The Fire Still Burns: #WeAreTheFirefighters - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

The Fire Still Burns: #WeAreTheFirefighters

To the fires that are still burning and the firefighters – advocates, policymakers, organizers – who are working tirelessly to put them out.

April 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, the darkest day of 1968. It’s been five decades since his departure and the impact of his work has moved mountains in the areas of education, housing, voting rights and the labor movement (to name a few). The footprint of his work remains, and the issues he advocated for continue to be present.

Advancement Project’s national office is uplifting Dr. King’s powerful words that continue to ring true today. All day today, we are paying tribute to his legacy and the fight that continues. We are also celebrating today’s leaders who are fighting in the Movement.

During one of his last strategy meetings, Dr. King had a reflective conversation with Advancement Project board member Harry Belafonte about the state of the civil rights movement. In Mr. Belafonte’s speech titled, “We Must Unleash Radical Thought,” he recalls what he made of that memorable conversation:

“Yet [today] we suffer still from abject poverty and moral malnutrition. Our only hope lies in the recall of a moment which has been … referred to earlier here, and was my last meeting with Dr. King. It was just before he left to go off to Memphis to join the strike with sanitation workers. We held a strategy meeting … and Dr. King, during that meeting, appeared to be distracted and in a dark mood. When we asked him what was the matter he said, ‘we have come far in the struggle for integration, and although we may be winning some battles, we have not won the war. And I’ve come to the conclusion that in our struggle to integrate, we may be integrating into a burning house.’ … We found it deeply disturbing. And when we asked him if such was his belief, what would he have us do … his reply was, ‘we will have to become firemen.’”

Today, Advancement Project dedicates April 4, 2018, to the fires that are still burning and the firefighters – advocates, policymakers, organizers – who are working tirelessly to put them out. Follow Advancement Project’s Twitter or #WeAretheFirefighters all day today as we lead up to exact time that we lost our fearless leader – at 5:01 p.m. ET.

Join the conversation by telling the world who your fire burns for. Here are a few examples:

The fire burns for the thousands of detained immigrants without justice #WeAretheFirefighters

The fire burns for Stephon Clark and the Black and Brown lives whose lives were taken far too soon #WeAretheFirefighters

The fire burns for our children whose classrooms look more like prisons than sanctuaries #WeAretheFirefighters

KEEP READING

The Best Mother’s Day Gift is Freedom

By Ashley Carter, Justice Project Program Deputy Director and Senior Staff Attorney Photo credit: Cyndi Elledge // Photos are a part of the #FreeBlackWomxn series. Visit www.freeblackwomxn.org. Thousands of women with children across the United States will spend this Mother’s Day behind bars. The crisis of mass incarceration has fueled a family separation endemic: more than 150,000 children have a parent who is in jail simply because they are too poor to afford their court-imposed cash bail. This year we are working to support the 2021 Black Mama’s Day Bailout organized and led by our community partners…

Read More
National Civil Rights Org: Florida’s New Jim Crow Law Will Not Stand

Senate Bill 90 is a full-frontal assault on the political power of Black and Brown Floridians. Florida politicians are advancing baseless claims of fraud and abuse as an excuse to eliminate voting tools and procedures that enabled Floridians to vote safety and securely during a public health crisis.

Read More
Black Mama Bailout: #FreeBlackWomxn

Michigan Liberation and the Advancement Project National Office have launched the #FreeBlackWomxn campaign, a photo and storytelling project that elevates the voices of Black Michigan mothers who have experienced incarceration. We are honored that Kimberly, Machelle, Geneva, Darnita, Dominica, Irene, and Tamika shared their stories with us. Click each woman’s photo below to read their experience with incarceration.

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Passage of Florida Voter Suppression Bill

Yesterday, Florida’s state legislature passed Senate Bill 90, a monster voter suppression bill aimed at reducing access to the ballot box for Black and Brown voters.

Read More
Photo of the back of a police officer
More Cop Convictions Won’t Stop Racist Police Violence

By Thomas B. Harvey, Justice Project Program Director Last week, as people across America waited for a verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial, police in Ohio murdered a 16-year-old girl, Ma’Khia Bryant. As Chauvin was found guilty on three counts for murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ma’Khia Bryant lay dead in the street in Columbus. Credit: Fred Moon While we should hope that Chauvin’s conviction brings some peace and healing to George Floyd’s family, friends, and the broader Minneapolis community, Ma’Khia’s murder reinforced a disturbing reality: individual convictions are irrelevant to the movement to end police violence. Cops will continue to…

Read More
Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Applaud Chauvin Verdict: Accountability in the Courtroom One Step in Journey to Justice

This verdict, while unexpected in light of far too many past cases like this, does not bring George Floyd back.

Read More
Advancement Project Welcomes Chauvin Verdict, Implores America to Move Beyond Policing

Today, in response to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter...

Read More
Advancement Project Statement on Murder of Adam Toledo

Today, we join Chicago in grief and outrage at the murder of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy whose life was cruelly taken by Chicago Police. We express our deepest sympathy to Adam’s friends and family; we stand in solidarity with organizers, activists, and the broader Chicago community as they take to the street to express their despair and demand justice.

Read More
Mapping Injustice: Navigating the Criminal Legal System 101

Grassroots organizers are leading the fight to dismantle the incarceration state. In its current form, the criminal legal system criminalizes and incarcerates people of color in the name of “law and order.” In 2021, Advancement Project National Office, along with Michigan Liberation, Close the Workhouse, Neighborhood Defender Service Detroit, Detroit Justice Center, and East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition (EBRPPRC), partnered to present a forum series on the various phases of a criminal case: Policing, Arrest, and Pretrial Trial, Sentencing, and Plea Negotiations Incarceration and Re-Entry During each session, organizers and lawyers mapped the…

Read More