Name: Angela Waters Austin
This Friday August 28th, The Movement for Black Lives Builds Off Unprecedented Global Support to Host the 2020 Black National Convention
Hundreds of Thousands Including From Michigan Are Expected to Tune Into the Virtual Event On Moving Power and Policy In Defense of Black Lives
BNC Will Launch A Black Agenda Days After
Democratic National Convention And Ahead of the November Elections
For Immediate Release
August 26, 2020 - After several months of national and global protests over the state-sanctioned murders of Black people, The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) will host the 2020 Black National Convention (BNC) on Friday, August 28th. 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, when we, Black voters, will play a pivotal role.
The Black National Convention will be a live-streamed virtual event and feature conversations, performances, and other activations to engage, inform, and mobilize Black communities. At the convention, we will launch a Black national agenda ahead of the November elections guided by The BREATHE Act, a modern-day civil rights bill in defense of Black lives. Championed by Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the bill will divest taxpayer dollars from policing and incarceration to invest in true public safety, equity, and self-determination. The BREATHE Act is part of our broader Vision for Black Lives.
One Love Global is participating in the BNC because of our commitment to building Black power and using electoral justice as a tactic for holding elected leaders accountable and an opportunity for co-governance. We will continue to fight voter suppression and ensure that Black people in Michigan are able to exercise their vote.
“As a founding table member of the Electoral Justice Project, it is a dream come true to host a delegation for Michigan in ratifying our Black agenda for our state. Coming together with so many powerful people from the South, West and East to ratify a national Black agenda is the fulfillment of our ancestors’ dreams,” said Angela Waters Austin, CEO of One Love Global.
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.
“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.
“We will continue to organize and join protests and actions in defense of Black Lives. We will turn the national momentum and uprisings into a local force for change in Michigan,” said Angela Waters Austin. “The Black National Convention is an opportunity for us to come together, strategize, and ensure our rights and concerns are respected by the people we vote into power in 2020 and beyond.”
For more information on the 2020 Black National Convention,