Connect with us

Civil Rights

An Open Letter to America from the Black Leadership Initiative

Published

on

We have witnessed our brothers and sisters slayed on the streets. We are exhausted. Disgusted. Livid. Open your eyes and your hearts to see the pain and suffering of our people…”


This summer, 28 Black students from Blackstone Academy Charter School came together as part of the Black Leadership Initiative to share their Black experiences, learn about Black history, and advocate for change.

Together they wrote an open letter to America about Black Lives Matter, racial injustice, and defunding the police. You can watch the video here:


Dear America,

We are BLI, the Black Leadership Initiative. We are Black youth in Rhode Island
advocating for racial justice.

We are: innovators, motivators, visionaries, writers, artists, athletes, leaders, dancers, learners, friends, sons, and daughters. We are the change. We are the future. We are powerful.


Can you help us?

Funding for our reporting relies entirely on the generosity of readers like you. Our independence allows us to write stories that hold RI state and local government officials accountable. All of our stories are free and available to everyone. But your support is essential to keeping Steve and Will on the beat, covering the costs of reporting many stories in a single day. If you are able to, please support Uprise RI. Every contribution, big or small is so valuable to us. You provide the motivation and financial support to keep doing what we do. Thank you.

Become a Patron!
Opens in a new tab - you won't lose you place

We have witnessed our brothers and sisters slayed on the streets. We are exhausted. Disgusted. Livid. Open your eyes and your hearts to see the pain and suffering of our people.

For too long, white supremacy has oppressed Black people. The first police in our
country stem from slave patrols that suppressed Black people from their natural human rights. Today, we see the original slave patrols fulfilling their initial purpose as police.

In order to make change, we need to defund the police. By defunding the police, we can provide better funding for education, housing, and rehabilitation centers.

Black lives have always been overlooked. We want justice. We deserve justice.

Eric Garner
John Crawford III
Dante Parker
Laquan McDonald
George Mann
Tanisha Anderson
Tamir Rice
Natasha McKenna
Mya Hall
Eric Harris
Freddie Gray
Breonna Taylor
George Floyd

There are too many more. That is the reign of the police. Their reign ends now.

Defund the police.

From:

Bienfait, Chunn, Colins, David, Dianelys, Dijanira, Ida, Jae, Jahnae, Janiah, Jayla,
Jayshon, Jinnette, Promise, Anthony, Avah, Dahaba, Fatoumata, John, Justice, Lani,
Natalina, Niecy, Quincy, Larenz, Shilala, Vernon, and Yennifer

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com