Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Image from December 2014 direct action at the Oakland, California Police Department organized under the leadership of The Blackout Collective, #BlackBrunch, and #BlackLivesMatter. (Photo: Blackout Collective)

Heal, Reflect, Build: Movement for Black Lives to Hold Nationwide Gathering

The Black organizers making history will now come together to build movement that 'transcends geographical boundaries'

Sarah Lazare

The Black organizers making history with their sustained resistance to racism in the United States are now preparing to hold their first-ever national gathering to "reflect on our histories of struggle, build a sense of fellowship that transcends geographical boundaries, and begin to heal from the many traumas we face."

The historic convening is slated to bring together more than 1,000 Black organizers from Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, Oakland, and beyond. The coalition is comprised of the groups that have been grabbing international headlines with their ongoing protests, including Ferguson Action, Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100, and Baltimore United for Change.

The gathering will take place Friday through Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio—itself the site of resistance to a police department with a harrowing track record of killing Black residents, including 37-year-old Tanisha Anderson and 12-year-old Tamir Rice. It comes amid mounting outrage over 28-year-old Black woman Sandra Bland's "unfathomable" death in police custody last week after being pulled over in Texas for a traffic stop.

In a press statement released Thursday, organizers with the Movement for Black Lives Convening said that participants will strategize in the face of big and intersecting challenges: "Black people are facing unabated police violence, increasing criminalization, a failed economic system, a broken education system and the loss of our communities to gentrification and development. Our trans and queer communities face the increased risk of physical and economic violence."

"Many have taken to the streets in response to this ongoing state of emergency. During the past year, Black people from across the country have led a wave of resistance that has spread around the world," the statement continues. "A new crop of freedom fighters has emerged and urgent desire for Black victory has been rekindled in the hearts of seasoned activists. Now, after months of intense action, our people need space to begin the creation of a collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of the moment."

"This is a movement, not a moment," they declared.

This short video, produced by the coalition, provides a retrospective of the nationwide protests, organizing drives, and creative direct actions that have led up to the gathering.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

World Faces 'Loaded Gun' on Hiroshima's 77th Anniversary

“We must ask: What have we learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city?”

Common Dreams staff ·


'Extremely Concerned': Shelling of Europe's Biggest Nuclear Power Plant More Worrying Than Chernobyl

Ukraine said parts of the facility were "seriously damaged" by Russian military strikes.

Common Dreams staff ·


'Backsliding on Democracy': Indiana Governor Signs Extreme Abortion Ban Bill

'The extremist lawmakers who forced this bill through a special session clearly could not care less about what their constituents want or need.'

Common Dreams staff ·


After Kansas Win, Abortion Rights Advocates Call Ballot Measures the 'Next Frontier'

"Ballot initiatives are a phenomenally powerful tool when there's a disconnect between the popularity of an issue and what's being enacted by politicians," said Kelly Hall of the Fairness Project.

Jessica Corbett ·


Sanders Crafts Amendment to Close 'Holes' in Medicare That 'Are Harming Seniors'

"Adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare is supported by 84% of the American people," said an aide to the senator, who plans to propose including the expansion in Democrats' reconciliation package.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo