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The Movement for Black Lives

A few weeks ago, the Movement for Black Lives1 issued A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom & Justice . It is also published in Spanish: Una Visión para las Vidas Negras <policy.m4bl.org/m4blplatformspanish>.

This platform is a “far-reaching, comprehensive plan for the transformation of society.” It is based on an analysis of existing problems related to racism, and includes a range of policy and program proposals for addressing them. It is singular in its clarity about goals and objectives. As one of the authors stated, “It’s always been clear what we are against, but articulating what we are for, what we want to see, was a real labor.”

The platform has six demands:

  1. End the War on Black People
  2. Reparations
  3. Invest/Divest
  4. Economic Justice
  5. Community Control
  6. Political Power

It addresses a range of issues within each of those demands.

A glossary of terms clarifying how specific language is used is included at the end of the platform.

The Movement for Black Lives Pledge is bold in declaring that “guided by love, we continue to stand together for justice, human dignity, and our shared goal of ending all forms of state violence against Black people.”

The platform has drawn criticism for some unaware anti-Jewish oppression in one of the goal statements. Its stance against the privatization of public schooling and the effect on access to education for Black children has also been criticized.

I was reminded that we may disagree with parts of any policy and that we get to work to change the parts with which we disagree, as some of us are currently doing. I was also reminded of Harvey Jackins’s point that we can’t insist upon agreement on all points before we form alliances; it’s simply unrealistic. We reach agreement on what we can and go forward together in alliance on those points.

While the Black Lives Matter movement has been based primarily in the United States, the goals and policies articulated in the Movement for Black Lives platform are broadly applicable to Black people and other subordinated peoples all over the world.

Many of your Black Co-Counselors, and others, are involved in various aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement. Every RCer, whether involved in the movement or not, shares the goal of ending oppression.

I encourage all of us to discharge on Black Lives Matter, to read and discharge about the Movement for Black Lives platform, and to think about how to use the platform to support our progress on Goal One of the RC Communities.2 

I would love to hear the experiences of folks who have used the Black Lives Matter movement or the Movement for Black Lives platform for discharge, and how that has pushed forward their work on the RC Communities’ Goal One of ending racism.

Love and liberation,

Barbara Love

International Liberation Reference Person

for African-Heritage People

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

(Present Time 185, October 2016) 



1  A collective of over fifty organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the United States

2 A goal adopted by the 2001 World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities and re-affirmed by subsequent World Conferences: That the elimination of racism, in particular the racism aimed at people of African heritage, be actively made an ongoing, central piece of the work of the Re-evaluation Counseling Community. 


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00