Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Branden Snyder

Executive Director | Good Jobs Now

Born and raised on Detroit's East Side, Branden has been involved in electoral and community organizing projects throughout the United States for almost 10 years. Branden is a graduate of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor with a degree in Political Science and Afro-American studies with a minor in Urban Community Studies. Previously, Branden was the Deputy Organizing Director in charge of Youth Voting for the Hillary For Michigan 2016 presidential campaign as well as the Director of Organizing for Michigan United -a coalition of faith, labor & civic organizations in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Organizing for the Freedom to Thrive

Our country invests heavily in communities of color - but that investment comes too often and too much in the form of criminalization, surveillance, and incarceration. Annually, the United States spends $100 billion on policing alone. For cities large and small, the choice to spend massive amounts of their budgets on cops and jails come with deep structural trade-offs. For every dollar spent on more police officers, police stations, or militarized equipment, that means one less dollar for youth services, public education, local infrastructure, public health, or job programs.

Divest/invest campaigns, which advocate for investments in supportive services and divestment from punitive institutions, challenge the very roots of mass criminalization and inequity.

This session will specifically discuss how such harmful policies are manifesting in cities such as Detroit and Milwaukee, and how we must - and can - start demanding divestment from these harmful institutions and investments into community-owned safety.

The presenters, experienced community organizers and local leaders, will facilitate a workshop exploring how best to demand elected officials and decision-makers acknowledge that the lack of investment in communities of color and the over-investment in their criminalization is emblematic of governmental disregard for Black and brown life. The presenters will lead an interactive workshop on tips and tools for building community power in this fight, including door-to-door canvassing, media engagement, "bird-dogging" of elected officials, electoral strategies, and the import of organizing young people and those most directly impacted.

Speakers: Angela Lang, Branden Snyder