Proclamation: Black Lives Matter Day
WHEREAS, the abuse of Black people did not end with the abolishment of slavery with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865. Nor did anti-Black racism end with ratification of the 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment, or the signing of the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights Act.
WHEREAS, 160 years after the abolition of slavery, its badges and incidents remain embedded in the political, legal, health, financial, educational, cultural, environmental, social, and economic systems of the United States of America. Moreover, the legacies of slavery, segregation, and state surveillance continue to impact the lives of Black people in every measurable category of Black people’s daily life. Economically, the latest rate of poverty for Black Americans is at 19.5%, second to Indigenous communities at 23%. In safety, Black Americans continue to experience the highest rates of threats and use of force in their encounters with police when compared across race or ethnicity — 3.3% in 2015, 3.8% in 2018, 4.3% in 2020. Additionally, Black Americans are among the top two racial groups who are most at risk of fatal encounters with police, standing at 7.08 fatal police shootings per million of the population from 2013 to 2023.
WHEREAS, in the summer of 2013, the acquittal of George Zimmerman after his murder of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 year old boy, reignited the global movement for racial justice. “Black Lives Matter,” became the rallying cry in the fight to end white supremacy, anti-Black systematic racism, and the brutality inflicted on Black people at the hands of the State and local law enforcement. Black Lives Matter has become our modern Civil Rights Movement.
WHEREAS, Black Lives Matter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise and where the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum, are affirmed.
WHEREAS, the Black Lives Matter movement has grown into the largest social justice movement in U.S. history. Millions of activists, organizers, strategists, and community members across the globe have participated in a Black Lives Matter protest over the last decade.
WHEREAS, the power of Black Lives Matter since its inception in 2013 has resulted in increased and sustained attention to the language of the movement, with terms such as “systemic racism,” “anti-Black racism,” and “prison abolition movement” becoming more part of our common vocabulary.
WHEREAS, Black Lives Matter protests and activations have meaningfully reduced fatal police shootings — approximately 200 fewer people were killed by police from 2014 to 2019.
WHEREAS, legislation centering non-carceral and non-punitive approaches to public safety and investments in Black communities have been championed, introduced, and passed by elected officials who support the Black Lives Matter vision.
WHEREAS, the wins of the Black Lives Matter movement in the last ten years are markers of progress, not markers of victory.
WHEREAS, every Black life stolen by state-sanctioned and vigilante violence must be remembered and honored today and every day.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [your city] proclaim July 13, 2023 as Black Lives Matter Day.