recruits organizational members and builds indigenous leadership within this constituency to promote human rights and address multiple forms of oppression faced by extremely low-income, predominately African-American and Latino, residents.
The Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) is working to build a youth, family, and formerly and currently incarcerated people’s movement to challenge America’s addiction to incarceration and race, gender and class discrimination in Los Angeles County’s, California’s and the nation’s juvenile and criminal injustice systems. The YJC’s goal is to dismantle policies and institutions that have ensured the massive lock-up of people of color, widespread law enforcement violence and corruption, consistent violation of youth and communities’ Constitutional and human rights, the construction of a vicious school-to-jail track, and the build-up of the world’s largest network of jails and prisons.
San Diego & Imperial Counties
The Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego County provides a unified front for advocacy and action against all forms of discrimination and unequal treatment, particularly in underrepresented and underserved communities. They specifically strive to challenge and transform the abusive law enforcement practices used in communities of color, working with organizations and individuals to expose local racial abuses and inequities, and to work to change the laws, policies and unlawful police practices that allow for such abuses and inequities.
San Diegans for Justice is a committee in support of an independent, community-led Commission on Police Practices that will investigate cases of police misconduct. Its members and supporters are currently advocating for a local ballot initiative in 2020 that will increase transparency, accountability, and community trust through the creation of this community-led commission.
SDOP is a nonpartisan, multi-faith network of 29 congregations that represents more than 70,000 families across San Diego County. As one of the most diverse grassroots organizations in the region, they bridge racial, cultural and economic divides, as they strive to unlock the power of people to bring justice, equality, and greater opportunity to fruition in their communities. Their work focuses on justice system reform, affordable housing & homelessness, immigrant rights, county government accountability, and civic engagement.
San Francisco & East Bay Area Organizations
Decarcerate Alameda County / Santa Rita Jail Watch is an effort borne out of the Alameda County Jail Fight, a coalition of organizations and community members that initially joined together to fight the construction of a new unit at Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County. They continue to organize efforts to shift county funds from prisons and policing to healthcare and community resources, including a 2020 call to defund the Alameda County and Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Offices.
NoNewSFJail is a coalition of local organizations, residents and community members joining together to fight the expansion of imprisonment and criminalization in San Francisco. They began in 2013 and successfully defeated plans for constructing a new jail in San Francisco in 2015. Since then, the coalition has continued to work to reduce imprisonment and criminalization in the city of San Francisco, including the immediate closure of County Jail 4 at 850 Bryant St.