CoCo Celebrates National Brotherhood / Sisterhood Week

11 Feb CoCo Celebrates National Brotherhood / Sisterhood Week

Malik Henry | Communications Coordinator

Every third week in February, the focus shifts to unity and solidarity by celebrating National Brotherhood/Sisterhood Week, which encourages people from different backgrounds, faiths, and cultures to learn and celebrate their differences and recognize what they have in common. Originally known as National Brotherhood Week, the observance was established in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was encouraged to establish the week by prominent social activists who were the founders of a nonprofit known initially as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today, the group is known as the National Conference for Community and Justice. The organization’s mission is to educate society of false stereotypes to combat bigotry, racism, and injustice in the rising anti-immigrant, anti-catholic and anti-Jewish sentiment of the 1920s.

Founded intentionally as a Black and Brown organization, Community Coalition (CoCo) understands the power that lies in bringing people together and serving as part of a more significant movement. And, the need to create allies for successful social change has been seen and demonstrated in every major movement in America. For example, in the Abolitionist Movement, advocates such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman used their privilege to help the less fortunate and oppressed. The brotherhood and sisterhood exemplified by these two groups helped develop the 13th amendment, which ended forced slavery in America. 

The Abolitionist Movement  

Due to the severe disinvestment that South LA continues to be plagued with, it has never been a more prudent time for organizations in our community to come together in the spirit of brotherly and sisterly love. Check out these ways CoCo and other local organizations have shown their brother- and sisterhood!

Brotherhood Crusade, Community Coalition
and InnerCity Struggle Join Forces to Support
At-Risk Students in South and East LA

#CareForUs Rally Unites California’s Faith Leaders and Essential Workers Plea to Government Leaders

Unity and Solidarity Today  

Demographics show that African Americans have visibly dropped in numbers in inner-city Los Angeles areas due to a systematic pushing out that makes way for economic advancements, such as gentrification. CoCo elevates solidarity as a way to stand firm against the threats of disinvestment and disfranchisement in the inner cities. In actual practice, solidarity is not always smooth sailing–far from it. But the work and effort to achieve it creates genuine and lasting power.

In 2021, CoCo convened 30+ organizations, known as the People’s Bloc, to conduct grassroots community engagement and education about the redistricting process. Through storytelling, targeted messaging, and the creation of “Solidarity Maps,” we advocated for racial solidarity when drawing new maps of representation. We put our core principles of community participation, centering people, power-building organizations, and transforming action into equity at the center of this effort. 

We stood together as organizations aligned with one another and on a mission to ensure the redistricting process included everyday residents by elevating their voices and putting forth solutions for Los Angeles’ future. We demonstrated that our residents are the experts in and on our neighborhoods. We showcased what makes our communities distinct and unique. We defined our “communities of interest.” We highlighted our shared priorities and concerns. We demonstrated why Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, and El Sereno should not be broken up. We elevated why Koreatown residents’ voices should be heard. We demanded crucial economic engines and cultural assets be returned to a district with a solidly Black Citizens Voting Age Population (CVAP), which could have empowered its residents economically and politically for the foreseeable future.

We will continue to fight for a South LA-wide agenda inclusive of Black and Latino people that is not defined by political lines. Stopping the (police) stops, Make LA Whole, COVID-related mutual aid, vaccinations, and educational funding—these are all fights we have advanced that aim to tear down structural racism for the benefit of Black and Brown people in South Los Angeles.

Multiracial solidarity is the only path forward. As part of our DNA, CoCo elevates our members’ voices to shift power and secure resources for the 8th, 9th, and 10th council districts of Los Angeles in which our members live. While inherently tricky at times, our struggles bring out the true beauty of our communities’ resilience.

You can celebrate National Brotherhood/Sisterhood Week by: 

  • Organizing a Brotherhood/Sisterhood event through your church congregation or community service group.
  • Educating yourself on diversity through training and webinars 
  • Planning a potluck to invite friends of different races to share and break bread together to experience the tastes of different cultures

Please share your ideas with us on social media by using #BrotherhoodSisterhoodWeek

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