News & Updates

May Day action, an education justice platform, and more!

We have some beautiful posters and some beautiful updates in this e-newsletter. Read on for both!

Upcoming Events

May Day

On May Day, rally and march for workers’ rights to sanctuary cities, public transit, education, and good jobs. As the Poughkeepsie Common Council introduces a sanctuary-inspired resolution on International Workers Day, show them how the Hudson Valley feels about defending our neighbors! Join us Monday, May 1st at 4:30pm.

4:30pm: Gather at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie (29 N. Hamilton St.)

5:00pm: March to City Hall

5:30pm: Rally at City Hall (62 Civic Center Plaza)

6:00pm: Speak out on sanctuary-inspired resolution at Common Council meeting

Beyond the Moment

Not in the Hudson Valley on May 1st? Sign up at beyondthemoment.org to get information about May Day actions taking place around the country. Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is excited to stand with Black Lives Matter, United We Dream, Right to the City Alliance, BYP 100, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and many more amazing organizations in Beyond the Moment in creating a mighty movement of all people dedicated to freedom.

Save the Date!

On Sunday, May 21st from 3-6pm in Peekskill, the Hate Free Zone will be hosting a “Know Your Rights/Know Your Responsibilities” forum on immigration and racial profiling. Stay tuned for more information!

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America

Join the LGBTQ Community for Racial Justice, Hate Free Zone, and others on Friday, April 28th at 6pm at the auditorium in the Family Partnership Center on 29 North Hamilton St. in Poughkeepsie for a screening and discussion of Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America. Forbidden is a documentary film telling the story of Moises Serrano, an undocumented gay man and activist who grew up in rural North Carolina.

A Platform for Educational Justice

The students, parents, and allies in Parents and Advocates Supporting Students have created a platform for educational justice in Poughkeepsie. Students and parents met with three school board candidates in the upcoming election — Debra Long, Doreen Clifford, and Tron Melton — who all endorsed the platform in full.

Students and Parents have been going door-to-door in Poughkeepsie every week to recruit more members and register people to vote!

Fighting for Energy Justice

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson serves on the Steering Committee of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA) — a coalition of 21 organizations working for energy justice in the state. The EDA has been growing its “People’s Commissioners” campaign calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint to the Public Service Commission people who are committed to serving the interests of the people and environment of New York. Sign the petition calling on Cuomo to appoint People’s Commissioners if you haven’t already!

On April 13th, the EDA held a press conference in Albany for the campaign, and quoted Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson member Trudy-Ann Bowen-Griffiths in their press release:

“I had a child born at 19 weeks. He was fighting for his life for six months, had open-heart surgery. My son came out of the hospital on all kinds of machines, he had 24-hour nursing care. As a nurse was giving my son treatment, Central Hudson shut off our power. Central Hudson has been under investigation for over a year for racial discrimination and illegal shut-offs. We need People’s Commissioners to hold them accountable!”

Read more about Trudy’s story in CounterPunch:

There Is A Field

From April 5th-9th, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson co-sponsored a theater residency in Poughkeepsie that was co-hosted by Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley and Donkey Saddle Projects. The residency culminated in the public reading of There Is A Field, a play about a Palestinian teenage boy who is shot to death by an Israeli police officer, based on the true story of the death of 17-year-old Aseel Asleh in October 2000. Prior to the reading, the hosts led a week of workshops on the context of the play.

Best,

Jonathan Bix

Executive Director

Hate Free HV: Celebrate International Workers’ Day by Making Poughkeepsie a Sanctuary City!

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On May Day, rally and march for workers’ rights to sanctuary cities, public transit, education, and good jobs. As the Poughkeepsie Common Council introduces a sanctuary-inspired resolution on May 1st, show them how the Hudson Valley feels about defending our neighbors!

Monday, May 1st starting at 4:30pm
4:30pm Gather at the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie (29 N Hamilton St.),
5pm March to City Hall
5:30pm Rally at City Hall (62 Civic Center Plaza)
6pm Speak out on sanctuary-inspired resolution at Common Council meeting

RSVP here or contact Community Voices Heard, the coordinating organization for more details: jordan@cvhaction.org

E-NEWSLETTER: Dominique joins the team, Hate Free Zone toolkits, and more!

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson continues to build new areas of work necessitated by new political conditions. Our work continues to be shaped by our commitment to addressing the root causes of injustice and to developing the leadership of directly impacted people. Read on about that work below! 

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This past Monday, our member-leader Dominique Suddith began her work with Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson as a full-time paid fellow to help lead the fight for a just education system in Poughkeepsie!

Dominique is focusing on the struggle to close the PACE (“Poughkeepsie Academic and Career Excellence”) program, which represents the worst of educational apartheid: separating out “problem” middle-high school students into a decrepit building, without enough teachers, without grade appropriate books, and with a growing law enforcement presence leading to increased arrests of students. 

Dominique, a former substitute teacher in the Poughkeepsie City School District, first became a member in September 2016. She has been committed to closing PACE since hearing about the appalling conditions from her brother, who is one of the many students being forcibly placed in PACE. Dominique will be stepping back in a few months to have her baby, but shared why she is excited to start working for Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson:

“I have been on a mission to improve the public education system of Poughkeepsie and NLMH has been very supportive of this cause. I plan to gain growth and development as a leader and organizer. I also intend to increase the membership of Parents and Advocates Supporting Students during my time with Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson. I look forward to achieving my goals and passing on what I learn to others within my group.” 

Hate Free Zone Toolkits

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The Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone has released two toolkits to help people organize against hate locally and build a stronger Hate Free Zone: (1) the House Meetings Toolkit and (2) the Institutional Recruitment Toolkit

1) House Meetings Toolkit

  • Our ability to stand up to hate is only as strong as the relationships we have and our willingness to take and get others to take action
  • Download the House Meetings Toolkit to learn how to have a meeting to get people you know to join the Hate Free Zone and commit to concrete steps to stand up to hate!
  • Register your House Meeting so we can help you make the meeting happen!

2) Institutional Recruitment Toolkit

  • Houses of worship, businesses, elected bodies, and community groups all have roles to play in advocating for justice!
  • Download the Institutional Recruitment Toolkit to learn how to ask the institutions you’re connected with to join the Hate Free Zone and take concrete steps to stand up to hate!

And if you haven’t signed up for the Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone yet, go to tiny.cc/hatefreepledge to sign up now.

No Ban, No Wall

In February, the Hate Free Zone helped carry out the action led by the Muslim Student Organization of Bard College to join the thousands of others across the country standing up against the Muslim Ban and the executive orders attacking immigrants. Several hundred people turned out, and 200 people newly signed up for the Hate Free Zone.

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Growing Our Abilities

At the beginning of March, we sent Dominique and our staff organizers Margaret and Spencer to a weekend of training with Community Voices Heard and People’s Action. All three have returned to Poughkeepsie energized, with new skills and vision! It cost $1,000 to send the three of them — will you help us cover the expense by making a $25, $50, or $100 donation? Click here to contribute now!

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Growing the Energy Justice Movement

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is on the Steering Committee of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA) — a growing coalition of 21 organizations working for energy justice in the state. I co-wrote an op-ed with my fellow Steering Committee member Ceci Pineda from Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) on the opportunity Governor Cuomo has to shift New York’s energy system in a direction that prioritizes people and the planet over private profit:

“Soon, three of the five seats on New York’s powerful Public Service Commission will be empty. Gov. Andrew Cuomo should seize this opportunity to appoint ‘People’s Commissioners’ committed to serving the interests of the people and environment of New York.

It is critical that the PSC — which helps guide the state’s energy future — is well positioned to address the needs and concerns of all New Yorkers, including the poor, working class people, and people of color struggling with major challenges related to energy affordability, energy access and pollution.”

Read more in the Albany Times-Union.

Sign the EDA’s petition calling on Gov. Cuomo to appoint “People’s Commissioners” who will fight for more renewable and affordable energy for all New Yorkers!

At the beginning of March I also joined 30 other representatives from EDA member organizations in Syracuse for the EDA’s first retreat of 2017. We discussed changes in political conditions and their implications for our 2017 strategy, progressed on our annual work plan, and welcomed new members to the alliance!

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Best,

Jonathan Bix

Executive Director

Hate Free HV: The Institutional Recruitment Toolkit is here!

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A #HateFreeHV is only as strong as its community institutions. Check out our new “Institutional Recruitment Toolkit” and learn how houses of worship, businesses, community groups, and elected officials can join and build the Hate Free Zone.

The toolkit can be downloaded here, or by clicking on the poster below. These posters, designed by the HFZ’s artist collective, will go up in windows throughout the Hudson Valley!

Questions? Email us at hvhatefreezone@gmail.com.

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From Poughkeepsie to Palestine

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Black Lives Matter- Hudson Valley is excited to announce that we are working to bring the play There Is A Field to Poughkeepsie!

This play tells the true story of Aseel Asleh, a young Palestinian man who was killed by Israeli police, and his family’s struggle for justice. Prior to the performance on April 9th, we will be bringing together young black community members to do a 5-day residency where they will learn about Palestinian history and the connections to the Black American experience.

To bring these artists up we need to raise $2,000 by the end of March.

Help us bring Palestine to Poughkeepsie by

Donating HERE (https://givebutter.com/sa3wwe)!

When we reach $2,000 our funding will be matched by Donkey Saddle Productions!

Thank you for your support,

Margaret Kwateng

Hate Free HV: The House Meeting Toolkit is here!

House Meetings Toolkit

Thank you for your interest in holding a house meeting to build the Hate Free Zone. How do you hold a house meeting? Find out in the house meeting toolkit and register your house meeting today!

The toolkit can be downloaded here.

Please fill out this form to register your house meeting. One of our organizers will follow up soon!

Questions? Email us at hvhatefreezone@gmail.com

Hate Free HV: Mark your calendars for a week of actions this March!

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Day of Action in Albany: 
Join the Fight for Equal Access to Drivers Licenses for Immigrant NY!
Tuesday, March 7th 11AM-4PM at New York State Capital 
Register Here!
Join the Green Light NY: Driving Together coalition for a day of action in support of driver’s license access for ALL NY residents, regardless of immigration status!  Hundreds of coalition members and allies from across New York will come together at the State Capitol to show our support for immigrant NY. We will march, rally, and speak with our legislators, to ensure the our elected officials understand that passing driver’s licenses must be a priority to protect immigrants, improve public safety, and strengthen our state economy. Register to attend!

Sanctuary For All: Hudson Valley People’s Assembly 
with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman 
Thursday, March 9th 6:30 – 8PM at Newburgh Armory (321 S. William St) 
RSVP on Facebook!
Join over 250 members of Community Voices Heard to meet with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman! Schneiderman has been a national leader in resistance to the new administration’s racist, anti-immigrant and pro-corporate agenda. Join us to help make the Hudson Valley a sanctuary for all! RSVP today! 

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Hate Free HV: Hold a house meeting to grow and strengthen the Hate Free Zone in your community!

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Sign up to join over 100 Hudson Valley residents who are holding meetings with friends, family and neighbors in order to build a powerful network that can defend communities and resist attacks from the Right in the years to come. A house meeting can be held in your home or in a local cafe, library, community center or any other gathering space.

Many outcomes can result from bringing people in your network together. Participants in your house meeting could decide to:

  • Sign up to be part of grassroots community defense efforts
  • Get businesses and faith leaders to take the Hate Free Zone pledge
  • Support local grassroots organizations
  • And more!

Please fill out THIS FORM by Friday, February 24th in order to register your house meeting and receive a house meeting toolkit. One of our organizers will follow up with you to provide resources and additional guidance.

Again, go to http://bit.ly/2kFCoUp to register your house meeting!

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E-NEWSLETTER: No Ban No Wall, Hate Free Zone update, and Educational Justice!

Check out what Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson has been working on in the New Year in our E-Newsletter below!

Upcoming Events

Hudson Valley: NO Ban NO Wall

Join the Muslim Student Organization of Bard College, the Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone, and others this Saturday to stand up against the recent Muslim Ban and executive orders attacking immigrants:

Saturday, February 4th
1:30-3pm
Dutchess County Courthouse, 10 Market St, Poughkeepsie

Lost In Detention

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson is co-sponsoring the LGBTQ Committee for Racial Justice’s screening of Lost in Detention – about immigration, U.S. policy, for-profit detention centers, and the experiences of those facing deportation – on February 12th from 3-5pm at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center in Kingston at 300 Wall St.

Forming the Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone 

On January 14th, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson and Community Voices Heard held an assembly with over 200 people from six counties to form the Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone.

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The Hate Free Zone is being formed in response to an increasingly hostile climate for immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ people, women, and workers. The network will build a Hudson Valley that is hate free; a Hudson Valley where an attack on one vulnerable community is an attack on all vulnerable communities; a Hudson Valley where sanctuary policies that protect immigrants from deportation, access to driver’s licenses for all immigrants, investment in public education instead of mass incarceration, and other measures that choose solidarity over hate are realized.

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Over 200 people from six counties gathered for the Hudson Valley Free Zone assembly 

 

Individuals  – or institutions such as community organizations, houses of worship, or businesses – can pledge their support to the Hate Free Zone and get involved by visiting tiny.cc/hatefreepledge

Below is media coverage from the assembly:

Community Members Gather to Form Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone – WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Hate Free Zone Holds First Meeting – The Highlands Current

Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone Brings Community Members Together Under Common Goal – Time Warner Cable News

Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone Convenes in Beacon – Poughkeepsie Journal

Hudson Valley ‘Hate-Free-Zone’ Movement Forms in Beacon – Dutchess Daily Voice

Hudson Valley Residents Stand Up Against Hate – Hudson Valley Post

Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone – Hudson Valley News Network

Local Organizations Plan “Hate Free Zone” to Protect Vulnerable Communities – Hudson Valley One

Mid Hudson Declared Hate Free Zone – Mid-Hudson News

Fighting for Educational Justice

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson has been working closely with parents, students, and teachers who are fighting to close the PACE program in Poughkeepsie. The PACE (“Poughkeepsie Academic and Career Excellence”) program represents the worst of educational apartheid: separating out “problem” students into a decrepit building, without enough teachers, without grade-appropriate books, and with a growing law enforcement presence leading to increasing arrests of students.

As parents, students, and teachers have spoken out, we have helped them form Parents and Advocates Supporting Students (PASS). Parents and Advocates Supporting Students publicly launched on December 13th with a press conference outside the PACE building.

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Emelia Suddith, mother of a student at PACE, at the press conference speaking against the School District’s retaliation against those who have advocated for the closing of PACE.

 

 

Below is media coverage from the launch:

New Group Calls for Closure of Alternative School in Poughkeepsie – WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Parents Call for Closure of Poughkeepsie Alternative School – Mid-Hudson News

Parents Want Poughkeepsie Alternative School Closed – The Poughkeepsie Journal

Best,

Jonathan Bix

Executive Director

Hate Free HV: Take action for a #HateFreeHV this Saturday

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These past couple of weeks have seen attacks on Muslim communities, undocumented immigrants, healthcare access, and so much more. These weeks have also shown the power and potential of resistance as people across the country take to streets and airports to show that another world is possible.

The Hudson Valley Hate Free Zone is here to support that resistance in the Hudson Valley. On January 14th, we launched the Hate Free Zone. The task ahead is to continue to build our strength, and to take action to love and protect each other.

Hudson Valley: NO Ban NO Wall
Join the Muslim Student Organization of Bard College and the HV Hate Free Zone to stand up against the recent Muslim Ban and executive orders attacking immigrants.

Saturday, February 4th
1:30 – 3pm
Dutchess County Courthouse, 10 Market St, Poughkeepsie
https://www.facebook.com/events/220488688414365/

#HateFreeHV #LoveAndProtectEachOther

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