Minister Toya Woodland faces charges of terroristic threats, simply for being a mother standing up for her son, Toyvon Campbell, against systemic racism.
Since December 16, 2017, Woodland has been in contact with the Perpich Arts High School, specifically Curt Tryggestad, the school’s director, along with principal Ahava Silkey-Jones, regarding the overall racist climate of the school.
Campbell, one of the four remaining African American students left at Perpich Arts High School, on March 11 posted an exposé review about the school on Facebook.
On March 12, Woodland went to Perpich to address the dorm staff’s derogatory comments toward Campbell. In her conversation with the staff, she allegedly stated that she would “shut down” (Black Lives Matter terminology for protest) the school due to their mistreatment of Campbell, racial profiling, and overall racial bias.
In an effort to silence Woodland, the dorm staff and assistant principal called the police, alleging that Woodland threatened to shoot up the school and dorm staff. Due to these allegations, Minister Woodland (named Toya Brantley in the complaint) was charged with terroristic threats.
When speaking on his mother’s experience, Campbell stated, “When I arrived home that day, the place was torn apart. I didn’t know what happened. I was worried because I had no idea what happened to my mom. She disappeared.”
Minister Woodland is a Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist who is currently organizing with Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar (TCC4J). Before that, she was active with BLM Minneapolis during the Fourth Precinct occupation for Jamar Clark. In addition to her community activism, Woodland is a minister at Christ Temple Apostolic Church.
The events leading up to Woodland’s arrest, like many of the stories that highlight the attacks on African Americans across the U. S., range from derogatory comments to casting her son as a monkey for a school play.
“In the U.S., Black women and the Black family are constantly under attack by a system which uses White supremacy to destroy all working people,” said Loretta VanPelt, TCC4J organizer. “The injustice system wishes to silence Toya and destroy her because she stood up for her son Toyvon and for Black people who are oppressed every day by police crimes and terror in our communities.”
Perpich has since stated it is not pursuing charges and, is instead, currently seeking an outside mediator to resolve issues. However, charges continue.
Woodland, her son and supporters held a press conference and speak-out at Hennepin County Government Center on August 21 to demand that the charges against her be dropped.
This is why TCC4J is leading a “Drop the charges against Toya Brantley AKA Minister Toya” campaign, urging people to call the Hennepin County prosecutor at 612-348-5540 to demand that the charges are dropped.
Sam Martinez started their activism in college with the Chican@ Student Association at MCTC, then as a trade-unionist with AFSCME 2822 and now actively organizes with the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to stop police crimes and terror.