This is the Champaign-Urbana chapter of the Black Lives Matter national organization, rooted in liberating all Black lives.
BLMCU is committed to working vigorously for the freedom, justice, and dignity of Black people, and by extension all people. As we forge our path, we intentionally build and nurture a community that is bonded together through a restorative struggle. As a chapter of the Black Lives Matter Network, we will engage in collective action against anti-Black racism in Champaign-Urbana.
- To engage with (Black) youth in our community through involvement in schools and community organizations and activities, specifically targeting issues like the school to prison pipeline;
- To become involved in groups and organizations that work to address anti-Black racism in the local criminal justice system;
- To bring awareness and open discourse to issues related to the mental health of Black people, provide educational materials, and partner with mental health services;
- To connect and partner with both campus racial justice organizations and community racial justice organizations;
- To maintain visibility in the community and ensure organizational sustainability;
- To promote and initiate activities around environmental justice including food justice and economic justice;
- To advocate for, initiate activities with, and seek to provide empowerment tools for Black marginalized communities including: Black poor, Black queer, Black single mothers, Black immigrants, and Black folks with disabilities;
- To hear from general members of our community (namely non-academics) through testimonials, focus groups, interviews, and surveys.
We will strive to achieve these goals through research, education, partnerships, the creation and facilitation of programming and activities, and collective action. Each of the four BLMCU committees will determine how their specific committee can contribute to achieving the goals listed above.
- Increased awareness of anti-Black racism and racial disparities which will be measured by things such as: an incorporation of our ideas and strategies into public discourse and social activities, modifications/changes/reforms to governmental policies or procedures, and the involvement and support of members of the community.
- Reductions in racial disparities in Champaign County (those directly impacting Black people). This will be assessed by an annual examination of data on things such as school suspensions, Black incarceration locally, traffic stop data, jail bail data, sentencing data, etc.
- An increase in levels of individual agency, self-esteem, and self-efficacy among Black residents of Champaign County. This will be measured by Black community survey that assesses factors related to mental and social health. The survey will be carried out every 3 years.
- The sustainability of the Black Lives Matter, Champaign-Urbana chapter. This will be measured through our exposure, visibility, and coverage within the community, the numerical growth of our organization, the involvement of community members, funding provided, and the effectiveness of our initiatives (measured by the means listed above).