CERD Archives - Dignity and Power Now

Welcome New DPN Staff!

Carrie Leilam Love
Cultural Arts Coordinator

carrie_staff_photoCarrie Leilam Love is an artist and freedom fighter from Oakland, CA. She writes short stories and poems about love and struggle. Sometimes she does narrative based performance art. She’s been a teaching artist and arts administrator in the Bay Area for 10 years. She is the daughter and sister of formerly incarcerated black men and goes hard to smash the prison industrial complex in their names and in solidarity with incarcerated people world wide.

 

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Chantal Coudoux
Associate Development Director

chantal_profileChantal graduated from Scripps College with a BA in politics with a focus on race theory and social justice. She has volunteered with Dignity and Power Now for the last two years. She focuses on development and programmatic work with Success Stories. Prior to her time at Dignity and Power Now, Chantal worked with a Los Angeles based civil rights organization doing policy advocacy and community organizing. She is a big fan of cats, fútbol, bachata, and The Backstreet Boys.

 

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Salimah Hankins, Esq.
Director of Legislative Advocacy

salimah_profileSalimah Hankins is a human rights activist, community organizer, attorney, creative-writer, dancer, cyclist, street-art-enthusiast, and a traveler. Before starting as the Director of Legislative Advocacy at Dignity and Power Now, she served as the CERD Consultant for the United Nations’ “Race Treaty” (CERD) review for the US Human Rights Network. Salimah has advocated for the rights of low-income clients of color as a civil rights attorney at the ACLU of Maryland and the Fair Housing Justice Center. She has also served as a legislative aide to a Massachusetts state senator, director of human rights for a Brooklyn-based human rights organization, prisoners rights law clerk at a Boston-based civil rights law firm, and a pro bono attorney for a variety of civil rights groups. She has also given lectures, presented her research at conferences, and published in a variety of journals. Salimah is originally from New Orleans and has called Boston, Baltimore, and Brooklyn home. She currently resides in the Bay Area with her husband who teaches literature (with a focus on race and gender) at the college level. Salimah enjoys reading about and fighting for the liberation of oppressed peoples, and snuggling with her cat, Malcolm.

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Racial Discrimination: A Worldwide Issue, an LA Epidemic

In the UK, without “reasonable suspicion” as a law enforcement policy, Black people are 35x more likely to be stopped and questioned by police. With the policy in place, Black folks are 7x more likely than white people to be stopped and questioned. This statistic was presented to us at special convening of international “experts” on racism, hosted by Mutuma Ruteere, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenohobia and Related intolerance. I was excited to represent DPN at this convening for a two-day discussion on conditions and best practices for combating racial discrimination. Across the two day convening the statistic stuck with me for two reasons: 1) It points out how real anti-blackness is as an international practice in law enforcement, and 2) Racial profiling is much harder to track and monitor in the jail setting because it requires that that law enforcement be invested in tracking its own personnel’s racist practices. I can’t see the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department doing that.

Me and Kristina Ronnquist representing DPN's Building Resilience at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland

Me and Kristina Ronnquist representing DPN’s Building Resilience at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland

Dignity and Power Now has been prioritizing the international human rights framework this year; including our shadow report we submitted to the UN as part of a review of US compliance with the international convention of eliminating racial discrimination. Our report focused on abuses and discrimination of Black people with mental health conditions in the jails and pointed out the same dilemma I mentioned above. The dilemma being that behind the jail walls the ever present violence against Black and Brown people is invisible. One of the clearest examples of this is the tremendous lack of data and tracking on racial and gender discrimination as well as human rights violations behind the jail walls.

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The recent Department of Justice critique of the Los Angeles County Jails as unconstitutional is important but the United States is not immune to human rights violations. Our loved ones coming out of the jails know this. Our loved ones who are still inside know this. As we move forward with our campaign to win civilian oversight, stop the $2 billion jail plan, and win mental health diversion that decarcerates Black and Brown people from the county jail system, DPN is invested in protecting the civil and human rights of all incarcerated people.