Frantzy Luzincourt (23) is the CEO and Co-Founder of Strategy for Black Lives (@strategyforblacklives), a New York-based collective and organization of leaders and activists that fights for the improvement of Black lives through access to healthcare, education, equity, and criminal justice reform.
Growing up the son of Haitian immigrants in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East Flatbush and Canarsie, Luzincourt was acutely aware of the privilege of living in America and the opportunities that gave him. “My family instilled in me the values of taking advantage of opportunities, especially educational opportunities,” Luzincourt tells In The Know. “So when I attended the public school system in high school, and realized that people were being deprived of these opportunities, strictly off the fact of their zip code, socioeconomic status, and especially race and skin color, I knew that it was unfair and I had to do my part to address it.”
Luzincourt has been an activist since he was 15 years old, attending his first protests “around the Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner era.” Now, seven years later, Luzincourt is frustrated and disappointed “to see we’re still facing the same issues of police brutality against Black men, and all Black people.”
Strategy for Black Lives was founded at the end of May 2020, when Luzincourt and his friends were discussing Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Luzincourt says he and his friends wondered, “What type of response do we want to have to let people know—and this country know—that enough is enough?” They all put out a call on social media to get other activists and leaders in their communities involved, and that same night they had about 20 peers putting their heads together to come up with a response.
Since that fateful night, Strategy for Black Lives continued to grow into the organization it is today. “Because we have young activists and student leaders from across the state of New York, we have people that are working in elected officials offices, we have activists, we have people who are houseless, we have people from the LGBTQ community, people that are skilled in writing, and press releases, and people that are skilled in passing policy and people that have experience lobbying, people that have experienced organizing on the front lines,” explains Luzincourt.
The organization utilizes everyone’s individual skills to fight for a “central vision.” “I think what needs to be understood about the movement is that it’s multifaceted,” says Luzincourt. “There isn’t necessarily one specific way to achieve liberation for our people. There’s different ways to go about it. Our tagline is that ‘It’s a strategy.’ Ending oppression—it’s going to take a strategic approach that includes different paths and different forms.”
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