Mesha, a woman I met during a training in San Francisco so graciously agreed for me to post her organizations. She is one of the most passionate and knowledgeable activists I have ever met and she made a strong impact on me.
Background: Mesha's son, Idriss Stelley, was killed in San Francisco at the Sony Metreon on June 13, 2001, with 48 shots by 9 police officers. He was a 23 year old African American honor student. At the time, he was experiencing some emotional problems. He was sitting alone in an emptied theater when he was shot. Mesha has made it her life work to keep violence like this from happening.
Taking action: Through the settlement case of Mesha Irizarry vs. City & County SFPD - Mesha started the Idriss Stelley Foundation which works to end law enforcement brutality and racially biased policing. The foundation works towards true social and racial justice for all people. They have many grassroots campaigns and events to raise awareness and create policy change.
For more information on the Idriss Stelley Foundation you can visit http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeo9ewi/idrissstelleyfoundation
There is also a site at http://idrissonelove.free.fr/ that shares pictures and personal stories about Idriss.
Mesha also works with the organization "Education Not Incarceration" in SF. Rather than describing this organization in detail; their vision statement explains things best: "By eliminating fear, mistrust and segregation and creating healthy integrated communities we aim to create a world without prisons. Children come to the world with a clean slate. They should be free of any domination and repression that restricts their ability to achieve their full potential. Children should be respected, caring, and participating members of society. It is in this type of atmosphere that the spirit of youth can flourish."
For more information you can visit http://ednotinc.org/
I know this is a highly political issue, there are plenty of good police out there too, but story's like Mesha's cannot be ignored. I hope you visit these sites and learn more for yourself. Police Brutality has a long history in the United States and for more information on the history of the issue, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_brutality, should get you pointed towards several web sites. I think what I am trying to do is plate up the information for nonprofitarian.com readers and if you are interested in learning more - the Web sites are there for you to explore and learn! I am a bit "wordy" and could probably write a book on each organization I write about.
Thank you Mesha for sharing your story and being the humanitarian that you are.
More from living