Non-profit

Black Youth Project

Website:

blackyouthproject.com/

Location:

Chicago, IL

Formation:

2004

Type:

Non-profit

The Black Youth Project (BYP) is an online publishing site providing content encompassing a variety of issues and resources geared towards young African Americans. The main areas of focus are culture, sex, and politics, as well as the purported challenges faced by younger Black Americans. [1]

Launched as a research project in 2004, BYP released its report on “Black Millennials in America” in 2015, a nearly 80-page document claiming to illustrate the unique challenges faced by Black Americans aged 18-35. The report includes data regarding employment, education, gun violence, criminal justice, and voter participation, as well as data showing support for left-of-center policies like increasing the minimum wage, tightening gun control laws, and the Affordable Care Act. [2]

BYP’s online hub was created by in 2012 by its principal investigator, University of Chicago professor Cathy Cohen. [3] The website currently maintains content that supports its associated far-left advocacy organization, BYP100, [4] including advocating for the abolition of the police and prison systems as well as the payment of “slavery reparations,” along with numerous articles describing perceived racial- and sexuality-related injustices against black youth. [5]

Activity

The Black Youth Project was launched in 2004 as a national research project studying the attitudes and culture of young Black men. Looking at resources available to black youth aged from 15 to 25, BYP sought to understand the behaviors of Black youth, and what influenced their decision-making.

In 2015, BYP released “Black Millennials in America,” a report comprised of ten years of survey data. The nearly 80-page report claims that its research data illustrates the unique challenges faced by black millennials, including employment, education, gun violence, criminal justice, and voter participation. Also included in the report is data regarding approval of left-of-center public policy, showing large support among black millennials for increasing the minimum wage, stricter gun control, and the Affordable Care Act. [6]

In 2012, BYP’s principal investigator, University of Chicago professor Cathy Cohen, created an online hub, which originally served to share this research and data. [7] Today, BYP’s website maintains content that includes blogs, articles, and videos encompassing a variety of issues and resources geared towards “the young, urban black millennial.” The main areas of focus are culture, sex, and politics, as well as the purported challenges faced by Black Americans aged 18 to 30. [8]

BYP’s three tenets are knowledge, including research on the civic and political engagement of Black youth; voice, claiming to promote the uncensored perspectives of Black youth; and action, intending to mobilize Black youth politically. BYP’s direct political engagement occurs through its far-left advocacy organization, BYP100. [9]

Much of the content of BYP directly supports the far-left agenda of BYP100. At present, BYP maintains articles advocating for the abolition of the police and prison systems, as well as the payment of “slavery reparations.” BYP also publishes numerous articles describing perceived racial and sexuality injustices against black youth. [10]

BYP accepts submissions for original articles as well as republished materials, and pays writers for original content over 800 words. Writers are encouraged to pitch ideas for original articles on the topics on LBGT issues, Black feminism, politics, and pop culture. [11]

BYP offers several programs to Black youth in the Chicago area, encouraging political activism and data driven solutions to perceived racial problems. As part of its Student Voice and Activism Fellowship, BYP provides training in left-progressive social activism. In its BYP Fellows program, BYP teaches investigative storytelling and has previously encouraged projects focused on police arrests in Chicago, the supposed bias of standardized testing, and stories emanating from the 2017 Women’s March. [12]

Funding

Black Youth Project is a member-supported organization and currently claims 120 patrons who contribute a total of $12,807 monthly. [13] BYP is housed at the University of Chicago, which also provides the organization with financial support. [14]

People

Cathy J. Cohen is the founder and publisher of BYP. Cohen is the former director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago. Cohen formerly served as co-chair of the board of the Audre Lorde Project and has served on the boards of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at CUNY. Cohen has been an active member of numerous progressive organizations including Black AIDS Mobilization (BAM!), the Black Radical Congress, African American Women in Defense of Ourselves, and Ella’s Daughters. Cohen currently sits on the board of the Arcus Foundation. [15]

References

  1. “About Us.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/. ^
  2. “Black Millennials in America.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/BYP-millenials-report-10-27-15-FINAL.pdf. ^
  3. “History.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/history/. ^
  4. “About Us.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/. ^
  5. “Featured.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/category/featured/. ^
  6. “Black Millennials in America.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/BYP-millenials-report-10-27-15-FINAL.pdf. ^
  7. “History.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/history/. ^
  8. “About Us.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/. ^
  9. “About Us.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/. ^
  10. “Featured.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/category/featured/. ^
  11. “Submissions.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020.  http://blackyouthproject.com/submissions/. ^
  12. “Our Programs.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/our-programs/. ^
  13. “Black Youth Project.” Patreon. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://www.patreon.com/blackyouthproject?fan_landing=true. ^
  14. “Donate to the Black Youth Project and the GenForward Project.” The University of Chicago, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://giving.uchicago.edu/site/Donation2?df_id=1714&mfc_pref=T&1714.donation=form1. ^
  15. “About Cathy J. Cohen.” Black Youth Project, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. http://blackyouthproject.com/about-us/cathy-j-cohen/. ^

Donor Organizations

  1. Proteus Fund (Non-profit)
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Black Youth Project


Chicago, IL