Support CSO Renaissance the Poet

Renaissance the Poet - CSO

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a Liberationist, working to dismantle the Prison Industrial Complex, and to bring about Climate, Global, and Restorative Justice through Grassroots Organizing, Advocacy, Protests, and Education.

Renaissance

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I am a Black Liberationist, a Prison Abolitionist, an Anti-Capitalist and an Intersectional Organizer working for justice for all People. I am a visionary. I am a warrior for the people and for the cause of justice. I am a hip-hop artist, a poet, a historian, a philosopher, a strategist, a photographer, a videographer, a graphic designer, a writer, a teacher, a music producer, but most of all I am a Humxn Being and a member of our community.

Support Renaissance’s Community Sponsored Organizer Work

Monthly Gift   One Time Gift


 Looking Forward

As an intersectional organizer and activist, I am currently working on multiple projects and campaigns with a host of amazing, credible, and capable folx. I am working to develop a vibrant and radical Black Liberation wing in Arizona, primarily in the Phoenix area that will most likely be under the banner of Black Lives Matter. I am working on a Prison Divest - Community Invest campaign with Justice That Works, which is beginning with a campaign to get Student Resource Officers (SROs) [cops] out of the schools to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. I am also working on an initiative to prohibit the City of Mesa from being able to contract with private prison corporations.  I am working with Tiger Mountain Farms, which focuses on food justice, re-entry of people who were formerly incarcerated, and mentorship of youth, doing artistic and educational work. I am currently running the pilot program of the Hip-Hop Workshop I developed with a group of youth who are healing from Trauma after the police unjustly murdered a person in their neighborhood. And I am about to launch the Decolonization Workshops. I have also started a media outlet to form our own narratives called, “Heard It On The Front Line,” where I answer four questions: who are we, where are we, why are we here, and what do we want.

 

All of my labor and activity is aimed at creating a new culture wherein Liberation can flourish and we as Peoples can truly achieve justice. With your support of the work I do, the successful fruition of this labor is all the more likely.

History

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I am a formerly incarcerated individual who grew up in gangs and on drugs. When I turned 18 years old I had a 0.0 GPA in high school and no prospects for any sort of life with four felonies. It took many years and a lot of work to clean up the wreckage of my past and to build trust in the community after getting out of the gang and off the drugs at 19, but it was well worth it. I am now over 16 years sober and I recently graduated from the University of Washington, double-majoring in History and Philosophy.

 

 

 

My focuses were on the rise and fall of civilizations, social movements, justice, ethics, and jurisprudence. In addition to the general focuses, I also did extensive research into the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Mass Incarceration, and Police Brutality, which includes the history of the institution of police that all culminate with politics and economics into the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). It was a mixture of my lived experiences growing up and what I was learning about justice and what our predecessors sacrificed for the cause of justice that ushered me into the movement after the execution of Michael Brown in 2014.

 

 I am also a veteran Hip-Hop and Spoken Word artist, and I use my skills as a means to instruct and foster dialogue, distribute the messages of liberation and true justice, and to challenge the systems of oppression.


Justice means providing for the flourishing of all human beings.

In all of the work that I do, the core principle is centering the struggles and experiences of those of us who most impacted and/or who are on the front lines of our many diverse struggles.

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I am fighting to bring about an end to the System of Mass Incarceration, which is merely the extension of the System of Enslavement. This is why I am currently working with Justice That Works (JTW) a grassroots prison abolition organization, currently addressing the School-to-Prison and School-to-Deportation Pipelines in Arizona.  We are also engaged in a struggle against the privatization of jails in Mesa, Arizona; No For-Profit Jails.  

 

I provided testimony, which included both personal experience and PIC research to the Seattle City Council, as part of the No New Youth Jail campaign to help pass Resolution 31614 “Zero Use of Detention for Youth In Seattle” and to get $600,000 allocated to community directed Restorative Justice programs.  I was focal member of the Prison Divest movement at University of Washington 2015-2016 that almost got the Board of Regents to amend the endowment to prohibit hedge fund investments into the PIC. I received two awards for this work, from the UW History Department and Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center.

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I am fighting against white supremacy and anti-blackness, and for the collective liberation of all our peoples. I helped found two Black Liberation organizations in Seattle, Washington; Outside Agitators 206 (OA206) and  Seattle Black Book Club (SBBC), after the execution of Michael Brown and throughout the subsequent movement to end police brutality and state repression of People of Color. I challenge the institution of police and PIC directly in meetings and on the streets, as well as with our people in workshops and on panels. Protesting and other interruptions to business as usual and the status quo, like the shutting down of Mill Ave Bridge in Tempe, Arizona, or taking over supposed Hate Free Zones in Seattle where they still permit the unjust and biased incarceration of our P.O.C. youth and state sanctioned murder of our People by police.  McKnight_HateFreeWashington_0017-e1482197185672.jpg




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Hip-Hop & Decolonial Workshops/Study Groups

I am working to provide our community with knowledge, collective, learning and understanding, and skill development and honing.

 

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The hip-hop workshop has three primary functions; it provides a platform for positive and constructive expression with mentorship, it fosters a component of healing through trauma, and opens a dialogue for social justice to be fleshed out. One of the most important components is that the participants will learn to produce songs and videos with programs they can download for free on their phones.

 

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The Decolonization workshops specifically address internalized oppression, physical repression, a connections to roots predating colonization, and what liberation truly is and how it will come to pass, by drawing on the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of Black and Brown scholars, authors, and activists.

 

Immigration Justice

I work to end the unjust Deportations of People. This is why I work with Puente Human Rights Movement in Phoenix, Arizona, standing and marching in solidarity, and organizing closely with. This is why I am working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on the People Power campaign to shift the racist practices and policies of the police regarding profiling and deportations. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is intricately woven into the Prison Industrial Complex and law enforcement thus, much of the prison abolition work that I do is also focused on and incorporates Immigration Justice.

Climate Justice

I am fighting to bring an end to Climate Change, and to bring about Climate Justice. When Shell’s arctic drilling rig came in to dock in Seattle, I joined the Shell No coalition to fight it, putting our bodies on the line to stop it. I was on a climate justice steering committee of GotGreen?, an environmental justice organization in South Seattle, where we surveyed our community to find their needs in climate policies and put together a report about it. I was also part of the mass movement against the Royal Dutch Shell’s Polar Pioneer, the Shell No campaign, and assisted with the land blockades.


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It is also why I have worked in coalition with Bayan and traveled to live with and learn from the peasant rice farmers on the Southern Island of the Philippines, Mindinau in the Bukidnon region during the summer of 2015.

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Equitable Education

I work for equal and fair access to equitable education at all levels.  This is why I helped to found Decolonize UW, an anti-racist, anti-white supremacist, P.O.C. led grassroots activism body, that included students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community members to challenge the racist and discriminatory policies and practices of the University of Washington (UW). The bulk of our work was trying to get the institution to divest its investments in the prison industrial complex, and to improve its acceptance and graduation rate of People of Color. With OA206 and the Black Student Union, I helped organize and lead the largest Walk Out on UW campus since the 1970s, which resulted in $3.5 million in funding for equity purposes.


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Anti-Patriarchy

I am fighting to bring an end to Patriarchy, Sexual and Gender Violence. This is why I have worked closely with the founding members of Women of Color Speak Out, receiving guidance and instruction from them.

Because of how embedded patriarchy and sexual oppression are within our society, much of this work occurs in conjunction with the rest of the work I do- e.g., within our organizing spaces with fellow organizers. However, it sometimes also entails revising or rewriting the policies of institutions, advocating for legal changes, or staging demonstrations like the Check Your Privilege Rally on Greek Row of the University of Washington campus to directly and publicly challenge rape culture and male privilege.

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Indigenous Sovereignty

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I am working to bring about a society that respects and honors Indigenous sovereignty of 

Lands and Peoples.  This is why I went to Standing Rock with Seattle Black Book Club in November of 2015. I was also arrested doing media during a prayer ceremony protest/demonstration at the Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, North Dakota as part of the #NoDAPL movement. This is why I am also currently working with Arizona Stands on local and national issues relating to climate change and sovereignty.

 

Support Renaissance’s Work as a Community Sponsored Organizer (CSO) 

Monthly Gift        One Time Gift

 

You may connect with Renaissance on multiple mediums:

Wordpress

Soundcloud

Twitter

Bandcamp

Patreon

Facebook

Youtube

Backbone Campaign

 

Publications by Renaissance:

South Seattle Emerald

Last Real Indians

 

Awards

Edward E. Carlson Student Leadership Award 2016

UW Dept. of History Student Leadership Award

UW Climate Change Video Award

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