Racial Justice

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Update posted 1 hour ago

Petition to Asheville City Council, Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor Sheneika Smith, Asheville

Return Asheland Ave Parcel to Asheville's Community Reparations Commission

On February 23, 2021, the Asheville City Council will vote on a proposal to sell an acre of city-owned land on Asheland Avenue to Haywood Street Congregation for $1. Its current value is $1.45 million. Help us send a message to City Council asking them to halt the sale and return this land to the moratorium and Reparations Resolution! HistoryOn July 14, Council members unanimously passed a Resolution supporting community reparations for Black Asheville. On October 27, 2020, City Council voted 6-1 to suspend the sale of city property acquired through Urban Renewal until a "just and equitable way of dealing with them can be found by the future Reparations Commission." However, the Asheland Ave. parcel was exempted from that rule and was fast-tracked through approvals with no public bid or community input. Why? Pastor Brian Combs states "he had been directed by city staff not to publicly discuss the project until it came before the HCD committee;" Since then, Combs has tacitly reached out to a limited number of neighbors who cannot safely meet or organize during the pandemic. Many residents and prominent voices of color oppose the development. Urban Renewal razed Black homes and businesses, eliminating generational wealth and economic viability and forced many former home owners to live in low-income rental properties concentrated in Southside. In 1973, local Black activists fought to amend the redevelopment plan for more 1) parks and 2) home ownership and a deed restriction was placed on the Asheland Ave parcel prohibiting development and designating it for use as a "Buffer-Park." By ignoring the history and current calls for racial justice, City Council is continuing down the path of paternalism in deciding what is best for this piece of land and the community it was taken from. We are asking that City Council halt the gifting of the land to HSC and return the land to Asheville's Community Reparations Commission, and finally put Black Southside voices first in envisioning and acting on what that land could be. WHAT YOU STAND TO LOSE The Asheland Ave parcel is only 1.09 acres of a larger 18.5 acres of city-owned land throughout Southside. Using this sale as a precedent, that means that places like Murray Park, the Blanton circle, and other green space in Southside could be developed. Take action now to stop the over-development of Asheville! TAKE ACTION! Sign this petition and share it with others!  Email Asheville City Council asking them halt the sale and return this land to Asheville's Community Reparations Commission as was decided for other Urban Renewal-acquired land on Oct 27, 2020. Attend the virtual Tuesday, February 23, 2021 City Council meeting and call in to oppose the gifting of Asheland Ave. land or ask them to postpone the vote until community members can safely meet to talk about the development. Black seniors are in one of the most COVID-19 vulnerable demographic groups and we want a hearing that protects the community in a forum that allows for everyone who wants to participate to do so in a safe manner.

Concerned Asheville Resident
138 supporters
Started 2 hours ago

Petition to City Schools of Decatur, The Citizens of Decatur

CSD Must Not Reinstate Dr. Cheryl Nahmias as DHS IB Coordinator

  Goal: Dr. Nahmias is not reinstated to her position as IB Coordinator at Decatur High School. Nahmias’s reinstatement to her former position as IB Coordinator of Decatur High School will be harmful to students of color and their parents.  We fear Nahmias will be reinstated as a result of Dr. Dude’s potential departure due to the ramifications of this and other lawsuits. We call upon DHS to organize conversations between administration, faculty, and the student body as a means to mend broken relationships and distrust. We call upon City Schools of Decatur to, once again, revise the Code of Conduct to list a clear consequences for Level 5 violations. ---  In light of the complaint brought forth by Dr. Cheryl Nahmias in which she listed “racial discrimination” as the basis of her “demotion”, she has broken the trust of the student body (both present and former).  In response to Claim 35 of the complaint: Dr. Nahmias’s decision to weaponize her relationship as an ally to students of color for professional gain makes her presence as an administrator and an educator harmful to the academic operations of said students. Her disregard for the value of said relationships beyond her ethos in the lawsuit inherently reduces her past support for inclusivity to a form of performative activism. Consequently, her complaint unfortunately creates an environment where students of color are unable to trust the proclaimed “allyship” from the faculty.  Considering that the DHS community engaged in multiple conversations and educational opportunities to discuss the impacts of racism in the school system, it is antithetical to the proclaimed mission of CSD for there to be continued support for a former administrator who claimed that the consequences of her son’s racist threats are in any way, shape or form, defendable and deserving of a lighter consequence. Even more so, the claim that these consequences were given out by the Central Office as a form of prejudice held against her race demonstrates how the rhetoric of the complaint was intrinsically meant to gaslight her black colleagues and trivialize the reality of racism within CSD and broader communities.  The complaint cites that Nahmias and her son expected to be “educated” and accepted back into the school, specifically by black colleagues. However, it is essential to recognize the irony in that statement. Dr. Nahmias, in writing and action, promoted the article “That Word is Power: A Black DHS Student’s Response to White Classmates Saying the N-word” by DHS student and co-writer, Genesis Reddicks, on the DHS Facebook page. The piece specifically details the significance and history of the “N-word” and places a focus on situations such as this one, in which white aggressors demean their Black counterparts as a tactic to elude just consequences.  In Nahmias’s response to Reddicks on May 1, 2020, she expressed understanding of the Op-Ed, saying Reddicks’s “courage and intellect will help many people in our community to grow and be better.” Therefore, Nahmias’s repeated assertions of racial education and activism (including, but not limited to her support of civil rights projects and organizations) contradict her false claims faulting CSD for not educating her on such issues. It is clear that Dr. Nahmias’s positions on racial discrimination are an indication of her privilege to abruptly shift her values for whichever ideology offers greater convenience. Black students have expressed feeling “used” by Dr. Nahmias as a tactic to gain an advantage in a legal battle. Consequently, students are distrustful of how she may use her position if she is reinstated at DHS.  By filing this lawsuit, Dr. Nahmias demonstrates extreme racial ignorance and insensitivity. As if her family has not done enough harm to the CSD community, she is now attempting to further use her privilege to insult people of color.  It is unacceptable to have someone this ignorant and insensitive at CSD.  It is important to remember that the IB Coordinator position is tied to the International Baccalaureate organization. Understanding her true intentions with this complaint, Nahmias representing a system of international open-mindedness would not reflect well on CSD. The student body demands that Dr. Cheryl Nahmias does not return to her former position of IB Coordinator as a means of maintaining a safe academic atmosphere. Additionally, we urge DHS administration to organize conversations between students and administration to reconcile the provocation of pre-existing distrust of Decatur’s institutions of education. We call on CSD to, once again, revise their policies around racial misconduct, in which there is a clear punishment listed for Level 5 violations of the CSD Code of Conduct, so that they may protect the victims of such behaviors.  CSD must recognize the extent to which this act of racial aggression hurts every member of Decatur’s Black community, regardless of their position within or outside of CSD. Such an act furthers racial divisions between the white and racial minority communities of Decatur and it is the duty of our school system to combat the social barriers placed upon us by institutional racism.   

Liza Watson
29 supporters