Compositions & Coffee Presents: "Creative Soul Digest"
Mindful Movement Monday
Hey ALL and WELCOME to Mindful Movement Monday! I’m super excited (well always excited) for this week and especially today because we are looking at movements led by the young people. Looking back on the history of movements led by the youth, up until today, initiatives and movements, created to make a full impact, inspired by our teenage and young adults. So without any hesitation let’s dive into the history.
The Greensboro sit-ins 1960
Hand raised for those of you that knew it was 4 teenagers that started the sit in movement? I’ll wait… well yes my friends 4 young black men made that stand on February 1st 1960. Those young men 17,18, 19 years of age were students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and walked up to Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina and refused to leave. Their decision that day led to 300 people joining them in three days and by the summer sit-ins had spread to 50 cities and lunch counters began desegregating. Their actions led to the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The movement of the Greensboro 4 at the Woolworth lunch counter that day eventually contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed segregation in public spaces.
University Uprisings, 1968
In March of 1968 1,000 students at Howard University took over the administrative building and barricaded themselves in their dormitories in order to protest curriculum emphasizing African American history and culture, judiciary system involving students, disciplinary proceedings against previous protesting students be dropped, and calling for the resignation of the university president. The university ultimately agreed to the displinary proceedings and a judiciary system.
Columbia University also experienced similar protests that same year, a few months later, as well as strikes that continued throughout the semester. Police were called in to evict students from the buildings they occupied. The protestors at Columbia set out with 2 goals in mind: prevent construction of a university gym that only provided limited access to Harlem residents and the contract Columbia had with a weapons research think tank. Due to their protest and sit-ins Columbia canceled both.
Our neighbors across the Atlantic began to see similar student protests. In Warsaw protests against government censorship rallied 300 students to 20,000 by its end. In Paris 20,000 people swarmed the Sorbonne turning cars into barricades and clashing with riot police. Soon French labor unions and teachers joined a 24 hour general strike in support of the students.
Apartheid divestment, 1970s-80s
On June 16, 1976 several thousands of students near Johannesburg began a peaceful march that turned deadly when police attacked with guns and tear gas. The purpose of their protests was objecting the law that mandated Afrikaans-language education but their movement brought attention to the broader cruelty of South Africa’s government. From their actions vast campaigns led by college students in the United States grew. Students built shantytowns on campus, quads, blockaded buildings and disrupted speeches by South African politicians. Columbia University and University of California protests compelled administrators to withdraw billions of dollars in investments from companies tied to South Africa.
Tiananmen Square, 1989
Beijing saw it’s share of student-led pro democracy demonstrations as well. Unfortunately, it ended in catastrophe when thousands of Chinese troops began firing on crowds of protestors leading to hundreds of people being killed.
Velvet Revolution, 1989
Eight days after the Berlin Wall fell signaling the beginning of the end of East Germany’s Communist government, the students of neighboring Czechoslovakia stepped in to topple their own. The uprising began with thousands and grew until prague was flooded with 500,000 protestors, who stayed stubbornly peaceful even as riot officers attacked, giving the revolution its name. Just 11 days after the protests began, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia relinquished power. It was said to be the most rapid and complete success for a student-led movement in modern history.
After a series of scuffles between college students and the police in July 1999, officers raided dormitory of the Universtiy of Tehran, wounding at least 20 people and jailing 125. In response, more than 10,000 Iranian students took to the streets. The long term consequences of this movement was that since the 1979 revolution student activitits had generally been tied to political parties. After the 1999 protests, that ceased to be the case. The tradition of student activism has continued there, more so than in many other countries.
The Black Lives Matter, 2013- present
The Black Lives Matter movement began with three women in their late 20s and early 30s. But when it exploded into national view in 2014 after the police killing of Michael Brown,18, many of the protesters who filled the streets of Ferguson, Mo., were students. But even as questionable police shootings happen, convictions of officers remain rare, and protests on the streets continue, Black Lives Matter has had a fundamental impact on the national conversation about racial bias and the use of excessive force by the police.
Our YOUNG PEOPLE DESERVE A SERIOUS SHOUT OUT!! These movements have been pivatol and dismantling systems and raising awareness. Be on the lookout for those movements because they are popping up even moreso now with social media and it’s ability to reach people all over the world. Even this election season we have seen so many more young people at the forefront. Here’s some other phenomenal movement to keep an eye on in the future and lend support to:
Started by a Harvard University student
What it’s about: Period promotes the “Menstrual Movement” to give everyone access to clean and safe periods. Period is fighting for eliminating tampon taxes and providing free pads and tampons in schools. The group organized the first-ever National Period Day last October with 60 rallies in 50 states and four countries, people mimicked nose bleeds on that day to fight the stigma of periods. Because, as orgnaizers said, “If faces were bleeding, someone would do something.”
Defining moment. Realizing that tampons were taxed in most states, because they are counted as a luxury item. Fighting to repeal that tax in some states also started a movement to provde free menstrual products at colleges.
Want to get involved? E-mail: Policy@period.org.
United We Dream
What it’s about: United We Dream supports to permanent protections for all immigrants, regardless of immigration status, using youth-led coalitions across the United States. It pushed for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) to prevent deportation of young people brought to the United States as children. The group also places a high value on diversity, being inclusive of everyone regardless of immigration status, gender, race, sexual orientation. “At UWD we believe that those closest to the pain are closest to the solution,” says group spokesman Jose Munoz.
Defining moment: In 2008, when a Senate coalition formed to move the Development Relief, and Education for Alien Minors bill (now known the DREAM) out of immigration reform under the Department of Defense budget instead, organizers knew this fight was getting serious.
Want to get involved? Visit Us Here
Created by a high school shooting survivor and other activists who joined with the Brady Campaign, the national gun violence organization
What it’s about: Team ENOUGH is an intersectional youth movement focused on gun violence and related issues, including domestic violence, suicide, marginalized communities and mass shootings. “The majority of people impacted are people of color, so we need to create space for youth of color to have these conversations,” Eastmond says.
Defining moment: Eastmond not only survived Parkland, she lost an uncle to gun violence. She realized the gun violence movement was more focused on mass shootings and didn’t include other types of shootings that occur more frequently. “It was very white washed, a lot of organizations that came out of my school didn’t make the effort to include other communities,” Eastmon says. So she started her own organization and joined with the Brady Campaign.
Want to get involved? Twitter
Justice for Laquan McDonald
Started by Ja’Mal Green, a racial justice activist and 2018 Chicago mayoral candidate
What it’s about: After Laquan McDonald, a 17 year old black man was shot by Chicago police, Green and others advocated for police accountability, criminal justice reform, and cannabis legalization. But they added issues they argue contribute to a cycle of disenfranchisement affecting poor Chicagoans, such as college and medical debt, health care access, and gun violence. “I saw so many people be shot in Chicago, and myself almost being shot, so we’re making sure we have people address the root causes of gun violence,” Green said.
Defining moment: When dashboard cameras later showed McDonald was walking away from the offices when he was shot. The protests that followed “made everyone pay attention to politics,” Green says. “That made me get even more active so we don’t have more Laquan McDonalds, not just in terms of police brutality, but also Laquan was in foster care, wasn’t in school much, didn’t have school to keep him on the right track.”
Want to get involved? Twitter
What it’s about: Future Coalition is a national network of youth led-organizations and youth organizers who work on the climate crisis, gun violence preventon, gender equity, and more. It encompasses more than 50 political groups, including March for Our lives (gun control), the Sunrise Movement (climate control), and Project Excahnge (cultural exchange). “We believe that young people have the ideas and passion to make extraordinary change in their local communities and across this country,” says group spokesperson Dillion Bernard. “In 2020, Future Coalition focus is on mobilizing young people across the country to vote and be engaged in the political process.
Defining moment: The student protests inspired by climate activists Greta Thunberg’s Friday’s for Future made Future Coalitions organzers realize the power that young people can have in advocating for change. “We deserve a future fueled by dreams and possibilities, not one shaped by corporate greed and political power,” says Bernard. “In 2020, we have the unique possibility to redirect the future of our country by ensuring young people, the current and future leads of the country, are at the descion making tables.”
Want to get involved? Visit Us
TurnUp, the Young Activist’s App
Created by a high school student from Cambridge, MA
What it’s about: Shapiro and his team are building an app to increase activisim and voter turnout amoung young people. He says the goal is to be like the app Strava (which cyclists and runners use to share routes and engage with each other about fitness) but for organizing. “The app has civis lessons, a home acitivty feed to see what friends are doing, events, resources to get people registered to vote, and it gives people an impact score based on what they are doing, “ Shapiro says.
Defining moment: After the Parkland shooting, Shapiro says he saw millions of young people who wanted to participate but didn’t know how to get involved. “They needed someplace for organizing so the movement would be sustained,” he says. He looked around and didn’t find any other platforms so he created Turnout.
Want to get involved? Visit Us
These groups have already figured it out but the key recipe to make an impact is a political movement need, good ideas, and the ability to make them heard. To keep them going they need people like US to be in their corner. So let’s show up and show out folks.
Stay Healthy Stay Strong
This week we didn’t focus on health and wellness but I do want to remind everyone during this continuous time of uncertainty to show up FOR YOURSELF FIRST AND FOREMOST. Take the time to check in with yourself, practice mindfulness, incorporate movement into your day, and be gracious to yourself. It may be harder on some days but never lose hope and remember taking care of you is a priority because you can’t help others if you aren’t okay yourself. Depletion is real and we’ve all been there.
Also when you need a hand reach out because we are all in this together and here we believe in supporting and lifting up others. Below find some book recommendations and black businesses for you to check and out keep your mind (and fingers busy surfin the web) busy. Also some coffee for self-care.
Your family at Eclectuals
"Where we mind your mental diet!"
Black Business Recommendations:
Podcast: Rulersoftheworld by Nardos Alemayehu
Find Your Fire
Coming soon & Stay Tuned for an exclusive offer
A sumatra and Indonesian coffee from the Ketiara collective (women farmers). It's a dark, earthy, deep, full bodied, and complex coffee. It's flavors are creamy, sweet, spice, and butterscotch.
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--We are purveyors of literature, gourmet coffee, fashion, style and art." We believe in cooperative economics in the black community locally and nationally thereby promoting and/highlighting other black artisans and black owned businesses through our book subscription Eclectic Crates and our Artisan Market of goods and services.