It is not a matter of if but when Coronavirus will hit prisons and jails. Outbreaks will spread like wildfire due to close quarters and unsanitary conditions, endangering everyone inside and out. If federal and state officials act now, they can help protect us all.
Many people live paycheck to paycheck. With Coronavirus, many part-time, hourly and contract workers will lose months of wages and won't be able to cover basic costs like housing or healthcare. It's time for universal, basic income.
Join us in telling Canadian company Fairfax Financial Holdings - the largest backer of bail bonds in the US - to divest from the industry. Many other companies have based on the shady lending practices, so often levied against Black people.
Popular trainer Jillian Michaels has been making headlines, for attacking Lizzo in a familiar racist way. For too long doctors and fitness experts have used weight as a proxy health – shaming Black women with larger bodies. But we can demand better.
We're calling on Governor Reeves to fix conditions at Mississippi's oldest prison or close it. 7 people have been murdered in their cells, there’s mold and rodents, 5 men sleeping on a floor, no working toilets. For too long, the problems at Parchman have been ignored.
Prosecutors and police are launching campaigns to stoke fear and roll back the real progress we've made on ending money bail, restoring the right to vote, and decriminalizing marijuana. See what we're doing to hold onto these wins.
Black people are one of the least accurately counted populations in the US, which hurts our ability to get funding, programs, and representation in Congress. See what we're doing to make sure we're counted in next year's Census.
This year we’ve worked tirelessly to hold Facebook accountable – persuading them to conduct their first civil rights audit and pressing them to adopt stronger policies against white supremacist content. We’ve held dozens of meetings, drawing their attention to how the platform has been used to censor Black activists and allow ads that discriminate against Black people. The fight continues. But Facebook has begun restricting racial targeting in ads, removing posts by white nationalists, and taken down posts meant to suppress voting.
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COC Members Save Disney’s Black Princess
We persuaded Disney not to whitewash their popular Black character Princess Tiana. When we saw early drawings of Tiana from the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, it was clear they had straightened her hair, thinned her nose, and lightened her skin. Our members spoke out and persuaded Disney to keep Tiana a beautiful Black princess – part of our ongoing work to improve representation of Black characters in film and TV and make sure all children see heroes who look like them onscreen.
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NYPD Officer Fired for Murdering Eric Garner
Five years after the tragic and unnecessary death of Eric Garner, NYC mayor and police commissioner fired Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Garner in a chokehold and refused to let him go. COC members were part of a powerful coalition with dozens of groups around New York demanding justice. Though Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, until now the officers who restrained him had walked away with no consequences and their jobs intact.
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Color Of Change helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people, and all people. Until justice is real.
Color Of Change is pressing Hilton to stop the Sons of the Confederate Veterans from holding a major gathering at their hotel. Campaign director Brandi Collins-Dexter is quoted: “Allowing this hate-filled organization space at your hotel validates its existence and intentions. They, much like neo-Nazis, recognize Confederate iconography as an expression of white supremacy and the deadly ways it intersects with this country’s toxic legacies of racism.”
Our Twitter takeover and work with #OscarsSoWhite founder April Reign is mentioned in this piece as the Oscars runs up against the same problem it’s had for decades: a lack of diversity. “Presented without comment,” Rashad tweeted. “In 2017: 18 Black nominees In 2018: 13 Black nominees In 2019: 15 Black nominees In 2020: 5 Black noms #OscarsSoWhite #Oscars.”
The New York Times profiles a day in the life with COC President Rashad Robinson – from interviewing Democratic presidential candidates to pushing forward strategies to overhaul our criminal justice system to good old-fashioned Sunday brunch. Since Rashad took charge of COC, the organization has grown by more than a million members.
Rashad explains how crime TV shows – and how they distort our understanding of our justice system – shapes how people look at crime, injustice, and racist violent policing in the real world. “These shows paint this magical space in cities like New York and Chicago where people of color exist but somehow racism doesn’t.” These shows rarely depict how disproportionately Black people are targeted by police or how bias is baked into the system.
Superbowl ads went for fun over serious this year. The big exception: an NFL ad about the devastation police violence has on families. But many were quick to point out the league’s hypocrisy given the exile of Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee. Rashad tweeted, “Every attempt by the @NFL to rehabilitate its image among Black viewers will ring hollow as long as Kaepernick is still unsigned to an NFL team. You cannot co-opt his message and blackball him at the same time.”
This article explores the political and social impact of crime TV shows, and dives into the data in our latest report Normalizing Injustice. Rashad is quoted: “Only someone who doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of a criminal justice system would say that these shows are apolitical.” Indeed, fictional misrepresentations of the criminal justice system on TV may be thwarting much-needed reforms in the real world.