What Is ColorOfChange.org?
ColorOfChange.org exists to strengthen Black America's political voice. Our goal is to empower our members - Black Americans and our allies - to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.
We were heart-broken and outraged by the catastrophe that followed Hurricane Katrina. And we were devastated to realize that no African-American organization or coalition had the capacity to respond on the necessary scale.
Hurricane Katrina made it clear that our lack of a political voice has life-and-death consequences. With no one to speak for them, hundreds of thousands of people - largely Black, poor, and elderly - were left behind to die. But it wasn't just Black folks. Poor, sick, and elderly people of every color were abandoned too. We are not alone, and when we work to protect Black lives and interests, we do the same for all who have been left behind in political silence.
ColorOfChange.org is comprised of Black folks from every economic class, as well as those of every color who seek to help our voices be heard. Our members are united behind a simple, powerful pledge: we will do all we can to make sure all Americans are represented, served, and protected - regardless of race or class.
What We Do
Using the Internet, we enable our members to speak in unison, with an amplified political voice. We keep them informed about the most pressing issues for Black people in America and give them ways to act. We lobby elected representatives using email, the telephone, and face-to-face meetings.
We bring attention to the needs and concerns of Black folks by holding coordinated events in different parts of the country, running TV and print advertisements, and demanding that the news media cover our issues. We also work with other groups - online efforts and other organizations that are doing related work - to magnify our impact.
When we come together and speak with one voice, we cannot be ignored.
- Rashad Robinson »
Rashad Robinson serves as Executive Director of ColorOfChange, the nation’s largest online civil rights organization. Under Robinson’s leadership, ColorOfChange has been at the forefront of issues ranging from fighting for justice for Trayvon Martin, to battling attempts to suppress the Black vote, to ending Pat Buchanan’s tenure as an MSNBC analyst. Robinson spearheaded ColorOfChange’s American Legislative Council (ALEC) national campaign. After ColorOfChange exposed ALEC’s involvement in passing discriminatory voter ID and harmful Shoot First laws, over 50 corporate funders ended their financial support of ALEC.
Robinson has appeared in hundreds of news stories, interviews, and political discussions through outlets including ABC, BET, CNN, MSNBC, OWN, the New York Times, Fast Company and NPR. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, LA Times, Newsday and Huffington Post, among others. For the past four years, Washington Post’s “The Root” named Robinson to “The Root 100,” a list of influential African Americans under 45-years old. Robinson is also the proud recipient of the “Transforming America” award from Demos and the “Bayard Rustin Citizen Change” award from Americans for Democratic Action. He previously held leadership roles at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Right to Vote Campaign and FairVote.
Robinson currently serves on the Board of Directors for ALLOUT, the Global Campaign for LGBT Equality, Applied Research Center and State Voices.
- Keith Goodman »
serves as the Chief of Staff and Operations at ColorOfChange. Throughout his career, he has focused on solving problems with multi-disciplinary teams and innovative strategy, with deep experience working at the intersection of organizing, data, and technology. Keith previously worked at the AFL-CIO where he developed targeting strategies for the 2004 election and the Democratic National Committee and Obama Campaign, where he led the 2008 Neighbor-to-Neighbor online voter contact program for the general election. Keith has also advised dozens of progressive organizations and mission-oriented for-profits on strategic planning, organizational design, online organizing, and data management.
- Arisha Michelle Hatch »
serves as the Managing Director of Campaigns at ColorOfChange.org and leads the organization's civic engagement, voting rights, corporate accountability and media work. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Arisha left behind a legal career to organize for the Obama Campaign in 2008, and later as National Organizing Director of the Courage Campaign, led innovative earned media campaigns including "Tax Kim Kardashian" in support of the California Millionaire's Tax (the precursor to the historic Proposition 30), as well as, a variety of efforts aimed at mobilizing the LGBT community during the aftermath of Prop 8. Her creative approach to online campaigning -- concentrated at the intersection of politics and pop culture -- has been featured in hundreds of news stories. She earned degrees in Economics and Creative Writing from Stanford and her juris doctorate from Santa Clara University.
- Matt Nelson »
joined the ColorOfChange.org campaign staff in the spring of 2010 and serves as the Organizing Director. As a campaign strategist, organizer and communications expert, Matt has trained and mentored hundreds of community leaders and organizers around the country, and has started four successful small businesses that promote alternative economic structures, including the first fair trade, worker collective café in Milwaukee, WI.
- Sonia Peña »
joined ColorOfChange.org in 2013 and serves as the Finance Director. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Sonia served as the Associate Director of Finance and Operations at the Applied Research Center (ARC) from 2000-2012. She is a graduate of the Center for Third World Organizing's (CTWO) Minority Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) and worked for CTWO from 1988-2000 as a program director, organizer and trainer. She has trained leaders and organizers in the skills of community organizing, organizational development, and grassroots fundraising. Sonia has a degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
- Aimée Castenell »
joined ColorOfChange in April 2012 and serves as a Campaign Director. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Aimée worked for several human rights organizations including the US Human Rights Network, WITNESS, Unicef and Amnesty International USA. She is a human rights activist and writer. Aimée holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Film Studies from Smith College and a Masters in Activism and Social Change from the University of Leeds in the UK.
- Lyla Bugara »
joined the ColorOfChange team in summer 2012 as a Campaign Fellow and now serves as a Campaign Manager. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Lyla interned with Human Rights Watch and the Correctional Association of New York. Lyla spends her free time supporting anti-prison expansion work. She holds a BA from Hampshire College in Race, Legal and Prison studies.
- Dallas Donnell »
joined the ColorOfChange team in September 2013 and serves as the Communications Manager. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Dallas worked as the Web Coordinator for the Black Youth Project, an organization dedicated to lifting up the voices and experiences of young Black people, and mobilizing communities of color beyond electoral politics. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, focusing specifically in African American Studies and English.
- Jamar S. Hooks »
joined ColorOfChange in June 2012 and serves as a Campaign Manager. Jamar spends his free time working with Displaced Africans and at-risk youth. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Jamar worked for the New York State Legislature on economic development, education and criminal justice reforms. Jamar holds a B.A. in Political Science and Social Policy from Syracuse University and a Master of Social Welfare Policy from Syracuse University.
- Hannah Lucal »
joined ColorOfChange in July 2013 and serves as Program Manager. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Hannah was a New York City Coro Fellow, where she completed projects for organizations in the government, labor, business, non profit and political campaign sectors. She holds a B.A. from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
- Johnny Mathias »
joined the ColorOfChange team in June 2012 and serves as a Campaign Manager. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Johnny managed numerous electoral campaigns across the Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South and Midwest. In 2008, he worked field for Al Franken in Minnesota until the last ballot was counted. Johnny organized with SEIU in Wisconsin during the historic uprising in Madison in the winter of 2011. He holds a BA in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park with a concentration in African American studies.
- Erika Strong »
joined ColorOfChange in November 2012 and serves as the Development Officer and Grant Writer. Prior to joining ColorOfChange, Erika worked in program planning, development, and coordination in various areas including criminal justice reform, hunger action, and public health. Erika is an active anti-racist organizer and trainer in NYC. She received a Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice from the University of Washington in Seattle.
- Christina Monroe »
joined ColorofChange in April 2014 and serves as the Operations Assistant. Her past work experience has included working closely with students under U.S. Department of Education and New York State programs to increase their academic performance. She has also worked in the Mayor’s Office for the Village of Freeport, New York. In her spare time, Christina enjoys reading and learning more about political and social issues affecting the African American community. She holds a and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Africana Studies from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
- Bhavik Lathia »
joined ColorofChange in 2014 and serves as a Campaign Manager for rapid response. Prior to joining ColorofChange, Bhavik worked at 350.org, bottom-lining global campaigning and organizing efforts. In 2013 he served on the core team of Global Power Shift (GPS), a multi-year effort to scale up the climate movement worldwide. Prior to 350.org, he worked at SEIU and MoveOn.org. Bhavik graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree from the Ford School of Public Policy, specializing in environmental and healthcare policy.
- Anyka Barber »
joined ColorofChange in July 2014 and serves as Member/Community Relations Specialist. Born and raised in Oakland, Anyka Barber is a mother, an artist/activist and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Betti Ono, a dream turned creative social enterprise, headquartered in the heart of downtown Oakland, and founded in 2010. She has spent the past 4 years developing Betti Ono into an active multidisciplinary art space, retail store and community anchor. Anyka is driven by a passion for the arts and a deep commitment to community and cultural development , education, economic development and social change.
- Kenneshea Allums »
joined ColorofChange in May 2014 as the Economic Justice Fellow. Prior to ColorofChange, she attended the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University where she earned a Masters in African-American Studies.In her spare time she indulges in the work of foremothers such as Nikki Giovanni, Ntozake Shange,Toni Morrison, and Ida B Wells to find solace, strength, encouragement, and guidance. She is a co-founder and writer at Black Women UNchecked where she produces engaging content that raises awareness about issues impacting Black women.
- Shani Ealey »
joined ColorOfChange as the Civic Engagement Fellow in August 2014. Prior to ColorOfChange, Shani tackled educational disparities among Black youth as a graduate student at Columbia University where she earned a Master’s degree in African American Studies. For inspiration, she turns to Octavia Butler, Huey P. Newton, and Sam Greenly who’s words continue to be sources of strength and encouragement during challenging times. During her free time, you can find her relaxing by the lake crafting up sci-fi stories of new worlds and Black liberation. For more on her writings please follow her on Twitter @BlkWmnUNchecked.
- Olivia Jones »
joined ColorofChange in August 2014. Her past work experience has included victim advocacy for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors at Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, assisting the Movement Building Team at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in conducting outreach and providing legal services to low-income transgender/gender non-conforming/intersex people and people of color, and providing support to the Civil Rights Committee at Picture the Homeless in order to change public perception of and response to homelessness and those whom homelessness affects. When Olivia is not working, she enjoys reading romantic fiction, playing tennis, cooking and eating foods that are uncomfortably, beautifully spicy, "discovering" and binge watching TV shows, and taking herself out on dates. Olivia holds a B.A. in Politics from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.