Non-profit

Rising Majority

Website:

therisingmajority.com/

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Project of:

Movement for Black Lives

Formation:

2017

National Coordinator:

Nikita Mitchell

Rising Majority is a coalition of left-of-center activist groups that organize collectively across multiple issues including economics and labor, climate change, feminism, and immigration. It is a project of the Movement for Black Lives, which itself is a fiscally sponsored project of the radical-left fiscal sponsorship organization Alliance for Global Justice.

Members and Goals

Approximately 55 groups are members of the Rising Majority coalition, representing a broad variety of policy and issue advocacy groups. Though it is led by persons and organizations who are primarily focused on racial issues, Rising Majority includes organizations that work on issues around economics, poverty and homelessness, sexual orientation, women’s issues and abortion, and other causes. Coalition members include Women’s March, Inc. (women’s issues), Black Lives Matter Network Foundation (racial issues), National Domestic Workers Alliance (labor organizing), Right to the City Alliance (housing and tenants’ interests), Black Alliance for Just Immigration (immigration issues), Climate Justice Alliance (environmental issues), and Working Families Organization (economic and fiscal issues). [1]

Anti-Capitalist and Racial Solidarity Principles

Rising Majority is an explicitly anti-capitalist coalition that refers frequently to “racial capitalism” and “divestment from white supremacy, racial capitalism and anti-Blackness.” [2]

In October 2020, Rising Majority sponsored the “People’s Tribunal and Congress,” a two-day virtual event. During the People’s Tribunal, radical-left activists including Angela Davis and novelist Arundhati Roy heard testimony “lay[ing] out the crimes of U.S. policy and the policies and practices of dominant institutions that perpetuate white supremacy, state terror, racial capitalism, empire and hetero-patriarchy.” [3] Karissa Lewis, the national field director of Movement for Black Lives and executive director of the Center for Third World Organizing, told viewers that “Peoples’ Tribunals are necessary because the mechanisms of this government work painstakingly hard to silence us.” After a three-and-a-half hour “trial,” the jurors “convicted” capitalism and associated “injustices” for racial and economic oppression. [4]

Rising Majority also stresses that political solidarity with blacks and other ethnic minorities is a prerequisite for broader political, social, and economic change. [5]

2020 Protest Activities

Rising Majority activated in response to May 2020 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers and promised a ​“‘hot summer’ of intense organizing.” [6] The coalition organized nationwide protests in the second week of June to protest “increased police brutality” and how it “speaks to the interconnected nature of white supremacy, racial capitalism, and the role of state sanctioned terrorism.” [7]

The coalition made defunding of police departments and increasing leniency in the criminal justice system “a unified rallying cry” of its members. Rising Majority called for not simply moving tax dollars from police departments to social service groups and agencies, but also “community control and participatory budgeting” in setting funding priorities for cities and states. It has also advocated for demilitarization of police forces and called the criminal justice system “a site of terror and control.” Rising Majority members also advocated for removing police from secondary schools around the country and succeeded in working to end contracts between police departments and school districts in a number of cities, including Oakland, California. Rising Majority also criticized the criminal justice reforms of Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden as “a disrespect to the people who lost people to police brutality” and “to the people being brutally, brutally repressed by police.” [8]

Rising Majority was among the groups that sponsored the annual Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on October 17, 2020. That particular demonstration was focused on protesting the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat previously held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. [9] Rising Majority also coordinated voter registration and turnout activities among its coalition members designed to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. [10]

Other Activities

Rising Majority was active in efforts to save Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the 2012 Obama administration program that permitted persons who had been brought illegally to the country as children to remain in the United States. In June 2020, in a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s effort to roll back the program. Rising Majority issued a statement calling U.S. immigration agencies “perpetrators of violence that terrorize immigrant communities, and specifically Black immigrants who sit at the intersections of these interlocking systems and anti-blackness…. Each tentacle needs to be cut off and replaced by systems of community control of health, wellness, security.” [11]

Rising Majority sponsored a February 2020 symposium at Howard University with four left-wing Democratic U.S. Representatives commonly known as “The Squad.” At that symposium, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) admitted that she held the hand of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) during parts of President Donald Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address because of “moments of triggering,” especially the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to radio host Rush Limbaugh. The other members of the squad, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), boycotted the address, but Ocasio-Cortez told the Rising Majority symposium that “whether we attended or whether we didn’t attend, all of us showed up in that same spirit of resistance to a culture of white supremacy into the concentration of power, the authoritarianism of this administration.” [12]

Rising Majority has been a leader in the movement to encourage official recognition of, and organize protests on, “Juneteenth,” the annual June 19 celebration of the day that the Union Army announced the entry into force of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas after the defeat of the Confederacy. [13][14]

References

  1. Rising Majority. “Who We Are.” Accessed October 27, 2020. https://therisingmajority.com/organizations/. ^
  2. “‘We Are On the Cusp of Something Great’: A Black Liberation Organizer on Next Steps for the Movement.” In These Times. July 27, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://inthesetimes.com/article/nikita-mitchell-interview-black-liberation-george-floyd-protests-next-steps. ^
  3. Rising Majority. “The Freedom Side.” Accessed October 27, 2020. https://therisingmajority.com/events/the-freedom-side/. ^
  4. Rising Majority. “People’s Tribunal Video.” October 17, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/TheRisingMajority/videos/d41d8cd9/957159824778834/. ^
  5. “Floyd’s Death Sparks New Activism Among Communities of Color.” Associated Press. August 25, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2020-08-25/floyds-death-sparks-new-activism-among-communities-of-color/. ^
  6. “‘We Are On the Cusp of Something Great’: A Black Liberation Organizer on Next Steps for the Movement.” In These Times. July 27, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020.https://inthesetimes.com/article/nikita-mitchell-interview-black-liberation-george-floyd-protests-next-steps. ^
  7. Rising Majority. “Making Meaning of This Moment.” June 6, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://therisingmajority.com/events/making-meaning-out-of-this-moment-of-crisis/. ^
  8. “‘We Are On the Cusp of Something Great’: A Black Liberation Organizer on Next Steps for the Movement.” In These Times. July 27, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://inthesetimes.com/article/nikita-mitchell-interview-black-liberation-george-floyd-protests-next-steps. ^
  9. Schmidt, Samantha. “Women’s March plans return to D.C. in October to protest Supreme Court nomination.” Washington Post. September 28, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/09/28/womens-march-plans-return-dc-october-protest-supreme-court-nomination/. ^
  10. “‘We Are On the Cusp of Something Great’: A Black Liberation Organizer on Next Steps for the Movement.” In These Times. July 27, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://inthesetimes.com/article/nikita-mitchell-interview-black-liberation-george-floyd-protests-next-steps. ^
  11. Rising Majority. “DACA Statement.” Accessed October 27, 2020. https://therisingmajority.com/daca-statement/. ^
  12. “‘Our Very Existence Is the Resistance’: An Hour w/ AOC, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib & Ilhan Omar.” Democracy Now. February 10, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://www.democracynow.org/2020/2/10/democracy_now_the_squad_sotu. ^
  13. Pinon, Natasha. “How to take action on Juneteenth to celebrate Freedom Day.” Mashable. June 18, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://mashable.com/article/how-you-can-meaningfully-celebrate-juneteenth/. ^
  14. Fonrouge, Gabrielle. “What is Juneteenth and who has made it an official holiday?” New York Post. June 19, 2020. Accessed October 27, 2020. https://nypost.com/article/what-is-juneteenth/. ^
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