FFLIC's Holiday Wishes

Xochitl Bervera
Date Published: 
December 19, 2005
Dear Friends and Allies,


Below is our holiday Newsflash sent to all our members statewide and now to you. FFLIC wishes all of our friends and allies the most blessed, peaceful and strengthening holiday season. We know that solidarity is one of our greatest tools of resistance and of our fight for justice for our children and ourselves. We feel stronger just knowing you are all out there believing in us.

May 2006 bring all the things we have only dreamt about in our hopes for a better world, Much Peace and Respect,


Kori, Grace, Gina & Xochitl

December 19, 2005 • lake Charles, LA

Happy Holidays from FFLIC

FFLIC would like to wish every one of our members and supporters a happy holiday season. We hope that despite the challenges our families and communities face at this time, we are able to come together this season to give thanks for our blessings and gather our strength to fight for justice in the year to come!

We Shall Overcome ...

We would like to send a message of healing to all our members. As our sister Maya Angelou said, "Since life is our most precious gift, let us be certain that it is dedicated to the liberation of the human mind and spirit, beginning with our own." Our organization and our movement for justice are only as strong as we are. Please do whatever you need to do to heal from the trauma of the last few months. We encourage everyone to seek spiritual and mental health support and to take kind and loving care of themselves - especially the mothers of FFLIC who often take care of everyone but themselves! If FFLIC can help in any way, please call us at (337)562-8503 or (504)621-1575. We have a lot of fighting and struggling for justice to do in 2006 and we need us to all be healthy and strong!

What Have We Been Up To

Disaster Relief &. Member Support:

As many know, FFLIC has been very busy over the last 4 months. We have:

. Actively searched (from shelters to calls to databases· and

word of mouth) to find and contact all of our members who were displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and have located the vast majority. Have we not "found" you yet? Please call us today! Ms. Calway, this means YOU! (504) 522-5437

. Raised close to $75,000 for out Hurricane Relief Fund and

given out over $60,000.00 dollars of that to our families in need from New Orleans to Lake Charles. Are you a supporter and would like to donate to our quickly

dwindling fund that helps our members get back on their feet? Send check to 188 Williamsburg, Lake Charles, LA 70605

· Helped people store furniture, gather their families, move

into new housing and simply make sure that their families had food and shelter.

· Gathered stories and documented the tales of horror that our

families experienced and worked with other coalitions to get these stories to the media to fight for a just reconstruction of New Orleans.

Justice for our Youth/Transforming our Juvenile Justice System

We have:

· Worked with attorneys and advocates at the Juvenile Justice

Project of Louisiana (JJPL) to help secure the release of close to a hundred youth from New Orleans who were in detention or incarcerated when the storms hit.

· Facilitated workshops and spoke at national conferences

regarding family involvement in reducing youth detention and incarceration.

· Continued our involvement with the Calcasieu Parish Children

and Youth Planning Board (CYPB) working to reform the local juvenile justice system & specifically to bring in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) to help reduce the number of youth in detention and build programs for ou r youth.

· Participated in a press conference (and spoke to dozens of

media outlets) about what went wrong with the evacuation of the juvenile detention centers in Orleans Parish during Katrina and how the youth went for days without water or food standinq chest hiqh in polluted waters.

· parrnerea wltn a new coalition to call Tor tne closure tor non­reopening) of the 2 dungeon-like juvenile detention centers in New Orleans.

· Held a Calcasieu Parish District Attorney Candidates Forum at

which each candidate signed on to FFLIC's Juvenile Justice Reform Platform.

· Opened up a new FFLIC organizing and advocacy office for

Southwest Louisiana in Lake Charles - come visit us!

What Will We Be Up To in 2006:

FFLIC needs all of YOU, our members, to carry out our work in 2006. In early 2006, we will be releasing a "State of Juvenile Justice Reform in Louisiana," a short report detailing the incredible advances we have made in our campaign to transform Louisiana's juvenile justice system. But our work is far from over. While the state system is greatly improved, we all know that juvenile justice on a local level still needs a LOT of work. And youth still need more programs and opportunities in our communities. 2006 will be full of fighting for such programs on the local level. But that's where we need YOU! What can FFLIC do in your town or parish to fight for more justice for our children?

Also, FFLIC knows that the fight for a transformed juvenile justice system must not continue in isolation of the real times we live in. This disaster has illuminated for many that the racism and oppression which have fueled the abuse in the juvenile justice system in this state for years are the very same which abandoned people to die in New Orleans after the storm hit. For this reason, 2006 must also be dedicated to giving the true information and stories of our New Orleans members and the fight for a Reconstruction of New Orleans that lives up to the dreams of its people.

What’s Up with FFLIC Staff

FFLIC is soooo sad to say good-bye to our amazing and brilliant New Orleans organizer Kori Higgs who will be leaving us on

Jan 15th, Kori leaves us to go back to school in North Carolina. We will miss her more than she knows!