About Us

WE ARE
MEMBER LED

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

Our vision 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 systemic change
  • Transform the lives of Black people
  • Embody the spirit that has sustained the Black community
  • 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 systemic change
  • Transform the lives of Black people
  • Embody the spirit that has sustained the Black community

Our Work

Bettering Our School
System - BOSS

The Black Organizing Project launched the Bettering Our School System campaign in October 2011, in response to the murder of 20-year old Raheim Brown by Oakland Police Sgt. Harhin Bhatt.  After learning of Raheims murder in the community, and witnessing the lack of accountability on behalf of the school board in rectifying  and addressing the tragedy — our members wanted justice for Raheim, but thought it was critical to look at the broader issue of police violence in communities of color, and the continued criminalization of Black youth in particular in order to begin to transform the school climate and culture with the Oakland Unified School District.

After months of research, strategy sessions and community outreach, we decided to launch the Bettering Our School System campaign to:

  • Abolish The Oakland School Police Department
  • End the criminalization of Black and Brown students in the Oakland Unified School District
  • Invest in alternative models of school safety that don’t rely on police
  • Restructure the current policies and practices within the OUSD that don’t take a restorative justice approach to student discipline and promotes the school to prison pipeline
  • Read our report report “From Report Card to Criminal Record: The Impact of Policing Oakland Youth” to learn more about how Oakland’s law enforcement agencies are interacting with Black and Brown youth.

The Black Organizing Project launched the Bettering Our School System campaign in October 2011, in response to the murder of 20-year old Raheim Brown by Oakland Police Sgt. Harhin Bhatt.  After learning of Raheims murder in the community, and witnessing the lack of accountability on behalf of the school board in rectifying  and addressing the tragedy — our members wanted justice for Raheim, but thought it was critical to look at the broader issue of police violence in communities of color, and the continued criminalization of Black youth in particular in order to begin to transform the school climate and culture with the Oakland Unified School District.

After months of research, strategy sessions and community outreach, we decided to launch the Bettering Our School System campaign to:

  • Abolish The Oakland School Police Department
  • End the criminalization of Black and Brown students in the Oakland Unified School District
  • Invest in alternative models of school safety that don’t rely on police
  • Restructure the current policies and practices within the OUSD that don’t take a restorative justice approach to student discipline and promotes the school to prison pipeline
  • Read our report report “From Report Card to Criminal Record: The Impact of Policing Oakland Youth” to learn more about how Oakland’s law enforcement agencies are interacting with Black and Brown youth.

Developing A New Generation of Leaders

We believe that those most impacted by structural racism have to put their own issues on the table and demand chanes that provide immediate relief and improvement while building toward long-term structural change.  Through grassroots organizing of youth, parent and community leaders, we have been able to put into  place local policies and agreements, buld community in Oakland and across the Bay Area, and work to transform institutions and communities as we know it.

Grassroot Organizing and Leadership Development

We believe that it is important to change systems and institutions through organizing,  Through grassroots organizing with a strong investment in leadership development, we hope to transform the school climate of Oakland schools in a way that directly changes the outcomes of Black students and builds the power of Black communities.  More broadly, BOP prioritizes the creation of strong, cohesive Black communities in Oakland and across the Bay Area, that are effectively mobilized to address issues of structural racism and social inequity.  By building a stong basse of engaged residents, the community puts its own issues on the table and responds quickly and powerfully when issues arise.  BOP carries out member-led campaigns toward institutional, local and statewide policy change.  BOP seeks to erode and eplace the current system of structural racism in which Black people are systematically shut out of the decision-making process and the resources and opportunities needed for community safety, economic sustainability and well-being.

Building out Our United Front

As we continue to grow we have stepped into leadership roles in the growing police-free schools movement.  While BOP is an all Black, member-led organization — we are clear that everybody has a role and many folks are impacted by anti-Black and systems that are embedded throughout the institutions that upholds this country.  It will take a United Front of many.

Interested in becoming a BOP member or participating in our larger supporter space?  Email info@blackorganizingproject.org to see how you can get engaged a summer program?

Arts, Culture & Political Education

A team of core member leaders drives this part of our work, which promotes art, culture and political education as an essential part of re-building the foundation of the black community.

Through a variety of events, including BOP’s “OurStory” political education series on topics like black love.  Black art and music, Black history in Oakland and more, we engage the community in. away that inspires community dialogue, collaboration, and collective thinking.