Welcome to Black August

Black August was started in California prisons in the 1970s by Black freedom fighters who wanted to honor the lives and deaths of Black political prisoners killed by the state, bring awareness to prison conditions, and to honor the radical tradition of Black resistance against anti-Black state violence and systemic oppression.

Every August, we join the Movement for Black Lives and other Black organizers and visionaries to honor the freedom fighters who put their lives on the line to defend the self-determination and political power of Black communities.

Here is how you can commemorate Black August with us:

  • Learn more about the history of Black August
  • Sign this petition urging all charges be dropped against protestors and political prisoners
  • Write or visit political prisoners and fundraise on their behalf
  • Text BREATHE to 90975 and ask your representative to co-sponsor the People’s Response Act
  • Learn more about the Joint Terrorism Task Force

More information from the Movement for Black Lives: m4bl.org/black-august/

Client News

This week, the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund announced grants totaling more than $3.6 million to organizations working to build power in communities and advance racial justice and solidarity. This was made possible through its Anti-Racism and Intersectional Justice Fund, established in 2020 to address the alarming spike in anti-Asian violence and hate crimes, and UPBUILD AAPI grants, which provide additional funding and technical assistance to eight of the grantees.

Says AAPI Civic Engagement Fund executive director EunSook Lee: “Our country and our democracy are at an inflection point and the need to fund the AAPI civic engagement infrastructure is greater than ever…As AAPI groups accelerate their work to build political power, we are committed to matching the need. These grants strengthen our support for groups that represent the breadth of local AAPI social justice movement groups and, together, are forging a powerful and durable national movement.”

According to new data from the Black to the Future Action Fund’s temperature check poll of roughly 1,000 Black Americans in May, 73% support Roe v. Wade and 68% support abortion being legal in all or most cases. Alicia Garza, founder and principal of Black to the Future Action Fund, spoke with The Root about the results this week: “What we know about Black folks is that it’s important to us to be able to have access to quality health care, and it’s important for us to make decisions over our own lives.”

On Monday, the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color released their 2021 impact report online. The publication summarizes their impact across their focus regions towards the goal of improving the health, educational and economic opportunities for boys and men of color and includes the latest from the Here to Lead storytelling initiative, which aims to change the narrative and empower directly impacted leaders to tell their own stories with nuance, honesty and truth. Read the publication at: cafundersforbmoc.org/2021-impact-report.

Allow us to reintroduce ourselves

“With more capacity, I could better serve the incredible leaders and changemakers who, against all odds, were pushing against the status quo.” Change Consulting founder and CEO Bilen Mesfin Packwood reflects on the growth of our team and how together, we are continually building an organization that cares for its people, and where justice is part of our DNA. Read the full post on Change’s blog: change-llc.com/cc-blog.

What we’re listening to

What else? Renaissance. All hail our Queen.

Coming Up

On Saturday, Urban Peace Movement will host a celebration to unveil their reimagining youth justice mural. Join them this Saturday 11am-1pm and be inspired by Oakland youth’s vision for public safety.

What we’re following

August is also Black Philanthropy Month. Grantmakers for Girls of Color is celebrating by amplifying the ancestral tradition of generosity and activism in Black communities and centering Black girls, femmes and gender-expansive youth. Learn more about Black Philanthropy Month and find out how G4GC’s #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign is leading Black-led philanthropic efforts on their social media.

The 8th Annual Gameheads Student Showcase is back on Saturday, August 27. This is the first year that the capstone event of the Gameheads Summer Accelerator Program will be held at Gameheads’ Video Game Center. The first ever video game center in Oakland, the space combines video game design, development, DevOps and mixed media space. Save the date on your calendar and sign up for Gameheads’ emails to get the full invite: gameheadsoakland.org