15 years after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, leaving wrecked bodies and homes in its wake, revealing the fissures of race and class that determine who lives and who dies, we are faced with yet another disaster. COVID-19 has taken the lives of nearly 5,000 Louisianians, and yet again we see that chances of survival depend largely on demographics, with Black communities disproportionately infected and succumbing to the disease.
These same communities continue to be over-policed and over-incarcerated. Uncontained COVID outbreaks in prisons are further exacerbating disparities, turning already punitive prison sentences into literal death sentences. Incarcerated young people, who now have gone months without in-person visits with their families and loved ones, risk sickness and even death.
Yet we also see a renewed movement for justice, with activists fighting to ensure that BLACK LIVES MATTER. We see a potential transformation in our city and our country: an open acknowledgement of racism, pressure to defund the police and decarcerate our communities, a rejection of the institutionalized violence of the status quo. In November, we will vote for president and perhaps elect the first woman and Black vice president in history. We have our first Black woman mayor. We are looking at electing a new District Attorney and new juvenile court judges.
But someone's identity does not determine whether they will align themselves with our community. Once our candidate is elected, then the real work begins. We need to push them toward policies that value Black life. We need to teach them what real justice looks like. We must demand that they reduce funding for prisons, jails, and police and instead fund the services that we need: jobs, healthcare, education.
Hurricane Katrina laid bare the fissures that have always existed, the racism, classism, and sexism that underlie our country. To honor the memory of all its victims, in the immediate aftermath of the storm as well as in the years that followed, we must demand change:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
NO KIDS IN CAGES
NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE
We love you all,
Ubuntu is a Proud Member of The People's DA Coalition
The District Attorney election this November could significantly change the criminal justice landscape in New Orleans. Help us push all the candidates to address the wildly disproportionate incarceration rate in New Orleans. Most importantly: VOTE!
Stay Safe, Lake Charles!
We are thinking of our friends, family, and colleagues in Lake Charles. Stay safe. ❤️
Pledge to Vote with Black Futures Lab!
Ubuntu is partnering with Black Futures Lab to promote the Black Agenda and get folks to pledge to vote. Please take the pledge here and mark Ubuntu as the organization that referred you!
Ernest Johnson Appointed to Criminal Justice Council
We are excited to announce that our director, Ernest Johnson, has been appointed to the city's Criminal Justice Council. We hope this will be an opportunity to push for meaningful change that promotes holistic, rehabilitative solutions for court-involved youth.