The Take Back:
#StillDreaming Edition

People of color have always been “the resistance” in the United States; they have been the moral conscience pushing us toward equal justice through long-fought struggles. Each edition of The Take Back is an effort to update you on this resistance, share resources and highlight the work of the Movement.

For our #Still Dreaming edition, we pay tribute to the visionaries that came before us and we celebrate Black History in the making today. Follow us as we explore the impact of how Black visionaries are paving the way to a better tomorrow.

Advancement Project's racial justice work with grassroots organizations across the country has positioned us to uplift the work. Read and share the stories of the incredible efforts happening on the ground, to inspire, and deepen your commitment to the work that lies ahead.

5 Things We Can't Stop Talking About this Black History Month

1. #StillDreaming During Black History Month

We have taken on a visionary approach to celebrating Black History Month this year. One where resistance means that we are #StillDreaming in this moment. If you haven't already done so, check out our February blog series which uplifts the history Black people are in the midst of creating now and the history we want to make.

2. Black Panther:
The Revolution is on the Big Screen

By this time you've probably already seen one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. If not, we don't know where you've been because Black people around the nation have pulled out all stops to get in formation for a production some say have waited their whole lives to see. Screenings for the film have turned into purple carpet galas, and educators have even raised money to take their students to see the film (check out these students' joyous reaction when they find out they're going to see Black Panther). The film in more ways than one is history in the making. Marvel has given Black artists and creators the opportunity to tell a story that is fully committed to representation. Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) is not only a super hero, but he is a king of a fictitious and technologically-advanced land in Africa known as Wakanda. Black Panther in turn is a celebration of Black excellence, pride and the revolution. Oh, and did you see the cover of TIME magazine?

3. Black Lives Matter Week of Action 2018

This month, Advancement Project joined educators for their Black Lives Matter at School week of action. The action packed week filled with advocacy events started in Philadelphia and expanded nationally. From Los Angeles to New York, more than 30 schools joined the movement. Organizers of the action are using the week as an opportunity to teach lessons on structural racism, Black history and identities, and make demands to resolve the devastating impact of racist disciplinary practices on students of color. Last week, Advancement Project created content to support the New York Coalition and the movement. We also supported the Journey for Justice press through press & media engagement and social media activities.

4. Did You Know About Black Love Day?

Heard of Black Love Day? It's the day before Valentine's Day - an alternative to the mainstream Valentine's Day. Founded by Ayo Handy Kendi, February 13 is an African-centered observation made up of three spiritual intentions of encouragement: 1.) "Black self-love instead of self-hatred," 2.) "increased peace to stop violence," 3.) "racial healing." The five tenants or loving acts are for the Black family, creator, self, community and the Black race. The foundation of this day begins from a place of self-care which equates to love. During this day, our white brothers and sisters are encouraged to "show love in action" toward Black people and continue to work on racial attitudes and behaviors.

5. Advancement Project on the Ground with Celebrities, Athletes and Artists

The powerful NFL protests and boycotts from the last football season propelled by Colin Kaepernick's #TakeAKnee protest, has transformed the role that athletes and other celebrities play in social justice activism. Football season is over, but the fight for justice continues and Advancement Project is aiming to keep the momentum year round until our collective goal is achieved. As a result, Advancement Project’s national office traveled this month to Los Angeles during NBA All-Star Weekend 2018 to begin a video project on policing. The production directed by actor, advocate and Advancement Project board member Jesse Williams, brought together athletes, recording artists, comedians, actors and actresses and artists to continue the conversation of policing in Black communities.

Click here to check out behind the scenes footage of our trip. Stay tuned for updates on the film project.

Check out Vibe Magazine's "Seven Moments You Missed During NBA All-Star Weekend" for more information about the project.

On the Ground:
What Power Really Looks Like

At the start of the year, our partners at Florida Rights Restoration Coalition saw their New Year's resolution come true: they reached their goal of collecting more than 750,000 signatures to put rights restoration on the ballot this November.
Our work in the "Say Yes to Second Chances" campaign, a ballot initiative effort led by Desmond Meade, is aimed to removing Florida's civil rights ban, which is imposed on citizens with past felony convictions. Florida makes up one tenth of the 1.7 million people in the U.S who are left out of the election process. If passed, the ballot measure would amend the Florida Constitution to automatically restore voting rights to individuals with felony convictions. To add to the victory of FFRC, earlier this month, a federal judge declared Florida's process for restoring voting rights to convicted felons unconstitutional, calling for immediate change in the clemency process due to racial and political bias. Read more about it here.

The #WeChoose Campaign organized 30 town halls across the United States, engaging communities in building grassroots visions for public education. Advancement Project, helped to launch conversations with youth and national leaders who have joined the #WeChoose Campaign. On February 13, Detroit, students shared how various education policies have impacted their lives. Press rewind and watch the livestream archive from Journey for Justice's Facebook page.

ICYMI: Recent Updates from Advancement Project's National Office

Did you know there is no Right to Vote in the U.S. Constitution? Advancement Project believes we need one to protect voters and our democracy. We've created a tool that uplifts the latest and brightest ideas in voter protection, and the work behind it. Find curated information such as analysis of voting laws, original blog content, scholarly articles, campaign updates and influential news articles. Increasingly, the website will be equipped with tools for organizers and supporters looking to become active in the fight for the right to vote. Bookmark it and tell a friend in the movement.

Check out our new website,, the online home of the movement for the right to vote.

Pushing Back Against Trump's Racist Attacks

In late January, Black leaders from civil rights and immigrant organizations participated on a nation-wide call in an effort to come together in response to Trump's racist and vile comments - you know which ones we're talking about. More than 1,000 people called in to join the conversation on how they could respond to the critical racial justice issues Black people are facing under the current administration.

Our Executive Director Judith Browne-Dianis co-moderated the call. Partners included NAACP, Color of Change, UndocuBlack, FANM, Ohio Organizing Colloborative, Black Alliance for Just Immigrants, Black Pac, New Florida Majority, and the New Virginia Majority. Read what leaders in the movement had to say here.

This Month in 1968: "The Year that Changed the World"

On February 29, 1968, the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder, also known as the Kerner Report, was released. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed a commission to investigate the cause of the Detroit riots in 1967. After seven months of investigation, the report became an instant bestseller and over two million Americans bought copies of the 426-page document. Its finding: the riots resulted from Black frustration at lack of economic opportunity. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledged the report as a "physician's warning of approaching death, with a prescription for life." The report criticized federal and state governments for failed housing, education and social-service policies. It was known as one of the most critical assessment of mainstream media. The reported stated, "The press has too long basked in a white world looking out of it, if at all, with white men's eyes and white perspective."