Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100) is a far-left advocacy group focused on black, queer, and feminist youth issues. It advocates for the abolition of the police and prison systems, the payment of “slavery reparations,” universal child care, guaranteed employment from the federal government, and other radical-left policies. The organization’s membership is strictly limited to black individuals between the ages of 18 and 35.
BYP 100 is based in Chicago and has chapters in the District of Columbia, New York City, New Orleans, Dallas, Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukie, Jackson, and Durham. In Chicago, BYP 100 shares many members with other radical-left black groups, including Fearless Leading by the Youth, We Charge Genocide, Project Nia, #LetUsBreathe Collective, the People’s Response Team, and Assata’s Daughters.
In 2004, the Black Youth Project was founded in Chicago to survey and research the cultural attitudes of young black men. In 2012, the organization’s principal investigator, University of Chicago professor Cathy Cohen, put all of Black Youth Project’s data online in a single hub for further study by third parties. Cohen then worked to convene a national conference to discuss black youth issues. She reached out to the National Black Justice Coalition to ensure representation of black queer and trans people, as well as artists and labor unions at the convention.
During the convention, a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder at his trial for killing Trayvon Martin. The event inspired the roughly 100 attendees to form a spin-off organization, Black Youth Project 100, which would hold its first annual convention in 2013. Among the founding members was Charlene Carruthers, a life-long far-left activist who has worked for the Chicago Center for Leadership and Transformation, Center for Community Change, Color of Change, Women’s Media Center, and National People’s Action.
Protests and Political Activism
In January 2016, BYP 100 and other radical activist groups shut down the Chicago Patrolman’s Federal Credit Union for an hour by linking arms in front of its building as a means of protesting the use of city government money on policing. The protest occurred concurrently with Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country against perceived police brutality.
In 2016, BYP 100 coordinated with other Black Lives Matter groups to oppose the reelection of Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez (D) by protesting fundraisers and campaign events. Alvarez was defeated in the primary election by Kim Foxx (D).
Agenda to Build Black Futures
Black Youth Project 100’s Agenda to Build Black Futures is a comprehensive plan to repair perceived racial and sexuality injustices in the United States. The Agenda proposes instituting reparations on the national, state, and local levels under the direction of Independent Compensation Committees which can hear and deliberate on racial injustice claims made by individuals and organizations. Suggested criminal justice reforms include restoring voting rights for felons, ending for-profit prisons, abolishing all penal fines, and reducing police budgets. The plan also advocates for radical labor regulations, including universal basic income, universal sick leave, universal employment through a federal jobs program, and the elimination of all racial and gender pay gaps.
Board of Directors
Black Youth Project 100’s Board of Directors includes numerous experienced radical-left activists. Avery Bizzell was a student activist for Georgia’s chapter of Black Youth Vote! and is the program director of the Center for Third World Organizing. Brooke A. Butler is the movement building director of the DC Abortion Fund. Mercedes Fulbright is the Texas State Coordinator for Local Progress Texas, a project of the Center for Popular Democracy, and she is a strategist for the Electoral Justice Project, a leading organization in the Black Lives Matter movement.