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:
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.
The official chapter of the #BlackLivesMatter network in the Hudson Valley serves as a platform for awareness, community, and change in the region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A grassroots effort centered in Kingston, Rise Up Kingston uses collective power to address racism, classism, and gender oppression in the region.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
June 16, 8-9 p.m.
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.