$25,000 / Spring 2017
Jackie Byers, Executive Director
The Black Organizing Project (BOP) was started in fall 2009 as a result of conversations among organizers of color concerned about the dwindling state of Black leadership and organizing infrastructure in Oakland. BOP has quickly grown to be an important racial justice organization in the Bay Area. In 2011, BOP membership launched its first campaign to build Black leadership and address systemic inequity in Oakland, Bettering Our School System (BOSS). BOSS is an intergenerational campaign which seeks to redirect the school to prison pipeline toward investments in alternatives that limit school push-out while providing a supportive environment for student learning, success, and well-being. Last year, BOSS helped secure $2.3 million in funding toward Restorative Justice programs and developed a complaint policy for Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) school police and security guards that the school board approved. Over the next year, with a one-year renewal grant from Hazen, BOP will organize students and parents to decrease spending for police and increase student support services in Oakland schools; expand “know your rights” training across the Bay area; and build grassroots support to convince the OUSD School Board to sign a pledge supporting key values and criteria for selecting a new OUSD superintendent. One of the criteria will be a commitment to divest from school police.