FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2016
National Media Contact:
BYP100 Announces Release of the Agenda to Build Black Futures, an economic justice policy agenda, ahead of National Weekend of #ReclaimMLK actions
NATIONWIDE — Today, As people across the world celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and take action to reclaim his legacy of radicalism, the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) announces its upcoming release of the Agenda to Build Black Futures. The Agenda to Build Black Futures, the organization’s second public policy agenda, is a platform for young activists seeking to create a new economy where young Black people can thrive.
“For Black people living in America, there is no economic justice without racial justice. We live in a country that tells us that not all of us deserve to breathe, eat well or have access to water,” says BYP100 National Director Charlene Carruthers. We understand that Dr. King’s personal revolution sparked his commitment to economic justice. In doing so, a wider target was placed on his back. His last days were spent among street sanitation workers demanding dignity and fair pay for their work.
In the wake of scores of shooting deaths, devastating unemployment rates, domestic terrorism and increasingly unsustainable communities — the Agenda to Build Black Futures will contribute to Dr. King’s vision for an economy where there are no poor people. “Until our economic needs are met so that we can participate to the fullest extent of our social and political lives, America cannot truly be considered a democratic nation,” says BYP100 National Public Policy Chair Janaé Bonsu. We continue on with that vision and extend it to center the most marginalized, including women (e.g., closing the gender and race gap), trans* and gender nonconforming folks, and incarcerated folks.
“The litmus test for realizing King’s dream was neither a Black face in the White House nor a Black presence on Wall Street. Rather, the fulfillment of his dream was for all poor and working people to live lives of decency and dignity” writes Dr. Cornel West in the Radical King.
BYP100 chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Washington, DC and New York City will lead local direct actions, teach-ins and demonstrations throughout the weekend. Follow #ReclaimMLK and #BuildBlackFutures on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the action. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for local press contacts. Spanish language speakers available.
The Agenda to Build Black Futures, envisioned from BYP100 membership and written by our several leaders using research and examples from various resources, contains a political vision to:
- Pay for Generational Oppression: Reparations Revisited includes recommendations to establish separate commissions to examine systemic racial and economic discrimination and compensate for it, a national scholarship fund paid by colleges that benefited directly from slave labor, and restore voting rights to incarcerated people.
- Honor Worker’s Rights: #BlackWorkMatters recommends a “workers’ bill of rights,” which includes guaranteed income, full protection and living wages for all.
- Divestment from local, state, and federal policing and prisons and invest those dollars and resources in Black futures, including fully funding healthcare, social services, public schools, sustainable economic development projects and Black businesses that support Black communities.
- Divest and Eliminate Profit from Punishment is a call to end all fines for minor crimes, misdemeanors, and administrative fees for probationers and parolees.
- Value the Worth of Women’s Work uplifts the fact that Black women are our primary heads of households, and our entire community is impacted when women are not able to support their families. It includes recommendations for universal childcare and full access to reproductive healthcare.
- Support and protections for Black trans* people. That includes access to transition-related health care, making employment non-discrimination protections under federal and state law, and removing barriers to obtaining government issued identification that aligns with their gender identity.
- Stabilize and Revitalize Black Communities promotes economic sustainability and eliminate the displacement of our people.
The full Agenda to Build Black Futures will be available to download online on www.byp100.org on February 1, 2016.
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do our work through a Black queer feminist lens. We are affiliated with the Black Youth Project.
www.byp100.org – @BYP_100 – facebook.com/BYP100