We want to talk to you about Black liberation -- something that we feel is very close to the heart of our work but, that quite frankly, we do not talk enough about explicitly.
Unless we name that and frame it front and center, any work to fix our democracy will be incomplete. We cannot hope to build a democracy that benefits more than just a small group of rich, white men unless we acknowledge the lasting legacy of white supremacy in rigging our democracy and root our work in dismantling it. Period. There's no way around it, so we need to be prepared to confront it directly.
This Black History Month, we’re supporting work that reimagines Black Futures. Black Futures Month is a time to celebrate history while envisioning a democracy that works for everyone. This month, we’re celebrating, uplifting, and advancing the ongoing work of Black activists and Black-led organizations who, against all odds, continue to fight for justice and liberation.
First and foremost, we have a duty to invest in organizations that directly push for change in Black communities, locally and nationwide. Commit to making a split donation to these 8 Black-led and Black-facing organizations:
A once in a generation chance to unrig the system
For Black people, the fight for liberation isn’t momentary activism and certainly isn’t just month-long -- fixing our democracy is the key to unlocking a new life.
There's already a path forward, we just have to follow it. With a Democratic trifecta, we finally have the chance to enact an agenda for the people. But trifectas are rare and fleeting, so we need to get real about what stands in the way of creating a world deserving of Black people.
Part of the struggle for Black liberation is engaging with a radical reimagining of what’s possible in America. This means addressing the corruption and injustices that have been codified into law or institutional procedures.
To start, we’re setting our sights on passing the For the People Act, extending full representation to D.C. residents by making D.C. the 51st state, and getting rid of the filibuster. These priorities represent critical structural democracy reforms and racial justice priorities to make our democracy more representative of the people.
For the People Project: the For the People Act, D.C. Statehood, and the Filibuster
Passing the For the People Act, making D.C. the 51st state, and eliminating the filibuster would help level the playing field and completely redefine our country as we know it. These issues cut across several of our priorities, with racial justice right at the center.
But even in a Democratic trifecta, getting this done isn’t a given. Our victories have meant that our opponents are working that much harder, introducing legislation in 28 states that attempt to make voting more difficult in the future. We have to remain vigilant and move quickly to fix our democracy and ensure that structural reform rebalances power for the people.
- The For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1) sets the foundation for reforming our democracy. It’s a robust democracy reform package that includes expanding voting rights and election security measures, public funding for elections, and plans to fight racial and partisan gerrymandering at all levels of government.
- The D.C. Statehood bill (H.R. 51/S. 51) would grant statehood and full congressional representation to the District of Columbia’s 700,000+ residents. Making D.C. the 51st state is, at its core, a matter of racial justice -- if D.C. is granted statehood, it would be the only state in the nation to have a plurality of Black residents. A historically-Black city, D.C.’s lack of statehood is a remnant of Reconstruction when racist white politicians sought to prevent the District’s majority-Black residents from gaining political power.
- The filibuster, a relic of the Jim Crow era, is one of Mitch McConnell’s favorite tools for blocking progressive legislation. The people have spoken: we are in a Democratic trifecta and our elected officials have been given a mandate to enact health care, climate, labor, tax, immigration, and gun violence policy. But, unless we eliminate the filibuster, Republicans will have the chance to delay and obstruct progress, effectively canceling out our majority.
These priorities can’t be untangled from their relationship to Black liberation and justice. This Black Futures Month, we invite you to broaden your education and find ways to engage in this fight. Here is a repeat of everything we need to move on right now:
We’re eager to expand our ongoing work in the fight for Black liberation -- this month and every month. We hope you will too.