Frequently Asked Questions And Glossary of Terms

What’s the difference between BYP and BYP100?

We’re so glad that you’ve asked that question. BYP100 is NOT, we repeat, NOT the same at BYP. BYP stands for the Black Youth Project which is a national research project and media platform for young Black people between the ages of 15 and 25 started by Cathy Cohen in 2004. In 2013, Cathy Cohen gathered 100 Black youth to discuss their stake in the movement. These folks eventually developed BYP100, a completely separate organization but a sister to BYP. We’d prefer if you call us BYP100, much like you refer to Consumer Value Stores as CVS. Thanks!

What does the 100 stand for?

100 of us came together for our first convening with BYP and the hashtag for the convening became #BYP100. Clever, right?

What is a Black Queer Feminist Lens?

The Black Queer Feminist (BQF) is a political theory and practice developed out of Black feminist and LGBTQ movements for liberation. Together, this praxis (thought + action) is like putting on a pair of glasses in order to understand the conditions of Black people and what we must transform in order to liberate all oppressed people. Lenses, of any kind, impact how we see the world. They magnify, protect, and clarify.

The BQF gives a more holistic understanding of our conditions and connectedness as Black people. As a result, we understand that liberation for all Black people can only be realized by lifting up the voices, experiences and prioritizing the issues of historically silenced and vulnerable groups within Black communities – specifically, queer, trans and GNC, femme,  poor, disabled, poor, working and undocumented people. Simply put, it means that as organizers we have to take Fannie Lou Hamer’s words seriously: “Nobody is free until everybody is free.”

How can I support?

Where is BYP100 located?

We are with you!…… Okay well we have 9 chapters in the United States (New Orleans, New York, Detroit, Washington D.C., Chicago, Durham, Jackson, Milwaukee, Bay Area) but we also have national members who are representing us in other locations. We definitely want to build more chapters but we need solid groups of folks who are willing to hold forts down in order to do that. If you are interested in joining or starting a chapter, check out our membership information for next steps and email membership@byp100.org.

How long has BYP100 been around?

Our birthday is July 13, 2013!

How does BYP100 form a chapter?

We build chapters based on community interest and momentum. There’s this longggg drawn out process, to be quite honest. And y’all have to be serious about holding it down and keeping it alive. But we can leave that to membership to discuss. Head to that section on the website to get all of the good and dirty details.

Why can’t REAL youth join (younger than 18)?

First of all, we’re really youth too! Lol But in all seriousness, in observing the folks in our communities who lack resources and opportunities for engagement, we find that people between the ages of 18 and 35 are the young folks who are navigating this weird space where they’re not old enough to be taken seriously but not young enough to be molded, developed, and invested in. So we created a home for those folks – to effectively build their leadership and provide them with the tools and resources to effect transformative change in their communities.

What do you REALLY do?

Girl…..

Glossary

  • We believe in organizing through a guiding mantra that allows us to shift focus and perspective away from traditionally what is easy to target, understand, and express and to be more nuanced in our interrogation of systems of oppression and their impact on our communities. More specifically, we are talking about being able to understand that there are a plethora of factors that work together to spark our oppression and though they’re linked to overarching structures of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, etc there are extensions of state violence that impacts various people embodying multiple lived experiences in various ways. We examine this violence and not see them as disconnected or in a vacuum, but as a connection to all other forms of violence together. And the impacts are equally as detrimental and integral in strategizing around reaching liberation.

  • A commitment to building and sustaining a collective that is reflective of all young Black people. We understand that Blackness is not a monolith and we take a radically inclusive approach to organizing by supporting/creating campaigns that focus on interlocking oppressions of marginalized peoples. We believe in bringing a diversity of young Black people into our organization as members. But further, we are committed to steadily creating space for the most marginalized members of our communities to shape our work and agitate our visions of what a just world for Black people looks like. Black people have historically experienced “inclusion” in absence of meaningful political representation. We therefore understand it as our duty as a Black organization to take a radical stance on inclusivity which emphasizes the importance of addressing the varied identities, needs, and experiences of all Black people. 

  • Corporate and political agents invested in private prison companies resulting in the rapid expansion of inmate populations for profit. Usual proponents of this industry are cheap labor contractors, construction companies, lawyers, probation companies, prison health services and food services – all invested in targetting, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to deviance and “criminality” in society.

  • A systemic aversion to Black people and Blackness as constructed through a white supremacist lens. It creates a system that normalizes whiteness and equates Blackness as directly opposite and deviant. Through this lens, the deviance of Blackness is criminalized and systems, ideologies, and institutions are constructed that reinforce the idea of Blackness being an unwanted and undesirable identity in society. 

  • A coalition of more than 30 social change and racial justice organizations committed to Black liberation

  • Violence or repression sanctioned by the state, governing bodies, penal, and legal institutions against particular groups of people or activities coded as “deviant” in society.

  • The legislative process of criminalizing behaviors and individuals.

  • An economic approach to achieving Black liberation which follows a thought that through taking money out of racist, oppressive institutions like policing and prisons and investing it into the communities to fund resources such as schools, mental health facilities, childcare, rehabilitation centers,etc, we can ensure the safety, protection, and sustainability of Black people

  • Base-building is the ongoing process of bringing new people into our work, and strengthening people’s relationship to our organization and to our work. When we do base-building work we are sometimes engaging people for the first time, sometimes further engaging people by asking them to commit or do more than they previously have, and sometimes we are re-engaging people who (for whatever reason) are now less involved as they once were.

  • A coordinated moment in which a person or a group of people go outside of prescribed channels to confront or take hold of power. We engage in direct action because we see there are not sufficient channels in place in the current order of things for the needs and concerns of Black people to be addressed. We take action not only to fight for the needs of all young Black people to be met, but to use a Black Queer Feminist lens to center the needs of the people most marginalized within Black communities and our society. 

  • Articulating a vision for the kind of world that we want to live in

  • An ongoing effort towards a specific long- or short- term goals, within a conscious analysis of underlying systems of exploitation and oppression, implemented through a strategic plan, coordinated set of actions, and clear message

  • An organizing framework that seeks to get rid of oppressive systems and institutions and vision around what can replace them to create the world we want to live in.

  • A social system that gives overwhelming preference to men in all sectors of a society resulting in male control over political leadership, moral authority, property ownership, households, and inheritance. 

  • A social system that fosters hatred, prejudice, and belittlement of women and female-identifying people. This contempt is realized through social exclusion, discrimination, objectification, and violence in the workforce, public, and households. These actions are meant to empower men in at the expense of women and female-identifying people.

  • A system in which whiteness is centralized and seen as superior and white people control power and material resources. This dynamic is engrained in the fabric of our society and supports state violence that particularly affects non-white counterparts

  • A economic system in which private individuals or businesses own capital goods, these being tangible assets such as tools, machinery, and buildings used for the production of goods and services. Therefore these individuals control the means of production, the distribution of goods and services, and the exchange of capital.

  • A policy model that allocates economic control to the private sector, advocates for free-trade, private property, and the free movement of international capital. In order to accomplish these goals the model’s advocates propose policies for deregulation, limited protectionism, and reduced government subsidies.

  • A political movement led by a dictator and designed to govern with extreme militaristic nationalism while suppressing critical free speech and fostering nationalism even it becomes oppressive in the forms of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. Although it is a dictatorship, the one-party government operates as a oligarchy that controls the nation’s commerce and industry.

  • An approach to criminality by seeing “crime” a less of an act of law breaking but more of an act of harm against person(s). RJ is a practice that seeks to instigate communications between the harmed and harm doer and to mitigate a process that seeks to restore harm done which will eventually aid in the transformation and reconciliation of all involved parties.

  • Systemic actions and beliefs that enforce the superiority of one race over others through exclusion, discrimination, and forcible oppression often supported by legislative and corporate authorities. More subtly this system works through attitudes such as Color Blindness, which ignore racial disparities and results in social standards being centered around the majority population while failing to address the issues of minority populations. 

  • The unique discrimination, violence and harms imposed on and impacting Black people specifically. 

  • The process of profiting socially and economically from the racial identity of another person without advocating for the empowerment, liberation, and issues of that race. This results in the commodification, exploitation, and degradation, of racial identity so that it can be bought and sold.

  • A political, ideological, and social movement that addresses the unique intersectional oppression of Black women, who are faced with both racial and gender discrimination.