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News :: Labor
Soul Brown Locked OUT as Exec Director of Social Justice Education! Organizing Meeting Tonight @ Marcus Garvey House Regarding this Unjust Firing...
by Laura Soul Brown & The CEO (Call Em Out!) Committee
Email: RobesonInstitute (nospam) hotmail.com
25 Aug 2005
Modified: 06:22:29 AM
Dear Supporters, Colleagues and Friends,
This letter is to inform you that I, Laura Soul Brown, am no longer working with Social Justice Education. On August 5th of this month David Ludlow, SJE’s founder and Alexander Lynn its board president conspired with other board members to lock SJE’s doors and terminate our working relationship. Along with my firing all consultant jobs were suspended indefinitely and a youth summer jobs program was abandoned by the board but not the community. This hostile action happening on the heels of the wonderfully successful Robeson Social Justice Institute was fueled by racism, sexism, self-hate, power, and greed, unfortunately issues that many of us working in communities for change are all too familiar with.
Since the 5th, access to phone messages, records, and personal items has been cut off at SJE. If you have left messages for me or others at the office, we have not received them. Below, are details of the events of the 5th. I feel it necessary to make public, especially to those working for justice, how certain individuals within our movements operate. At the end, I ask that if you were positively impacted by a program, activity, or exchange during my time at SJE that you let the board know by sending a letter of protest and support (contact info below). As forever, la luta continué… We are organizing now! We are made strong even in these difficult times.
The Lock OUT—Aug 5th
On Aug 4th, Soul emailed SJE Board members David Ludlow, Alexander Lynn and Wei Li (treasurer) to inform them that checks given her for back pay had bounced.
On Aug 5th, 2 weeks after organizing the successful Robeson Social Justice Institute that brought together over 150 educators, organizers and youth leaders from across the country, former SJE Executive Director Laura Soul Brown was locked out of the SJE offices in a surprise move by SJE’s white, wealthy founder/funder David Ludlow and purported black revolutionary board president Alexander Lynn.
At 8:30am Soul received a call from Alexander Lynn to inform her that the checks that had bounced would be re-issued to her by 2 members of the Board who would come to the office at noon. He also said they had something else to discuss with her.
“At 11:30am I arrived at SJE with a colleague who was helping me with institute follow-up. The door was locked and my keys no longer worked. I called David Ludlow who confirmed that the locks had been changed and that I would not be granted entrance. He stated that I was told by Alexander to be there at noon for a meeting with the board and said I should wait in my car until then.
“At noon I returned to SJE and was told to wait outside in the garden. After about 10 minutes David and two board members, Carlos Canon and Wei Li came outside. They said that the board held an emergency meeting with Alexander the previous night and that they were terminating my services. They presented me with a piece of paper (attached below) and said that they would give me my check once I signed it and gave them all passwords and access codes to computer files.
“I mentioned that I was due additional compensation for the month of August as I was preparing to go on vacation. David said that he would not pay me for this time and that if the board approved it he might give me a week’s severance pay at a later date.
“I asked to be able to collect my things upstairs. David again said, no. I protested and eventually he consented to return some of my prints that were on the walls; everything else he said I would have to prove ownership of for him to consider returning. (I thought to myself the wealthy continue to maintain their positions of power by stealing the labor and possessions of the poor.)
“Upon signing the document, I received back pay due me for the previous 3 months and ended my business relationship with Social Justice Education.
“In addition to this series of events, all SJE consultants were put out of work for an undetermined amount of time (see below). The board abandoned a summer youth organizing jobs program that was taking place. Two SJE consultants (Born B’kim and Justice Williams) and myself volunteered our time and resources to ensure that the youth completed the summer without interruption.
“I feel the need to inform the community that has supported my work at Social Justice Education about these events. I’m sure that over the coming days you will hear other stories about my termination from David, Alexander and other members of the board.
“Let the record state that I find the actions of SJE’s founder, board president, and board members to be racist, sexist, imperialist, and underhanded; all things that Social Justice Education has claimed to be against. I ask you to consider if an organization that operates as such and its directors are capable of teaching you, your children, and your communities about oppression other than the perpetuation of the oppressor’s vice upon our necks?
“This situation especially saddens me as the person who led the charge for my dismissal, Alexander Lynn, is an African American man whose work I directly supported for over a year, coming frequently to his classes at Boston Adult Technical Academy to train students in community organizing. I brought him into SJE’s organization and offered him a role on the board. He in turn turned his back on me, and our community, and eventually would stab me in mine.
“On to more positive and powerful vistas… I want to thank everyone who supported my work at Social Justice Education. If a program, activity, conversation or other form of exchange moved you, I ask that you consider dropping a line of protest and support for me and the work to the members of SJE’s board. Their contact info is below. Also, I ask that you be ever vigilant with your work and organizations, we cannot afford to allow the imposters of social justice to sow disunity, using and accepting money to leverage personal agendas to break apart our movements. They haven’t stopped or discouraged me and others working for social change in our communities. We are organizing now! And hope that you will join us this fall in ‘calling em out’ and ‘saying it loud,’ peace and justice will prevail!”
In struggle, in love, in peace,
David Ludlow (Founder/Funder)
davidludlow (at) mindspring.com
Alexander Lynn (President) morenolynn (at) yahoo.com
Wei Li (Treasurer)
liweifeng98 (at) yahoo.com
Mary Ann Crayton (Clerk)
maocrayton (at) CTACUSA.com
canonci (at) aol.com
vernonwoodroffe (at) yahoo.com
ORGANIZING MEETING RELATED TO UNJUST FIRING & WORK STOPPAGE AT SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION
THURSDAY, AUG 25 6PM
MARCUS GARVEY HOUSE
116 ROXBURY ST
ROXBURY, MA 02119
Days after the conclusion of the successful Robeson Social Justice Institute, SJE’s Founder and Board abruptly fired its Executive Director and locked out all Workers in a deliberate attempt to break apart the strength and unity that brought together over 150 educators, organizers and youth leaders from across the country for 3 days of learning, sharing and committing to being the change we make.
On Monday, July 25th, just 2 days after the institute closed during a board meeting, Board President Alexander Lynn repeatedly shouted and angrily accused then E.D. Soul Brown of having “…involved every activist in town at SJE. She’s trying to set us up! I’m not going to allow you to get away with this. I’m not going down like that! I’m telling you Soul, I’m not going down like that!”
On Friday, August 5th in a surprise move, the SJE Board locked the doors.
Our Organizing, our Unity, our Movement is powerful! It makes the forces of racism, sexism and imperialism quake in their oppressive boots. It is imperative that we hold together and not let their actions break us apart or be shielded in a netherworld of complacency and ‘I just gotta get over and pay my rent’. We do have a reason to rise up and it is about our dignity and liberation!
I have received calls and letters of support from Boston to California. I’m sure our cry for justice will be heard beyond these shores. The SJE Board also has and will continue to receive dignified and truthseeking responses from those who have recently learned of their decisions and actions. At tomorrow’s meeting, I will share with you the many exchanges that have come in thus far.
We are in the midst of an enduring struggle! It came before us and it will continue beyond us. However, we will make a profound impact upon it; we already have. PLEASE COME OUT TOMORROW! We need your strength, we need your compassion, we need your wisdom, and we need your love. We need your UNITY…because “none divided, none separated, we are all parts of a Divine ONE”.
CEO “Call Em Out!” Committee Members
“It is the silent acquiescence of millions that supports the system. When you don’t oppose a system, your silence becomes approval, for it does nothing to interrupt the system… Many people say it is insane to resist the system, but actually it is insane not to.” –Mumia Abu-Jamal
Laura Soul Brown The CEO Committee
Activist/Writer/Artist “Call Em Out!” Expose the Pimps,
Robeson Social Justice Institute Hos, and Hustlaz of Social Justice
Solara111 (at) hotmail.com
RobesonInstitute (at) hotmail.com
This work is in the public domain
Re: Soul Brown Locked OUT as Exec Director of Social Justice Education! Organizing Meeting Tonight @ Marcus Garvey House Regarding this Unjust Firing...
by Pete Stidman
pstidman (nospam) yahoo.com (unverified)
26 Aug 2005
Speaking for myself, but also with the experience of working with the Indymedia collective here in Boston, I would welcome an objective piece of reporting on this unfortunate turn of events.
If there is anyone out there who feels that they are totally disconnected with events and can hunt down both sides of this story, feel free to contact us or simply report on and post a story.