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In 2012, like many other young Black activists of this time, I was struck by the murder of Trayvon Martin, but even more so by the non-indictment of his murderer. I was living in Miami during this time, and I joined Dream Defenders and became an organizer dedicated to student organizing, feminist politic, and liberatory strategies.
My dedication led me to building the Durham chapter of BYP100, and contributing to the growth of my political home. BYP100 is where I constantly see small slithers of liberation. From our Black Joy Experience to our campaigns to Decriminalize Sex Work.
As National Co-Director of BYP100, I am excited to bring the freedom dreams from my childhood to life. I will pull on the care and strategy of Ella Baker, and the fight and audacity of Marsha P. Johnson. I am a commitment to water my ancestors with the courage of future generations. My hope is that BYP100 continues to grow in right alignment with our potential. That we continue to design our freedom. And that YOU continue to support our care, strategy, fight, audacity, courage, and the freedom dreams we’ve always had.
In Black love,
D’atra Jackson National Co-Director of BYP100
When I joined BYP100’s Chicago Chapter in January of 2014, I didn’t know the first thing about developing a campaign, planning a direct action, or even facilitating an effective meeting. I was really wet behind the ears, y’all! But I did have my lived experience. From my first protest at the South Carolina statehouse to demand the takedown of the confederate flag at 9 years old, to struggling through familial incarceration, to surviving domestic violence – I’ve had a long-burning fire to build a different kind of world. I just wasn’t always clear on how to do that. So when I found BYP100, a budding organization of young Black people dedicated to our collective liberation, I was more than ready.
The past five years has been such a rich journey, and every step has prepared me for this moment in our organizational history. True to our core values and in the tradition of Ella Baker, people like Charlene Carruthers and many others invested in my leadership. Today, I’m deeply honored and privileged to enter the role of National Co-Director for an organization that has been such an impactful force in my life and the movement for Black liberation.
As National Co-Director, I am a commitment to growing and sustaining a leader-full political home for young Black people through love, rigor, discipline, and trust; I am a commitment to making our Freedom Forecast a reality; I am a commitment to manifesting my ancestors’ wildest freedom dreams. I hope that I can rely on your continued support.
We look forward to building with you in 2019,
Janaé Bonsu BYP100 National Co-Director