by Ivette Alé
CURB members are celebrating the life and mourning the loss of one of our movement leaders, Rose Braz. Rose was a co-founder of CURB, Critical Resistance, Justice Now and other organizations that sought to build a strong opposition to policing and incarceration throughout California and nationally. Rose was a comrade in this fight to many, but also a friend and an always present mentor that sought to carry on intersectional organizing practices and constantly sought to share her skills with others in the movement.
Earlier this month on Tuesday, May 2nd, Rose passed away after a long battle with cancer. Although Rose is physically gone from our lives, her spirit and energy continue to be felt by so many people that are a part of the CURB community. Here are just a few words from CURB members about the impact that Rose has on us:
Debbie Reyes, California Prison Moratorium Project: Rest in Power sister, Rose Braz. You are the love we inspire to reach with your community commitment to the prison abolition and environmental movemientos.
Diana Block, California Coalition for Women Prisoners: CCWP was honored to have Rose as a member of our Advisory Board for the past ten years. As an Advisory Board member, Rose brought the same passion, vision, dedication and humor to supporting work for women and trans people in prison that she brought to every facet of movement work that she touched. Rose possessed a rare combination of vision and pragmatism that allowed her to discover opportunities for change in unlikely places. Even in the last few years when she was struggling with her illness, she continued to be there for CCWP, setting an example of collective caring, fierce advocacy and radical optimism in the face of daunting obstacles. Rose Braz presente!
Diana Zuñiga, CURB Statewide Co-Coordinator: Rose’s spirit has touched so many people. I remember when Rose talked me through how to understand the environmental process in relation to our prison and jail expansion fights. She continued to share with me and so many of us the lessons that were learned in her work and how we could use those same strategies to continue to fight back against the prison industrial complex. She is already missed and her legacy will always be with CURB.
Rose’s passing reminds us as organizers and political thinkers to continue to lead with kindess, fierceness, and the tenacity that she led with. Her spirit reminds us to bring in abolitionist practices rooted in care to every space we are a part of. And her work reminds us to think of every creative and fun strategy we can use to fight back against the prison industrial complex.
To learn more about Rose please read what Critical Resistance pulled together in memory of Rose, the statment and the Rose Braz Memorial Fund from the Wild Equity Institute, and a piece she wrote with one of our other movement leaders entitled Joining Forces: Prisons and Environmental Justice in Recent California Organizing.
In love and solidarity,
Californians United for a Responsible Budget