FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2016
Sequaña Williams & Alexis Martin
BYP100 NYC Chapter Announces Release of the Agenda to Build Black Futures, an economic justice policy agenda, ahead of National Weekend of #ReclaimMLK actions
[New York, New York] — Today, in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., BYP 100 NYC will host a forum theater to continue to fight against police brutality, corruption, and the punitive killing of Black people by law enforcement. The forum theater will be used to draw connections between Black New Yorkers’ experiences of police brutality and other structural forms of anti-Black violence, and invites the public to re-imagine a world without it through interactive performance art. The event is cosponsored by the Audre Lorde Project and will be held at 111 Worth St. New York, New York, 10013 at 11:30 AM on January 16, 2016. BYP 100 NYC will also host a political teach-in on January 18, 2016 at 229 W 29th St. New York, New York, 10001, 14th Floor at 2:00 PM.
In the spirit of preserving Martin Luther King’s dream and the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968, 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 three decades since King, and many others, who lived and died working to elevate, honor, and defend the rights of Black people, policymakers have waged an aggressive assault on Black people. In NYC, the NYPD collects over $1B in fines and fees from poor Black and brown NYC residents, then turns around and uses that money to scrutinize, assault, harass, and kill us. The city has spent $428M over the course of five years in court settlements to cover up the violence they inflict on us.
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. “We come with an appeal to open the doors of America to the almost 50 million Americans who have not been given a fair share of America’s wealth and opportunity, and we will stay until we get it.” We continue on with that vision and extend and center Black women, trans* and gender nonconforming folks.
Organizers and activists committed to reclaiming, sustaining and uplifting the real legacy of MLK and the liberation of Black people, will engage in activities to confront state violence against Black communities. BYP100 chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, and Washington, DC will lead local direct actions, teach-ins and demonstrations throughout the weekend and into the week. 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