BLM-NJ is in need of your help to repair our van, so that we can continue to service our New Jersey communities and fulfill our duties to the BLM-Global Network. We were blessed to have a van donated to us so that we can travel as a organization and do our work across the state. With this vehicle we were able to finalize the infrastructure for our statewide Books and Breakfasts program, as well as, gardens and farms around the state to support our Free Food Programs. We were able to expand the scope and reach of our programs and events. Additionally, We were able to support the global network in DC, Flint, and other joint campaigns we have with communties throughout the U.S. Even more, we were developing and supporting the youth in enrichment programs that had us visiting art museums, science, sports, and music centers.
Unfortunately, while we were driving the front left wheel flew off damaging the rotors, brakes, and the wheel cab on the body. We were blessed that the only thing hurt was the van. Notwithstanding, the van was already in need of some minor cosmetic repairs (rust protection, windows, a/c, and runner boards attatchment). We needed a tune-up, power steering repair, minor transmission work, and an oil change. However, with the accident we need a little help from our community.
This money will go a long way to make whole the organization so that we are able to meet the potential of our capacity. We have several community programs and projects that we are in the process of developing; such as, homeless reliefs, clean water distribution, panel discussions, freedom family dinners, townhalls, and civic engagements. Moreover, we need to help our team leaders throughout the state with establising affordable transportation for the community to our programs and services.
Historically, transportation is a common problem for Black civil rights organization and the Black community as a whole. Transportation problems in the Black community can be traced back to slavery and the first wave Abolitionist movement. Firstly, mobility was at the crux of slavery, which operated on a web of violence and codes that kept Blacks from escaping or moving back and forth in the community. Jim Crow extended the violent and legal obstruction of Black folks mobility. Today, most Black poor folks do not have access to proper personal or poorly planned public transportation. Police also keep travel for Blacks in New Jersey a risky life altering endeavor. If you are Black in New Jersey and do not live in Newark public transportation to survival centers becomes very limited. Within our network of 7 chapters only 3 people in our core have cars. Still, a lot of wear and tear is placed on those vehicles. Please, a little bit will go a long way.