James Mackey founded #StuckOnReplay in July 2016 to address the institutional racism that has oppressed black and brown communities, and to mobilize those communities to act. After taking a one-year hiatus starting in July 2017, #StuckOnReplay relaunches on August 15 with an event at the Haley House Bakery Cafe.
“It’s election season, and so we want to make sure that we start holding elected officials accountable because … a lot of laws, policies, and practices are still crippling and criminalizing black and brown communities,” Mackey said.
As an organizer for 10 years, Mackey added that his goal is to “challenge these systems of oppression that have taken advantage of us so we can create change for ourselves and for the betterment of our community.”
#StuckOnReplay started coming together in February 2016, when Mackey attended an event at the Massachusetts State House called Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System: Taking a Developmental Approach. When he saw that no people of color spoke on the panel, plus the lack of people of color attending the event, Mackey said he became frustrated.
“You had no persons of color on the panel [speaking about] how they are incarcerating so many young people of color, and targeting, and hyper-policing, hyper-criminalizing young people of color. It upset me, and so I told the young folks that were with me if you feel a certain way about it, you should say something to the audience, which they did.
Since #StuckOnReplay’s launch in July 2016, they’ve hosted over 30 events throughout Boston, partnering with community organizations. The relaunch event co-hosted by the Center for Teen Empowerment and Violence in Boston, will focus on local, state, and federal organizing to influence public policy and hold elected officials accountable.
“We can influence them all we want, but they still will be making decisions on our behalf without us and it’s up to us to hold them accountable,” Mackey said.
For a feature-length version of this article that digs deeper on the issues raised herein, be sure to check out the DigBoston Election Guide dropping the first week of September on the streets and online.
Olivia Deng is an arts and culture writer who also covers politics and social movements. Her work has appeared in DigBoston, WBUR, Boston Magazine, The Atlantic, Boston Art Review and more. She is also an illustrator and painter.