The Occupy Movement has taken a foothold not just on Wall Street, but all across the country. And Occupy The Hood is aiming to get more people of color involved in the cause.
Occupy Wall Street is a series of demonstrations in New York City's Wall Street financial district that has since become a worldwide movement. Launched by Canadian activist group Adbusters, the protests focus on social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption, and the influence of corporations on government.
Initially, most of the protesters were white, but Occupy the Hood wants people of color to fight for corporate change as well. Malik Rahsaan, an African-American New Yorker and full-time substance abuse counselor, and Ife Johari Uhuru from Detroit are behind the Occupy the Hood effort.
The Internet has played a great part in spreading the word about Occupy the Hood. Rahsaan created the group's Facebook and Twitter accounts. Occupy the Hood thus far has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter and more than 11,000 people on Facebook and has branched off to other cities, including Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
"Occupy the Hood is a national movement with a presence in 22 cities from Harlem to San Diego. We stand in solidarity with all Occupy movements worldwide to end corporate greed and to bring justice to the people economically and socially," says Brittney Gault of Occupy Chicago. "Occupy the Hood Chicago is necessary to bring awareness to the people - people who are significantly impacted by the crimes on Wall Street are concerned about the success of the movement. We hope to identify, recruit, and train concerned citizens to become outstanding organizers. From this, we hope to develop sustainable systems of resources managed by the people and for the people, block by block."
According to the Occupy The Hood mission statement: "It is imperative that the voice of people of color is heard at this movement! We must not be forgotten as the world progresses to the next economic stage. We can all agree that the voices in our communities are especially needed in this humanitarian struggle. We are our future and we possess the energy needed to push the Occupy movement to the next phase. We are ‘The Least Represented’; we are among ‘The Ignored’; we are among ‘The Unemployed’; we are considered ‘The Under Educated’; we are considered ‘The Minority’; we are ‘The Consumers’; but most importantly we are ‘The Hood’."
According to Gault, what the group wants boils down to three basic needs from government and corporations. " Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability," she ends.