BYP100 Detroit Chapter Reclaims MLK Day: Who’s The Money For?

January 15, 2016

Paige Watkins


Detroit Group Reclaims MLK Day: Who’s The Money For?
Detroit Chapter of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) demands public money to be used for all Detroiters, not just some

DETROIT – As part of a national weekend of action to reclaim Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and highlight MLK’s radical economic justice platform, the Detroit chapter of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), is holding various actions across the city to highlight the lack of investment in the neighborhoods of Detroit.

“We are out this weekend to highlight the fact that majority of Detroiters, especially Black Detroiters, are not experiencing a ‘resurgence,” said Kevin Rigby Jr., BYP100 Detroit Chapter. “Hundreds of millions of dollars are going to build a hockey arena and three-mile people shuffler. Who’s the money really benefiting?”

The group is holding actions in the city to bring light to the fact that more than $265 million in taxpayer dollars is financing the construction of the new hockey arena, nearly 60 percent of the project’s cost. They also aim to bring attention to the M-1 rail, which while significant amounts of private funding is going to fund the short three-mile rail project, $37.2 million is coming from local, state, and federal funds, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.

“Those associated with the M-1 Rail will claim that this short hopper will help folks living in the New Center neighborhood, yet the rail line does not extend into the neighborhood,” said Marcia Black,  BYP100 Detroit Chapter Secretary. “Who’s this really for? Those leading this project will tell you that in terms of expanding this project, ‘build and more will come’. Detroiters deserve and demand more than that pipe dream.”

Efforts this weekend follow BYP100’s announcement of 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.

“We need public dollars to go to things that will provide a large positive impact on the quality of life for Detroiters. Better schools and large-scale, equitable public transportation projects are just a few of many,” Black continued. “A hockey area and a Midtown-Downtown hopper are not the answers; not even close.”

The full Agenda to Build Black Futures will be available to download online on 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. – @BYP_100 –