Ferguson Uprising moves past oversimplified narratives about rioting and demonized representations of Black youth to bring together young activist voices from Ferguson and beyond to examine why street demonstrations were more appealing to young protestors than calls for calm and a return to business as usual.
In addition to recapping their involvement in efforts demanding justice for Mike Brown, panelists leading this discussion will consider the myriad crises facing Black and Brown youth at the heart of Ferguson and other US cities. According to a 2012 Malcolm X Grassroots Movement study, a Black person is victim of an extrajudicial killing every 28 hours. Additionally, FBI crime report data suggests that the police killed two young Black males every week between 2007 and 2012. This townhall style interactive dialogue will consider the challenges that such statistics—including disparities in sentencing and unemployment rates—pose for far too many young Americans.
Through personal reflections of activists, artists and citizen journalists who organized and witnessed The Mike Brown Rebellion firsthand from the ground, Ferguson Uprising goes to the heart of the tenuous relationship between the police and the Black community as well as larger questions about the future of equality and justice facing a new generation. Contemporary, innovative youth-led strategies and responses to institutional and structural oppression are at the heart of this forum.
• What were the spontaneous ways that youth organized in Ferguson that built on successes and failures on previous movements from Jena Six to Occupy?
• What has been the impact of FBI, Justice Department and grand jury involvement in securing justice in similar tragedies?
• What actions can youth take today to end racial disparities in policing and beyond in our lifetime?
• In what way does the Ferguson uprising reveal a heighten sophistication in the use of social media and on the ground organizing tools?
• As the struggle for justice for Mike Brown continues, how do we get to a place where youth organizers equally embracing social change efforts for Black and Brown women and girls?