Hacking Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter, a decentralized movement worth co-opting.

Jul 13, 2020 - 3 min read

By Jurnell Cockhren

A society with an oppressive design resists the malleability inherent to the promise of the Social Contract. The investment required to provide equity, and liberate Black joy can not be sustained or implemented by a singular entity. The credit for Black Lives Matter's advance goes to the decisions of individuals who stand for justice. This post describes one way to operationalize the Black Lives Matter movement by focusing on neighborhood-sized decisions to garner lasting social impact. Black Lives Matter does not have a single point of contact for messaging, resources, or knowledge base. BLM chapters operate independently from the entity that runs, blacklivesmatter.com.

Disclaimer: Civic Hacker LLC is an independent entity with no insider knowledge or influence on any Black Lives Matter chapter.

Several Black Lives Matter chapters do not share funding, plans, or messaging, and tactics employed differ between each. As a call to action, the Black Lives Matter movement takes on a shape relative to specific communities' needs. Every municipality has its own culture, priorities, and issues that negatively impact Black lives. If there isn't a BLM chapter in your city, get some folks together, and create one.

When donating money to any cause, be sure you trust the fiscal sponsor of the collective you're wishing to support. Go beyond the 'Black Lives Matter' brand by donating to groups who have made an impact that you can verify. Give to groups you trust that fight for vulnerable groups.

Legend for reading the upcoming diagrams.

While researching 'Defund the Police,' consider using topics involving software, policy, and data as your lens for the assignments you choose. Look for inspiration in your work, how you interact with loved ones, or event how we spend our downtime to answer how to empower oppressed groups. Each lens includes a collection of concepts for your research.

Write Policy.

Policy lens for defunding the police

Policy lens for defunding the police

What are the policies companies should have to demonstrate a commitment to equity?

How do we implement anti-oppressive legislation?

Share Data.

Data lens for defunding the police

Data lens for defunding the police

Is there data I can share to further the conversation on ending oppression?

Which groups are using data to further positive social change?

Build Software.

Software lens for defunding the police

Software lens for defunding the police

How do we equip oppressed groups to create software to advance their Liberation?

Which groups are dedicated to building software collaboratively?

. . .

Decentralization does not imply disorganization. Each individual can pick their own answer to Black Lives Matter. Locally, there are already champions looking to hack oppressive and unjust systems to protect the most vulnerable of us. In this graph, every person is a node.

This is a constellation depicting elements related to Defunding the police

This is a constellation depicting elements related to Defunding the police.

In real life and online, each of us can find a way to express what 'Black Lives Matter' means in our lives. Supporting BLM looks like taking that one extra step in our everyday lives that says, Black Lives Matter. Without it, we miss an opportunity to transform a place fixated on the victimization of the oppressed into the Land of the Free. Within this moment, we have the availability and the motivation to do what we must.

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