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STOP Leadership Retreat 2017

[ December 8, 2017 | 0 comments ]
In November an intergenerational group of seventeen STOP leaders went on a retreat to the Highlander Center, Birmingham, and Jackson Mississippi.

At Highlander in Tennessee we did personal reflections, workshops on systems of oppression and direct action, we did skits on our vision for our future, and began a process to set organizational values. We visited the Civil Rights Monument inBirmingham and walked the march route of the Children’s Crusade. We also met with Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi: an organization that is building Black worker owned cooperative businesses and that is part of a movement that has elected a progressive mayor.

Diane Adams, from the Mental Health Movement and a Board Member of STOP explained, “to meet with the lady from Cooperative Jackson, that really got me, what they are doing, how they got that mayor in, if they can do that, then STOP can do that too.”

Kyana Butler STOP’s Youth Organizer, noted that “the connections with the youth that I made will be something that I will hold on to through the rest of my organizing journey.”

Janet Wilson, STOP’s Housing Organizer, “loved the skit part because we got to act out what we are fighting for”.

And for Devondrick Jeffers, also a STOP Housing Organizer, “the highlight of the retreat was being able to lay the groundwork for establishing organizational values with input from each of our member groups.

We didn't just work though, we also had some fun too we ate good soul food, chased some chickens, made bonfires and s'mores and built community. The retreat was a transformative experience and we look forward to building on the relationships made down in Jackson and with each other as we continue to connect and grow our struggles.
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CBA Campaign Update

The Community Benefits Agreement Campaign for the Obama Presidential Center is heating up. We held a March earlier this month with over 150 people. Over a dozen STOP Youth from Hyde Park Academy joined us for what was their first march ever.  We took to the streets and got our message out: “What Do We Want? CBA! When Do We Want It? Now!”

Stay tuned because the Obama Foundation will try to push their plan through the City Plan Commission soon and we will be mobilizing to demand that nothing is passed without a CBA.
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Mental Health Movement Speaks Out Against New Cuts

[ October 31, 2017 | 0 comments ]
Today the advocates for the City Mental Health Clinics held a press conference before the Department of Public Health Budget Hearing to call for investment in Mental Health, not cuts. Rahm Emanuel's Budget continues to cut mental health: between the corporate fund and CDBG the budget calls for cutting around $370,000 from the mental health clinics, therapists and other critical staff will be cut.

Diane Adams is member of STOP and the Mental Health Movement and a consumer of Mental Health services at the City’s Engelwood Mental Health Clinic, today Ms. Adams spoke out on how: “We are loosing therapists and other critical staff. We still don’t have a full time psychiatrist at my clinic, they don’t advertise the services and instead have cut programs like van service. All this is happening when gun violence is at historic highs. I lost my son to gun violence and the City clinics helped me cope, I know what its like to loose your child, these services are critical, now more than ever we should be investing in them, not cutting them.”

Since Rahm Emanuel has taken office the City has gone from 12 to 5 mental health clinics. The Mental Health Movement works with consumers of mental health services and allies to advocate for investment in the City mental health clinics. The Mental Health Movement protested the closure of 6 clinics in 2012 and has continued to call for investment in the remaining clinics and re-opening closed clinics.