The Supreme Court continues to erode our rights and protections, like the gutting loss of Roe v. Wade last year. Now financial connections to conservative donors and activists have surfaced. It's time Congress include more voices on the Court and increase the number of justices.
Recently 40 protestors have been charged with domestic terrorism for opposing the $90M police training facility known as Cop City. Three face “felony intimidation of an officer" for placing flyers on mailboxes, and dozens sit in jail on trumped-up charges. Demand DA Sherry Boston drop the charges against them.
Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old high school star, was shot in Kansas City. While picking up his siblings from their friends’ house, he accidentally went to the wrong house and rang the bell. He was met by bullets, shot in the head, and suffered serious injuries before being helped by neighbors who found him in the street. It's time to repeal Missouri's Stand Your Ground law.
A 30-year-old unhoused Black man was killed on the subway. After he started experiencing a mental health breakdown, a white vigilante put a chokehold on him for 15 min, killing him. Despite this violence in broad daylight, media outlets are echoing police language, treating him like a suspect rather than asking why the NYPD isn't pressing charges.
There is no war on the police. Yet Congress is going out of its way to protect police officers, giving them the same protections federal hate crime laws use to protect marginalized groups. We need Congress to focus on the real issues and to promote policies to keep our communities safe.
The Community Safety Legislative Agenda outlines solutions that invest in people and communities — not police and prisons — to keep us safe. It includes the Break The Cycle of Violence Act for violence intervention, and the Mental Health Justice Act, to dispatch mental health professionals to respond to people in crisis.
Toyota Pulls Funding from Congressmembers Behind the Attack on Capitol
On January 6, 2021, hundreds of armed white nationalists burst through the doors of the Capitol while Congress was in session, threatening to kill people inside. In the wake of the insurrection, we called on dozens of corporations to stop funding crooked Congress members. We launched InsurrectionIncorporated.com, pressuring Toyota, Cigna, AT&T to stop donating to those undermining our democracy. After hundreds of Color Of Change PAC members called Toyota execs, Toyota agreed! Elected officials inciting the insurrection will NOT be allowed to hide behind their Congressional titles. And we continue to hold companies like Cigna, Intel, and JetBlue accountable for supporting those who voted against certifying the 2020 election results and are trying to disenfranchise Black voters today. This is how we protect democracy.
social list opener
Color Of Change Helps Athlete & Activist Gwen Berry Attract New Sponsors
All of Gwen Berry’s corporate sponsors dropped her after she boldly raised her fist in protest at the 2019 Pan American Games. Time and again, we’ve seen Black athletes unfairly punished for using their voice to stand up for justice. Color Of Change stepped in to sponsor Berry. We were also part of a successful campaign to get the U.S. Olympic Committee to reverse course and allow athletes to wear armbands, raise their fists, or kneel on the podium to express their political beliefs. Now we’ve persuaded AirBNB and Puma to sponsor Berry as well, which means she’ll have the proper support to succeed going into the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, we continue to demand that the International Olympic Committee drop Rule 50, and calling on major athletic companies like Nike to join us.
social list opener
Olympic Athletes Can Now Take a Stand for Justice
Color Of Change has long supported trailblazing Olympians in their fight to dismantle oppressive policies that silence Black athletes. So we applaud the decision by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to allow political expression like raised fists and kneeling during the anthem in Tokyo this summer. We met with the committee staff, sent letters, launched a campaign — and now athletes can don phrases like “Black Lives Matter” “equality” and “justice.” In 2016, we stood up for Colin Kaepernick taking a knee. Today we're asking corporate sponsors to stand with Gwen Berry, the Pan-American gold medalist who was abandoned by sponsors and lost 80% of her income after she raised her fist on the awards podium. And we'll keep fighting for Black athletes’ right to raise their voices without sacrificing their careers — demanding the International Olympic Committee drop Rule 50, the rule punishing athletes for speaking out. This is an important marker towards justice and equality within sports.
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.
A recent shooting in New York City’s subways has re-sparked the debate over the effectiveness of more law enforcement when it comes to preventing violence and crime in the city. NYC Mayor Eric Adams — a former police officer who campaigned on a law-and-order platform — has unsurprisingly pledged to double the number of police in subways. But Color Of Change’s Director of Criminal Justice Scott Roberts questions this approach and the dangers it poses to Black and Brown New Yorkers. “Any time we see an act of violence that draws this much attention, we often see a doubling down in security culture. We’re addicted to that as a country. It makes us feel calm for the moment. What’s frightening is we know the ramifications are going to impact the communities that are already over-policed.”
Former President Barack Obama gave a historic speech on the challenges to democracy by misinformation on the Internet at Stanford University. He said regulators and the public need more transparency around how the ranking systems and algorithms at large tech companies worked, and that financial incentives are still too strongly weighted towards profit above everything else. “On an issue of enormous importance there has been little public debate and practically no government oversight,” Obama said. Panelist Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, agreed especially when it comes to the grip that companies like Facebook and Twitter over the public discourse. He is quoted, “It’s not that rich people have influence over the public square. It’s that they own the public square.”
Millions cheered as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman and first public defender to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her confirmation was hailed by Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change. “Her perspective as a public defender has long been missing from the court as has her real-world experience addressing racial injustices in sentencing. We must redouble our commitment to redefining the role of judges and prosecutors—to ensure they serve the people rather than corrupt interests and they end racial injustice rather than exacerbating it.” He added, “We must also remember that Black activism—and Black voters—brought us to this long-awaited moment. They made President Biden promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court, and they made him keep that promise.”
Alopecia is getting growing recognition following the now infamous Academy Awards where Will Smith went onstage and slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s baldness. One type, called “hot comb alopecia,” mostly affects Black women and is a result over-manipulating one’s hair, often to look the part at work and get promoted in corporate America. Color Of Change’s Vice President Arisha Hatch is quoted on how hair discrimination and standards that judge women who wear their hair naturally have got to go. “Every day, Black folks suffering from alopecia and baldness are being robbed of employment opportunities, education, and dignity because employers and institutions can cloak their racism in dress code policies and vague concepts like ‘professionalism’ that were designed to shut us out.” That’s why Color Of Change is working to pass the CROWN Act.
The Supreme Court recently accepted two cases to review and potentially restrict affirmative action at colleges and universities. Precisely as young people of color will become most of the nation’s high school graduates, the court’s conservative majority may hobble efforts to increase their representation in elite higher education institutions. With the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Court, the demographic divisions between the two blocs on the court will more closely resemble the divide between the groups of Americans likely to gain, and lose, from the court’s rulings. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson remarks, “We will have this very clear visual of a group of white people trying to rip away rights from Black and Brown people while sitting across from Black and Brown people with more qualifications than them. It will be the kind of images we have seen in our civil rights movies and books,” he says, adding it’s the same history they’re trying to ban through laws restricting how school teachers can discuss racial discrimination.
Racial justice leaders lauded this week’s passage of long overdue legislation making lynching a federal hate crime. But more needs to be done on issues that continue to plague Black and Brown neighborhoods from police brutality to attacks on voting rights. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “It’s important to ensure that we put this legislation in place and that it’s enforced. At the same time, it’s important that we continue to work to deal with all the ways that anti-Black racism shows up, from police violence to the ways in which our votes and ability to express ourselves in a democracy are being stolen…. Lynching wasn’t just a tool of violence. It was a tool of terror to suppress our will and our ability to engage.” Southern Democrats repeatedly used the filibuster, for example, to thwart anti-lynching legislation and many opportunities for progress.