FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 20, 2015
National organization of Black youth activists joins with Ferguson Action, Black Lives Matter in 17 U.S. cities to demand accountability for police and state violence against Black women and girls
CHICAGO – On Thursday, May 21, The Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) will lead a national day of action to call for an end to the epidemic of state violence being waged against Black women and girls by the police and other government entities. BYP100 will join with Ferguson Action and Black Lives Matter, in addition to numerous community organizations and organizers, to lead public rallies in several cities across the U.S. to demand accountability from politicians, law enforcement officials, and self-appointed vigilantes who inflict violence against Black women and girls.
The national day of action will include events in at least seventeen major U.S. cities, including: Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Columbus, OH; Oakland, CA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Louisville, KY; Lexington, KY; Ann Arbor, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Charlotte, NC; Seattle, WA; Asheville, NC; Minneapolis, MN; Austin, TX; Nashville, TN; and Washington, DC. BYP100 will rally to bring awareness to the often ignored experiences of Black women and girls targeted by the police, and lift up their stories of sexual, physical and structural violence by law enforcement officials.
“This national day of action was catalyzed by a group of young Chicagoans, including leaders from BYP100, We Charge Genocide and Black Lives Matter, who decided to call for the immediate firing of Dante Servin during the May 21st Chicago Police Board meeting.” says Charlene Carruthers, National Director of BYP100. Just one month ago, Det. Dante Servin of the Chicago Police Department was acquitted of the 2012 killing of Rekia Boyd, an unarmed Black woman he shot in the back of the head while he was off-duty. “We believe that Black women and girls stories of victimization by state actors are often in the shadows of Black men — that must change,” added Carruthers.
Far too many recent events across the country have demonstrated that police murders, sexual assault and harassment continue with impunity, with police rarely being held accountable for the crimes they inflict against the Black community in general and Black women and girls, specifically. A 2014 study released by the Black Women’s Blueprint and Women’s All Point Bulletin to the Committee Against Torture reports that the over-policing of Black women has increased since 2000, and cites rape and sexual violence as the second most prevalent form of police violence.
“As we continue to struggle for justice on behalf of our fallen brothers, we join to declare collectively that when we say ‘Black Lives Matter’ we mean ALL Black lives – including our women, transgender and queer sisters, and girls too,” says BYP100 National Co-Chair, Jessica Pierce. “The respective murders of Aiyana Jones, Rekia Boyd, and Mya Hall at the hands of law enforcement officers are just as important as the tragedies of Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown.”
It is beyond apparent that Black women and girls are not exempt from the same police brutality experienced by Black men, and that their murderers and perpetrators also leverage a biased judicial system to evade justice. BYP100 is committed to seeking justice for all Black women and girls who have been victimized by police and state violence until justice prevails.
[Select BYP100 members are available for additional comment by request. Please contact Michael J. Brewer, National Press Lead, for more details.]
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. We do our work through a Black queer feminist lens.