For years, we’ve wondered why Google, Facebook, and Twitter won’t stop promoting the kinds of conspiracy theories that led to the attack on the Capitol. The reason? Their platforms are built to foster engagement and growth--at ALL costs. It's time for legislation.
It's clear: the police charged with securing the U.S. Capitol Complex allowed white supremacists to run wild through the halls of Congress, leading to 5 deaths and putting democracy at risk. Tell Congress to investigate, stat.
John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Police Union, has gone on record defending the Capitol rioters. There's no room in law enforcement for siding with violent acts of white supremacy. #FireCatanzara now!
Imagine being labeled a criminal because you survived abuse or got a “D” in school. Several Florida schools are doing just that, creating a secret list of children that might “fall into a life of crime” based on highly sensitive information and sharing it with police. It has to stop.
Black businesses need our support, this year especially as they struggle to survive COVID-19. That's why Color Of Change is releasing a greenbook of businesses we love. Submit a Black business in your town today.
Two years ago we partnered with Ron Brown High on our voter initiative. Since then students have registered voters, done service learning, and spent hours talking to Black voters. Now you have the chance to keep the young men there learning and smiling.
Tell Speaker Pelosi we need more. Folks are hurting. The pandemic has exposed glaring inequalities as millions of Black, disabled, and low-income workers have been furloughed, laid off, and given just $1,200 to weather this crisis.
After 5 years trying to get Mark Zuckerberg to stop hate online, Facebook is still allowing white nationalist groups to recruit new members and incite violence. Finally they've suspended Trump, but only until the end of his term.
Last week, Twitter, the social media site instrumental to President Trump’s rise, permanently banned his account. This is huge. For the last 4 years, Trump has turned to Twitter to spread misinformation and lies, incite violence, announce ad hoc policies, and antagonize those who disagree with him. For years, Color Of Change has been working to hold Twitter and Facebook accountable for white nationalist organizing on their platforms. And for weeks, groups like the Proud Boys were plotting their attack on the Capitol on social media. Finally, tech execs are listening. After Trump’s armed followers broke into the Capitol and Congress had to be evacuated, we reached out leaders at both companies, telling them to shut Trump down. Facebook has suspended Trump until the end of his term. This is where real accountability begins. For too long, we’d been warning this was bound to happen. We cannot afford to let Americans live in two realities, undermining the sovereignty of our elections, peddling hate for profit, and enabling armed revolt against peaceful leaders.
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Voting & Democracy
Victory for Poll Workers in GA
All eyes are on Georgia’s runoff elections where the fate of the Senate hangs in the balance. After poll workers–many of whom are Black women–were harassed, Color Of Change launched a campaign with UltraViolet. Together we demanded Facebook shut down the right-wing groups targeting poll workers, reminding execs that online harassment leads to real-world violence. Some poll workers received death threats; one even found a noose outside his home with his name on it. Recently Facebook announced poll workers will now be included in their Protect Program, given extra safety and privacy protections. Poll workers defend our democracy; they should never have to live in fear. The fight is not over as the move came only after immense pressure from Color Of Change and partners. We continue to press Facebook to stop putting Black lives and votes at risk.
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Voting & Democracy
US Olympic Committee Will End Sanctions Against Athletes Who Protest
Color Of Change members have long supported trailblazing Olympians in their fight to dismantle racist, oppressive policies that silence Black athletes. So we applaud the decision by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to no longer punish American athletes who raise their fists or kneel on the metals stand in protest. We previously met with the committee’s staff, sent them letters, launched a campaign, and sponsored Gwen Berry who lost corporate sponsors because of her activism. The Olympic Committee’s move to support and empower athlete activists marks an important marker towards justice and equality within sports.
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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 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.
The Hollywood Reporter looks at Color Of Change Hollywood’s work–releasing Normalizing Injustice and going behind the scenes to work with TV writers and producers. One writers’ room at a time, the group is shifting how policing is portrayed on TV and pushing Hollywood to tell the truth about what Black people experience at the hands of law enforcement and our criminal justice system. “What we see on TV impacts the way we vote, the way we react to people and even whether we believe Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization,” says Culture & Entertainment Director Kristen Marston.
Biden wants his administration to “look like America.” His transition team is a start. So far, 46 percent of Biden’s transition staff are people of color and more than half — 52 percent — are women. Advocates say they welcome the administration’s focus on representation but that is just a first step. They’ll be keeping an eye on Biden’s policy proposals. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “How that representation translates into what they deliver is what’s most important to me. We are going to look for who’s going to stand up to corporate power.”
The 2020 elections, after the mass uprisings against racial injustice, were seen as a test for criminal justice reforms. This was especially true for progressive DAs. In Chicago, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx won her bid for re-election. She is the first Black woman to lead the 700-attorney office and is one of the country’s most prominent progressive prosecutors. In Austin, Texas, voters overwhelmingly chose Jose Garza, a former public defender, to serve as the DA of Travis County. Color Of Change’s Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns Scott Roberts is quoted. “We think we caught a lot of those folks off guard. They weren’t ready for a movement that would focus on prosecutor elections.”
COC President Rashad Robinson writes about how In the US, the rules are still rigged against Black success. With grassroots organizing and protest, we can change that. Because whether it’s the rules of work in an Amazon warehouse, the rules for police in our neighborhoods, or the rules that determine which schools and hospitals get funding, which diseases get researched, which businesses get COVID relief loans, the rules are still rigged against us. Corporations still exploit Black people without consequences—and it’s still costing us our lives.
Color Of Change President Rashid Robinson is featured on this piece on tomorrow’s leaders in the fight for true equality and justice. USA Today set out to find the next John Lewis, that leader who is going to guide us through the chaos of today’s civil rights fight. Rashad is quoted, “In America, changing the very structure of society is what’s required for Black people to live in peace and security… Everyone wins when racial justice wins. And it will take everyone to win racial justice.”
When Olympian Gwen Berry threw her fist in the air on the awards podium–in protest of the country’s treatment of Black Americans–it nearly cost her her career. She lost most of her corporate sponsors and had to take on an outside job while training for the next Olympics. So Color Of Change stepped up, sponsoring Berry not for endorsements but to encourage her to keep raising her voice. “Our bottom line is justice, not profit,” Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson said. “We need Gwen to raise her voice in powerful ways and to compete and succeed on the field.” Meanwhile, they’re urging corporations to support Black athletes and stand on the right side of history.