BISC Marks the Beginning of Black History Month

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February 1, 2022

Caroline Sánchez Avakian, [email protected]

RELEASE: Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Marks Beginning of Black History Month

WASHINGTON — Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time to celebrate, reflect on, and uplift Black history and the impact Black people and culture continue to have in our lives. At a time of unprecedented attacks on our democracy and a growing movement to censor the teaching of our country’s racist and undemocratic past, it is as essential as ever to center the history and lived experiences of Black Americans in our national consciousness. Black History Month is a call to action for all of us to root out anti-Blackness in our classrooms, our institutions, and our society not just this month but every day.

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Executive Director, Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, issued the following statement:

“No community has done more to advance our collective rights as Black Americans have, despite every effort to dehumanize and deny freedom to Black people in the United States and across the world. 

“The history of white supremacist violence and structural racism in America is a long one that predates this nation’s founding. These same forces are alive and well today because they never truly left; white supremacy remains the greatest threat to a thriving democracy. We saw it on January 6, 2021 when white supremacists attacked the Capitol, we see it in every bill attempting to limit who has a voice in our democracy, and we see it as elected officials ban books and curriculums that may expose the oppressive and undemocratic bedrock this nation was founded on in classrooms across America.

“The weapons and tactics historically used to keep Black people out of our democratic process have been retooled for the 21st century. There is no path toward an inclusive, participatory, and representative democracy without dismantling white supremacy and structural racism at their core. It is essential that the people and communities who have been systematically excluded by our government are the ones leading the path forward.

“Ballot measures are critical to this effort they are how the people take the power into their hands, experiment, and reimagine how our democracy can work for all of us. If ballot measures are to become a tool for liberation then we must use it to dismantle white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and structural racism. BISC is committed to making this happen.”