The Counted


Korryn Davies, 23, now among The Counted

In memory of Korryn Gaines, who was killed today in front of her 5 year old son by Baltimore police, please take a moment and look at The Counted. Published by The GuardianThe Counted is an online database of people killed by police in the U.S. It appears Korryn Gaines will be number 631 in 2016.

The police officers involved attempted to arrest Korryn for failing to appear in court to answer nonviolent traffic charges.

“Stop Killing Us” 3 Things to Do With Your Grief and Rage

Police dressed in riot gear accost peaceful protester in sundress. Baton Rouge. Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.

To be candid, this past week I’ve struggled to write Field Notes. As you know, at Progressive Pupil we strive to remain optimistic. A steadfast faith in the power of collective action and community-based leadership, rooted in the successes of social movements in the past, drives our work. Hearing the news of the killing of Philando Castile in Minneapolis, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and Delrawn Small in New York, as well as witnessing the grief of their children, tested that faith.

I lost my mother and grandfather (who was a surrogate father to me) a few years ago and understand the pain of losing a parent as an adult. I can only begin to imagine the despair losing a parent causes a child. Seeing Alton Sterling’s 15 year-old burst into tears, nearly collapsing from grief, while his mother expressed outrage about his father’s death overwhelmed me with sadness and frustration. At a press conference, they stood in front of a sign that read “Stop Killing Us.”

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All over the country the #BlackLivesMatter movement has spread, making an impact here at The New School as well. I am only an ally to the cause; I don’t personally know what it is like to be Black in this country. However, I do know what it is like to be a person of color and the challenges that comes with it. I understand the discrimination communities of color face.

Glossary: Broken Windows

Vintage Policing

Any theory is just a theory. It can never be fully proven, but it can always be debunked. The Broken Windows Theory has been used to justify aggressive policing of identified ‘unsafe‘ areas. Broken Windows policing violates rights, moral ground, and creates a perception of criminality amongst certain communities. Introduced in 1982, the criminological theory is rooted in the belief that people view disorder as a breeding ground for crime. The example often used (and the theory’s namesake) is a broken window in a building or a car, more damage to the car or building would encourage several undesirable actions including, vandalism, loitering, and squatting. Ultimately, the theory alludes that police can make an area, or an entire city, safer by focusing on smaller crimes that may build up to larger acts of crime.

No Justice, No PROFITS

Image Courtesy of PBS

Image Courtesy of PBS

On the heels of the announcement in Ferguson right before Thanksgiving that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the killing of unarmed Missouri youth Michael Brown, the call was issued for Black Americans to boycott the national day of shopping, Black Friday. The goal was to call attention to the elimination of racial injustice and, especially, an immediate end to police brutality against people of color. The rationale is based on reports that indicate how the combined buying power of Black people in America is expected to be $1.1 trillion by 2015. This means that African Americans across the board are very influential when it comes to how and where their dollars are spent and, therefore, are a tremendous financial asset to the United States (which, let’s face it, has always been the case). When you compare this fact with the reality that Blacks across the U.S. earn less than Whites and are unemployed at more than double the national average, it puts into context the insult that is being added to injury with ongoing injustices that African Americans, and other people of color, face within the legal system and institutions. Therefore, a boycott has been declared.

Be Part of the Solution

Former Social Media Designer Claudie Mabry, Principal Organizer Robin Hayes, Policy Associate Justyn Richardson and former Blog Editor Justin Jones

Many of you have asked Progressive Pupil, where is “the movement” going next?  Honestly, that depends on all of us.  This cycle of collective action is eschewing the charismatic leadership models of the past and encouraging all of us to work together and participate how we see fit. Don’t think of this movement as a giant in the hillside who is separate from you and able to sustain itself without your support. In fact, it is simply the collective work of your neighbors, colleagues, students, friends and families who are working together to be part of the solution.  


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.


Black Resistance Screening List: Colors

Image Courtesy of Amazon

Image Courtesy of Amazon

Colors is a 1988 police drama directed by Robert Duvall, starring Duvall and a Sean Penn. It tells the story of two Los Angeles police officers working to stop the violence between rival street gangs ‘The Bloods” and “The Crips.”


The Frustration of Fruitvale Station


The film ‘Fruitvale Station’ has been the cause of a lot of recent debate concerning police brutality. The movie is loosely based on the true story of the murder of Oscar Grant New Year’s night of 2009. Grant was shot by police officer Johannes Mehserle. Although the film depicts Grant’s death as an act of murder, in real life Mehserle was charged with involuntary manslaughter and only served two years in prison. The sentencing sparked protests but proves that police brutality is still an issue today. The film is an excellent example of how justice is not often served in cases like this.


A Diaspora Rises Against Police Brutality

Canadians protest racial profiling in Quebec.

Montreal, Quebec, houses the largest Haitian population in Canada. As of the country’s latest census there are over 100,000 people of Haitian origin living in the city. Moreover, since the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Montreal has become a viable destination for many people as they try to escape the circumstances in their home country and the number of Haitians in Montreal is only expected to increase.