Join us as we take a Deep Dive into the Four Pillars that inform our work:

Wed., May 13 - Gail Schwartz / Gun Violence Prevention
Wed., May 20 - Charo Valero / Reproductive Health, Rights & Justice
Wed., May 27 - Ida Eskamani / Immigration and Refugees
Wed., June 3 - Valencia Gunder / Voter and Civic Engagement

Gail Schwartz, Chair
Ban Assault Weapons Now!

BAWNFL.ORG

 

Bio:

Gail Schwartz is just like every other parent – striving to ensure that her kids can grow up and live – free from gun violence! Sadly, she was thrust into the national gun debate after her nephew, Alex Schachter, was killed by an AR-15 while sitting at his desk in language arts class in Parkland, FL on Valentine’s Day in 2018. 
Since then, she has started a political committee, Ban Assault Weapons Now, to place a constitutional amendment banning assault weapons on the ballot. BAWN is made of those most closely affected by gun violence, including families and survivors of the Parkland and Pulse mass shootings. 
A citizen’s initiative does not require legislative approval. Floridians can amend the constitution by collecting the nearly 800,000 required signatures. Together, we will make up for the failures of our elected officials to keep our children and communities safe. We are done waiting!

 

TAKE ACTION

  •  Together We Can Save Lives, Please register at BAWNFL.org. You can print, sign, and mail in the ballot initiative. 

  • A Florida ballot initiative for the 2022 election

  • Watch the video from Parkland and Pulse mass shooting victims and survivors:  watch

  • Print and sign the constitutional amendment:  sign

  • Support to help the grassroots effort to make our state a safer place to live:  https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bawnfl-website?refcode=splash_button

Charo Valero
Florida State Policy & Advocacy Director
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
LATINAINSTITUTE.ORG/en/florida

 

Bio:
Born and raised in Panama City, Panama, Charo Valero is a proud immigrant and queer Latina feminist. In 2005, she moved to Miami, Florida where she currently resides with her wife and two geriatric dogs. Charo is an activist and organizer, connecting communities to politics and amplifying our power. She currently serves as the Florida Policy Director for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, advocating and educating at the intersection of repro health and immigration. Whether in her professional life or her work supporting initiatives in her community, Charo strives to inspire and build solidarity amongst women and femmes, queer folks, and folks of color. Charo is a Virgo and loves traveling, Excel and a good laugh.

 

TAKE ACTION

  • Continue to show up- even on issues that you don’t immediately think impact you or people who look/believe like you (in the end, they will always impact you personally!)

  • Read more (especially black and brown authors): Loretta Ross, who coined the term “Reproductive Justice,” Kimberle Crenshaw (who coined the term intersectionality), Audre Lorde, Bell Hooks, Harris-Perry, Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crowe, This Bridge Called My Back is a great feminist compilation of writings by women of color.  Books on race by Kendi and Ta-Nehisi Coates. White authors on race: Waking Up White and finding myself in story of race by Debby Irving

  • When talking about Reproductive Justice (aka RJ) it is imperative that black and brown women and femmes be centered because this framework is rooted in those identities

  • Thank the legislators who are our champions including but not limited to: Polo, Mercado, Eskamani, Smith, Joseph, Brown, JJR, Pizzo

  • Check out https://www.latinainstitute.org/

 

Ida Eskamani
Legislative Director
Florida Immigrant Coalition
FLORIDAIMMIGRANT.ORG

Bio:
Ida V. Eskamani is a first-generation Iranian-American and the daughter of working people. She earned dual degrees in Political Science and Sociology as well as a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She has spent the last decade working in Florida politics for campaigns, advocacy groups, and lawmakers. She currently works with several progressive organizations in the state including Florida Immigrant Coalition, facilitating legislative efforts and coalition-building on behalf of marginalized communities. 

        

TAKE ACTION 
Farmworker resources:

 

 

Valencia (Vee) Gunder
Founder, Smile Trust
MTHSMILE.COM
And
Criminal Justice Program Manager
The New Florida Majority
NEWFLORIDAMAJORITY.ORG

Bio:
Valencia Gunder or as most recognize her, “Vee”, is a reputable, enthusiastic, self-motivated, driven, and extremely inspiring community leader who has been branded as "The Modern Day Fannie Lou Hamer”. A Miami native, Valencia is the Criminal Justice Program Manager at the New Florida Majority and Founder of the Smile Trust Inc., formerly known as Make the Homeless Smile Miami and Atlanta. Valencia assists many community-based organizations with a variety of events around South Florida to ensure that there is real change being executed. Though she is not an environmentalist, Valencia has lead conversations around climate awareness in many communities on topics including sea-level rise, emergency preparedness, and climate gentrification. She is the founder of the Community Emergency Outreach Center that assisted over 23,000 residents after Hurricane Irma. Valencia has been a faithful advocate fighting alongside the residents of her community to ensure they receive fair and just treatment. After experiencing the tragedy of losing her goddaughter Jada Page, Valencia worked through her grief and pulled her community together to fight against the status quo. Valencia also stood up for Mr. Charles Kinsey, an unarmed caretaker who was shot by the North Miami Police Department. Valencia is the first Miamian to be awarded the Soros Justice Fellowship to combat community violence. Valencia, who is a returning citizen, was a leader on passing Amendment 4 in Florida which restored the right to vote to 1.4 million Floridians.

 

TAKE ACTION

445 W. 40th Street  #403065

Miami Beach, FL 33140

305-697-9028

info@ncjwmiami.org

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