our work

Black Futures Lab has two programs: the Black Imagination Incubator and the Shirley Chisholm “Unbought and Unbossed” Black Politics Project. 


Black Imagination Incubator is made up of two projects: one that gathers information about the ways that policy affects Black communities and one that uses that information creatively to educate and challenge policymakers. These two interlocking efforts include:

Black Census Project

As the largest survey of Black people conducted in the United States since Reconstruction, the Black Census Project provides an accurate reflection of the diversity of our communities, of the diversity of issues that Black communities care about most, and of the innovative ideas and vision for how to transform our country.

Black to the Future

Black to the Future takes information gathered through the Black Census Project and uses that information to develop and write smart policy and implementation plans, to educate elected officials on this new legislative agenda, and challenges policymakers to take up positions beneficial to Black communities.

Shirley Chisholm “Unbought and Unbossed” Black Politics Project

Named after Shirley Chisholm—the first Black woman to run for President of the United States—the Black Politics Project honors her legacy by focusing on the power of our vote and building up the newest generation of Black progressive political candidates. The Black Politics Project brings together community engagement; community mobilization and education; policy and alternative policy models; and active engagement and advocacy with elected officials and legislators. The four interlinking projects are My Politics are Black; Black Candidates; Black-run Political Campaigns; and Black Campaign Financing.

My Politics are Black

Instead of politicians only engaging Black voters when there is an upcoming election, we flip the script, mobilizing voters year-round and building relationships with candidates on our own terms.

Black Candidates

We deserve to see ourselves as influential political leaders who have all Black people’s interests and needs at the forefront of their work. This project will recruit candidates that best reflect who we are and what we want.

Black-run Political Campaigns

How can we get the people we want elected, with campaigns that know our communities? Here’s an idea: We run them. BFL will recruit and train Black communities to run strategic campaigns that will keep Black voters engaged and get Black folks with our vision elected.  

Black Campaign Financing

Black candidates typically raise 47 percent less funds than white candidates. How can we close this racial campaign gap without depending on corporate dollars? Here’s our grassroots solution: we depend on us, not corporations.