- 1 Abrams connection
- 2 "Bigger the Bigger "We"
- 3 "A letter from the movement to the movement'
- 4 Statement of endorsement for Elizabeth Warren
- 5 Building Black Political Power
- 6 EJP founders
- 7 Leaders
- 8 Inclusv
- 9 Lauren Underwood connection
- 10 Radical friends
- 11 Pressley connection
- 12 Abrams connection
- 13 References
Jessica Byrd, 31, a former Emily’s List staffer and a Movement for Black Lives activist, founded a consulting firm, Three Point Strategies, in 2015; it works at the intersection of gender, race and class, focusing on black female candidates, whom Byrd says are often overlooked or viewed as the underdog. “Black people deserve a self-determined political home,” she told me. “We are building one. We want to do work for our people on our terms.”
Lives in Washington, District of Columbia.
Jessica Byrd, a political strategist and lead organizer with the Movement for Black Lives, helped steer Stacey Abrams’ 2018 bid as deputy campaign manager. She said the campaign team warned in 2018 that their plan would succeed only if the voters they needed most — largely first-time, young and Black — were not disenfranchised.
But the party was unwilling to provide the voter protection resources the campaign was seeking. Byrd recalled Democrats characterizing Abrams’ campaign strategy as “just crazy.”
Byrd said that Biden’s success this year — which included a major effort by national Democrats to counter voter suppression, by arming voters with information about how to request provisional ballots, and filing litigation against Republicans — validated Abrams’ strategy. Abrams lacked that muscle in 2018.
“People largely kind of ignored that it would be the rigging of that election that would prevent her from losing,” Byrd explained, citing then Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s removal of more than 100,000 voters from rolls that drew widespread claims of voter suppression and contributed to Abrams’ razor-thin loss. “People imagined it was because she was a Black woman, because she was too progressive, because she didn't have enough money. No, that's not what it was.”
"Bigger the Bigger "We"
Liberation Road plans to go live. August 12 2020.
The sprint to November 2020 is underway. The question that remains for left organizers is, who will we bring in to our growing coalition organized around racial justice and radical economic democracy? The overlapping political and economic crises of our time have opened the door to growing far beyond our normal base of support. How will we take advantage of this opening to build power not only in 2020 but well beyond the general election? What groups of people and organizations will included in this new bloc?
In this episode of OrgUp's This Is Not A Drill, hosts Adam Gold and Rishi Awatramani talk with Andrea Mercado, Jessica Byrd, Tomas Garduno, and Elianne Farhat about the new social bloc (aka 'the Bigger We') needed to win left political power.
"A letter from the movement to the movement'
In September 2019 Jessica Byrd was one of 100 black leaders, many affiliated with Liberation Road who signed A letter from the movement to the movement defending Maurice Moe Mitchell and Nelini Stamp of the Working Families Party for endorsing Elizabeth Warren instead of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Statement of endorsement for Elizabeth Warren
Black Womxn for is an organizing collective of leaders, activists, artists, writers, and political strategists from across the country in the fight for black liberation. This statement reflects the views and intentions of the undersigned.
The last presidential election laid bare what many black women, gender non-conforming, and non-binary, and queer folk know deeply; that this nation embraces white supremacy and its evils, even at the expense of itself. It’s no wonder that even among the most committed activists there is a strong skepticism, aversion and even avoidance of participating in political systems.
Our endorsement comes not after lip service or political pandering, but from the hundreds of conversations with black women gnc/nb folks across the country, substantive discussions about policy and the power of grassroots organizing, and the opportunities and limitations of election politics. After gathering in fourteen cities across the united states and collecting hundreds of survey responses from self-identified progressive black women and gnc/nb folks, the overwhelming majority of excitement and support is for Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
We endorse Senator Warren with the full weight of accountability. Our endorsement is not a blanket approval of all of her acts, both past, present, and future but rather a firm and calculated understanding that should she fall short of her commitments to us and our communities she will be held to account.
The support for Senator Warren’s candidacy within our community is matched by an awareness that accountability requires commitment in words and actions. To that end, Senator Warren has agreed to the following asks from the Black Womxn for community:
Act with moral leadership: Sen. Warren has taken a stance against the white supremacy and misogyny that are woven into the fabric of this country. Policy change is not enough. Sen. Warren has committed to devoting money, staffing resources, and the bully pulpit towards rooting out the culture of white supremacy, exploitation-for-profit, and misogynoir in our schools, legislative language, federal hiring practices, medical institutions, arts and culture, and all areas of our society.
Changing the face of the federal government: there are hundreds of positions in the federal government that the senator will have the opportunity to appoint. In 2018, 93% of people running our government were white and 80% were white men. Senator warren has committed to fundamentally changing the internal and external face of the federal government by appointing more black women, especially trans and immigrant women, black men, indigenous people, people of color and disabled people. She has agreed to apply a race and gender equity impact analysis when hiring for her transition team and administration.
We are progressive black activists who are not beguiled by political theater. We are not ignorant to the violent legacy of politics. Each day, we thread a delicate needle of interacting with systems that have oppressed us while building collective power to shape the terrain so that our liberation is not but a dream, but an awakening.
We write this letter, not with the belief that sen. Elizabeth Warren is a savior, but a stalwart who can be challenged when necessary, moved when appropriate, and held accountable to a base led by black community leaders. We endorse her with the complete recognition that, upon her victory, the work is not over, nor is it just the beginning.
A warren victory ensures an environment in which black community leaders can better and more easily usher in those long-overdue societal transformations that move us closer to the liberation that we know is possible. If you agree, we invite you to sign this statement via the form link at the bottom of this page.
We know our power. We understand the opportunity and the stakes in this election. We hope to encourage others, especially black women and gnc folks, to be engaged in this important political moment.
Black Womxn for steering committee
- Carmen Berkley
- Jessica Byrd
- Nicole Carty
- Charlene Carruthers
- Anoa Changa
- Tracey Corder
- Rukia Lumumba
- Kayla Reed
- Leslie Mac - digital organizer, Black Womxn for
- Angela Peoples - director, Black Womxn for
Building Black Political Power
Building Black Political Power
- Lateefah Simon, Akonadi Fondation (Moderator)
- Taina Vargas-Edmond, Initiate Justice
- Jessica Byrd, Three Point Strategies, Movement for Black Lives Action Fund
- Alicia Garza, Black Futures Lab, National Domestic Workers Alliance
- Nicole Boucher, California Donor Table
In October 2017, Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd and Rukia Lumumba launched the Electoral Justice Project (EJP), which is a project by the Movement for Black Lives that aims to fight for and advance the rights of black Americans.
Jessica Byrd October 10, 2017 ·
We've been building a Blackity Black program that loves Black people, will support our Movement orgs with technical support, and intends to WIN everywhere our families live.
We're going to tell you about it in exactly one week. Ya'll ready for Electoral Justice?
Inclusv Advisory Board members, as of May 12, 2018 included Jessica Byrd.
Lauren Underwood connection
Jessica Byrd March 21, 2018:
Remembering talking to Lauren in a coffeeshop about running. Her heart and grind is other level. Bursting with pride for you, Lauren Underwood. <3
Jessica Byrd July 22, 2018:
Jessica Byrd July 26, 2018:
I spent 12 hours in Boston and got enough inspiration to last the week. Ayanna's got next!
Y'all, especially y'all with votes and resources and endorsements, don't be late to the Ayanna Pressley party. She's the next people-powered challenger about to upset the status quo in MA-7. You don't want to be reposting "big win against 10 term incumbent" articles the day after now do you? All eyes on September 4th.
Paris Hatcher November 4, 2018:
Our Governor, Our Byrd! Talk to your neighbors, drive folks to the polls, knock a door or two, give some dollars, thank volunteers- let’s get it done! All in for Stacey! — with Jessica Byrd.