BLM Nashville to Hire Organizers & Rent Organizing Space
Organized by: Black Lives Matter Nashville
January, what a month! Thank you! Let's do it again in February!
February 01, 2017
Since 2014, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Nashville chapter has challenged the city of Nashville to tell the truth about the gross inequities that plague our city. Through mass demonstrations and popular education, we’ve highlighted the fact that Nashville is not unlike other cities around the country where anti-blackness is imbedded in racist institutions and policies. Indeed at any time the “It City” has the potential to become the next Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Cleveland or any of the other cities who have experienced uprisings because of state violence against black folks.
Through our work, BLM Nashville has developed an analysis of the city that directly names the ways in which the city continues to violate the dignity of black life. From the beginning, we’ve demanded that Nashville immediately end Operation Safer Streets (OSS), a federally-funded stop-and-frisk program started by Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) that intentionally and specifically targets communities of color. Through OSS, MNPD has done nothing more than occupy predominantly black and brown neighborhoods by submitting them to random stops that rarely yield any criminal activity. This does not make our communities safer. And if the story of Sandra Bland or Philando Castille teaches us anything, it’s that stops with the police are dangerous for black folks. Moreover, BLM Nashville partnered with Gideon’s Army to release the Driving While Black in Nashville Report that further highlights the disproportionate rate that black folks are being stopped in Nashville.
The work is not yet done and the movement continues. BLM Nashville will be working hard this year towards our long term campaign of abolition. We’ve broken our campaign down into steps, starting with the complete defunding and ending of OSS. This matter is of utmost importance to keep our people out of cages, out of the court system, and to protect them from black tax. Our campaign also aims to restructure the local city budget where we will compel our local government to divest from spending that harms our communities (millions of dollars towards militarization and police) and to invest in spending that funds black futures (education, housing, access to healthcare, public transportation, etc). We also recognize the importance of political education and creating safe spaces for black people to organize.
In order to do this, BLM Nashville is asking for your help. For the last two years, we have bounced around from location to location leaning on the generosity of those who have space to organize ourselves and hold meetings, workshops, and teachings. Moreover, we’ve operated on little resources forcing us to cover most operating expenses out of our own pockets (food, materials, travel, etc). In addition, many of us work full time to cover our own living expenses and still commit to working full time (as much as we can- on a volunteer basis) for BLM. We are looking to hire two full-time organizers to help carry the load with the hope of providing a living-wage salary. We have a great team of hardworking people who care very deeply about this work. And we are at the point where the work requires more of us than we have to give so we need your help. Your donations will go towards hiring two full time staff members, renting a shared organizing space (shared with other local grassroots organizations), food, and materials/resources for popular/political education workshops and mass demonstrations.