E-Alerts & Press Releases

Statement of solidarity marking the anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising

April 30, 2016: On April 18th, leaders of nine Black-led organizations working for racial justice and economic development in Baltimore’s Black communities released a Statement of Solidarity to commemorate the first anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising. Their statement offers a counter-narrative to the mainstream media’s framing of last April’s events: making clear that the Uprising was not just about the death of Freddie Gray, and that Black-led as well as other organizations continue to work in those communities the media and policy makers have forgotten.

The Public Justice Center is one of those other organizations, and fully supports this Statement of Solidarity and its commitment to community-led struggle. The PJC is currently a white-led organization. We use legal tools to pursue social justice, economic and race equity, and fundamental human rights.  

Many of our projects target the issues that impact neighborhoods like Mr. Gray’s, neighborhoods that experience historical and current police abuse and racist disinvestment, and the entrenched poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and substandard housing that are its consequences. We represent tenants facing eviction and substandard housing conditions, workers whose earned wages are stolen by their employers, homeless, foster, and unaccompanied youth who are struggling to get their free and appropriate public education, and families who desperately need health care.

One of our projects specifically supports community organizing efforts that are Black-led and whose membership is of the impacted neighborhoods. The Public Justice Center and Right to Housing Alliance (RTHA) released the report Justice Diverted: How Renters Are Processed in Baltimore City’s Rent Court. Now the PJC’s Human Right to Housing Project is working with the 7,000 Families Campaign, whose coalition members include RTHA, Baltimore Bloc, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Jews United for Justice, Bristol House, Chase House, and BALT, and is demanding reforms at the courts, City Hall, and Annapolis.  

The PJC is also a founding member of the Baltimore Housing Roundtable, which released the report Community + Land + Trust: Tools for Development Without Displacement. The Baltimore Housing Roundtable is advocating for community-controlled land trusts to wrest control of our housing from developers and governments, and to create affordable housing and good paying jobs for low-income residents.

The media and policy makers may have moved on from the people who live in neighborhoods like Freddie Gray’s, but the Movement has only grown stronger in the last year, and the Public Justice Center is committed to being a supportive ally in solidarity with community-led and Black-led organizations.

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