February 29, 2012 / BY MATT NELSON VICTORY: Mississippi prison will no longer abuse youth for profit

UPDATE: April 24, 2012. Mississippi’s department of corrections canceled its contracts with the GEO Group for all of the private prison facilities it had run in Mississippi. You can read more here.

Youth incarcerated at a privately-run correctional facility in Mississippi will no longer have to live in a nightmarishly abusive and violent environment. They will no longer be regularly subjected to beatings, sexual abuse, and long periods of solitary confinement. Earlier this week, a settlement was announced in a federal lawsuit that demands that children who are housed at the facility be moved elsewhere. The facility is run by the GEO Group, the nation's second-largest operator of private prisons.

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February 29, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Farewell to February: Our Black History Month roundup

This February we've celebrated Black History Month by highlighting some of ColorOfChange's most dynamic campaigns -- moments that captured national attention and spoke directly to the Black experience in America. We recalled our founding moment in the aftermath of Katrina, the multidimensional movement to free the Jena Six, and the effort to save Troy Davis' life and challenge our broken criminal justice system.

Let us know in the comments section what you thought of our Black History Month series. And if you aren't already a member, please join us here.

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February 28, 2012 / BY FANNA GAMAL WATCH: our ED on the GOP primary and the culture wars

ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson appeared on "The Young Turks" last night to talk about the culture war rhetoric that's been a centerpiece of the Republican primary. The conversation was prompted by a recent Salon.com article that warns that a long primary "threatens to change the very parameters of our political discourse," shifting the dialogue further right as social issues take center stage and the economy and unemployment go ignored.

But as the candidates head into today's Michigan and Arizona primaries, Rashad points out that voters have more opportunities to see just "how far outside the mainstream some of [the candidates'] proposals are..."

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February 28, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Our Black History Month series: Remembering Troy Davis

Troy Davis captured our hearts and minds. Once just one of the more than 1,300 Black people on death row, Davis' case had drawn both grassroots support and the attention of noted political and religious leaders in recent years because of the many indications that Davis may well have been innocent. ColorOfChange members were outraged by Davis' situation and heartbroken when we were unable to help save his life. But his case remains a source of motivation and inspiration as the movement to eradicate racial bias in the criminal justice system continues.

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February 22, 2012 / BY FANNA GAMAL Campaign to end discriminatory policing launches in NYC

UPDATE: Week of action kicks off Sunday, 02/26. ColorOfChange is proud to be part of this coalition.

Tuesday's New York Times highlights the launch of New York City's Communities United for Police Reform, a campaign that seeks to "build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment." The Times article points to the problem:

The Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisks has increased significantly under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Figures released last week showed that police officers stopped and questioned people 684,330 times in 2011, a 14 percent increase over 2010 and a roughly 600 percent increase from a decade ago. As in previous years, the vast majority of those stopped — 87 percent — were Black or Latino.

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February 21, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Race-baiting alert: Why can't Rev. Graham believe that President Obama is Christian?

UPDATE: (02/28/12) "Evangelist Franklin Graham apologizes to Obama for questining his Christian faith"

Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham, just can't seem to accept that President Obama is a Christian. During an interview this morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Graham said that he accepts statements presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have made about their faith. But he implies that President Obama is lying when it comes to the topic of his religion. ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson had this to say...

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February 20, 2012 / BY FANNA GAMAL Our Black History Month series: Organizing for the Jena Six

Most of us had never heard of Jena, Louisiana. But in 2006, six teenage boys were arrested and the small town of 4,000 would soon be thrust into the national spotlight as a prime example of 21st century Jim Crow justice.

It all started at Jena High School when a Black student sat under a tree in the courtyard that had come to be known as for White students only. When students returned to school the next day, they found three nooses hanging from the same tree. The incidents that followed would lead to six Black boys facing decades in prison and the launch of one of the most dynamic ColorOfChange campaigns to date.

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February 17, 2012 / BY DANI MCCLAIN Tell Harris Publications: Fire Vanessa Satten

XXL Magazine has published a video of a 45-year-old rapper encouraging teenage boys to force themselves on underage girls. The graphic monologue is disturbing. So is the willingness of Harris Publications, which owns XXL, to give this kind of dangerous rhetoric a platform.

We're calling on Harris Publications to fire XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten, who presides over the workplace culture that allowed such a grave misstep. Here's the message we sent to our members, after you read it please join us.

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TAGS: media
February 16, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF UPDATE: Pat Buchanan out at MSNBC

On Thursday, Pat Buchanan used his column to announce that he has officially parted ways with MSNBC. He credited the more than 86,000 ColorOfChange members who flooded the network with emails and phone calls late last year. Buchanan writes:

A group called Color of Change, whose mission statement says that it "exists to strengthen Black America's political voice," claimed that my book espouses a "white supremacist ideology." Color of Change took particular umbrage at the title of Chapter 4, "The End of White America."

We gave MSNBC props last month when the network suspended Buchanan. On Thursday, ColorOfChange had reason to celebrate once again.

 

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February 16, 2012 / BY FANNA GAMAL Bolling tells Rep. Waters: "Step away from the crack pipe"

Today Fox News' Eric Bolling referenced the tragic death of Whitney Houston in a brutal, race-baiting attack on Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Bolling said:

"Congresswoman, you saw what happened to Whitney Houston. Step away from the crack pipe, step away from the Xanax, step away from the Lorazepam because it’s going to get you in trouble.”

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February 15, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Bank settlement leaves much to be desired

Last week, the Obama administration announced a settlement with the nation's five biggest banks over charges of mortgage fraud. This settlement between the banks and 49 states (Oklahoma has not signed on) amounts to an estimated $27 billion. The sum would be paid out in the form of principal reduction and restitution checks to homeowners and people who have lost their homes to foreclosure.

Yes, this is the largest payout by the banks since the start of the financial crisis. But we know that this amount can only begin the process of rectifying the damage the banks have done.

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February 13, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Cook County to investigate wrongful convictions

Earlier this month, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced the formation of a team called the Conviction Integrity Unit that will be in charge of investigating allegations of torture and police misconduct. This news comes on the heels of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that allows Illinois inmate Stanley Wrice to have a new hearing in response to his claims that he was beaten by officers with a flashlight and rubber hose until he confessed to a crime he did not commit.

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February 08, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Our February Series: Katrina and the birth of ColorOfChange

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in August and September of 2005, upending the lives of 1.5 million people and putting Black folks' lack of political and social power front and center for all the world to see.

The storms magnified racial disparities in the U.S., and no place demonstrated this more clearly than New Orleans, where 80% of the city was submerged after Katrina. Out of this devastation, ColorOfChange was born.

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February 03, 2012 / BY MATT NELSON New York files massive bank fraud lawsuit

Lately, bad news for the banking industry has meant good news for the public — especially for the millions of people who continue to suffer through the housing crisis. So today was a good day.

This morning, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a massive lawsuit against Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo regarding their fraudulent use of robosigning and the electronic mortgage registry known as “MERS.” While the suit is specific to New York, it could spark other states to take similar action.

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February 02, 2012 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Our February series: ColorOfChange history is Black history

This month the ColorofChange blog will feature some key events in contemporary Black history, almost all of which coincide with campaigns the organization has taken on. We'll be offering you a catalogue of 21st century Black American history and showcasing the stories at the center of our work.

Each event we'll highlight lifts up the power that you -- our members -- have flexed while shaping history for all Black Americans and our allies. This Black History Month we're celebrating what our community has done to create a powerful online lobby that didn't exist prior to the devastating hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast just over six years ago.

 

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February 02, 2012 / BY KIM LEHMKUHL You helped stop SOPA and PIPA (for now)

More than 21,000 ColorOfChange.org members called on their elected officials to oppose the Senate PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and House Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and both bills have now been shelved indefinitely. This victory is an important one for Internet users and activists, and for our democratic process. But the fundamental struggle over what the Internet is for — and what we should be able to see and do online — is only going to get more intense.

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