Welcome to our third Thirty Days of Love: Towards Racial Justice message lifting up the inspiring, creative and movement-making work happening throughout the country. This week, we are excited to share the profound and important work of Ohio Students Association.
Below hear a little more directly from our hosts, Carey McDonald and Elizabeth Nguyen. Then check out this week’s message from Ohio Students Association. We want to hear about how you are observing Thirty Days of Love! Tell us in the comments below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we speak of racial justice, we are not talking about a theoretical framework. We are talking about principles and values that lead and inform the way that we do base building, create policy and monitor policy implementation. We’re talking about building power to dismantle systems of oppression.
2015 was not easy. Violence against our communities- from police brutality and criminalization to underemployment, debt and voter suppression- continued.
At the same time, a mass movement is emerging- in Ohio and across the country- calling for justice, equity and accountability. For us that means organizing centered in building power, rooted in youth leadership development & informed through strategic collaboration.
Here at the Ohio Students Association (OSA), we are organize young people in values-based issues & electoral organizing, nonviolent direct action, advocacy for progressive public policy, and leadership develop. Last May, 6 months after Tamir Rice was killed by 2 Cleveland police officers, we led over 300 people to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s home on the westside of Cleveland. Our demands were simple, accountability for the murder of Tamir.
We began the new year by recommitting our struggle for justice. On January 1, we brought folks back to Prosecutor McGinty’s home after the no indictment of the officers who killed Tamir. We will continue organize our communities to challenge those in power to be held accountable to the people they serve.
Wherever you enter, we invite you to recommit to working for intersectional racial justice by signing up to volunteer on our website! Leave a note that say’s “Racial Justice” for follow up.
Poet and visionary Audre Lorde wrote “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not lead single issue lives.”
This value informs how we develop campaigns, build partnership and make change. When and where we enter, matters. For us at Ohio Students Association, we know that each of us are living at an intersection of identities.
We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Standing on the Side of Love for this year’s General Assembly Public Witness on June 24. Stay tuned here and on Standing on the Side of Love website for more details. And follow the work of OSA here on social media here.
There is no time like the present. We hope you’ll join us.
Lead Criminal Justice Organizer, Ohio Students Association