A Tale of Two Revolutions: Ferguson & Hong Kong

Hands Up Ferguson October

Simultaneously, on opposite ends of the world, protests in Ferguson, Missouri and Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, signify the ground zero of polarized political movement—the demand for democracy upheld by civil and human rights. The movements in Ferguson and Hong Kong are primarily youth-led and organized, a focal point not lost in media and supporters of radical struggle. Their objectives dictate a call to accountability and action. Sparked by the killing of unarmed African American 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, activists in Ferguson have engaged in ongoing protests to counter police bias and violence against Blacks and Latinos. In the wake of a succession of unjust murders at the hands of law enforcement officers, organizations are leading the way to reform in Ferguson including The Organization for Black Struggle, Hands Up United, and Millennial Activists United, among a host of social, political and religious supporting allies.


What does Activism do?


Happy Black August!

AFROPUNK and Progressive Pupil are co-curating Activism Row: an interactive, inspirational and informative experience to be featured at AFROPUNK Fest 2014 (August 23 and 24 at Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn). Activism Row’s goals are to facilitate voter registration, inform youth about civic participation opportunities and to encourage the festival’s multicultural audience to envision themselves making a difference. Highlighting social justice as a work of art, Activism Row shows activism lives today in communities of color.

Today, Activism Row launched an Indigegogo campaign to raise funds for the costs associated with producing the festival, which include staff, signage and programs.  You can support this effort by making a tax-deductible contribution and sharing the link (http://igg.me/at/AFROPUNKActivismRow14) with your friends, family and colleagues. Rock star perks are available for your generosity including VIP passes to the festival, which features D’Angelo and Meshell Ndegeocello, a chance to get on stage and more.

Activism Row features local non-profits that advance racial equality by solving urgent community problems such as violence, mass incarceration and HIV/AIDS. In addition, voter registration will be available. On-line and in person, Activism Row will provide AFROPUNK’s audience—who are predominately youth—the empowering opportunity to see themselves as agents of social change. By showing #ActivismLives, this exciting exhibition reveals that the best time for social change is NOW!

I hope to see you later this month at AFROPUNK FEST.  If you have suggestions for organizations that should participate in Activism Row, please share at facebook.com/ProgressivePupil.

In solidarity,







Robin J. Hayes, PhD

Principal Organizer

Instagram @robinjhayes




Walter & Albertina Sisulu: A Revolutionary Couple


Photo courtesy of abc.net

Love can inspire more than romance – it can inspire activism that lasts a lifetime. Walter and Albertina Sisulu met in a hospital in Johannesburg in 1941. Albertina, a name she chose from a list provided by nuns at her school, chose a professional path rather than early marriage, and was working as a nurse at the hospital at the time she met Walter. A young activist, Walter had joined the African National Congress in 1940 – and together with his wife and their four children spent a lifetime fighting for human rights and against apartheid in South Africa.


Making it Home

NDWA - Image

Photo courtesy of Global Fund for Women and Josh Warren-White.

In the United States – whether we are aware of it or not – domestic workers play a huge role in most of our lives. Some of us had nannies growing up, have relatives that work as in-home caretakers for elderly people, or babysat our way through college. Furthermore, 47 percent of Americans have used or would consider using household cleaning help. In any case, we know that these types of jobs require the employer to put the people and things they care about the most into the hands of another person. And yet, until recently, domestic workers had very few rights. While they work tirelessly to maintain homes and care for loved ones, they struggle to support their own families – living on low wages and often no health care. How is it possible that the basic rights of a group – totaling 1.8 million in the United States – could be disregarded for so many years?