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News :: Human Rights : Labor : Politics : Race
Alert: Lorenzo Ervin unjustly fired by Nashville Peace and Justice Center
05 Dec 2006
On Monday, December 4, 2006, Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin was unjustly fired
from his position as coordinator of the Nashville Peace and Justice
Center (NPJC).
On Monday, December 4, 2006, Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin was unjustly fired
from his position as coordinator of the Nashville Peace and Justice
Center (NPJC).

Lorenzo, a Class War hero, former Black Panther, and former political
prisoner, took the position earlier this year and relocated from
Chicago in order to dedicate his time to the NPJC and do his part to
continue to build this organization. Upon the initiation of his
employment, it immediately became apparent that certain elements
within NPJC took offense to the employment of a Black militant.

Within weeks hostile actions had become the norm against Lorenzo. One
NPJC board member made reference that Lorenzo should not be employed
at the center, as NPJC is a "nice, white" organization. Lorenzo
immediately understood that he had been brought in to serve as a
"black face in a high place". As part of the liberal racist dogma,
Lorenzo was to be tokenized in order for the liberals to claim
"progressive" status. He was meant to be seen and not heard.

Unwilling to tolerate the internalized racism of the organization,
Lorenzo, as a staff member of NPJC, brought his complaints in writing
before the board of directors on September 11, 2006. Rather than
listening to and addressing his concerns, a board member physically
grabbed the papers from his hand and threw them in the trash. Lorenzo
was also instructed not to talk about the conflict, and to immediately
cease all email publications relating to the issue.

It had become clear that the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, as a
liberal organization, would not tolerate a Black militant within their

The situation then evolved into a labor battle between worker and
employer. A mediation was scheduled to begin after Thanksgiving in the
supposed hope of settling the issue and working towards a common
resolution acceptable to both parties. In standard mediation practice,
all mediators must be approved by both parties. Lorenzo exercised his
right to object to one mediator, and the NPJC board claimed this as
evidence of Lorenzo not going forward in good faith.

At the December 4th board meeting, a formal motion was put forth to
immediately terminate Lorenzo's employment. During board discussion,
it was claimed that anti-racism only accounted for ten percent of
Lorenzo's duties as it embodied only one phrase within a seventeen
page job description. One board member claimed that she could not
possibly be racist as she sometimes looks in the mirror and wonders
why she is so pale, only to eventually remember the fact that she is
white! Another board member displayed his employing class loyalties by
repeating the claim that no discussion was necessary to terminate
Lorenzo's employment - "business is business". Community members
supporting Lorenzo were repeatedly shouted
down and denied the ability to speak uninterrupted.

In the end, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center board of directors
passed the motion to terminate Lorenzo's employment by a margin of
16-4, with one abstaining vote.

Liberty Anarchist Black Cross encourages all those concerned with
issues of social justice, workers' rights, and anti-racism to please
contact the Nashville Peace and Justice Center and express your outrage.

Nashville Peace and Justice Center
1016 18th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
Phone: (615) 321-9066
Fax: (615) 320-8897
Email: info (at)

Liberty Anarchist Black Cross
PO Box 265
Alexandria TN 37012

This work is in the public domain
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