Justice For Black Lives is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Grand Rapids, MI. Our organization focuses on making legislative changes and empowering the community through education, awareness, and support. 



Furthering our cause is the most important goal of our organization. We seek to support, empower, and provide high quality resources to our community in a safe and secure environment.


The events division focuses on the audio/visual aspect as well as making sure we have strong speakers. The volunteers and leaders within this division, make sure our events run smoothly & efficiently. We also have trained teams of medics, de-escalation & security who are walking through & around our crowds to make sure everyone is staying safe.  


There are wide ranges of teams within our marketing division that focuses on the branding of our organization. We have photographers, videographers, video editors, social media experts, advertisement designers and podcasting teams who mostly work behind the scenes to help display & get our message out to our communities. 


This division manages all of the legal aspects for our organization. They also maintain budgeting concerns & purchasing items. These teams handle the state and federal licensing as well as manages the work flow between our different divisions. 


There are multiple teams within the political affairs division. They research & focus on getting people registered to vote at all of our events. This divisions also handles writing out petitions & working on formal legal documents, as well as, works on having political meetings with leaders throughout our communities. 


The youth is our future. So, we created the youth division to give our young people the courage to speak out about the injustices that are happening within our communities & country as well as how they feel about it. We want them to become the leaders they are destined to be. This division focuses on the school curriculum & working on diversity training for teachers. We have a little leaders program for our youth where our directors are able to help mentor & help our young leaders become great speakers, organizers etc. 


This division focuses on how we can get out to our communities & help them. The teams within this division work on creating new area chapters & putting together teams in each of those areas. Community Outreach organizes drives, picnics, putting together neighborhood & partnered events as well as vetting/recruiting new leaders and volunteers for our organization. 

- Rosa Parks 

“To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.”

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Get in touch with Justice For Black Lives to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.

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Board of Directors

    Aly Bates

President & Founder

My name is Aly Bates. I am a 20 years old Grand Rapids native. I've spent most of my life in Comstock Park, which is a small town north of Grand Rapids. I experienced my first hand of racism as I was one of very few POC in my school and neighborhood. Later on in my acedemic career, I went to Wellspring Prepatory, which is a college prep school in Grand Rapids. At Wellspring, I gained a passion and learned more about Social Justice. While attending that school, I was apart of student council for a short while and student leadership. For my Senior year, I went back to Comstock Park, I joined the Diversity Club as well as graduated from there. Now in the current part of my life, I am currently channelig my passion as the founder and president of Justice for Black Lives. I really hope that my age will inspire the younger generation to get involved and fight against systemic racism & police brutality. 

Danny Santiago

Vice-President & Event Director

My name is Danny Santiago. I am a 28 year old native of Grand Rapids. I graduated from Union High School, studied Electrical Engineering at Grand Valley State University & graduated from Blue Heron Academy of Medical Massage Therapy & earned my certification to practice Medical Massage. Currently, i serve as an MD to help better the well-being of the conmunity of Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas, as well the Vice-President & Event Director of JFBL. I have consistently volunteered for comunity events, projects and give backs such recreational park & neighborhood clean ups, plate giveaways at Maggie's Kitchen, Free Massages for Teacherb Appreciation Day & more. As a ;person of Black & Latino descent, my passion for social justice is embedded within my existence as a human being.

       Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team of professionals is the backbone of Justice for Black Lives. Their ideas help shape the direction & mission of our organization as it continues to develop.

Kacey Thompson

Youth Director

My name is Kacey Thompson. I am a 30 years old resident of Grand Rapids. I graduated from Thornapple Kellogg, studied Early Childhood Education at Liberty University, Business Management at Ashford Univerity and earned my Cosmetology License at Empire. I currently serve as a Cosmetologist for the community of Grand Rapids and surrounding areas, as well as Youth Director of JFBL. I consistently volunteer in community building events including the Thanksgiving Appreciation, the Back to School Free Hair Care with Catholic Charities, the Mothers Day Off Give Away & the Girls with Curls Free Hair Day (hosted by my own personal business). As a mother of four, my greateest passions are uplifting youth and guiding them with knowledge & tools as they navigate mindfully through a world in which they will one day lead on their own. 

Chelsae Dudley

Marketing Director

My name is Chelsae Dudley I am 24 years old & I was born/raised in Grand Rapids. I started off through GRPS and switched to Wyoming Public Schools during the 6th grade. I graduated from Wyoming High Schoo. I was involved in Key Club, Diversity Club, Theatre & Homecoming/Prom Committee. I was also involved in band and learned the Clarinet first, then soon after, I learned many more instruments after that. It was my passion, as well as reading and writing. In high School, they didn't teach us barely anything about Black History. Since they wouldn't teach us, my parents did. That's where I got my love for reading from. Reading about police brutality, systemic racism etc. throughout my childhood and as an adult, ignited my passion for social justice.

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