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After Michael Brown’s death on August 9 in Ferguson, what was already clear to young black men and their families became clear to everyone else: we are not living in a “postracial” society. Despite progress on many fronts, racial justice eludes us. Young black men are 21 times more likely than their white peers to be killed by police. Sixty percent of incarcerated people are people of color despite the fact that they constitute only 30% of the population. In 2012, American schools spent $334 more on every white student than on every nonwhite student. Racism plays a significant role in America’s deportation policies, which in 2013 forcibly removed 368,644 people, more than 95% of them originally from Central America.
On October 1, Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative grantee Why Not Prosper launched a new pilot program called Breaking the Cycle. The program provides housing and job training to women released from the Philadelphia prison system who have been trafficked for sex. This program will track and study these women for three years, addressing mental health issues and building skills needed to earn sustainable wages.
Dear Philadelphia social justice community,
We invite you to join us in our commitment to give in response to unfolding events in Ferguson. Collectively, we have committed to giving $15,000 each year for three years, half to organizing work in Missouri and half to organizing work in Philadelphia. We hope others will join us with commitments at any level in this fight for racial and economic justice.
The board of directors and staff of Bread & Roses Community Fund are deeply saddened by the passing of Bread & Roses board member Gloria Casarez. Gloria died on Sunday, October 19, at the age of 42 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Dr. Michael Katz, professor of urban studies at the University of Pennsylvania, died in August. Dr. Katz advocated for the rights of the urban poor and immigrants through his scholarly work. He was a longtime donor to Bread & Roses.
Corbitt Banks, folk artist and community activist, died in June. Mr. Banks served on Bread & Roses’ Community Funding Board from 1997 to 1999 and from 2001 to 2003.
Gloria Casarez, Bread & Roses board member and civil rights leader, died in October.