Ciara Taylor, 23-yr-old Political Director Dream Defenders, a human rights organization directed by Black & Brown youth who confront inequality and criminalization of youth in Florida since it’s inception in April 2012. She has been featured on MSNBC’s Politics Nation with Al Sharpton speaking about the fight to overturn the Stand Your Ground law in Florida. Ciara also currently works as a Campaign Coordinator for the ACLU. Previously she worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the League of Women Voters of Florida.
In 2021 she was as Membership Manager with The People's Forum.
She first became politically active in high school in opposition to the Iraq War and has continued organizing around issues pertaining to militarism, mass incarceration, poverty, and the protection of the most vulnerable in our society. In 2012, Ciara co-founded the Dream Defenders, a Florida-based youth organization that emerged after the killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
People’s Agenda march
August 27, 2012, well over 1,000 people rallied and marched in the streets of Tampa to demand good jobs, affordable education, healthcare, equality, and peace. Although the Republicans cancelled the first day of their convention due to Hurricane Isaac, organizers with the Coalition to March on the RNC went through with their promise to march on the first day of the convention to show their opposition to the agenda of the 1% and their support for a People’s Agenda.
Notable speakers included Carlos Montes, a leading immigrants’ rights leader; Joe Iosbaker; a spokesperson for the anti-war movement; Skye Schmelzer, representative of the National Students for a Democratic Society; Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of Code Pink and major peace activist; Ciara Taylor, a representative of Dream Defenders and a Black community organizer; Nelini Stamp, one of the original organizers of Occupy Wall Street; and Oscar Otzoy, a Florida farm worker organizer with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Organizations present included Students for a Democratic Society, Veterans for Peace, Southern California Immigrant Coalition, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, five Florida Occupy chapters, six Fight Back Florida chapters, Dream Defenders, United National Anti-war Coalition, Committee to Stop FBI Repression, International Action Center, Code Pink, four Florida AFL-CIO labor councils, and Region 3 of AFSCME Council 79.
Organizer Fern Figueroa stated: “Today we took a stand with more than 1,000 people against the Republicans and their agenda of hatred, poverty, and war. Today we stand up for all the good things people need and strike a blow against those who deprive us that.”
Dream Defenders Palestine Delegation
Dream Defenders Palestine Delegation toured "Palestine" and in Israel, early January 2015.The full list of delegates included five Dream Defenders (Phillip Agnew, Ciara Taylor, Steven Pargett, Sherika Shaw Ahmad Abuznaid), Tef Poe and Tara Thompson (Ferguson/Hands Up United), journalist Marc Lamont Hill, Cherrell Brown and Carmen Perez (Justice League NYC), Charlene Carruthers (Black Youth Project), poet and artist Aja Monet, Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter), and Maytha Alhassen.
On a historic trip to Palestine, freedom fighters from Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, New York, Ferguson, and Atlanta were able to witness firsthand the effects of Israeli apartheid and occupation, and to learn from the people who are actively resisting on the front lines. In Nazareth, the delegates decided to do a solidarity demonstration as a call for support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that was called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005.
This demonstration was coordinated by Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, and features "Ella's Song" by Sweet Honey in the Rock, sung by Charlene Carruthers, National Director of the Black Youth Project 100 and Dream Defenders’ Executive Director Phillip Agnew; poet, artist, and New York Justice League member, Aja Monet; rapper and Ferguson/Hands Up United organizer Tef Poe, and Ferguson/ Hands Up United organizer, Tara Thompson. Dream Defenders Ciara Taylor, Steven Pargett, Sherika Shaw, and Ahmad Abuznaid, journalist Marc Lamont Hill, New York Justice League organizers Cherrell Brown and Carmen Perez, and Maytha Alhassen, a University of Southern California Doctoral Candidate, are seen preforming the debke, a traditional Palestinian folk dance.
- Freedom Summit 2014 speakers list
- [http://wibailoutpeople.org/2012/08/27/coalition-to-march-on-the-rnc-more-than-a-thousand-rally-in-face-of-storm/Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement Coalition to March on the RNC: More Than a Thousand Rally in Face of Storm Posted on August 27, 2012 For immediate release August 27, 2012]
- BayView, Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter and Ferguson reps take historic trip to Palestine January 14, 2015. Kristian Davis Bailey
- FB Dream Defenders January 15