Open Letter to the Community: YWCA

Open Letter to the Community:

Our thoughts, love and hearts are with the YWCA of the Greater Triangle. We were told that overnight this wonderful organization was being shut down, leaving hundreds of people in the dark. Children, students, teen parents, adults, and seniors depend on the programs and comraderie of the YWCA. The YWCA is home to many communities. It is home to NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens). NC HEAT was born in the summer of 2010 as part of the Wake Youth Organizing Institute, housed in the YWCA in the heart of SE Raleigh. We have learned, organized, and grown in that building. It is a piece of us and was torn away.

We demand that the attacks on our communities stop and we ask the National YWCA leadership to step up and and stand with us. We see this as part of larger trend of undermining the leadership and organized voices of women, youth, and people of color. These programs and advocacy efforts are necessary for our survival. Dismantling this organization is a direct attack on women and communities of color and we demand accountability.

NC HEAT is asking that everyone call and email the board to express outrage for their lack of concern for the staff and community. Pay your staff now! Reinstate the programs! Save the Hargett St. YWCA!

An attack on one community is an attack on all communities.

Sincerely,

Current and Former NC HEAT members:

Art Pope Boycott: NC HEAT Pickets Maxway

Over 40 people gathered in front of a Maxway store on February 18th to support the ongoing boycott of Art Pope’s stores. The picket was called for by NC HEAT. Community members from all across Raleigh showed up to participate. Signs and chanting brought awareness to customers going into the store resulting in some turning around. A video can be seen below

http://youtu.be/1bOzlYJb3ik

Art Pope, who owns stores such as Maxway and Roses, has been the leading financial donor behind many local elections in NC including the school board. The boycott has been launched to hit Art Pope’s wallet and tell him to stop funding candidates that hurt communities with poor policy decisions. You can read more about Art Pope and how his money is hurting out communities at artpopeexposed.com.

HKonJ Mobilization

On Saturday February 11th 2012 members of NC HEAT gathered for Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ). This was the 6th annual march sponsored by the NAACP. Thousands came together to march for immigration rights, economic justice, worker rights, and education policy.

The youth used this as an opportunity to represent their agenda and advocate for the Justice  in their communities. Students wanted to expand the scope of the Art Pope boycott. The boycott of Art Pope’s stores, which include Maxway and Roses, became a conversation point throughout the day.

NC HEAT gathered signatures and explained the connections between Art Pope and the education policy in Wake County. In addition NC HEAT members promoted their upcoming picket of Maxway on February 18th.  The overall event was a success as it expanded the Art Pope boycott and brought awareness to issues impacting youth in Wake County.

Recapping HKONJ: NC HEAT featured

The NAACP-sponsored civil rights rally Historic Thousands on Jones Street, or HKONJ, celebrated its 5th anniversary on Saturday. Thousands came together to march for immigration rights, economic justice, worker rights, and to speak out against the educational policies that are threatening to re-segregate North Carolina schools.

The decision to end Busing-for-Diversity in North Carolina’s largest school district made national headlines last year and was recently satirized by Steven Colbert on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. You only have to look at how the state’s second largest school district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, to understand that this is not a laughing matter! With North Carolina in a budget crisis and education money on the chopping block, Charlotte-Mecklenburg closed the doors on nearly a dozen mostly non-white schools AFTER deciding to end it’s busing policy. NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous joined Rev. William Barber, NC NAACP president to speak out against the direction the district and state is heading.

“We ‘re still fighting old Jim Crow,” he said. NC Heat Co-Chair Monserrat Alvarez was a featured speaker at the rally and was interviewed by NBC-17.

 

Don’t let North Carolina push nonwhite students to the back of the bus! Join us for a Student and Parent Panel with the Anthony Tata at a To Be Determined location on March 3rd 6:30-8:30 p.m. Food, childcare, and Spanish Interpretation will be provided.

North Carolina day of action demands end to attacks on education

Young people from across at NC rally at the legislature on Jan 26 to say: "Education is a right!"

Young people from across the state confronted the North Carolina General Assembly when they convened their opening session on Jan. 26. The youth demanded, “Education is a right, not a privilege!”

The “Day of Action to Defend Education” was organized by a coalition of youth-led groups who are involved in education struggles around the state, from fighting back against budget cuts and tuition hikes to winning full and meaningful access to higher education for undocumented students and pushing back the growing tide of resegregation in the state’s public school systems.

Despite the cold and rainy weather, nearly 100 young people, including many high school students and immigrant youth, came out for the day, which began with a press conference and lobbying in the morning, followed by a march and rally in the afternoon.

The spirited march through downtown Raleigh filled the air with chants of “No cuts, no fees, education should be free!” and “Education, not deportation!” as it hit three targets: the governor’s mansion, the Department of Public Instruction and the NC Community Colleges offices. At each stop, speakers raised the connections between these education struggles and the need for young people in the state to fight back to stop the slew of cuts and reactionary bills being proposed by the new, Republican-led legislature.

Monse Alvarez, of NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens), stressed: “This day of action was important because we can’t just let this new legislature come in without making some noise about it. … They want to take us back to a time of Jim Crow segregation where immigrants and people of color are treated like less than human. They want to push through their anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-education, anti-everything-that-people-need agenda, unless we do something about it.”

Education on the chopping block

Like many state governments across the country facing budget shortfalls, politicians have placed every public service on the chopping block to deal with the state’s nearly $4 billion hole. The Republican majority, which recently took over both houses in the legislature for the first time in 112 years, has promised to manage this with spending cuts alone. Thousands of state workers could be laid off. The university system is facing a 15 percent cut as public school systems around the state are facing cuts of nearly $100 million. Entire health programs face elimination, and every social good is under attack.

The GOP wasted no time in proposing reactionary pieces of legislation. On their session’s second day, they introduced an anti-immigrant bill modeled after Arizona’s SB 1070, a bill that would ban undocumented students from community colleges and the university system (HB 11), a bill requiring voters to show IDs, and more.

“We made our voices heard that day, and it was important to be there and speak out about issues in our community like education. They were afraid of us being there. They sent out cops to try to stop us. Unfortunately, they introduced HB 11 the next day, but this was only the beginning, and we are going to keep fighting around this,” said Raul Arce.

Groups across the state are mobilizing to fight back against the legislature’s proposed, massive cuts and to stop the growing racist attacks on the immigrant community. Activists plan many different actions and demonstrations for the coming weeks.

Workers and students all over the world — from Egypt to Tunisia, from Yemen to Jordan, from Britain to Puerto Rico — are showing the only way forward out of this crisis, which is to take their destiny into their own hands and fight back. Continued, determined action is exactly what is necessary to stop the attacks on education and the public sector and to push back the reactionary forces that have risen in this period.

With a national Month of Actions to Defend Public Education set for March, youth and students can only expect to see more of these types of actions throughout the country.

NC HEAT Greets Investigators from the Office of Civil Rights

On Tuesday, December 7, representatives from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights visited Raleigh as part of their investigation into the Title VI complaint filed against the Wake County Board of Education by NC HEAT and the NAACP. Read more about the complaint by clicking here.

The investigators from the Office of Civil Rights spent the day meeting with different community members and organizations about the impacts and consequences the new board majority’s push for neighborhood schools has and will have on Wake County students’ education, particularly for low income and students of color. They were taken on a tour of neighborhoods in the county to get a sense of what the racial composition of these so-called neighborhood schools would be. Throughout the day, they were accompanied by members of the Wake Education Advocates (WEA), including two members of NC HEAT.

At the end of the day, a final meeting was held between member organizations of the WEA and the OCR investigators at the YWCA in Raleigh. Members of NC HEAT began arriving at the Y for a planning meeting before the speak out action that was called for at the school board meeting later in the day. As the OCR investigators were leaving, NC HEAT lined the hallway with signs they had made for the school board action and spoke with investigators about the organizing they had been doing and why they were speaking out for just and equitable schools for all students.

Donate to the Fall Fundraising Drive!

This year, the recently elected anti-diversity caucus on the Wake County School Board thought that they could push their backwards agenda onto our community. What they found was a community determined to act to not only stop them from re-segregating education , but to work for more just and equitable schools for all children, from parents, members of the faith community, civil rights activists, and high school students. Students formed their own organization, NC HEAT, to amplify their voices in this struggle, and the work they did was an inspiration to all.

Now, we need your help to build off of the successes of this year and to be able to continue to do this important work in the new year. Can you help us meet our $4,000 Fall Fundraising goal?

Students and staff at the Institute this summer

This summer, 10 dynamic high school students from across Wake County who wanted to organize to save our schools and stop the re-segregation came together for the Wake Youth Organizing Institute. During the course of the nine week program, students gained the skills and tools to cultivate their leadership, organized several community outreach days, mobilized students and parents to the July 20 NAACP demonstration in Raleigh, and produced four video pieces documenting the struggle in Wake County.

Students formed their own organization, NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens), which now has active members at nearly ten high schools in Wake County. They partnered with NC Equals to increase youth voting, played a leading role in organizing the October 7 National Day of Action to Defend Education march in Raleigh, and have continued to engage their peers in the work to create more just and equitable schools. On November 20, the differentTwo members of NC HEAT speak from the main stage at July 20 rally chapters of NC HEAT convened at the YWCA for a Fall Training Institute to develop their organizing skills and lay out campaign plans for the spring semester.

In order to continue to be able to do this important organizing, we need your help. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation that goes directly to support youth-led organizing in Wake County. Every donation, no matter the amount, will go a long way in helping to ensure that we have the resources necessary to continue this work.

You can make a donation one of two ways. Either click the “Donate” button on the side of this website, or you can write a check payable to “Action for Community in Raleigh” and write “Youth Organizing Institute” in the memo line, and mail to:

Action for Community in Raleigh
331 W. Main St, Ste 408
Durham, NC 27701

With your help, we can keep raising the temperature in the struggle for more just and equitable schools into 2011! Thank you for your continued support of youth-led organizing Wake County!

NC HEAT & the Youth Organizing Institute to Hold Fall Organizing Training for Wake High School Students on November 20

To continue to build youth leadership in to fight for just and equitable schools, NC HEAT and the Youth Organizing Institute will be holding a day-long Fall Training Institute at the YWCA in Raleigh on Saturday, November 20.

Throughout the school year NC HEAT has been working to build chapters at a number of Wake County high schools. There have been many students who have begun to work with NC HEAT and who participated in the October 7 Day of Action to Defend Education. Through the training day we hope to deepen our understanding and commitment to the work that we’re involved in and engage in a strategic planning session to lay out our campaigns for next semester.

The day-long training will be held at the YWCA in Raleigh. It will consist of four parts, beginning with an anti-oppression training to gain a better understanding of the broader social systems of power. We will learn more about the history of our movement and the legacy that we are carrying on with a workshop on the Civil Rights movement, specifically the role of young people in creating the historic change that was ushered in by the Civil Rights Movement. Building off the trainings from the summer and this fall, there will be a media training to equip students with the skills to talk to and work with the media. Finally, we’ll end the day with a strategic planning workshop to build creative and thoughtful organizing campaigns for the new year — to keep putting the HEAT on the school board and raise the temperature for more just and equitable schools.

A spine-chilling way to spook re-segregationists in Wake County! + other upcoming events

It’s Halloween and you know what that means? Throw on  your scariest costume and come boogey with NC HEAT and 2nd Round Boxing for the spookiest Halloween fundraising party in town!

Join us the night before Halloween for a smashingly fun time, a night filled with a costume contest, performances by some of the hottest artists from the Triangle including Eternal & Truth and Troop 41, and enough tunes to keep your feet moving all night long courtesy of a few local DJs.

It’s just $6 at the door and all the proceeds raised will go to support the organizing of NC HEAT and the work of 2nd Round Boxing, a program that challenges the school to prison pipeline by connecting young people with adult mentors where they learn boxing and are supported in making positive life decisions.

The fun starts at 7pm and goes until 11pm! So get dressed to the nines and put your dancing shoes on and join us for the freshest Halloween party around–and help raise money for a good cause at the same time!

“Ghoulish Glam” Halloween Party
Saturday, October 30, 7-11pm
YMCA(2235 Garner Rd. in Raleigh)

October 7 Action in Raleigh Raises the Heat for Education Justice!

The October 7 action in Raleigh, one of more than 80 that took place across the country as part of the National Day of Action to Defend Education, was a huge success! Many different organizations from across the Triangle participated–including NC HEAT, the NC DREAM Team, UNC Chapel Hill SDS, Raleigh FIST, and many more–and more than 100 young people turned out for the march to defend education!


But October 7 was only the beginning! We’ve got to carry that momentum created by the action that day and keep pushing forward to organize for education justice and build the struggles against the re-segregation of our schools, to stop the devastating cuts to education and tuition hikes at our universities, and to demand equal access for undocumented students to higher education. And we’ve got plans to do it!

There are many different ways to get involved and several important events coming up in the next few weeks for us to get more organized.

Serving up a plate-full of unity, with a side of trouble for the politicians and right-wing millionaires!   Education Justice Organizing Potluck!

Wednesday, October 27 @ 6pm
YWCA of the Greater Triangle(554 E Hargett St, Raleigh)

We had a really incredible action in Raleigh on October 7,but as so many folks raised at the demonstration, that wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning!

We’ll all be getting together again on Wednesday October 27 at 6pm at the YWCA in Raleigh to debrief from the action on October 7 and discuss ways that we can continue to work together to build a powerful, united education justice movement in the Triangle and throughout the state.

So please bring your favorite dish (if you can!) and your thoughts to share to this potluck discussion! Hope to see you then!

RSVP on Facebook by clicking here!

All out for October 7 March to Defend Education in Raleigh!

There’s only one day left until the October 7 National Day of Action to Defend Education!

Tomorrow, we join with tens of thousands of students, workers, teachers, and parents across the country who will be taking to the streets to stop the attacks on public education and demand that education is a right for everyone, not a privilege!

We’ll be gathering in Raleigh at 3pm at the State Capitol Building for a rally, and then marching to three locations in downtown Raleigh at 4pm. A number of different organizations will be present tomorrow and we will hear from these amazing speakers and more:

Rukiya Dillahunt, retired Wake County educator and member of Black Workers for Justice
Viridiana Martinez, NC DREAM Team
Nayely Irais, DREAMS, El Pueblo
Sanyu Gichie, NC HEAT
Monserrat Alvarez, NC HEAT
Kosta Harlan, Durham anti-war activist
Justin Flores, FLOC
Dante Strobino, Raleigh FIST
Jason Langberg, Advocates for Children Services
Omisade Burney-Scott, Wake Education Advocates & the YWCA
John Heuer, NC Peace Action
John Comer, NC Central student
Statement from Manzoor Cheema, Pakistan-American Coalition for Education
Rachel Holtzman, UNC Chapel Hill SDS
…and more!

So spread the word to friends, family, co-workers, folks you organize with, neighbors, the stranger sitting next to you on the bus, to come out on October 7 as we demand:

**Stop the cuts to education! No to tuition hikes! No furloughs or layoffs!

**Art Pope: Hands off Wake County Schools! No to re-segregation and privatization

**Pass the DREAM Act now! Full access to education for undocumented students!

**Money for education and jobs, not war!

WHAT: March to Defend Education

WHEN: Thursday, October 7

3pm – Rally at the State Capitol Building

4pm – March through downtown Raleigh

WHERE: State Capitol Building in Raleigh (1 East Edenton St.)

Education is a right, not a privilege! All out for October 7! See you in the streets!