Blake Strode Reflects on Building Power at the Intersection of Protest and Policy

Blake Strode (’15), Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders, coauthored a Guest Essay for The New York Times discussing a wide range of tools and tactics to support transformation, including grass-roots organizing, legal advocacy, policy formulation and electoral justice (“George Floyd and the Seeds of a New Kind of Activism,” May 23). “We did not leave the streets for the ballot box — we found the power at the intersection of those tactics. The same organizers who mobilized thousands in defense of Black lives built strong enough campaigns to shift the consciousness of an electorate, and voters showed up at the polls to fuel the election of aligned candidates. . . . [W]e fully expect those acting in our names to divest from the criminal legal system, hold accountable public actors who abuse their power and dramatically invest in communities that have suffered from generations of systemic racism and economic exploitation.”