On any given day, thousands of children in foster care across the country are administered psychotropic medications to address mental health and behavioral issues. Some of these children receive combinations of two, three, or more such medications at a time, often in elevated dosages. Some, like Joe, are even placed on antipsychotics, which led him to say, “I feel like I have knives in my eyes.”
Although acutely suffering mental instability, I never lost the ability to discern what was just. I strongly believed an injustice was occurring that directly and negatively impacted the entirety of my life and those of countless others. I also believed that so long as these things went unchallenged myself and others would continue to suffer. Not only did I want to change what happens within the prisons, I also wanted to raise public awareness of mental illness in relation to solitary confinement – the criminalization of mental illness within the prison walls.
Like all parents, Wilhelmina Yazzie wants her children to have an education that gives them the opportunities they need to learn and thrive. But her 15-year-old son Xavier hasn’t been getting what he needs to be college and career ready because the state has been starving our public schools. Unfortunately, Wilhelmina’s son Xavier, like so many other students in New Mexico, has not had the benefit of the programming and resources he needs to thrive.
Karen testified: “When I was getting discharged from Connecticut Valley Hospital, there were money and staffing problems that delayed me from getting out. Hospital staff were worried that there wasn’t enough money to get me the staffing that would keep me safe.... On the Thursday I was supposed to be discharged, staff were telling me I would be back by the next Monday.”
Cynthia was told she’d have to pay a flat fee of $5,000 to save her home. She folded, and her home will be offered up at an auction this fall. Cynthia is not alone. These obstacles, combined with the fact that few eligible homeowners know about the exemption, resulted in tens of thousands of low-income Detroiters losing their homes for inability to pay taxes they should’ve never been charged. This foreclosure crisis had a disproportionately devastating effect on African-American homeowners, who are often more likely to be foreclosed on than non-black homeowners.
The case was a classic civil rights case involving poor minorities whose need for basic travel to jobs and for everyday life fell victim to the desire of public officials to serve rail riders from the better-off, mostly white suburbs and the lure of flashy new trains and ribbon-cutting at sparkling new train stations.
The Impact Fund is thrilled to announce that the application process for grants for strategic litigation under our Clean Water Projectis now open!
Jeff Sessions stood behind a podium—the welcoming blue of the Pacific glittering behind him, a gentle breeze ruffling his hair—and vowed to separate children from their parents. Directing his words to families immigrating across the southern border of the United States, he said, “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you.” Separating children from their parents—unless absolutely necessary as in the case of abuse—is an immoral act.
In East Porterville, Tomas Garcia and his family haul water to their home to use for showers, toilets, and dishes. Only bottled water is safe to drink. The stress of the situation strained Mr. Garcia’s high blood pressure and diabetes; others in his community had suicidal thoughts. In Seville, Rebecca Quintana and her family relied on costly bottled water to replace the tap water contaminated by a high level of nitrates until a new well could be installed. The lack of access to clean water takes its daily toll on communities like East Porterville and Seville across the San Joaquin Valley.
For the Native Americans, the presence of a waste dump was deeply violating on a cultural level. They had lived on the land since time immemorial and believed that Ward Valley was the pathway traveled by newly deceased souls to their sacred mountain, Avi, Kwa Ame. Finally, it was home to the sacred desert tortoise.
Over the last 4 years, staff from the Disability Law Center of Utah (DLC) have, under their federal authority, visited individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) living in private institutions, called intermediate care facilities (ICFs). The message was clear: People desperately wanted out.
The new environmental analysis gave the department free rein to spray 79 pesticides anywhere in the state, indefinitely, with no analysis of local health and environmental impacts of the chemical. It also allowed no voice for affected communities regarding treatments that would be carried out in their yards, at public parks and schools, on organic farms, and anywhere else the state deemed necessary. The pesticides to be used are known to cause cancer, birth defects, and neurological damage and to be deadly to bees, fish, and birds.
It is a fact that studies elsewhere have demonstrated these same chemicals can cause an increase in birth defects and neurobehavioral problems. We need to know if these chemicals are making their way into our drinking water, into our bodies, into our unborn babies and into our mother’s breastmilk...
Just imagine what it would be like if you or someone close to you suffers a catastrophic personal injury. Tragic accidents do not discriminate - they can happen to anyone. You’ve been blindsided, and your world may be upside down right now. You’ve filed a lawsuit, but it could be months, sometimes even years, before you see any justice.On top of everything else you are dealing with, you have to find a way to continue providing for yourself and your family during this time.
“People won’t have to beat the odds if we change the odds,” said George A. Jones, CEO of Bread for the City. “Ebony isn’t an isolated case, More than 100,000 D.C. residents live at or below the poverty line. While we have some measure of success providing primary medical care, there is a gap between what we have the capacity to offer now and what we could offer [with access to the surplus].”Through various legal maneuverings, the company has managed to avoid spending a dime.
When I returned to civilian life in 1969, I found Lufkin, Texas, to be much the same. The “White Only” signs might have been gone, but segregation was not.Lufkin Industries was the best paying employer around. It was understood the job assignments were segregated - blacks got mostly unskilled labor assignments under the worst conditions – but it was our best opportunity to support our families. The contrast with the integration efforts in the Marines was difficult to accept. It was rough. After a few months, I was temporarily blinded in a welding accident. My boss didn’t offer any medical attention or even a ride...
The reality is that Big Island Dairy produces local pollution: lots and lots of it. The cows at Big Island Dairy produce a lot more than milk. Due to its size and confinement of animals, the Dairy generates millions of gallons of animal urine and feces that, if not properly handled and treated, become a significant public health and environmental risk.
No one knows those risks better than the community of Ookala, whose residents reside just downhill from the Dairy’s operations.
You need full access to the courts to hold the wealthy and the powerful accountable. That right is being eroded before your very eyes. It must remain available to all of us if we are to continue challenging discrimination in our country and ensuring that ordinary people are not forced into a black box, privatized, justice system designed by and to serve corporate America.