Get to know Black Youth Project’s staff this holiday season

I am blessed enough to work with a staff of young writers who inspire me every single day. They are graduate students, community activists, educators, and content producers who make my job as Managing Editor that much easier. So, I wanted to take some time to spotlight them and give you a chance to get to know them a little better.

Liz Adetiba (Contributing Writer), Jordie Davies (Assistant Editor), Alyx Goodwin (Contributing Writer), Akudo Mez (Social Media Coordinator), and Keith Reid-Cleveland (News Editor) are the core voices of Black Youth Project. I got the chance to ask them a few questions about their thoughts as we move out of 2016 and into 2017. Here are their responses:

Watch Young People Explain What It Means To ‘Get Free’ [VIDEO]

This is not the movement of our grandparents or even our parents. While many in the Baby Boomer generation were concerned with respectability in their politics, our generation is primarily concerned with liberation for all — even those of us who are considered “unrespectable.”

The Black Youth Project and BYP100 came together to highlight what this movement looks like, why it must include and empower LGBTQ rights, and discuss what it means to center the most marginalized among us. 

Survey: White Christians Don’t Believe Black Experiences with Police Violence

Could you imagine a society where the police brutality cases were simply isolated incidents? What would the world look like if we could individually look at the act of police killing Black Americans as mistakes separate from one another?

Those questions arise as a new Public Religion Research Institute survey has found that white Christians are less likely than other groups to believe that the experiences that black Americans face.

Isaiah Austin on Life After NBA Dreams and Living with Marfan Syndrome

To be Black and gifted is a dangerous combination that this society fears. The news would have you believe that people of color, especially young Black people, are dangerous menaces to society. Here at BYP, we want to change the narrative and shine light on young, Black individuals who are helping change our society for the better. In this new Black Youth Spotlight series, our first interview is with Isaiah Austin, Baylor student and spokesperson for the Marfan Foundation.

#NotOneDime: ‘Black Friday’ Sales Down More Than $1 Billion from 2014

The 2015 shopping season usually peaks in November as stores mark down items for Thanksgiving and the day after, aptly called ‘Black Friday.’ But, for the past few years, the crowds storming malls and storefronts for these deals have decreased significantly. Some credit new trends in consumer behavior. But, it might also be linked to concerted efforts from Black and Brown activist groups who have urged larger communities to abstain from buying at all.

NY Daily News: Petition Urges President Obama to Visit Chicago in Wake of Hadiya Pendleton Murder

A new article in the New York Daily News delves deeper into the Black Youth Project’s petition to President Obama.

President Obama rightly went to Newtown to comfort the families who lost children in that horrific tragedy, and now it is time he come home to Chicago and comfort the over 500 families who have lost loved ones to gun violence in the past year.

It is time President Obama talked openly and honestly with the nation about all the factors that threaten the lives of inner-city youth

BYP Blogger Edward James III Delivers Keynote Address at MLK Breakfast


Our very own Edward James III was the keynote speaker at the 19th annual MLK Day Breakfast in Sarasota this past week.

Delivering a speech entitled “Writing Our Own Narrative,” Edward spoke eloquently and passionately about the plight of today’s Black youth, and the importance of enterprise, civic engagement and community support to stem the tide of violence and self-destruction in our communities.

Why We Oppose SOPA

You’ve probably been hearing the word “SOPA” a lot today, but perhaps no one has explained to you what all the fuss is about. To be sure, SOPA is a huge deal, with major sites like Wikipedia and Reddit even going black today in protest of this terrible bill.

SOPA stands for “Stop Online Piracy Act.” It is a bill that would essentially give the government the power to shut down a website that is believed to be directly or indirectly supporting copyrighted content.

Anyone who creates or consumes content on the internet should be outraged by the possibility of SOPA being passed, as it would completely undermine the freedom with which we share information online. What will stop the powers that be from using SOPA as a means of censoring voices they don’t like?

SOPA must be stopped.

For more information, below is a great write-up on SOPA, courtesy of

Click here to sign a petition in opposition to this outrageous bill.

Not Even Black Toddlers Are Safe From Media Slander

Yes, the CBS station in Chicago chopped up an interview by a 4 year old to make it look like he was a thug in training, when he really wanted to be a police officer. I guess scary black men are an old hat and now we need a new boogie…um…boy.

Check how the boy’s “reaction” to the violence was characterized as “disturbing” and “Very scary indeed”. This was a planned, orchestrated and intentional act of character assassination on a 4 year old boy.

It’s also interesting that this comes on the heels of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to impose a new curfew for Chicago children under the age of 12.  With the school to prison pipeline in full effect, propaganda like this leads to more black youth being criminalized and brutalized by the police.

Sadly, this also takes away from the very real problem of violence in our communities and how to effectively solve it, without demonizing children for ratings.

WBBM communications director Shawnelle Richie issued this statement:

“We accept responsibility for the mistakes that were made, both in the reporting and editing of the story. The video of the child should not have aired. As soon as news management identified the problem, they took immediate steps to ensure that the video would not air in subsequent newscasts. In addition, we have followed up with our employees to make sure that we all have learned from the mistakes that were made.”

Yeah right