LOCAL NEWS

Black Collective Voice forms in Seattle to educate and empower the people

Jun 25, 2020, 2:47 PM
Black Collective Voice...
(L-R) Jesse Miller, Naudia Miller, and Marcus Henderson, who are Black organizers within the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), speak during a press conference in the CHOP zone on June 25, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The three represent the Black Collective Voice, which they say comprises organizers and protesters coming from a wide variety of backgrounds. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Seattle Black Collective Voice is a new group of organizers and protesters formed out of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). The group intends to reclaim the narrative of the movement, focusing on education and empowerment.

Naudia Miller (Nas) introduced the Black Collective Voice at a press conference Thursday. Nas was joined by her mother, Jesse Miller, who together are the co-founders of the Harriet Tubman Foundation for Safe Passage, and Marcus Henderson, the leader of Black Star Farmers in the CHOP.

A recent survey of protesters in the CHOP, Nas said, showed that people overwhelmingly wanted to know about ways to volunteer their time and resources to end systemic racism, starting by ending police brutality. Respondents also indicated that they wanted to follow Black voices and were looking for Black leadership. From this, the Black Collective Voice was formed.

“We are the people of Seattle,” Nas said about the collective.

The group is made up of students, educators, bartenders, parents, business owners, and residents. While it is Black led, Nas said they recognize the importance of their allies and fight for the rights of all people.

The response to the survey was 90% white, which Jesse Miller says reflects the population of the CHOP.

“This is … pretty much a 90% white place,” she said. “But we are very happy to be here sharing the space because we need you, you need us.”

Nas also clarified that taking the East Precinct was, and is, not the end goal in this movement.

“Today we want to be clear: The East Precinct was never the goal of the Black Collective or our allies on the ground at the CHOP,” she said. “We did not choose the East Precinct or Cal Anderson Park as the epicenter of our work.”

Rather, Nas says the location was chosen by police when they stood in front of protesters on Pine Street.

There are gardens, food, medical aid, and security at the CHOP, and it provided a space for the Black Collective Voice to meet, organize, and grow in the movement, Nas said.

However, the group rejects the false narrative that protesting caused the crime as violence, homeless issues, and drug use have always been a problem in the area and the city.

“Governing bodies have continued to fail at resolving these issues,” Nas said, despite clear communication from Black, POC, and community leaders who are among those impacted the most by these issues.

CHOP streets quieter after shootings, but protesters vow they’ll remain

There have been attempts to dismantle, threaten, and undermine the CHOP, Nas said, and the actions of protesters and organizers have been mischaracterized in order to justify excessive force.

“We will not be bought off,” she said. “We will not attend meetings where the goal is to buy us off. We are here to dismantle systemic racism.”

The shared experiences of police brutality and misrepresentation has brought the community closer over the past few days and weeks, Nas added.

Even if officials or police force activists out of the CHOP, Nas assured that the movement will not stop.

“We now prepare to mobilize,” she said.

The Black Collective Voice plans to take action through education and collaboration in public spaces everywhere. The group also wants the demands of the people to be met, including to defund SPD by at least 50%, use that money to fund restorative justice, housing, and health care, and to release all protesters.

Until the demands are met, Nas said, they will continue to organize and strategize, and will keep strategizing even after the demands are met. The group plans to continue exercising their first amendment rights.

Nas said as long as the people of Seattle hold the space at the CHOP and want to be there, Black Collective Voice will be there as well to educate and empower.

“Our movement to liberate black lives is not limited to one space,” Nas said.

Future of CHOP ‘fluid’ as as protesters mull next steps

Henderson and Nas both said collaboration with other people and organizations is essential to the group’s mission moving forward.

“We are a collective, we are representing the Black voices and the ally voices in this space,” Henderson said. “We are looking to collaborate and bring all voices into the collective.”

Read more about the Black Collective Voice on their website here.

Local News

seattle seahawks...
Frank Sumrall

Russell Wilson booed during Sue Bird tribute video, tension-filled reunion on the horizon

His segment in the tribute video was met with a shower of boos at Climate Pledge Arena earlier this week.
12 hours ago
(KIRO 7)...
Nicole Jennings

Residents celebrate West Seattle Bridge reopening, but still much to do

There has been a lot of criticism over the two-and-a-half years the bridge has been closed, mainly over how long it has taken.
2 days ago
(KIRO 7)...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Lightning storms ignite 13 new wildfires in Eastern Washington

The KIRO Newsradio newsdesk brings you its top stories on the afternoon of Aug. 12.
2 days ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letiti...
Associated Press

FBI seized top secret documents in Trump estate search

“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents," Trump said. "I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents.”
2 days ago
whatcom ferry chief...
Micki Gamez

Whatcom County’s Lummi Island is getting a new ferry

The Department of Transportation awarded a $25 million grant to replace the 60-year-old Whatcom Chief ferry with a new and improved electric-hybrid ferry.
2 days ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Bonney Lake Sumner Little League team advances to World Series on controversial play

In extra innings, the Bonney Lake Sumner Little League team advanced to the Little League World Series on Thursday, by a score of 3-2.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Black Collective Voice forms in Seattle to educate and empower the people