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.
Far too often, prosecutors prioritize conviction rates over the truth, ruining the lives of innocent Black and Brown people. Linda Fairstein prosecuted the Central Park Five, coercing confessions and wrongfully convicting five boys from Harlem for a brutal rape they knew nothing about. They spent years in prison before being exonerated. We went after Fairstein and persuaded Simon & Schuster to stop publishing her popular crime novels, telling the company it can’t profit off someone who reinforces racist ideas of crime and justice.
social list opener
Google Bans Bail Ads
Color Of Change has been working to end money bail, which is one of the largest drivers of incarceration of Brown and Black people. People should never be locked up simply because they can’t afford to pay bail. We’ve gone after the predatory bail bonds industry, partnering with Jay-Z on a video, publishing an op-ed in the New York Times, and successfully pressing Google to pull its ads for bail. This makes it harder for bail agencies to exploit people and sets a new norm that major companies should steer clear of those profiteering from mass incarceration.
social list opener
RCA Drops R. Kelly
For decades people in the music industry turned a blind eye to R. Kelly’s blatant sexual and emotional abuse of women and girls. We teamed up with dream hampton to promote and elevate her docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, which was streamed 25M times – then went after RCA, successfully pressuring them to drop R. Kelly from their label. This sends a message to all artists and record labels – you can no longer profit off of abusers and hold out artists who exploit women and girls as cultural icons.
social list opener
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.
D.C.’s mayor had Black Lives Matter painted in the streets a few blocks from the White House as a show of support for George Floyd and the calls to end police violence. The irony is, many of the leaders calling for racial justice have been obstacles to overhauling local departments ’til now. That’s why activists are skeptical that these symbolic gestures will lead to real change. COC’s Sr. Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns Scott Roberts is quoted, “The people who have had the power to address this have ignored it. It took a video of someone literally being strangled to death for over 8 minutes, and uprisings all over the country, for politicians to listen to what Black communities have been saying for decades.”
Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson writes on his recent meeting with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s failure to take civil rights seriously. In the end, Zuckerberg has too much to gain financially by continuing to pander to Trump and his racist supporters. “In 2020, Facebook’s indulgent and laissez-faire policies have enabled hateful harassment, rampant misinformation and disinformation, and the suppression of Black organizers… Zuckerberg sees white nationalism – and racism in general – as a political issue of right versus left, instead of a moral issue of right versus wrong.”
This article explains that although Black women are often victims of racial violence and leading groups like Black Lives Matter, they are rarely upheld as symbols of the movement for racial justice. The murder of Breonna Taylor may change that. Arisha Hatch, Color Of Change’s vice president says that the media often doesn’t take the deaths of Black women seriously. “It sometimes feels like when Black women are victims, we don’t get the same amount of attention. It can signal a hierarchy in terms of who matters.” She has noticed in her 8 years at Color of Change a trend in headlines that often render Black and trans women who are killed invisible.
Instagram has long been the social media platform where people go to escape. But now the Black Lives Matter movement pushed the platform into racial politics and it’s increasingly where white Gen Z’ers are getting an education in solidarity and how to be an ally. Color Of Change’s Sr. Campaign Director Brandi Collins-Dexter says, “Instagram has always been Blacker, more Latinx, younger — groups that are on the front lines right now in a number of ways… For us, the personal is political, and it’s hard to untangle those two.”
In the weeks since George Floyd was killed, nearly every US industry has come under pressure to face their shortcomings when it comes to racial equality. In music, the Recording Academy just announced it will team up with Color Of Change to launch a set of initiatives to open the industry. Valeisha Butterfield Jones from the Academy said, “They’ve done great work in the TV and film industries, and we saw opportunity for us to do similar work to drive change and amplify the voices of Black people and creators in music through a partnership.”
Dataminr helped law enforcement monitor the protests that swept the country after the killing of George Floyd, tipping police off to social media posts with the latest whereabouts and actions of demonstrators. COC Sr. Campaign Director Brandi Collins-Dexter says, “We know that law enforcement agencies spend a breathtaking amount of money to aggressively track, target, and surveil Black communities. Twitter can’t have it both ways, courting Black activists and marketing themselves as the preeminent tool for organizing against injustice, while turning a blind eye to companies contracting with them for surveillance.”