In solidarity with and continuation of the AAPF #SayHerName campaign, members of Girl Be Heard’s performance collective will debut new work on the steps of City Hall this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 10: a.m., to commemorate Sandra Bland and the four other black women who lost their lives in police custody in July 2015.
Girl Be Heard youth will use spoken word, music, and live storytelling to honor and shine light on these women’s lives, bridging art and activism in an effort to make visible these civic injustices and open up community dialogue.
VIA FACEBOOK LIVE:
Starting at 10:00 a.m.
● 09:30 a.m.: Press Check-in at City Hall
● 10:00 a.m.: Press Conference/#SayHerName excerpts at City Hall
● 10:30 a.m.: Chanting/Singing Procession to the African Burial Ground, 290 Broadway, between Duane/Elk Streets
● 10:45 a.m.: Restorative Justice Circle/Community Dialogue
● 06:15 p.m.: Union Square #SayHerName performance
● 06:30 p.m.: Chanting/Singing Procession to Cooper Union
● 07:00 p.m.: Cooper Union #SayHerName performance
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“We’re here today because we want to create a space of healing. We speak out in the name of all the people whose voices have been buried – the people before, the people now, and sadly, the people after,” writes Girl Be Heard member Eva Jones (Brooklyn Preparatory High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn).
This project fulfills a promise Girl Be Heard’s Executive Director, Jessica Greer Morris, and Director of Global Partnerships, Abigail Ramsay, made to Sandra Bland’s family (at the Women in the World American Justice Summit) and to the Women Missionaries of the African Methodist Episcopal Church earlier this year: to say the names of these women, and to commemorate all the black women whose deaths are never mentioned or acknowledged in the media.
“We dedicate this performance to Sandra Bland’s beloved mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, and sister, Sharon Cooper, along with all the members of the five families who lost their mother, sister, and/or daughter this time last year, as a direct result of systemic civil rights issues inherent in our country’s criminal justice system,” says Abigail Ramsay, Director of Global Partnerships at Girl Be Heard.
“Today marks the one year anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death,” says Council Member Jumaane D. Williams. “Since her death, little has changed. We are here still advocating for fairness in policing practices and looking with timid hope to the justice system to hold murderous officers accountable for their crimes. I am committed to passing legislation that will protect civilians, police officers, and change how we approach the way we tackle crime. It is unfair to expect the police to fix issues that are the results of a multifaceted problem. There needs to be an interagency approach that addresses the unemployment, mental health, and housing issues that affect crime in a community. Oversight, transparency and laws that ensure equal access to all New Yorkers in all facets of life, is the only way we can begin to move in the right direction. My prayers are with the Bland family who are undoubtedly still grieving the loss of Sandra.”
Girl Be Heard welcomes all of our partners and all members of the community to join us in our efforts to advance a gender-inclusive narrative in the movement for Black lives and hope that everyone will join us on the streets. For press opportunities, please email Juliany Taveras at JT@girlbeheard.org to join us at the press conference, performance, or restorative justice circle.
@GirlBeHeard – Girl Be Heard
@JumaaneWilliams – 45th NYC District Council Member Jumaane Williams
@AAPolicyForum – AAPF, home of #SayHerName, #BlackGirlsMatter
About Girl Be Heard:
Girl Be Heard supports 170 female performers ages 12-21, and is dedicated to empowering young girls and women through creative expression. Their performances of original work educate, empower, and engage audiences about issues ranging from bullying to body image. It is a global movement that has performed at the White House, United Nations, State Department, TED conferences, and in under-served communities in New York and around the world.