Brother and sister Black Lives Matter team starts food program during COVID-19 crisis

A brother and sister team are reflecting on what it’s been like co-founding Black Lives Matter in New York City and what they’re doing during the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

May 15, 2020, 4:47 PM

Updated 1,469 days ago

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A brother and sister team are reflecting on what it’s been like co-founding Black Lives Matter in New York City and what they’re doing during the pandemic.
Hawk Newsome and his sister Chivona are working together to fight against injustice in their communities, demanding a better quality of life for people of color.
“It means economic justice, it means health care, it means jobs and the end of oppression,” says Newsome.
Since the pandemic hit they got into gear starting the People’s Food Program.
“There’s been food insecurity in the Bronx with or without this pandemic. We done deliveries as far as Brooklyn and New Jersey,” says Newsome.
They say they are making sure that anyone walking past their table heads off with a bag of groceries.
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But that’s not all they’re fighting for. In recent weeks, they been shining light on racial disparities involving the police department during the city’s shutdown.
“The NYPD needs to be realistic. You had the commissioner of the NYPD literally go on television and say there’s no racism in the department,” says Newsome.
Recent numbers released by the police department show that Latino and black people have been hit with the vast majority of summonses for violating social distancing rules.
A recent video also showed a woman being arrested on the subway by a group of officers over a conformation about a mask, sparking calls in protocol changes in social distancing enforcement.
“We need to build community and bring people together, so we can love each other, so we can stand up and fight for each other. I can’t tell people to runaway of they’re not breaking laws,” says Newsome.
Newsome says he has experienced it first hand, when officers tried to disperse people mourning outside a housing complex. Police say he was arrested for shouting at them.


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