June's National Safety Month

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NATIONAL SAFETY MONTH
BLACK WOMEN PROMOTING PEACE & JUSTICE IN OUR COMMUNITY
by Danielle Nicole Motley
BWOPA/TILE DWJ Public Policy Fellow 2017
 
The month of June is generally recognized in this country as National Safety Month. Consequently, BWOPA/TILE's theme for the month of June is "Black Women Promoting Peace and Justice in our communities".  We are honored to have Ms. Danielle Nicole Motley, one of our 2017 DWJ Fellows, explain the way black women across the country, especially in the Bay Area have inspired and empowered her to continue the fight for peace and justice in our community.
 
"Were it not for Black women,
there would have been no one to fight for me and I would not be here to fight alongside you ..."
 - Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter
Exactly one year ago, I visited the Bay Area for the first time. After falling in love with its possibilities, its history, and of course, the weather, I ended my visit knowing for certain that I'd soon return to make this my home, which I did so just a few months later. Of all the things that inspire me about the Bay Area, being out on the front lines, fighting for peace and justice alongside other Black women, is at the top of my list.
 
Since moving here, I immediately started building my community and connecting with some of the Bay Area's most phenomenal women. In September, just a few days after I arrived, I joined Essie Justice Group in Sacramento to lobby for SB1157, a bill authored by Senator Holly Mitchell to protect in-person jail visits in California. After a day of lobbying, we had the opportunity to meet with Senator Mitchell in her office. We packed her space with women whose lives had intersected with the criminal justice system. Their sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and husbands were living life behind bars. We were also joined by formerly incarcerated women who were now fighting for the comrades they left behind. Although, SB1157 was ultimately vetoed by Governor Brown, the energy and passion shared amongst the Senator and all the women who were there fighting for their loved ones that day is unforgettable. Since that visit, I've been following the work of Sen. Mitchell, all of her priorities for 2017 focuses solely on protections for youth, expanding mental health services and fostering environments for families and communities to thrive. Senator Mitchell continues to be a warrior for us all!

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