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.

Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Are Fighting Back': Global Black Friday Strikes and Protests Seek to #MakeAmazonPay

"We are workers and activists divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes, and for its impact on the planet."

Kenny Stancil ·


'It Was Entirely Avoidable': Rich Countries Blamed as New Covid Variant Sparks Global Alarm

"Allowing new variants to emerge and spread, 13 months into the vaccine era, is a policy choice by the rich world."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo