Founded in 2013, BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a member-based organization of Black youth activists creating justice and freedom for all Black people. BYP100 was, at one point, just a hashtag for the 2013 “Beyond November Movement Convening” developed through the vision and leadership of Cathy Cohen.
In 2012, Dr. Cathy Cohen was working with a Black Youth Project advisory council in Chicago and was advised to hold a national convening with young Black activists from across the country. Throughout the year, Dr. Cohen worked with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) to gather resources for the convening and make sure there was a strong representation from the Black queer and trans community along with artists and labor unions. In July 2013 she held the “Beyond November Movement Convening” outside of Chicago.
One day during the convening, the group gathered in the main holding room to dismiss for an open mic night, but before they left, someone learned that the George Zimmerman verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin would be announced shortly. The energy in the room completely shifted, and folks sat there prepared for whatever was going to happen. After George Zimmerman was found ‘not guilty’ in the murder of Trayvon Martin, everyone in the room was outraged. Some folk cried. Some folks screamed. Some people left the room. A few folks stayed and in that moment, they decided that they had to make a decision: were they gonna do/be something or would they just hold in their anger and not put that anger into action? Hence, BYP100 was born.
At the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a second convening was held. It was through this convening that 30 members of the collective later known as “BYP100” drafted the organizational vision, mission, and core value statements. BYP100 became a national collective that emphasizes building chapters throughout the country to hone in on grassroots organizing and community mobilization on local levels.
MISSION, VISION, & CORE VALUES
We mobilize through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and education. Our membership core believes in the principles of decision-making, radical inclusivity, and is building a Black politic through a Black, queer, feminist lens.
Our work is generally centered on ending systems of anti-Blackness and emphasizing the urgency of protecting folks living on the margins of the margins, including women, girls, femmes, and the gamut of LGBTQ folk. We approach our work through relational organizing which involves community building through a democratic and consensus building process. We stress training in grassroots organizing, fundraising, public policy debate, and electoral organizing. Lastly, we engage in digital content creation (video, graphics, blogging), political education, and consciousness raising.
BYP100 is National, member-based organization of Black 18-35 year old activists and organizers, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and political education using a Black queer feminist lens.
BYP100 envisions a world where all Black people have economic, social, political, and educational freedom.
We have five main core values to ensure effective operations and engagement of the members of our organization:
1. We are committed to engaging in meaningful action to fulfill our mission and realize our collective vision through a democratic, consensus driven process.
2. We challenge each other and promote each other’s growth within the collective.
3. We honor multiple truths and understand that we are experts of our own experience, so we strive to be reflective of Black youth without inaccurately claiming to represent every story. We build spaces for other young Black activists to engage and share their own perspectives.
4. We stress holistic energy and intentionally bring our entire selves to work.
5. We are committed to the radical and purposeful inclusion of all Black people, including but not limited to a diversity of: sex, gender, class, citizenship status, sexuality, physical ability, education experiences, and faith.