#BlackLivesMatter

Have you wondered what you might have done if you'd been around during the Civil Rights movement? Or if you had been active, what is your role today? We are in a new, historic Movement Moment for Racial Justice. Here's an opportunity to get involved.

In cities and on campuses nationwide, hundreds of thousands of people are showing up, inspired by activists and organizers in Ferguson, New York. Oakland and beyond.

Under the banner #BlackLivesMatter, the actions are sweeping the nation, led by a new generation of African American organizers and others who stand in solidarity with efforts to bring about justice for all.

Here are some resources to better understand this historic moment and learn how you can get involved (these are just a few of the many to get you started):

Ferguson Action - Activists in Ferguson MO have put together a vision and a list of demands that are framing the national struggle for racial justice and guiding work of organizers on the ground. See the demands here.

#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society. Visit the #BlackLivesMatter website to learn about their national demands and to connect with local organizers.

Dream Defenders - The Dream Defenders emerged in response to the murder of Travon Martin when activists occupied Florida Governor Rick Scott's office to protest Stand Your Ground laws. Through strategic non-violent direct-action, issue advocacy, civic engagement and an unlimited creativity, they work to develop the next generation of radical leaders to realize and exercise independent collective power; building alternative systems and organizing to disrupt the structures that oppress our communities.

Black Youth Project 100 - BYP 100 is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. They do this through building a collective focused on transformative leadership development, non-violent direct action organizing, advocacy and education.

Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation advances racial justice through research, media and practice. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and organizes Facing Race, one of the country’s largest multiracial conferencea on racial justice.

BlackOut Collective is a Black Direct Action collective that provides on the ground support, training, and the opportunity for deep space visioning in communities that prioritize the liberation of Black people.

ColorOfChange.org exists to strengthen Black America's political voice. Their goal is to empower their members - Black Americans and allies - to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.

Organization for Black Struggle works to build a movement that fights for political empowerment, economic justice and the cultural dignity of the African-American community, especially the Black working class.

Million Hoodies Movement for Justice has over 50,000 members working to protect and empower young people of color from racial profiling and senseless gun violence through creative technology, strategic communications, and grassroots power building.

Hands Up United states in their vision, in part: "We are striving for a world where we deal with harm in our communities through healing, love, and kinship. This means an end to state sponsored violence, including the excessive use of force by law enforcement. We are committed to an America that comes to terms with the trauma of its painful history and finds true reconciliation for it."

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond is a collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators who focus on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration - BAJI educates and engages African American and black immigrant communities to organize and advocate for racial, social and economic justice.

The Black Liberation Collective is a collective consisting of Black students dedicated to transforming institutions of higher education through unity, coalition building, direct action and political education.

Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD) is a national Leadership Training Program designed to help rebuild Black social justice infrastructure to organize Black communities more effectively and re-center Black leadership in the U.S. social justice movement.

 
If you want a more comprehensive list and map of Black-led Black Liberation Organizing, CLICK HERE.
 
What is the role of white people in this current movement moment? Here are some organizations working on this:

Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. Get involved in a chapter near you or start one - there are lots of organizaing resources on the SURJ website.
 

Bay Area Solidarity Action Team (BASAT) is made up of anti-racist activists who came together to take ongoing accountable direct action in solidarity with the BlackLivesMatter movement. They were involved with the shutdown of the Oakland Police Department in December as well as other actions. The group also put together a working document, Protocol and Principles for White People Working to Support the Black Liberation Movement.

Catalyst Project helps to build powerful multiracial movements that can win collective liberation. In the service of this vision, they organize, train and mentor white people to take collective action to end racism, war and empire, and to support efforts to build power in working-class communities of color. Catalyst organizes the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training program and have lots of resources on their website for anti-racism organizing. 

Catalyst Project was also the sponsor of a panel of Black organizers followed by a discussion and skill share on how to move white people to take bold and accountable action against racism. Panelists included Alicia Garza, #BlackLivesMatter co-founder, Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and former Executive Director ofPeople Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER); Kamau Walton, Critical Resistance, Stop the Injunctions Coalition, andPrisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity; Robbie Clark, Housing Rights Campaign Lead Organizer at Causa Justa/Just Cause; and Phil Hutchings, Senior Organizer at Black Alliance for Just Immigration and former member of SNCC - the Student National Coordinating Committee. Watch that event here. 

 

Other Resources:

The Oakland CA Public Library has put together this comprehensive list of books and other resources for "Talking to Kids About Racism and Justice: A List for Parents and Educators."

Here's a list of 26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets.

Please note this resource list is rapidly developing and very incomplete. If you have good resources that you think are missing, please send them with links and descriptions to info@speakoutnow.org