July 30-31, 2015

Conveners: Linda Burnham, Alicia Garza, Denise Perry

(please note that this is a small convening and is by invitation only)

Goals:

  • To encourage stronger alignment on approaches to mobilizing, organizing, advocacy and messaging regarding the immediate crisis of state violence against Black communities.
  • To strengthen the capacity of Black leaders to meet this moment by identifying and taking advantage of new opportunities for political action.
  • To develop a collective understanding of the current moment, our responses to it and the openings it presents to advance a racial justice agenda.

This moment offers multiple opportunities for political alignment and strategic intervention. Specifically, it offers opportunities to engage in deepened analysis, education and communication about police practices and their relationship to other systemic and structural processes that reinforce and reproduce the race, class and gender inequities that pervade 21st century poor Black communities. Further, this strategic opening has underscored the urgency of supporting a more intentional process of political alignment among this generation’s racial justice leaders.

The demonstrations and uprising did not emerge in a vacuum. Racial justice organizers and advocates have been building organizations and networks at the local, statewide and national levels for many years. For a range of complex reasons, however, the racial justice movement of the past several decades has been less than maximally effective.

We believe that it is critical to convene Black racial justice leaders to enter into dialogue about how best to ensure that we build upon the opportunities presented by this strategic opening. We believe that this moment demands that we step up to the challenges of leadership: deep love and compassion for our people; deep understanding of their life circumstances; strategic vision of how to shift – and ultimately overturn – entrenched, racist arrangements of power; and creative approaches to building the actions, alliances, movements and institutions that will move our agenda forward. We believe that we can meet these challenges together.

If you are interested in making a grant to support the convening, please write to Denise Perry at dperry@boldorganizing.org.