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15 Organizations and Protests to Support Racial Justice in the Hudson Valley

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A Black Lives Matter sign in Beacon / Photo by Katie Chirichillo

The Black Lives Matter movement spreads from Minnesota to the Hudson Valley to demand an end to police brutality.

Over the weekend, the Hudson Valley saw a number of protests to recognize the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN on May 25 and address the need for racial justice. Spanning from Albany to Westchester, the protests, which continue into this week, called for an end to racial inequality and police brutality throughout the nation.

In the Hudson Valley, the marches and protests took place in Kingston and New Paltz on Saturday, Poughkeepsie on Sunday, and Albany on Monday, to name only a few locations. A number of churches and community organizations hosted memorial talks and vigils to honor Floyd’s memory, including Radio Kingston and Changepoint Church in Poughkeepsie. Most local protests were peaceful in nature, however the scene in Albany involved unrest and clashes with the police.

Throughout the Hudson Valley, a number of resources exist to promote racial justice in the region:

Beacon Activist Collective

Online

A private Facebook group, Beacon Activist Collective encourages members to connect and support one another while addressing concerns surrounding civil rights and social and environmental justice in the community.

Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley

Newburgh

The official chapter of the #BlackLivesMatter network in the Hudson Valley serves as a platform for awareness, community, and change in the region.

Citizen Action of New York

Albany, Kingston

A statewide organization, Citizen Action operates a Capital District chapter out of Albany and a Hudson Valley chapter out of Kingston. Members work to address the political challenges that impact each region and delve into everything from climate and education to mass incarceration and racism.

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“ENOUGH is ENOUGH . We are calling on the COMMUNITY as a whole to join STOP THE VIOLENCE MOVEMENT, this coming Tuesday June 2, 2020 at 4pm at HARRIET TUBMAN Park. WE SIMPLY ARE PROTESTING The fact that we keep dying just for being black. We are asking the COMMUNITY to invite as many people as you can to protest the recent killings of our brother GEORGE FLOYD. OUR SISTER Breonna Taylor and our brother AHMAUD ARBERY. MASK WILL be provided. WE CANT BREATHE. WE CANT JOG and we cant sit in our own home and to make matters worse the commander and chief HAS SAID ‘WHEN THE LOOTING STARTS’ THE SHOOTING STARTS. LETS TELL HIM ‘NOT ONE MORE!’ We plan on protesting ACROSS the mid Hudson bridge. THEY MUST BEGIN TO LISTEN”

A post shared by E.N.J.A.N. (@enjanpok) on

E.N.J.A.N.

Kingston and Poughkeepsie

Formally known as the End New Jim Crow Action Network, E.N.J.A.N. is a campaign to end mass incarceration. The organization seeks to end discriminatory sentencing, racial profiling, and excessive use of force, among other injustices. Visit the website to see upcoming marches and programming.

Good Work Institute

Throughout the Hudson Valley

For Hudson Valleyites who want to connect with others and lend a hand with enacting lasting change, the Good Work Institute is here to help. The organization is guided by five core principles, which touch upon ecological restoration, democracy, racial justice and social equity, relocalization, and culture retention and restoration.

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

Kingston, Middletown, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie

The community network with multiple offices in the Hudson Valley forges the path toward unity by tackling injustices relating to everything from deportation and xenophobia. It works to mobilize support in the region and increase voter turnout in underrepresented demographics as well.

Northern Dutchess NAACP

Poughkeepsie

The Northern Dutchess NAACP has been around since 1909 and continues to champion civil rights in the Hudson Valley. Interested individuals can sign up to become members online or join a committee.

Rise Up Kingston

Kingston

A grassroots effort centered in Kingston, Rise Up Kingston uses collective power to address racism, classism, and gender oppression in the region.

Showing up for Racial Justice Hudson

Hudson

The private Facebook group and Hudson chapter act in the name of racial justice. They’re part and parcel with the Staley B. Keith Social justice Center in Hudson.

Soul Fire Farm

Grafton

Helmed in part by activist farmer Leah Penniman, who wrote Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm is a BIOPIC (black, indigenous, and people of color) organization that centers its efforts on ending injustice and racism in the food system. While the farm is currently closed to visitors during the COVID-19 crisis, it hosts a wealth of information about food worker equality and ways to get involved on its website.

Southern Dutchess: Resist!

Online

This public Facebook group collects and organizes events designed to promote free speech and civil liberties. Join the group to stay up-to-date about local marches and programming.

TMI Project

Kingston

With a focus on the power of storytelling, Kingston’s TMI Project sheds light on all those societal themes that are overlooked, uncomfortable, or untold. Its Black Stories Matter program delves to the heart of inequality and injustice by capturing the moving narratives from individuals caught in the folds of the issue. Visit the organization’s website to watch past performances or share a story.

With more protests and walks scheduled in the Hudson Valley, here are the ones to bookmark:

We Can’t Breathe Protest

June 2, 4-8 p.m.
Harriet Tubman Park, Poughkeepsie

Starting at Harriet Tubman Park, the protest directs its attentions to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among others. Masks will be provided, and participants will make their way across the Mid-Hudson Bridge in solidarity.

Wednesday Walk for Black Lives

June 3, 5 p.m.
Academy Green, Kingston

Hosted in collaboration with Citizen Action of New York – Hudson Valley Chapter and E.N.J.A.N. (End New Jim Crow Action Network), the Wednesday walk is part of a bimonthly series to address racial injustice. Participants may walk or drive, and social distancing and masks are mandatory.

Spread Kindness Day

June 16, 8-9 p.m.
Online

In an effort to stand up to hate, #NoHateHere is all about actively spreading kindness. Stay tuned to the Facebook event page for more information as it becomes available.

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