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

Civil Rights Organizations Debunk Myths of No COVID-19 Cases in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison

Impacted people behind bars share harrowing stories of coronavirus outbreaks, unsanitary conditions Baton Rouge, LA – Last night, several civil rights and racial justice organizations pushed back on efforts by the Sheriff and Warden of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison to silence the detainees trapped inside the facility and to hide from community members and taxpayers what the organizations say is really happening in the jail.  The Sheriff and Warden, defendants in a federal lawsuit filed by the advocates, claim that the jail has the coronavirus pandemic under control, but the plaintiffs and…

Read More
Women Did That! 100 Years of the 19th Amendment

One hundred years ago today, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote was ratified. Women’s suffrage was a century-long fight achieved through protest, advocacy and the legendary work of trailblazing women of color including Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells. These women organized to combat racist policies, elect people of color to public office and create community institutions that provided mutual aid to their communities. Today, the nation cannot deny that women of color are a “…

Read More
Racial Justice Organization Issues Statement on Florida’s Amendment 4 Hearing

Advancement Project National Office issued a statement on Florida's Amendment 4 hearing. "No Floridian should have to choose between participating in democracy and food for their families, housing, childcare or transportation to work."

Read More
Brutality, Abuse, & Neglect at ICA-Farmville Detention Center: Local, National Organizations Expose Deplorable ICA-Farmville Conditions

  The only solution is to free all people detained in ICA-Farmville, and shut it down for good. Advancement Project National Office is working with La ColectiVA, Sanctuary DMV, Detention Watch Network (DWN), and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to make it happen. On August 18, 2020, we released a new white paper and infographic highlighting the deplorable conditions at Immigration Centers of America (ICA) Farmville.  The white paper synthesizes new documents obtained by way of Freedom of Information Act…

Read More
Enshrining A #RightToVote in the U.S. Constitution

For nearly two decades, Advancement Project National Office has championed an affirmative and explicit #RightToVote Amendment. On August 4, 2020, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a historic joint resolution to amend the U.S. Constitution to enshrine an affirmative and explicit right to vote.  The Durbin-Warren #RightToVote Amendment would: Guarantee the fundamental right to vote in all public elections to each citizen of legal voting age. Ensure that the right to vote of formerly incarcerated individuals and returning citizens is the same as the right to vote of all…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Statement: We Endorse the Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Enshrine an Affirmative and Explicit Right to Vote For All

Today, Dick Durbin (D-IL) proposed a constitutional provision finally enshrining the right to vote as a fundamental right in the U.S. Constitution. The Right to Vote Amendment guarantees “the fundamental right to vote in any public election” for every citizen of legal voting age and requires courts to apply the highest level of judicial review to voter suppression laws that deny or restrict the fundamental right to vote, including state criminal disenfranchisement laws. “President Barack Obama recently eulogized Representative John Lewis as a ‘Founding Father’ of ‘a better America’. If John Lewis is a new Founding Father, then this amendment…

Read More
Webinar on the Power of Sheriffs in Florida – August 10, 2020 at 2pET/11aPT

On Monday, August 10, 2020, at 2p ET/11a PT, join Advancement Project National Office, Dream Defenders and New Florida Majority for a webinar on the power and role of sheriffs in Florida, and how sheriffs impact the school-to-prison pipeline. Learn about organizing efforts to defund policing budgets and address harm throughout Florida, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Receive political education about the history of policing and what communities are doing to build power to build a world without police. Register today!  …

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Supports New Counseling Not Criminalization Bill

Lawmakers today introduced a bill to help schools cut ties with police. Under the Counseling Not Criminalization Act, Federal funding would be prohibited from being used to hire, train, or keep law enforcement in schools. In addition, the bill would create a $2.5 billion grant program to replace police in schools with school psychologists, social workers, and other staff who are suited to help support mental health and provide trauma-informed services to young people.  The Senate version of the Counseling Not Criminalization Act was introduced by Senators Chris Murphy and Elizabeth…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Trump Administration’s Memo Seeking to Dismantle DACA

Washington, D.C. – Advancement Project National Office condemns a memo issued by the Trump Administration today that blatantly ignores the recent Supreme Court ruling to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, and begins the process to dismantle the program. “Just one month after the Trump Administration lost at the Supreme Court in the DACA decision, they issued this memo that completely disregards the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth, and we will not stand for this,” said Losmin Jimenez, Immigrant Justice Project Director at Advancement Project National Office. The July 28, 2020 memo states…

Read More
The Power of Prosecutors – Video and Infographic

Prosecutors (also known as state attorneys or district attorneys) have enormous power in shaping justice in our communities. You have the power to elect prosecutors committed to ending mass incarceration. Watch our town hall “The Power of Prosecutors: Know Before You Vote,” and share our infographic. It’s time for people of color to be #FreeAndSafe…

Read More