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After the RebellionBlack Youth, Social Movement Activism, and the Post-Civil Rights Generation$
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Sekou M. Franklin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814789384

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814789384.001.0001

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The Collapse of the Black Student Leadership Network

The Collapse of the Black Student Leadership Network

(p.183) 7 The Collapse of the Black Student Leadership Network
After the Rebellion

Sekou M. Franklin

NYU Press

This chapter examines the intergroup tensions among the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), Black Community Crusade for Children (BCCC), and Black Student Leadership Network (BSLN), as well as the intraorganizational tensions that existed inside of the BSLN which led to its collapse in 1996. There was increasing skepticism among BSLN members, particularly among its leadership, about the commitment of the BCCC and CDF in supporting the youth formation's agenda and programs. Their skepticism increased after the CDF announced plans to launch the Stand for Children campaign in 1996 that targeted welfare reform legislation being deliberated by Congress at the time. Although the campaign had good intentions, it may have highlighted the challenges of institutional leveraging. The Stand For Children campaign neutralized the BSLN's program, which, in turn, encouraged its leaders to push for greater organizational autonomy. After the BCCC resisted the BSLN's attempts at exercising greater control over its agenda, the youth organization disbanded in August 1996.

Keywords:   Children's Defense Fund, Community Crusade for Children, Black Student Leadership Network, youth formation, Stand For Children, welfare reform, institutional leveraging, organizational autonomy, Congress

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