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Black Lives Matter

Working to Make a Difference in Sonoma County

The Black Lives Matter Movement in Sonoma County has a sense of renewed strength since the protests that began in Santa Rosa and spread to other cities, after the murder of Mr. George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. The Movement has brought attention to acts of racism in Sonoma County and the use of force by police as well as needed changes in education, local organizations, and even resulted in the Mayor of Healdsburg resigning.

This renewed strength of the movement has its roots in the work of longtime Black led local organizations combined with the energy and passion of the many new groups organized by those leading protests, and collectively they are now actively engaging a wider range of community members and leaders to create change.

Each group focuses on slightly different aspects within the movement but what they all have in common is their work towards creating a community free from systemic racism, violence towards Blacks and one that will be fully equitable for those in the Black community as well as other marginalized members of our community including Latinx, Indigenous and LGBTQI+.

The following is a list of organizations and groups that are working to make a difference in Sonoma County as part of the Black Lives Matter Movement with ways to participate and support:

100 BLACK MEN OF SONOMA COUNTY**- provides services to the local African American community and the community at large. President: Arthur B Chaney. Memberships available and donations accepted. CONTACT: info@100bmosc.org. Website: 100bmosc.org/home.php

INDIVISIBLE PETALUMA - a local, inclusive, intersectional, Petaluma-based iteration of a diverse movement of progressive constituents. CONTACT: indivisiblepetaluma@gmail.com, Facebook: facebook.com/IndivisibleLuma/, Instagram: @IndivisibleLuma

LOVE AND LIGHT MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE - a grassroots organization meant to be an accomplice for the cause to keep locals informed and mobilized. CONTACT: loveandlightsoco@gmail.com, Facebook: facebook.com/groups/loveandlight707/

PETALUMA BLACKS FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - Through our work with other community organizations, we bring to the forefront issues surrounding social justice and riding ourselves of systemic racism. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pb4cd/

SANTA ROSA/SONOMA COUNTY NAACP BRANCH 1074-B** - the local chapter of the NAACP established locally in 1953 to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. President: Rubin Scott. Memberships available and donations accepted. MEETINGS: 1st Monday each month - August 3, 2020, 5:30 PM, contact for information. CONTACT: NAACPSONOMA@gmail.com. Website: naacpsonoma.com/

SRJC BLACK STUDENT UNION (BSU) - promotes activities of common interest, as well as cultural and educational benefits for the African American/African student body and other students. Based on the Santa Rosa Campus. Co-Presidents: Nichole Plyes and Michael Doms. Advisor: Regina Mahiri, rmahiri@santarosa.edu. Club memberships available and donations accepted. CONTACT: santarosajc.bsu@gmail.com. SRJC Listing: studentlife.santarosa.edu/2019-2020-club-list

SONOMA COUNTY BLACK COALITION (SCBC) - a Black-led organization that provides a safe, supportive community space, which centers the African & African American experience in Sonoma County.. CONTACT: scblackcoalition@gmail.com, Instagram: @scblackcoalition, GoFundMe: @SonomaCountyBlackCoalitionDonations

SONOMA COUNTY COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS - established in 1993 to promote better human relations among all people in Sonoma County through education, advocacy, and by initiating action that fosters the recognition of, and appreciation for, the diversity of our community. Commissioner Appointments available. MEETINGS: 4th Tuesday each month - August 25, 2020, 5:30PM contact for information. CONTACT: socochr@sonoma-county.org, Website: sonomacounty.ca.gov/Commission-on-Human-Rights/, Facebook: facebook.com/SonomaCountyCommissionOnHumanRights/

UPLIFTING BLACK LEADERS (UBL) - an organization based out of Sonoma County, dedicated to social justice but most of all lifting up black leaders. CONTACT: ublsonomacounty@gmail.com, Facebook: facebook.com/Upliftingblackleaders/

WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR (WWAFF) - a youth-led mission and movement to continuously remind our community What We Are Fighting For.. Founder/Organizer: Joy Ayodele. CONTACT: whatwerfightingfor@gmail.com, Instagram: @whatwearefightingfor, GoFundMe: @whatwearefightingfor

The organizations and groups listed above are actively involved in protests, meetings, and discussions to affect local policies. Please submit additional information to keep this resource up-to-date to editor@sonomacountygazette.com

** denotes 501c3 non-profit organizations

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Leslie Graves is a community event organizer/producer in Santa Rosa most recently having put on the successful Santa Rosa Rosie Rally 2020 on International Women’s Day and she emcees at local events such the Santa Rosa Marathon & Peggy Sue’s Car Show. She also volunteers on several local committees and boards including as the Co-Vice Chair of the City of Santa Rosa’s Community Advisory Board, a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Downtown Station Area Specific Plan, the Selection Committee for the Public Art Project in Courthouse Square, and a member of the Steering Committee of Sonoma County 2020 Women’s Suffrage Project, a community non-profit project celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Originally from Chula Vista - California, she moved to Northern California to attend UC Santa Cruz and earned her BA in Psychology in 1992. Leslie has lived in Santa Rosa since 2001 when she returned to raise her son in the community she had fallen in love with while previously living here for few years in the 90’s. Having the opportunity to connect the community to resources by writing in the Gazette is a dream come true. She can be reached at: leslie.agraves@gmail.com

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