With you, we are continuing to build a strong and uniquely Connecticut moral movement for racial justice, rooted in faith and conscience. We are bold and honored to be connected to both national and international movements for black lives, movements for social justice for marginalized, oppressed people and one voice among many voices for change and progress in a world raptured in the status quo. As we move forward into this new year of 2020, let’s take a look at work shared work from 2019.
Our year begin with working with our partners like the ACLU of CT or the DUE Justice Coalition and others statewide organizations as we together began to carve out our individual and collective legislative policy priorities as the incoming Lamont administration took the helm of leading our state.
Throughout the legislative session, MMCT participated in a number of hearings, press conferences and other activities at the state capital and in support of policies and legislation that supported key issues to include the passing of the raise the minimum wage and paid family leave. We led a very successful rally and action in observance of the 51st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination at the Legislative Office Building at the State Capitol making our presence felt and our voices heard.
We were involved throughout the year with The CT Council for Philanthropy in a number of conversations and initiatives regarding racial justice and equity.
We established MMCT’s Justice Institute which will house all of our educational initiatives and efforts from classes, to multi-session series to our very practical trainings and workshops. In 2019, while we participated in a number of workshops and trainings, we are very proud to developed and offer a 14 week course entitled “Understanding White Supremacy” in the spring and again in the fall. We are excited to have folk respond to our invitations to take the class and look forward to adding to the number of trained, educated and informed racial justice activists and advocates here in CT.
On April 20th, Anthony “Chulo” Vega Cruz, was shot by a Wethersfield police officer, and died the following Tuesday. MMCT was the leading organization that responded to this shooting at the family’s request initially. Our involvement lead to our Wethersfield Campaign which engaged community activists and leaders, other justice seeking organizations in a variety of actions, trainings, consultations and events throughout the year with “Justice for Chulo”, an end to racial profiling at the border of Wethersfield and Hartford and calls for town officials to make substantial change, all to stem the tide of racial injustice and inequality in Wethersfield.
Early in 2019, Pamela founded CT Black Women (CTBW) and MMCT has worked and will continue to work in partnership with CTBW in the coming year.
We were very present as the work for immigration rights was waged on multiple fronts across the state. With partners like CT Immigrant Rights Alliance, Unidad Latina en Accion and Hartford Deportation Defense (specifically the Free Taz efforts), we use our collective voice and moral positions to aid in numbers of endeavors on the justice front. We were able to host several events both in person and virtually with our family from The InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Columbia (IRTF) here in CT. Thanks to Chrissy Stonebraker Martinez and Mark Alvarado for your commitment and help. And we look forward in the coming year, exploring ways to support the tremendous human rights work that’s taking place on our southern border
Bishop and Pamela were able to travel over the summer to Costa Rica, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago in partnership with The William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund and Trinity College’s Center for Caribbean Studies as we deepen our connections in Brazil while witnessing and experiencing how race and white supremacy continue to impact us in Central America and the Carribeans.
We have certainly done our job of keeping racial justice in the spotlight all year long with media coverage across all the platforms.
We look ahead to deepen our roots and reach as we continue to demand for justice here in Connecticut, across this nation and around the world.