Live Broadcast on Moving Power and Policy in Defense of Black Lives.
After several weeks of national and global protests over the state-sanctioned murders of Black people, today The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) announced it will host the 2020 Black National Convention (BNC) on Friday, August 28, 2020.
In honor of the first National Black Convention held in Gary, Indiana in 1972, M4BL will meet this historic moment with a national convention to shape a Black agenda ahead of the 2020 elections, where the Black community will play a pivotal role.
The Black National Convention will be live broadcast and feature a series of conversations, performances, and other activations geared toward engaging, informing, and mobilizing Black communities. At the convention, voters will ratify a Black national agenda ahead of the November elections guided by the Vision for Black Lives (V4BL)– a comprehensive and visionary policy agenda endorsed by over 50 Black-led organizations in the Movement for Black Lives ecosystem, along with hundreds of allied organizations and individuals.
The 2020 BNC is being orchestrated by the Electoral Justice Project (EJP), a project of M4BL that seeks to continue a long legacy of social movements fighting for the advancement of the rights of Black people through electoral strategy. It will be preceded by the “People’s Convention” on August 6-7, which will convene hundreds of delegates made up of activists and organizers from across the U.S. to connect M4BL’s policy platform to specific policies, programs, and investments in their cities and communities.
“The uprising in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and countless other murders from police and vigilante violence along with the alarming Black death rate due to COVID-19 have exposed what we can no longer hide -America does not value Black lives. But we also know that rising up and taking action is how Black communities have secured our rights and dignity throughout this nation’s divided history,” said M4BL organizer and political strategist Jessica Byrd, who leads the Electoral Justice Project (EJP).
The Black National Convention will organize and build Black political power in defense of Black lives. We are engaging Black people to uphold our right to vote and hold elected officials and institutions accountable to our visionary demands. “We are moving with power, pride, and love to create spaces and opportunities for Black people to get involved as agents of change who ensure we not only survive, but thrive,” said Byrd.
This year’s BNC is inspired and guided by the historic 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana. It was there that four thousand Black people and leaders like Congresswoman and U.S. Presidential Candidate Shirley Chisolm, Black Panther co.founder Bobby Seale, Coretta Scott King, Dr. Betty Shabazz, Poet and Activist Amiri Baraka, Artists James Brown and Harry Belafonte, and others convened to propose a National Black Agenda that would hold any candidates seeking the support of Black voters accountable to the needs, interests, and aspirations of Black people.
Building off of this legacy, the 2020 BNC aims to reach and engage four million Black voters across the U.S., build infrastructure of Black political engagement that transcends the 2020 election season, and create and ratify a policy platform for the first 100 days of the next administration.
For more information on the 2020 Black National Convention, visit www.BlackNovember.org.