By Ameera Steward
For the Birmingham Times
Upcoming goals for BLM Birmingham include work on a people’s budget, a participatory budget for the city that can be expanded across the state, said members of the organization.
Cara McClure, co-founder, said her goal would be to create a chapter in every city across the state “to continue doing the work, leading the activist community, and making sure we provide training, such as direct action training.”
Jilisa Milton, co-founder, said she would like to devote more attention to political education: “I think people—and when I say ‘people,’ … I mean the everyday person—need to have these conversations I’m seeing on my social media. I’m saying there’s something missing in what people are connecting to this moment in 2020. … In order for a progressive movement to continue, we have to participate in discussions with our community.”
Eric Hall, co-founder, added that they plan to have critical conversations around race and racism, as well as engage in discussions with movement elders, particularly those involved with the Civil Rights Movement, and movement youth.
“This conversation is going to be centered around hope and healing, moving forward toward solutions,” Hall said. “We envision a panel of leaders … who were role models in the movement at Miles College, [for instance], and connecting them with some of the students there currently.
“[We would like to support] a conversation with some of the students there, as far as what they can do today to prepare the movement, … to kind of share some of the information from the old blueprint, maybe utilize some of it, and build on that to make it relevant to the youth in this modern-day movement.”
Hall added that BLM is a place where all Black people can come together.
“Whether you’re Black and trans, Black and disabled, queer, whatever, … [it’s] an organization that a lot of Black youth have felt connected to,” he said. “They’ve felt like they weren’t being judged, … like they didn’t necessarily have to show up in a suit and a tie to fight for their humanity. We embrace that, and that’s why this movement continues to go as strong as it is—we’re not held to respectability politics; we’re held to a higher standard.”
Updated headline and story at 1:01 p.m. on 7/9/2020 to clarify plans for statewide chapters.