25 Years of Fighting for Racial Justice

25 years of fighting for racial justice

2018 marks an important milestone for us: On March 8, 1993, The Greenlining Institute officially incorporated, making the leap from an informal coalition to an actual organization. This anniversary comes at a moment in our nation’s history when the fight for racial justice has never been more important, a moment when everything we fight for is under more intense threat than we’ve seen in decades.

And that fight has never been more crucial. So over the next few months – here on this blog, on Greenlining’s social media accounts and at our Economic Summit on May 24 — we will be revisiting some key moments in our history and reflecting on what happened and what we’ve learned. From launching our Leadership Academy to warning Alan Greenspan in 2004 of growing problems in the subprime mortgage market to fighting harmful mergers and more recent efforts to guarantee that communities of color reap the benefits of California’s growing clean energy economy, we’ve won some key battles and we’ve lost some others. Many more battles still must be won.

Along the way, we’ve kept our eyes on one overriding goal: An America where communities of color thrive, and race is never a barrier to economic opportunity.

Right now, we must fight too many defensive battles, trying to stave off attacks on immigrants, access to health care, and basic civil rights. But we know that while those fights are necessary, true progress for communities of color can never come while we’re in a defensive crouch. Greenlining continues paving new pathways toward true racial justice and finding ways to move the ball forward across our policy areas. Despite this difficult political era, we know that when communities of color come together we all succeed. Our history tells us that we can make progress towards a more equitable society, and this knowledge fuels us for the work that lies ahead.

These past 25 years have been a journey – sometimes difficult, often stressful, but also often exhilarating and always powered by hope.  Over the next couple of months we’ll be revisiting some of that history here on this blog and via our social media accounts. We invite you to join us as we examine our history and look ahead to our next 25 years of fighting for racial justice and a future with true equity and opportunity for communities of color.

Orson Aguilar is President of The Greenlining Institute.

[embedboxfull type=”start”]

Help fuel our fight for justice. Support Greenlining today.

[embedboxfull type=”end”]

An Open Letter to the Next Mayor of San Francisco: Confront Gentrification

The sad, sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee shocked not only San Franciscans, but people all over the Bay Area.  As a person, Lee was almost universally liked. His low-key, gentle style came as a relief after the flamboyant personalities of Gavin Newsom and Willie Brown. His policies proved more controversial, but whatever one thinks of specific decisions, there can be no doubt that during Lee’s tenure, San Francisco gentrification went from being a concern to a full-blown crisis. As a 24-year city resident, I feel compelled to offer a few thoughts to the next mayor of San Francisco:

Dear Mayor,

I don’t know your name yet, or your politics or your platform, but it doesn’t matter. Whether our next full-term mayor turns out to be current Acting Mayor London Breed or one of the at least half-dozen other potential candidates being talked about, you need to recognize that our city is in crisis. That crisis can be summed up in one image from an event I attended downtown: Heading out of the Montgomery Street BART station, I saw a homeless man, an older African American, huddled on the sidewalk with his few belongs, ignored by the well-dressed professionals zipping by. On the street, a gleaming, brand-new Tesla zoomed past. And another. And another.

Welcome to the City of Income Inequality, and the next mayor of San Francisco must face the fact that we have reached a state of emergency. Earlier this year, Bloomberg crunched the numbers and found that the income gap between the richest and poorest San Franciscans was the highest of any city in the country.

San Francisco

The rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco now averages a breathtaking $3,390 per month – meaning that a $40,000 annual income won’t even cover the cost of housing, much less buy food, pay PG&E, etc. At that level of gentrification, it’s effectively impossible for an artist, an entry-level nonprofit worker or a single mom working in retail to live in this city. Even people with what should be good jobs, like nurses and teachers, struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

City officials have pushed to increase housing construction, with some success. According to a recent report, as of last month over 5,000 units were under construction, with some 64,000 “in the pipeline.”  Of course, there’s no guarantee all those pipeline units will actually get built. Worse, that 64,000 unit total includes only 5,600 affordable rentals – and again, we’re a long way from knowing they’ll all get built.

The gentrification crisis has accelerated the decline of San Francisco’s Black population, which dropped from 13.4 percent of city residents in 1970 to just six percent in 2016. The city is losing Latinos too, at the rate of about 1,700 per year, even as our overall population increases.

The next mayor of San Francisco must confront the reality that the very character of our city is at risk. This famously diverse and eccentric place – that once spurred comments like, “North America used to be tilted, and everything loose rolled to San Francisco” – can’t be that if only people with incomes well into six figures can afford to live here. We need aggressive, creative strategies to get more affordable housing and save what we’re losing, and quickly.

CLICK TO SHARE AND TWEET: A priority for the next mayor of #SanFrancisco: recognizing and confronting #gentrification and the #affordablehousing crisis.

But San Francisco’s crisis goes beyond just housing. That river of tech money that sent housing costs soaring somehow hasn’t found its way into the city treasury. Astonishingly, “emergency” fee increases at city parks and other facilities, implemented seven or eight years ago to cope with recession-induced revenue losses, have never come back down. For example, the cost for an adult to swim in a city pool was $4 in 2009. Now it’s $6, a 50 percent increase. Fees for kids, low-income residents, and monthly passes are lower, but have also risen, as have fees at all sorts of city facilities.

$6 may not sound like much, but for that single mom trying to make do on $40,000 a year, it’s prohibitive.

San Francisco has come to epitomize the opening of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” San Francisco is awash in personal and corporate wealth, but while that mass of cash has fueled rampant displacement and gentrification, it mostly hasn’t trickled down to the city services on which working families depend. We urgently need a serious rethinking of the city’s tax structure to tap into that wealth and put it to work for those without high-paying tech jobs.

The next mayor of San Francisco must recognize the magnitude of this crisis, and that business as usual cannot be an acceptable option.

Bruce Mirken is Greenlining’s Media Relations Director. Follow him on Twitter.

Native American Genocide and American Exceptionalism

In 1846, California had a Native American population of about 150,000. Just 27 years later, that figure had plummeted to just 30,000. I didn’t learn that as a schoolkid in southern California in the 1960s; I picked up that and lots of other facts I was never taught from a recent book called “An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe,” by UCLA history professor Benjamin Madley. And that got me thinking about “American exceptionalism.”

An American Genocide

American exceptionalism, explains historian Ian Tyrrell, “refers to the special character of the United States as a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and personal liberty.” California’s 19th century Native American population didn’t experience much democracy or personal liberty, but Madley makes a compelling case that the original Californians did indeed experience genocide at the hands of white Americans, supported and encouraged by the U.S. government. If more Americans learned about these less uplifting episodes in American history, we might have a better, safer nation.

Madley’s book has been a difficult read – not that there’s anything wrong with his writing, but just because the subject is so depressing. While California’s Native American population suffered plenty of mistreatment before 1846 – including on Junipero Serra’s brutal “missions” that were more like forced-labor camps – it got much worse and more lethal when the Gold Rush hit and tens of thousands of Whites suddenly streamed into the state.

In one typical massacre, shortly after the Gold Rush began, U.S. soldiers massacred perhaps as many as 800 members of the Pomo tribe who lived in the vicinity of Clear Lake in northern California. Madley quotes a description from the Alta California newspaper:

They … poured in destructive fire indiscriminately upon men, women and children. “They fell,” says our informant, “as grass before the sweep of the scythe.” Little or no resistance was encountered, and the work of butchery was of short duration. The shrieks of the slaughtered victims died away, the roar of muskets … ceased; and stretched lifeless upon the sod of their native valley were the bleeding bodies of these Indians – [n]or sex nor age was spared; it was the order of extermination faithfully obeyed. [emphasis in original]

CLICK TO TWEET: Many americans believe the U.S. is the best nation dedicated to liberty and democracy. It isn’t, says @BruceMirken.

Note that word: extermination. Yes, U.S. military and other authorities literally talked of exterminating whole groups of the native population, and they succeeded. Some of the slaughters were carried out by local bands of vigilantes, but the U.S. and state governments actively supported the attacks and the military conducted many. Madley makes a compelling case that the near-complete annihilation of California’s Native Americans meets the legal definition of genocide.

Native American Encampment

I wish this represented a uniquely barbaric episode in American history, but Native American tribes in other parts of the country would likely disagree. And that’s before we get to the victims of other American brutalities, from slavery to Jim Crow and lynching, to name the most obvious examples.

Looking past our borders, we see U.S.-sponsored coups in nations around the world – often quite bloody —  from Iran in 1953 to South Vietnam in 1963 to Chile in 1973. And we haven’t even gotten to other episodes, like the U.S. occupation of the Philippines – so brutal that Mark Twain suggested we commemorate it with a special flag: “just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.”

What does this have to do with American exceptionalism? Everything. No, I don’t mean to suggest that the U.S. has an exceptionally violent and brutal history compared to other nations – sadly, we have lots of competition in that regard. But I do mean to suggest that the central notion of American exceptionalism, that we are better than other nations because of our special dedication to liberty and democracy, is just a crock. And it’s a dangerous crock, because it blinds us to the violence and injustice that form a running thread through U.S. history and that continue to plague us today.

Big Data and Social Justice are on a Collision Course

Have you ever felt like you missed the boat on a huge opportunity? I do. A friend once told me to buy bitcoin when it was $80; now it’s almost $5,000 and my stomach clenches thinking about what could have been. I get that same feeling when I think about big data and the opportunity it presents for communities of color. The world’s most valuable resource is now big data; it’s even been called the “new oil.” Machine learning and predictive analytics are the oil rigs and refineries that mine and process data to find valuable business insights. Corporations race to tap into big data because it helps them innovate faster, sell more, track trends, and manipulate public opinion. What’s missing from this conversation is social justice: how big data can be used to both harm and help efforts to bridge America’s widening racial and economic divides.

CLICK TO TWEET: We must ensure that #BigData does not expand racial inequity.

Big Data is the New Oil
Big Data is the New Oil


What is Big Data?

In the movie Minority Report¸ which takes place in 2054, the Washington D.C. police department has a “PreCrime” unit of mutant psychics who can predict murders before they occur. That future is here, but instead of psychics we have machines analyzing mountains of data to find patterns and relationships that the human eye can’t see. The insights these programs generate are used to make predictions. Beyond just predicting crime, we have algorithms crunching seemingly arbitrary information like credit card purchases, Facebook likes, Yelp reviews, browsing and search history, text spelling errors, location, or even phone battery life to predict things about you like creditworthiness, what type of TV shows you like, your mental health, insurance risk, job performance, political beliefs, whether you’re poor, undocumented, renting, and even if you’re pregnant. For better or worse, companies and governments use data analytics to answer pretty much any question people can come up with. One team is even analyzing Nazi war records using machine learning to find out who betrayed Anne Frank. However, these algorithmic predictions can make mistakes, and that can have disastrous consequences.

Data Driven Predictions – Expanding Racial Inequity?

Minority Report’s Psychics are Today’s Algorithms

The psychics in Minority Report wrongly predicted the lead character, detective John Anderton, was a murderer, and as much as he knew he was innocent, he was trapped and persecuted in a society that blindly believed in those psychic predictions. The Greenlining Institute focuses on the use of big data because this scenario isn’t just fiction. Incorrect predictions can result in things like unfairly losing a job opportunity, wrong medical treatment, more prison time, paying more for insurance or losing access to credit. As big data use expands, so do the consequences of a wrong prediction. Big data has the potential to reinforce historical patterns of discrimination, but, perhaps more importantly, it can be a powerful tool for increasing economic opportunity.

Algorithms and Data Are Biased

Algorithmic predictions can be off the mark for many reasons, starting with the fact that data and the people who program predictive algorithms can be biased. Bias enters into algorithmic decision-making systems because at the end of the day, the inputs to that system come from people. Like our children, algorithms learn from us and that means we can transmit our implicit or explicit biases to them. As is so often the case, this bias negatively affects people of color. For example, if an algorithm for face recognition or judging beauty is trained with only white faces, that program will be biased towards white women in beauty contests or mistakenly label black faces as gorillas. These types of problems can be addressed through greater diversity and inclusion among the teams that design algorithms and feed it data. A harder problem arises when the data itself reflects systemic bias.

Like in Minority Report, law enforcement agencies increasingly use predictive policing programs and tools that give out “risk scores” to aid in criminal sentencing, and these programs can perpetuate the systemic racial bias inherent in crime data and the justice system. For example, Black and White Americans use drugs at comparable rates, but the imprisonment rate of Black Americans for drug charges is almost six times that of Whites – not because of anything Black Americans do, but because of deep-seated biases in our criminal justice system.

A recent report found that systems using machine learning will “reproduce the inherent biases present in the data they are provided with” and assess disproportionately targeted ethnic and religious minorities as an increased risk. “Acting on these predictions will then result in those individuals being disproportionately targeted by police action, creating a ‘feedback loop’ by which the predicted outcome simply becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Biased inputs = Biased Outputs
Biased inputs = Biased Outputs

We must prevent such biased outcomes, not just in the criminal justice system but in every sector of our society.  So, we here at Greenlining, along with other nonprofits, tech companies, banks and regulators are beginning to work towards finding the right ethical standards for using this data, protecting privacy, and preventing bias. This is a necessary first step, but only half of the big data picture.

Closing the Racial Wealth Gap with Big Data

At the end of Minority Report, the “PreCrime” unit is shut down because of the serious consequences of a wrong prediction. In the real world, however, the big data genie is out of the bottle and won’t be going away anytime soon. But we don’t have to live with the status quo. While the misuse of data can perpetuate and amplify inequality, we believe big data has even more potential as a tool for positive social impact. It can improve educational outcomes, connect folks to resources like mental health support, loans, and financing; it can help end food deserts, reduce traffic, and improve environmental conditions in polluted neighborhoods. The possibilities are exciting, and as an organization we’re excited to work with our existing partners and to reach out to the tech community to realize that potential while also curbing potential harms. Look to future blog posts in this space to find out how big data can be better leveraged as a tool to advance racial and economic equity.

Vinhcent is Greenlining’s Telecommunications Legal Counsel. Follow him on Twitter @VinhcentLe.

An American Heritage: Black Tradition of Patriotic Expression

Players kneel for racial justice
Players kneel for racial justice

There is nothing more patriotic than the commitment to ensure and uphold our most sacred national values: equality, justice and liberty. One form of patriotic expression, when these values are violated, is to cryptically or symbolically resist. From dance and song used to coordinate resistance to bondage to lunch counter sit-ins – these, and countless other actions, are rooted in service to defending America’s values. Born from Black America’s history of leadership in advancing liberty and equality, this form of service has become a custom in American patriotic expression. Most recently, we’ve seen professional athletes take up this tradition by kneeling for racial justice.

CLICK TO TWEET: #TakeAKnee is part of a long tradition of black patriotic expression, of an American heritage.

Players started kneeling in 2016, when then 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick symbolically protested police violence against people of color and racial injustice. Since then, dozens of Black professional athletes (and one white) have kneeled. Kaepernick sat through the anthem in his first protests. But, after working with former Green Beret Nate Boyer, Kaepernick began to kneel instead. In a CBS interview, Boyer explained how he came to middle ground in his counsel to Kaepernick to kneel instead of sitting, “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect…”

However,  in his Alabama stump speech for Senator Luther Strange, Trump mocked the freedom of Black athletes who kneel, after referring to them as “sons of bitches” and demanding the players be fired: “…and I know we have freedoms and freedom of choice… And many, many different freedoms. But you know what… it’s still totally disrespectful.” Trump said, while flailing his arm to connote irritation and mockery.

He argued that these protests “disrespect our heritage” and “everything that it stands for.” Whose heritage?  If it’s a heritage that doesn’t call for freedom, justice and equality for all – as do the players’ actions – he can’t be talking about any heritage that belongs to Black Americans. Trump doesn’t appreciate nor understand that African American heritage is also an American heritage.

Trump’s rhetoric condemns traditional Black patriotic expression and suggests we should shut up and get back in our place. This harkens back to past plantation narratives, in which Black people were coerced into maintaining the comfort and entertainment of White owners, overseers, and spectators — singing them sweet plantation lullabies, putting on good profitable slave-fights, working that plantation field, and keeping quiet about equality, freedom and justice. Swap that plantation field for a football field, and Trump’s rage fits snugly into that plantation experience.

Trump talks about how the players’ civic engagement is ruining football, a sport in which African Americans comprise about 70 percent of players. He even mocked efforts to protect the physical safety of football players: “Today if you hit too hard, ’15 yards’ and throw him out ­­­­­­­­­of the game… they’re ruining the game…” It appears that Trump longs for a time past, when Black people were forced to brutalize, maim and kill one another in slave-fights for White men’s profit and entertainment. Yes, let’s #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.

He went on to say, “But, what’s really ruining the game is when people like yourselves turn on the television, and you see those people take a knee…”

“Those people”? Really?

“Those people” have been Black players, except one. So, watching Black people push for American values offends Trump’s understanding of his and his supporters’ heritage. He places this “heritage” above honoring freedom, justice and equality – each of which was furthered by Black, Native American, Latinx, LGBTQ, Women’s (and so many other) American experiences. Their defense and pursuit of liberty wasn’t accomplished by keeping the White men folk comfortable and entertained.  Yes, White wealthy men gave the United States the idea of a country founded on the principles of liberty, justice and equality, but everyone else gave the United States the actualization of it.

The continued effort to move our nation’s principles from concept to full reality is symbolized when our athletes take a knee for racial justice. This form of Black patriotism is of an American heritage – a heritage that Trump doesn’t acknowledge and doesn’t understand.

Joe Jackson is Greenlining’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager.

Dear White People: We Have to Fix the Trump Problem

Trump White PeopleIf you’ve noticed the photo that accompanies my blog posts, you’ve probably figured out that I’m white. I don’t normally bring that up, but this message is particularly for my fellow white people. We need to face the fact that we caused the Trump problem, and we have to take responsibility for fixing it.

We elected Trump, who, according to the exit polls, lost nonwhite voters by over 3-to-1 while carrying whites by a comfortable 20 point margin. Whites – not all of us, but a healthy majority of us – inflicted upon America the torrent of hate, narrow-mindedness, pathological lying and disregard for facts and science that has marked the U.S. government since inauguration day.

People of color can’t fix this by themselves. Oh they’re trying – from well-known voices like Jose Antonio Vargas, Dean Obeidallah, and Rev. William Barber to millions of mostly invisible citizen-activists writing letters, registering voters, signing petitions and educating their communities. And they’ll keep at it.  But we must not leave them to do this alone, any more than we should leave the tens of thousands left homeless by the Houston floods to their own devices.

CLICK TO TWEET: “White people like me caused the Trump problem, and we must take responsibility for fixing it.” – @BruceMirken

This is not just about Donald Trump, though his administration has brought much of America’s ugly side bubbling to the surface. It’s about reclaiming an America where, as Martin Luther King Jr. famously put it, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” It’s bending in the opposite direction now, and as white people – the group that still overwhelmingly has the money and power in this society despite a president who seems to be building his base entirely on a sense of white victimhood – we damn well better step up and fix it.

So what do we need to do? First, we must educate ourselves. For example, learn about the ongoing legacy of discrimination and redlining, a legacy whose effects are very much still with us. That doesn’t mean you have to bury yourself in dry history economics texts. You can pick up a lot from engrossing, lively books like Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns – the story of the Great Migration of African Americans from the segregated south to the only-somewhat-less-segregated north, and which along the way explains a lot about how housing segregation crammed people of color into overcrowded neighborhoods with underfunded services and bred the worst pathology later seen in some of America’s inner cities.

Follow the Brennan Center for Justice to learn about the profound inequities in our criminal justice system and the ongoing attacks on voting rights. Yes, those attacks disproportionately impact people of color, and no, that’s not coincidence.

Learn the real, often ugly, history behind U.S. immigration laws and about the contributions that immigrants, documented and otherwise, make to our society. I could go on, but you get the point.

Then, get to work. Make calls. Write letters. Argue – respectfully but firmly – with your Fox News-watching uncle. Donate to groups that defend immigrants, reform the justice system, stand up against attacks on Muslims, and protect voting rights. Organize in your community. Vote.

The country you save may be your own.

Bruce Mirken is Greenlining’s Media Relations Director. Follow Bruce Mirken on Twitter.

Dreams from My Father: Nazis in America

Allan S. Mirken, circa 1972

My dad fought in World War II, but didn’t talk about it much. As a doctor with the army in the Pacific, I’m sure he saw lots of things he didn’t want to remember. But he did tell me one thing that’s stuck with me vividly: “I was p***ed off they sent me to the Pacific. I wanted to go to Europe and kill Nazis.”

That’s no surprise. Though not observant, my dad’s family was Jewish. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be thousands of miles away, seeing what the Nazis were doing to Jews in Europe, and be unable to do anything about it.

What, I wonder, would he make of mobs of modern Nazis marching in the streets of Charlottesville – and, it seems, literally committing murder? And what would he make of the president of the United States putting out carefully-worded statements that conspicuously failed to call out white nationalists or Nazis but instead talked about “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides” (emphasis added) – and whose later versions still reeked of “both-sides-ism”?  I think I know. (Finally, on Monday, the president managed to utter the words “racist violence” in a scripted statement that felt like what it was — a forced response to ferocious criticism all weekend).

Allan S. Mirken was a lifelong Republican, a conservative who proudly voted for Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. He would be ashamed and embarrassed by the man now leading his party and occupying the oval office.

Bruce Mirken is Greenlining’s Media Relations Director. Follow Bruce Mirken on Twitter.

#ResistReport Going on Hiatus

Dear friends,

After producing the #ResistReport for four months straight, we’ve concluded that we need to take a short break, assess our work and figure out how to make this resource better and more useful for you, our friends, allies and supporters. We also need to ensure a sustainable process for our hard-working staff, who spend many hours each week assembling the information that goes into each issue.

It’s become clear through the first half of 2017 that the unprecedented assault on so much we care about isn’t likely to end soon, and that we need to be as effective as possible through the long haul. Your feedback will be critical to that effort.

Taking this break was a hard choice. We know that many have come to rely on this weekly resource, and the need to keep active and educated continues. While #ResistReport is on hiatus, we encourage you to stay plugged in. Sources such as the Resistance Calendar, Indivisible, Action AllianceJen Hofmann, and Weekly Resistance regularly post updates and actions for all who want to resist attacks on immigrants, Muslims, voting rights, health care, the environment, and so much more. You can also review our #ResistReport archive for previous issues, which contain hundreds of great resources and links.

We’re also asking you to help us out by sharing your thoughts. We’ll be posting a survey shortly, which we hope you’ll take a few minutes to answer. You’re also welcome to email any ideas or suggestions to brucem@greenlining.org.

We plan to have the #ResistReport going full-bore again by mid-August. In the meantime, stay informed, build together, and resist!

#ResistReport, Vol. 16

Welcome to the latest issue of Greenlining’s #ResistReport, which appears on our blog every Thursday. With so many harmful policies coming out of Washington, we hope this will help our friends and supporters plug into grassroots activities to resist these policies here in the Bay Area and around the country.

If you find this weekly compilation of actions, updates, and resources useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues, follow Greenlining on Twitter and regularly check our archive #ResistReport for previous and future updates. 


  • Trumpcare – rightly called the #DeathCareBill – suffered a setback this week, but it’s not dead! Urgent action is needed now and over the July 4 congressional recess to resist this terrible bill and preserve access to health care for the millions who gained it under Obamacare:
    • Kamala Harris has specific advice for folks to take action on the health care bill currently sitting in Senate.
    • Check out this Trumpcare Toolkit for info on senators to call and social media posts.
    • Follow @IndivisibleData for state-specific statistics, data, and graphics on Trumpcare implications for your state! Use this info to Tweet at and call members of Congress.
    • Start planning for July 4th recess actions. Congress goes on a week-long recess starting this weekend. Senators will be back home in their states, going to July 4th parades, and/or hiding from their constituents. THIS is the time to resist!
      • If your senator is a Democrat, thank them for playing hardball. Ask your Democratic senator to continue to resist by withholding consent on senate business. Tell them to object! Also ask your Democratic senator to try to bury TrumpCare in amendments. You can submit an amendment by visiting Org.
      • For Republicans Susan Collins (Maine) and Dean Heller (Nevada), thank them for committing to voting against the bill. They’re getting pressure from the far right that they need to resist. Positive reinforcement is rare and effective!
      • For all other Republican senators, tell them your stories and demand they vote against TrumpCare whenever it finally comes up for a vote.
    • Remember, many of your senators will be too chicken to hold town halls, so you’ll need to make your voice heard in their local offices and at other public events. They WILL be back home in their state this recess, so they have absolutely NO excuse for avoiding their constituents.
    • Pressure your governor to oppose the Senate Trumpcare bill, like Republican Ohio Governor Kasich and Democratic Colorado Governor Hickenlooper did recently. CSPAN video here.
    • Brush up on these talking points for TrumpCare here:
    • Join a Resistance Summer cook-out near you.
    • Want to impeach 45? Impeachment Marches are happening all over the U.S. on Sunday 7/2. Look here for times and locations near you.
    • Californians:
      • Phonebank with Bay Resistance to save the ACA. Wednesdays 5-8pm in San Francisco.
      • Support AB 699 and ensure all students, regardless of their documentation status, have safe K-12 educations.
      • Support AB 918 and ensure all Californians, regardless of what language they speak, can have access to appropriate materials in order to vote.
    • More actions here, courtesy of Jen Hofmann — including ways to resist attacks on Muslims and immigrants and how to resist Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s plans that will harm LGBTQ young people.
    • Still more ways to resist: check this calendar for a variety of local events around the country.


  • Delve into the lived experiences of a Black man in Minnesota, through the eyes of Man Booker Prize-winner and Macalester College professor Marlon James.
  • Check out these 12 books banned from Arizona classrooms under its statewide ban on Mexican-American and other ethnic studies.
  • Concerned about how to resist and avert unnecessary police shootings? Check out this Tampa Bay Times examination of “Why Cops Shoot.”
  • Read more from trans Black womxn Laverne Cox on the state of the LGBTQ movement: “The people who are suffering most in the LGBTQ community are people of color, particularly transgender people of color.”
  • Investigate the painful histories we uphold through the naming of public spaces, even in liberal San Francisco.
  • Learn why calling enslaved womxn “mistresses” romanticizes the rape of enslaved womxn with no autonomy.
  • Identify how white supremacy culture manifests in your everyday spaces.
  • Confused about the Supreme Court’s #MuslimBan decision? Check out this flyer from Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
  • Unclear about 45’s administration’s plans for DACA and immigrant rights? Learn more from the National Immigration Law Center here.
  • Want a mid-year progress report on 2017? Democracy in Color has crafted one here.
  • Preparing for graduate school? Check out “How to Prep for Grad School While Poor,” a resource especially for people of color, LGBTQ folks, and folks from other underserved backgrounds.
  • Interested how your city’s demographics compare on a national timescale? Check out this New York Times analysis.




  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Approves “Safe Transit” Policy Mirroring Sanctuary Policies: On 6/22, BART’s Board approved a new policy that directs the system’s police officers “not to expend resources enforcing federal immigration laws,” forbids officers from asking riders or employees about their documentation status, and forbids BART employees from using immigration status to deny benefits or share information.
  • Pride Marches Channel Resistance, Call to Center People of Color: LGBTQ pride marches and parades across the U.S. in recent years have often been white-dominated spaces rife with corporate floats, t-shirts, and feel-good slogans. This year, more LGBTQ advocates embraced intersectionality and the need for collective resistance – and in some places brave people of color shut down parades to call for more inclusivity and leadership of trans folks, less police presence, and more explicit valuation of queer folks of color. Overall, this year’s Pride embodied #Resist more explicitly than in many years.


  • For the first time ever, the entire class of 170 seniors from Ballou High, a predominantly Black public high school in southeast Washington, D.C., walked at graduation with college acceptance letters in hand.
  • Macalester College alumni of color teamed up to compile a zine, Facing Forward, dedicated to graduating students of color as they enter the post-college landscape. Lovingly curated, designed, and spearheaded by Latinx writer and social justice activist Ariel Estrella. May these words of compassion, empathy, and encouragement speak to you.

NOTE: While this post includes links providing direct access to other Internet resources, including websites, Greenlining has not participated in the development of those other sites and does not exert any editorial or other control over those sites. Greenlining is not responsible for the accuracy or content of information contained in these sites.

Links from Greenlining to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement by Greenlining of the sites, organizations, or of any candidate or policy position.

#ResistReport, Vol. 15

#ResistWelcome to the latest issue of Greenlining’s #ResistReport, which appears on our blog every Thursday. With so many harmful policies coming out of Washington, we hope this will help our friends and supporters plug into grassroots activities to resist these policies here in the Bay Area and around the country.

If you find this weekly compilation of actions, updates, and resources useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues, follow Greenlining on Twitter and regularly check our archive #ResistReport for previous and future updates. 

We dedicate this week’s issue to the individuals, families, and communities torn apart by police violence and brutality. Today and every day, we know that #BlackLivesMatter.


  • Urgent! Resist Trumpcare! The Senate is pushing to vote before July 4 on a bill that will destroy all the gains made in recent years on access to health care.
  • Resist, meet new friends and build community at a Resistance Summer cook-out near you.
  • Californians:
    • Phonebank with Bay Resistance to resist repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Wednesdays 5-8pm in SF.
    • Support AB 699 and ensure all students, regardless of their documentation status, have safe K-12 educations.
    • Support AB 918 and ensure all Californians, regardless of what language they speak, can have access to appropriate materials in order to vote.
  • Lots more actions here, including how to resist attacks on public lands and indigenous people and ways to stand up for employment fairness for the formerly incarcerated.


Intro Materials:
  • Dig into the significance of Juneteenth, especially on the heels of the murders of Philando Castile and Charleena Lyles.
  • Find healing through poetry: Read “not an elegy from Mike Brown,” which resonates with the vicious pattern of Black people murdered by cops.
  • Learn how student loan debt is a womxn’s rights issue, as womxn “shoulder almost two-thirds of the $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loans, even though they account for just 57 percent of students enrolled in colleges and universities.” Black womxn, in particular, bear the heaviest burden of college debt.
  • LGBTQ folks have had to resist for a long time. Celebrate Pride by digging into this  reading list.
  • Learn what prevents womxn from truly pursuing politics.
  • Tease apart the whiteness of nonprofit spaces here.
Next Level:
  • Confront anti-Blackness in Latinx culture here, and then in these 5 steps. Read why this matters to others in the Latinx community.
  • Check yourself on “passive progressiveness” and read this article on Seattle Public Schools teachers organizing a “Black Lives Matter in the Seattle Public Schools” event.
  • Explore this interactive map displaying the history of lynchings in the U.S., created by Google.org and the Equal Justice Initiative.
  • Uplift queer and trans people of color this Pride month. Read and support, “Rest for Resistance” here.
  • Support this new magazine dedicated to showcasing Asian Americans in their complexity.


  • Celebrate Oakland at the 2017 Oakland Progressives Party and Townie Awards to celebrate folks like Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice , and the Anti Police-Terror Project. Thursday 6/22 at 5:30 p.m.
  • March in the Trans March 2017 on Friday 6/23 at 12:00 p.m. in SF. Join other AAPI folks from APIENC, GABRIELA-SF, Ieumsae, and Vietunity at Trans March here.
  • Revel in spoken word from queer folks of color at The Root Slam on Friday 6/23 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Support the TGI Justice Project at the 12th Annual Trans March After Party at El Rio. Friday 6/23 at 7:00 p.m. in SF.
  • Celebrate West Oakland Juneteenth on Saturday 6/24 at 10:00 a.m. in Emeryville.
  • March and celebrate at the 47th annual SF Pride parade and festival on Saturday 6/24 and Sunday 6/25 in San Francisco. More here.
  • Celebrate the end of Ramadan’s month of fasting with a special iftar at Reem’s – Saturday 6/24 at 8:00 p.m. in Oakland
  • Heal with other queer and trans folks of color at a QTPOC meditation/prayer circle on Sunday 6/25 at 1:45 p.m. in Oakland
  • Uplift the marginalized stories of Oaklanders today at “Oakland Shorties.” Sunday 6/25 at 3 p.m.
  • Join DREAMer, AMEMSA, and other activists for The San Francisco Foundation’s event, “Not on Our Watch: How the Bay Stands United.” Monday 6/26 at 6:30 p.m. in San Francisco.
  • Learn more about the importance of the salmon run and existing gaps in the current federal plan. Hosted by the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. Tuesday 6/27 at 2:00 p.m. in Sacramento.
  • Join Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus for “Beyond Prisons: A Conversation,” where formerly incarcerated AAPI immigrants share their stories and perspectives. Wednesday 6/28 at 12:00 p.m. in San Francisco
  • Get free legal advice for tenants at this Tenant Convention in English and Tagalog. Wednesday 6/28 at 5:30 p.m. in San Francisco.
  • Build community at “Sustaining the Soul of Activism: From Self-Care to Soul-Care” on Wednesday 6/28 at 7:00 p.m. in Oakland
  • Share stories, build coalitions, and learn your rights at “I Am An Immigrant” all day Thursday 6/29 and Friday 6/30 in San Francisco.
  • Build community with LGBTQ folks under 25 at the day-long Know Your Rights Conference on Friday 6/30 at 11 a.m. in Oakland.


  • Delve into how Theatre of the Oppressed effects social and political change at the individual and community levels. Saturday 6/24 at 1:00 p.m. in Berkeley.
  • Celebrate Cuba-Haitian ancestral stories through dance at Malonga – Sunday 6/25 at 2:00 p.m. in Oakland
  • Join Puerto Alegre for Frida’s birthday celebration with music, food, and art. Tuesday 6/27 at 3:00 p.m. in San Francisco.


  • Supreme Court to Hear Gerrymandering Case: On 6/19, SCOTUS agreed to hear the famed Wisconsin gerrymandering case–a case with the potential to place limits on partisan gerrymandering, which heavily overlaps with racial gerrymandering. Gerrymandering has long been used as a tool to disempower and disenfranchise voters of color.
  • Federal Judge Orders Army Corp of Engineers to Reconsider DAPL Environmental Review: Last Friday 6/16, a federal judge “ordered the US Army Corp of Engineers to reconsider its environmental review of the DAPL, which in the future might lead to halting pipeline operations.” Catch up on #NoDAPL developments here, via The Nation.
  • Jay-Z Pledges to Bail Out Incarcerated Dads for Father’s Day: On Friday 6/16, Beyonce’s partner, Jay-Z, pledged to support Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change to bail out incarcerated dads–men who are disproportionately men of color. His inspiration? The Bail Out Mamas campaign last month and his new twins.


  • Dr. Dre donated $10 million for Compton High School’s new performing arts center in Compton, California.
  • 14-year-old, St. Paul, Minnesota resident Sunisa Lee is the first Hmong American to make the national gymnastics team — and hopefully will soon be the first Hmong American to represent the U.S. at the Olympics.

NOTE: While this post includes links providing direct access to other Internet resources, including websites, Greenlining has not participated in the development of those other sites and does not exert any editorial or other control over those sites. Greenlining is not responsible for the accuracy or content of information contained in these sites.

Links from Greenlining to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement by Greenlining of the sites, organizations, or of any candidate or policy position.