“With all the statistics and the tragic legacy of our country showing Black people being routinely discriminated against, white people still live in denial of racism. Until our lives matter as much as theirs, Black Lives Matter will not stop being a force in our community.” —Sean Desiree, artist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Upstate New York
The recent killing of Donald “Dontay” Ivy and the lack of accountability from Mayor Sheehan, District Attorney Soares, and the Albany police department is an example of the blatant racism, police brutality, and white supremacy that impact every facet of Black life in upstate New York. The frequent instances of local and national police violence, rampant abuses in the criminal justice system, and astronomical disparities in treatment of Capital District school children based on race coupled with the removal of public resources and quality services for the Black community all led to the formation Black Lives Matter Upstate New York. This signifies an important step toward achieving true Black and Brown solidarity, interdependence, and unification in our communities. Focusing on intergenerational programs and initiatives and helping people meet their basic needs, we will work to empower those in our communities and will raise marginalized voices while creating our own outlets and addressing our own problems.