April 27, 2011

Watch Full Episode of Black In Latin America: Cuba: The Next Revolution

Full Episode: Cuba: The Next Revolution (originally posted on PBS)

In Cuba Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.

*Please note that BAJI's 4th Teleconference on Black Perspectives in Migration will focus on Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean communities in the U.S. Please join us Thursday April 28th for this toll-free teleconference. More information here.

Watch the full episode. See more Black in Latin America.

April 20, 2011

Watch Full Episode of PBS's: Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided

Originally posted by PBS

Full Episode: Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided

In the Dominican Republic, Professor Gates explores how race has been socially constructed in a society whose people reflect centuries of inter-marriage, and how the country’s troubled history with Haiti informs notions about racial classification. In Haiti, Professor Gates tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves’s hard fight for liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire became a double-edged sword.

Watch the full episode. See more Black in Latin America.

April 17, 2011

BAJI turns 5 years old!

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration invites you to our 5th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Come celebrate 5 years of work in the community and help us recognize those who have helped to ignite a movement.

Founder Awards - Rev. Phillip Lawson and Rev. Kelvin Sauls
Ally Award - Priority Africa Network
Community Activist Award - Catherine Tactaquin, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Community Activist Award - Pierre LaBosierre, Co-founder, Haiti Action Committee
Young Leaders Award - R.I.S.E. Immigration Research Team, Berkeley High School

Saturday, June 4, 2011
5:30 pm: Reception & Silent Auction
7:00 pm: Dinner and Program

Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California
1433 Madison Street, Oakland 94612

Tickets are $60. Please purchase at: http://bit.ly/BAJI5year
Facebook Event Page.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) is an organization founded in Oakland, California in 2006 to engage African Americans and other communities in a dialogue that leads to actions that challenge U.S. immigration policy and the underlying issues of race, racism and economic inequity that frame it.

BAJI is an education and advocacy group comprised of African Americans and black immigrants from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. BAJI’s goals are: 1) to develop a core group of African Americans who are prepared to actively support immigrant rights; and 2) to facilitate the building of relationships and alliances between African American and immigrant communities around a range of social issues to further the mutual cause of economic and social justice for all.

BAJI works to expose the ways in which racism and economic globalization have negatively impacted African American and immigrant communities alike, giving them common cause to fight together for economic and social justice for all peoples. BAJI’s strategy is to provide education and information to African American communities about the commonality of interests between African Americans and immigrants of color and to give technical assistance and training to leaders and organizers in communities of color.

In the past 5 years we've done various things including:

+ Led numerous “Conversations on Immigration” in local African American churches;

+ held public forums on Black Diaspora issues such as ‘Imprisonment of African Immigrants in Europe’;

+ Worked with various Inter-Faith initiatives around immigration and immigrant rights issues;

+ Active in Local May Day Immigrant Rights Demonstrations since 2006;

+Worked in local immigrant rights coalitions with Latino & Asian organizations;

+A major organization in the Oakland City I.D. card campaign ;

+ Collaborated with local groups working against car impoundments; for multi-language translation of Public documents; and most recently against the DHS-“Secure Communities” program;

+ Sponsored “Africa Diaspora Dialogues” between Africans and African Americans along with the Priority Africa Network; attempting to build unity along political and cultural lines;

+Collaborated with the Oakland Museum of California as part of the planning and publicity for the Museum’s “Africans in Mexico” Exhibition;

+Sponsored Tele-Conferences with prominent academics and activists on topical Black Diaspora issues;

On a the national and international level we've done the following:

+ Led campaigns to secure Temporary Protective Status for both Haitians and Liberians in the U.S.;

+ Active participant in both the U.S and World Social Forum processes 2007 -2011;

+ Founding members of the Pan African Network in Defense of Migrant Rights - participated in founding meetings in Bamako, Mali, Mexico City, Mexico and Dakar, Senegal;

+ Set up the Black Immigration Network (B.I.N.) as an advocacy network for Black Immigrants in the U.S.;

+ Led a delegation of Black Pastors to Phoenix, Arizona for the May 29th Rally in 2010;

+ Participated in various national and state conferences on Immigration and related topics;

+ Along with the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos and the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, BAJI led the first all-Black delegation for a Tour of the Mexico/Arizona border in 2007;

+ Published 2 editions of the BAJI Reader;

+ Published the Report - Crossing Boundaries, Connecting Communities: Alliance Building for Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice. detailed case studies of 16 organizations from across the country that are forging effective cross racial alliances between immigrant and native-born communities in order to build power and win just policies and practices in their communities.

April 11, 2011

Reading Ethnic Studies

Post by Renee Simmis

For some time in Arizona, the loudest voices in the immigration debate have been from people with anti-immigrant perspectives. HB 2281, the Arizona House Bill that would ban ethnic studies in k-12 schools, is the most recent legislation to target ethnic immigrant communities. But there are other more compassionate voices in Arizona.

Arizona Writers for Justice (AWJ) serves as a resource for writers working toward social justice. AWJ has recently organized literary readings around the discussion of HB2281 because AWJ believes that in the midst of political rhetoric, the actual stories of how people are living and understanding their realities gets lost.

On Friday, April 29th at 7 p.m., AWJ hosts "Reading Ethnic Studies" at Casa Libre en la Solana in Tucson. The event is $5.

"Reading Ethnic Studies" will be a literary presentation of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that responds to the dialogue around Arizona's ethnic studies legislation. The readers include Tucson teachers and high school students, a recent winner of the Bellwether prize in fiction, an NEA Literature fellow, a slam poet, and a Cave Canem fellow. A question/answer period will follow the reading. The reading is a fundraiser for Save Ethnic Studies.

Come on out and participate in the discussion and reading. If you'd like more information about the event or AWJ, please go to casalibre.org or check out AWJ on Facebook.

April 8, 2011

Teleconference IV: The Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino Migrations to the U.S.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration & Priority Africa Network present
Black Intersections on Migration – Teleconference IV

Thursday, April 28th 12 PST : The Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino Migrations to the U.S.

Janvieve Williams Comrie will discuss the historical, social and cultural dimensions of successive migration of Afro-Latinos/as and Afro-Caribbeans to the U.S. She will also shed light on the experience of these immigrants as they navigate the racial landscape of the U.S. society.

Janvieve Williams Comrie is the founder of the Latin American and Caribbean Community Center, she is dedicated to improving the conditions and opportunities for socially excluded and marginalized groups. Janvieve has worked throughout the Americas with communities on the ground and organizations to address the division and isolation faced by many of African descent and indigenous people, including low wageworkers, undocumented families and immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean in the United States, by building a political and critical consciousness while using a human rights framework.


1. Dial into the conferencing service

Toll-Free US/Canada: 1-866-931-7845

International Dial-in: 1-310-374-4949

2. Enter your conference code: 904167

Background to teleconference series: The United Nations has declared 2011 as the “International Year for Peoples of African Descent”. Ten years ago, landmark recommendations were made at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban South Africa. In a four-part series of teleconferences that looks at the span of Black presence in the U.S. over the centuries, we will examine the unique migration experiences of the African Diaspora within the context of U.S. history and the current debate over immigration. The series brings provocative frameworks and analyses into the discussion about race and immigration that are seldom considered.

April 4, 2011

Teleconference III Recording Available: New African Immigrants-Grappling with Concepts of Race and Identity

On Thursday March 31st we held our 3rd national teleconference. On this call we listened to a presentation by Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson moderated by Priority Africa Network Director, Nunu Kidane and then had a discussion with call participants. The conversation is entitled New Immigrants - grappling with Concepts of Race and Identity. If you missed this engaging teleconference please listen to it here -

Dr. Copeland-Carson discussed following topics.
- Figures of increase of African immigrants in the U.S
- Why is this significant, particularly for African American communities
- Understanding the importance of race and immigration as relates to African immigrants
- What are some of the important points to consider for organizers and social justice activists to increase outreach into African immigrant communities
- The need to develop a global Pan African consciousness

Please note that our next teleconference is Thursday April 28, 2011 at 12pm PST.