America is hurting. The unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others have sparked a national movement to hold our leaders accountable for the insidious racial inequality that penetrates both consciously and unconsciously throughout American society. People across the nation are fighting to overcome generations of pain caused by white supremacy, racial injustice, police brutality, and a broken criminal justice system that penalizes Black citizens at disproportionate rates. This is increasingly obvious as we are suffering through a global pandemic that is impacting communities of color at far higher rates than white communities due to the inequities these communities are forced to endure. We continue to see the over-policing of Black communities and the unjust use of force against Black citizens. Segregated schools and segregated educational opportunities reproduce inequality and racial disparities. These societal issues entrench racial injustice in our schools, neighborhoods, and jobs, which ultimately lead to the violence perpetrated against innocent people such as George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with Black voices and Black-led movements across the country who are organizing and mobilizing citizens to fight for justice for all. We share a common belief that change is necessary. In addition to calling out injustice, Appleseed actively works to find local solutions to national issues and make change happen at the state and local level through our 16 Centers across the country. Our Centers work tirelessly to fight racial injustice and transform our system into one that eliminates structural inequality in our society. We work to integrate schools, improve prison conditions, reduce jail populations, expand social safety net programs, increase access to basic services regardless of one’s country of origin, equalize access to healthcare, increase affordable housing, afford all people the training and education they need to compete for better jobs, fight unfair policing, and change unfair laws.
For example, here are some of the projects our Centers are working on to improve the lives of people in historically marginalized communities:
- Our Georgia Appleseed works to dismantle the school to prison pipeline by reducing reliance on exclusionary disciplinary techniques in schools that have a disproportionate impact on Black children in Georgia.
- In New York City, where the school system is one of the most segregated in the country, our New York Appleseed Center has worked closely with their pro bono partner, Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe, as well as the student-led organization IntegrateNYC to advance school integration and equitable opportunities for students.
- Texas Appleseed has created a website tracking COVID19 in jail populations and are actively advocating for the immediate reduction of the jail population, the reduction of unnecessary new arrests, and free health care for those in jail.
- Our Chicago Appleseed Center is working with the Chicago Council of Lawyers to hold the Chicago Police Department accountable for police misconduct in addition to working toward reform in the Cook County court system.
- Alabama Appleseed works hard to reform the criminal justice system in Alabama by documenting the destructive practice of suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid traffic debts and the disparate impact that court fines and fees have on the racial wealth gap.
This is only a small selection of the broad array of projects our Network works on every day. Please see below for a list of our affiliate Appleseed Centers with links to their websites, social media, and their latest work, press statements, or publications.
Additionally, we support those who are exercising their right to protest against racism and we strongly condemn the use of needless force by law enforcement against peaceful protesters. We encourage our supporters to check out the following resources on anti-racism shared by our Kansas Appleseed Center:
“Resources and Tools Regarding Racism & Anti/Blackness (& How To Be a Better Ally)”
“Anti-Racism Resource for White People”
Alabama Appleseed – Twitter: @AlaAppleseed | Facebook: @AlaAppleseed
Chicago Appleseed – Twitter: @ChiAppleseed | Facebook: @ChicagoAppleseed
DC Appleseed – Twitter: @DC_Appleseed | Facebook: @DCAppleseed
Georgia Appleseed – Twitter: @GaAppleseed | Facebook: @GeorgiaAppleseed
Hawai’i Appleseed – Twitter: @HIAppleseed | Facebook: @Hawaii.Appleseed
Kansas Appleseed – Twitter: @KansasApple | Facebook: @KansasAppleseed
Louisiana Appleseed – Twitter: @La_Appleseed | Facebook: @ LouisianaAppleseed
Massachusetts Appleseed – Twitter: @MassAppleseed | Facebook: @MassAppleseed
Mexico Appleseed – Twitter: @AppleseedMexico | Facebook: @mexicoappleseed
Missouri Appleseed – Twitter: @MissouriApples1 | Facebook: Missouri Appleseed
- COVID-19 in Missouri’s Prisons and Jails Could Be Crippling (co-authored by MO Appleseed Executive Director, Liza Weiss)
Nebraska Appleseed – Twitter: @neappleseed | Facebook: @neappleseed
New Jersey Appleseed – Twitter: @NJ_Appleseed | Facebook: NJ Appleseed Public Interest Law Center
New Mexico Appleseed – Twitter: @NMAppleseed | Facebook: @new.appleseed
New York Appleseed – Twitter: @AppleseedNY | Facebook: @NYAppleseed
South Carolina Appleseed – Twitter: @AppleseedSC | Facebook: @AppleseedSC
Texas Appleseed – Twitter: @TexasAppleseed | Facebook: @TexasAppleseed
In solidarity, and on behalf of the Appleseed Network,