Black Live Matter co-founder Alicia Garza starts new organization to spur Black political power

Alicia Garza attends The New York Women’s Foundation Celebrating Women Breakfast at Marriott Marquis Hotel on May 14, 2015 in New York City.

Alicia Garza, one of the legendary co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, wants African-Americans to be able to use their political power to spur change in their communities.

On Tuesday, Alicia Garza launched a new organization called Black Futures Lab. The organization is designed to help Black people get real action out of politicians and organizations.

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“If we’ve learned anything from this past election, it’s that Black folks drive the progressive political power in this country, but rarely benefit from the fruits of our labor. Today, we are launching the Black Futures Lab as a way to mobilize around our needs, hopes and dreams,” said Garza in an emailed statement. “For too long, people have spoken for us and perpetuated false representations of the issues that drive our votes.”

The Black Census Project

To get things rolling, Black Futures Lab is running the Black Census Project to connect with 200,000 Black people over 20 states to find out what issues impact them most. The online forms are available now, though in-person interviews will also begin shortly.

This is the first step in mobilizing Black political power to see what issues need the most attention and pressure.

“For a country built on the exclusion of Black votes, the Black Census Project is a vital step towards asserting the power of our community’s voices in an era where our president is leading a white nationalist movement against us,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of partner Color of Change, “Never before has there been such a concerted effort to survey the concerns of Black voters and shore up Black political power.”

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In addition to Color of Change, Black Futures Lab will team up with Center for Third World OrganizingDemosSocioanalítica Research and the Tides Foundation.