In 2010, TBI’s first campaign was a successful effort to win green cards, respect, and dignity in the workplace for New York City’s Caribbean teachers.
In 2011, TBI formed the Clergy Network for Worker Justice to engage the faith community and unite disparate groups working for social justice in New York City. TBI organized more than 120 clergy and members of their congregations to take part in the national fast food worker movement for a living wage.
In August 2013, TBI and our youth members joined undocumented youth in a multigenerational campaign to assure a path to citizenship for youth who have aged out of the immigration system.
In 2014 and 2015, TBI joined an inter-faith and inter-ethnic network of organizations in Staten Island mobilizing for justice for Eric Garner and his family. At a series of escalations in the borough – including a rally and vigil in late 2014 and a call for action in October 2015 – more than 300 TBI members and black leaders of faith drew attention to zero tolerance policing in the North Shore neighborhood, and excessive use of force. In the intervening months, TBI and Communities United for Police Reform generated support for decriminalizing low level offenses, made progress on passing police identification requirements, and increased advocacy efforts on behalf of those who have been wrongfully convicted.
In 2015, TBI launched a campaign in support of justice for minority and women owned businesses (M/WBEs), which received just 4% of city contracts in 2015, even though minorities represent more than 50% of the city’s population. As a result of The Black Institute’s campaign, the city has committed to awarding $16 billion in MWBE contracts over the next ten years, has appointed a senior advisor in charge of minority and women owned businesses, and has established the Emerging Developer Loan Fund, a $10 million fund to provide low-interest loans on New York City-based development projects.
In 2014, TBI organized New York City Housing Authority tenants on the Upper East Side to resist a waste transfer station that was scheduled to be built across the street from their complex, which would burden residents with dangerous garbage truck traffic and pollutants likely to cause asthma.
In anticipation of the general election in 2016, TBI launched the Black Immigrant Engagement Initiative, which is building immigrant power by coordinating legal support and registering new immigrants to vote.
In 2017, TBI spearheaded the plastics bag campaign while organizing community members, clergy and other CBO’s to engage elected officials on a state and municipal level to not pass a 5-cent regressive tax on plastic bags here in NYC, which would negatively impact low-income communities.
In 2017, TBI launched a campaign and rallied on behalf of an M/WBE, WallBall World, LLC, which has been providing sports programming for kids in the Bronx and had grievances about the NYC Department of Parks contracting.
In August of 2017, TBI joined LeFrak City tenants in a lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections for improperly moving a poll site a month before the primary election, thereby disenfranchising thousands of residents. After a year-long battle, they ultimately won the lawsuit and were successfully able to maintain the poll site in its 50-year location at LeFrak City.
In early 2018, TBI launched the STARZ campaign to bring back the hit television show “POWER,” which is the most-watched show among minorities on cable television, after Optimum Cable took it off the air. TBI successfully ran a social media campaign that led to Optimum putting STARS and POWER back on cable television.