Shifts are happening. There is movement. Opportunities for action. We are all a part of this. Energy towards equity. Eyes and ears on inclusion. Hearts open to healing. Standing for justice. Today’s post includes some relevant stories and events. Thanks for tuning in.

What Could We Do With A Million Dollars?
Recently, Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper placed a budget request for one million dollars to hire 15 additional police officers to patrol downtown. The Asheville Blade did an outstanding job reporting on this issue (with great first person quotes of related community perspectives), I encourage you to read their piece: Season of discontent. At this moment, the $1M for more police is in the city budget, though it is not too late to move the funds to another line item. This is an excerpt of the email that I sent to City Council expressing my opposition:

“Hiring more police officers is not an effective strategy for creating more genuine safety in our community. Instead, I support the City of Asheville increasing investment in grassroots community programs that uplift our neighbors. Our focus needs to be on undoing the impacts of centuries of systemic oppression. We need to work harder to address and heal the root our problems, rather than just dealing with the symptoms.

Expanding the police department is not in line with Council’s stated commitment to equity. There are documented racial disparities in law enforcement in Asheville which must be addressed before even considering increasing the number of officers. Instead of hiring new officers, funds need to be flagged for racial equity and related trainings, department reform, and improved screening of applicants.”

City Council candidate Kim Roney (who I fully endorse) released this statement about the proposed million dollars for the police: Thoughts on Asheville’s Budget Process and Prioritization.

You can email council with your opinion at

Josue Ortiz Ayala

Keep Josue Home

“Dear Friends, One of our Word on the Street squad members, Josue, is here from El Salvador to escape violence and death threats. Please help us raise legal and travel funds for our beloved Josue to go fight his asylum case! He is safe with us here, in Asheville. He is our family! GRANT JOSUE ASYLUM!” – Tamiko Ambrose. Click here for Josue’s YouCaring page.


CPC Language Justice Tour
“When participants from CPC‘s Language Justice Listening Tour gathered to analyze stories and experiences from the tour, four themes emerged: Tools for Survival and Strategies for Transformation; Systems of Oppression and Colonization; Identity and Culture; and Trauma and Healing.” Click here to watch a short video with highlights of the tour.


Soul Shakedown Saturday, May 6

From Green Opportunities: “We hope you’re planning to join us at The Boathouse on Saturday, May 6 from 6 – 9 pm for this soul shakin’ party! The event will feature live soul, funk, and hip-hop by Natural Born Leaders and DJ Nex, and soul food favorites prepared by Green Opportunities’ Southside Kitchen and Guest Chef Joe Scully of Chestnut and The Corner Kitchen. All proceeds raised through the Soul Shakedown benefit Green Opportunities’ work to build a strong, inclusive workforce for Asheville by providing job training to adults facing employment barriers.”

Cooking With Comedy Brunch at Habitat Brewing, Sunday, May 7
12 – 3 pm, 174 Broadway St.
“We’re so excited to finally be able to offer a weekend brunch complete with a mimosa option! May 7th will be your first chance to try out Chef Clarence Robinson’s opening menu for Habitat. Clarence is the founder and creative genius behind Cooking with Comedy Catering, where he blends his love of soul food with comedy that is good for the soul….Follow us on Instagram @habitatbrewing for menu and other details as well.

Melissa Henry“Reclaiming Our Roots: The Story of Tamishan”
Melissa Henry has a piece in the Urban News about the fascinating story of Tamishan, an African Muslim who was enslaved in Burke County, NC. Excerpt: “To this day, Tamishan’s wisdom in the face of a terrible oppressive force provides a source of comfort for the family and larger African American community. Nothing can take away the pain that our people have gone through during our time here, but hearing stories of survival during one of the darkest chapters in human history is like seeing a spark of light in a sea of darkness.” Click here to read the story.

May Day (May 1) – ¡Asheville No Trabaja!

CIMA- Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Accion is leading this action.


Those are my highlights for this week! Thank you for reading!


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