The Black Organizing Project is a Black member-led community organization working for racial, social, and economic justice through grassroots organizing and community-building in Oakland, California.

Our vision is to build a strong bottom up organization of Black people that will:

  • Craft alternative models and institutions that will advance our vision of racial and economic justice
  • Rebuild the spirit and foundation of our community
  • Exercise political and economic power
  • Act to win real systematic change
  • Transform the lives of Black people
  • Embody the spirit that has sustained the Black community

Staff

Jackie Byers

Jackie Byers, Director

e: jackie@blackorganizingproject.org

Jackie has over 19 years of experience working in low-income communities of color as an organizer and trainer on a broad array of issues, including tenant organizing, youth organizing, regional equity, and more.

She is the founding Director of the Black Organizing Project (BOP) in Oakland. Prior to Directing BOP, Jackie served as the Associate Director for the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) where she had the opportunity to support community organizing work by providing training and developing some of the most talented young organizers in the country.

Jackie is a native of Minnesota where she worked as a Lead Organizer for neighborhood based organizations in Minneapolis working on affordable housing. Prior to moving to Oakland, she was the Training Director for the Organizing Apprenticeship Project (OAP) in Minneapolis. Before leaving Minnesota she served as an active board member with Headwaters Fund For Justice.

As a volunteer, Jackie was one of the first recipients of the DFL’s Rising Star award for her work developing training and activating new voters. Jackie is a firm believer in the importance of community, spirit and culture as essential to the transformation of individuals as well as institutions.

IMG_3751Chianda Rawlins, Administrative Assistant

e: chianda@blackorganizingproject.org 

Chianda has over 15 years of experience as an administrative professional and has been with BOP for a year and a half.  Chianda is an active member of the Center of Grace Ministries in West Oakland,  serving in multiple capacities.  She is the mother of two children in middle and high-school.

Through her administrative work at BOP, Chianda is excited to be an asset to the growth and development of BOP, and is delighted to be a part of the BOP family.

IMG_20160330_180434Ni’Keah Manning, Organizer in Training

e: Nikeah@blackorganizingproject.org

Ni’Keah has always had a passion for Black youth and families. A recent San Francisco State University graduate , Ni’Keah was initially introduced to BOP through her field of study– Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in Policy, Advocacy and Systems. 

Ni’Keah came to BOP as a volunteer with no prior organizing knowledge or experience. Despite her lack of experience, once here,  she knew that indulging in this work full-heartedly was her responsibility. 

Inspired by Black people’s resilience against power structures and other adversities, Ni’Keah believes that by prioritizing genuine relationship building and understanding first,  she can help her community rediscover its power. 

For Ni’Keah, BOP is a welcoming, safe space that fosters dedicated people, through engaging with the community. Through her work with BOP and beyond, Ni’Keah hopes to ultimately help unveil the innate power of  Black people in both children and adults.

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Jessica Black, Organizer

e: jessica@blackorganizingproject.org

Jessica is a Minnesota native with a passion for social justice and cultural interpretation.  A mother of two, Jessica came to California in 2013 in order to reconnect with family. 

For 10 years, as the Education Systems Navigator at the Cultural Wellness Center in Minnesota, Jessica worked to further enhance her skills of strategic planning, collective communication, shared authority and motivational speaking. Jessica has worked to dismantle unequal systematic approaches in housing, employment, education and criminal justice institutions for many years.

Jessica embraces and is guided by the elders within her community. These relationships  aid her in recruiting and organizing Black parents, to encourage their involvement in schools, and influencing policy, procedures, and paradigm shifts.

Ultimately, Jessica’s passion to help Black people recognize the power and potential they possess led her to BOP. Through BOP Jessica hopes to continue her journey of achieving equitable access for Black people.