Kayla Reed

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Kayla Reed


Kayla M. Reed, Organization for Black Struggle organizer.[1]

"A letter from the movement to the movement'

In September 2019 Kayla Reed 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.

Despite pervasive attacks from the state on our communities, our identities, and our lives, we -- black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming and nonbinary folk -- remain at the forefront of each and every social movement to hold this country accountable for its promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is our bold vision, direct action, and strategic organizing that laid the foundation for what we argue is one of the most progressive democratic presidential primaries in recent history.

Still, the two-party system, elites within the democratic establishment, and even the primary process itself continue to fall short of what is required to fully engage and honor the power of its most loyal and impactful voters. Just like fannie lou hamer and other black women political forbearers, we understand that we must create and take our own space in the political process in a way that aligns with our values and builds power for our people.

And though no one presidential contender can rectify the gross atrocities to which we’ve become accustomed, there is one leader who has shown, through action, deed, and word, that a future of economic prosperity, racial justice, gender justice, and social and political equity is possible. She is a leader with a track record of taking on the predatory policies and practices that harm our communities and implementing structural changes that give power back to working people. She is a partner with a deep understanding of how racism and gender discrimination don't just compound income inequality but are actually central to maintaining the status quo. She is a woman who is willing to learn, open to new ideas, and ready to be held accountable by us and our communities.

We write to endorse, enthusiastically and wholeheartedly, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for president of the United States.

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.

Collaborative policy-making process: big structural change requires big shifts in the dynamics of power. People most impacted by systems of oppression know the solutions and should be central to crafting policy change.

Sen. Warren has agreed to hold a people’s policy-making summit in the first 100 days of her administration that puts black women, working people of color, disabled people, indigenous people, and diverse community leaders and experts in the driver's seat of structural reforms in her administration.

Accountability, not perfection: we do not expect any one candidate to be perfect. We know that all elected leaders can and will fall short of our hopes in different ways. We want a president that is committed to mutual accountability with the people who elected them. Sen. Warren has committed to an accountability process that includes naming the harm, accepting responsibility, outlining steps to make those who are negatively impacted whole, and changes in behavior. This process will be outlined and ratified at the people’s policy making summit in collaboration with community and organizing leaders.

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

OBS activists

Organization for Black Struggle activists.

1980s Derek Huggins, Brenda McGee

Jamala Rogers, Montague Simmons, Kalimu Endesha, Halisi Lester, Waylon McDonald.[3] · Juliette Jacobs, Audrey Hollis and Nikia Paulette[4] · Darrick Smith, Aaron Burnett, Reuben Louis Riggs-Bookman, Grady Brown.[5], Tef Poe, Kayla Reed. ·

Organized Anti-Police Protest in Sept 2017

Kayla Reed was identified as an "organizer" of protests that turned violent in the St. Louis suburb of University City after a police officer was found innocent of murder after shooting a heroin dealer who engaged police in a high speed chase.[6]

"I don't think racism is going to change in America until people get uncomfortable," protest organizer Kayla Reed of the St. Louis Action Council told The Associated Press.

Organization of American Historians event

April 18, 2015;[7]

Historicizing Ferguson: Police Violence and the Genesis of a National Movement

Chair and Commentator: Donna Murch, Rutgers university

Panelists:

1st Anniversary of the #Ferguson Uprising

Maurice Moe Mitchell August 5, 2015,

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  1. UnitedWeFight: 1st Anniversary of the #Ferguson Uprising - National Conference Call. Thurs. 8PM EST / 7PM CST Register at http://bit.ly/uwfcall — with Justin Hansford, Scott A. Roberts, Mary Hooks, Kayla M. Reed, Diamond Latchison, Kareem Jackson, Bukky Gbadegesin, Katrina Gamble, Tanya Lucia Bernard, Tory Russell, Cedric Lawson, Alicia Garza, Leslie Mac, Charlene Carruthers, Patrisse Cullors, Cherrell Brown, Dante Barry, Waltrina Middleton, Damon Turner, Marbre Stahly-Butts, Ash-Lee Henderson, Damon Davis, Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris, Mari Morales-Williams, Mervyn Marcano, Nicole Lee, Elandria Williams, Opal Ayo, Jonathan Pulphus, Dara Cooper, Michael McBride, Umi Selah, Osagyefo Sekou, Tara Tee, Rose Berry, Sistufara W. Muhammad, Purvi Shah, Cid Nichols, Ingrid Benedict, Jade Ogunnaike, James Hayes, Anita Nichole, Joe Worthy and The Movement for Black Lives.

""Introduction to Black feminism"

"Intro to Black Feminism" hosted by Sendolo Diaminah Cazembe Jackson, and Adrienne Maree Brown.

Tuesday, August 15 at 8:30 PM

Created for Black August Practice Group.

Sendolo Diaminah August 15, 2017;

Black people! Tonight my beloved sister Adrienne Maree Brown is leading a web discussion about Black Feminism as part of a series of Black August political education sessions hosted by Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and BOLD.[8]

Those expressing interest on Facebook included Kayla Reed.

Black Ideological Struggle Webinar

Black Ideological Struggle: Radical, Liberal, Conservative Public · Hosted by Sendolo Diaminah and Cazembe Jackson

Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 8:30 PM

Created for Black August Practice Group

Join Sendolo Diaminah for a conversation about why Black radicals can and must learn how to effectively engage liberal and conservative ideologies among our people.
September 2, 2017. Hey family! Here is the final recording from the Black August webinars! Sendolo Diaminah took lots of patience and creativity breaking down Black Ideological Struggle for us.[9]

Those expressing interest on Facebook included Kayla Reed.

EJP founders

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.[10]

Jessica Byrd October 10, 2017 ·

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This is the brand spanking new Electoral Justice Table of the Movement for Black Lives (+ a few missing others).

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?

Cc: Everybody rooting for everybody Black. — with Brianna Pope, Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris, Rukia Lumumba, Maurice Moe Mitchell, Chelsea Fuller and Kayla M. Reed.

Comrades

Montague Simmons February 13 2019.

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With Kayla M. Reed, Rodney McGruder Brown, Damon Davis, Jay-Marie Hill, Devonn Thomas and Brittany Ferrell.

Beyond Bernie

Beyond Bernie: Electoral Strategy for an Independent Left

April 2019 Organizing Upgrade pulled together leaders and activists from many of the most important movements of the left electoral upsurge to discuss both short- and long-term electoral strategy. The recent resurgence of electoral engagement amongst the social movement and party left in the US is inspiring and full of potential, but still lacks a shared strategy across the groups leading the charge. Moving past the mainstream media focus on the presidential horserace, we talk to organizers on the front lines about the current state of this movement sector, and critical interventions that independent left organizers can make to move this work forward.

The strategy session included*:

The discussion was moderated by Rishi Awatramani and Linda Burnham.[11]

References