16 years after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Ida struck, leaving thousands of people stranded and facing more than a month in their homes without power. We're calling on hotels to house hurricane survivors for free. Moments like these show which companies really care about Black lives.
On August 13, Kayla Bolden partnered with Twitch on “Stand Up To Cancer,” an event to raise money for cancer research. Twice, 400 bots dropped in and bombarded Kayla with racist slurs. And Twitch did nothing to stop it. It's time for Twitch to do better.
For too long, Black people have been trapped in lifelong, impossible-to-repay student loans. The Chair of the House Committee on Education has a responsibility to “build an America where everyone can succeed.” Tell him it's time to eliminate student debt.
Join us in calling on Congress to pass the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, which includes $5B for gun violence prevention. Poverty produces violence, and over-policing Black communities only increases violence. It's time to try something new.
Police unions are one of our biggest roadblocks to reform. SB 710 would require prosecutors who've taken donations from police unions to recuse themselves from cases involving cops. It's a crucial step towards real justice.
Last summer, Google pledged its support for Black people. Instead, they've blocked companies from using “Black Lives Matter” to tag videos while allowing ads on content tagged "White Power” or “White Lives Matter.” This is heinous. It's time for an audit of how Google's policies and practices affect Black people.
In Pasco County, Florida we're fighting to protect Black and Brown students from police surveillance. Help us shut down programs targeting children and stop law enforcement from accessing student info without consent.
Police officers in Nassau County, Long Island can now sue people for harassment without proof -- retaliation for last year’s protests, and an attempt to silence those who speak out against racial injustice. But we won’t be silenced. Let's stop this bill before it's signed into law.
50,000 Color Of Change members spoke up and helped free Gwen Levi, a 76-year old grandmother and cancer survivor who was re-incarcerated after missing a phone call from her case manager. Let's free all elders on home confinement now.
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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Tampa’s District Attorney Drops Bogus Charges Against COC & BLM Organizers
This summer, Tampa’s Police Department systematically tried to intimidate and harass Black activists. On August 22, the sheriff violently arrested a Color Of Change organizer in her home and arrested 3 other organizers – all on trumped-up, bogus charges. This was clearly meant to instill fear in activists fighting for racial justice. These tactics are not unique to Tampa. We’ve seen local police and federal agents target protesters in Portland, New York, Chicago, and St. Louis too. 50,000 Color Of Change members joined our campaign to drop the prosecution of the protesters and fire the police chief. Less than 2 weeks later, the Hillsborough State Attorney dropped the charges. We hope it sends a signal to Tampa police that there will be consequences for harassing and intimidating Black protesters.
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Google Blocks Proud Boys’ Website & Online Store
We were all horrified when, on live TV during the presidential debates, President Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” instead of condemning white nationalists. But Color Of Change’s work to pressure tech companies to take responsibility for how their platforms are used is having an impact. Google quickly moved to get a Google Cloud Services customer to remove the Proud Boys’ site and online store – effectively cutting off the hate group from new money and potential members. They also worked with us when news broke about the Wolverine Watchmen, the group plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer. We cannot let domestic terrorists build power online. It’s time for tech companies to create systems to proactively root out racist, extremist behavior on their platforms, instead of waiting for groups like Color Of Change to call them out.
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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.
One year after uprisings for racial justice, Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is interviewed about whether business leaders’ commitment to Black people and social justice is standing the test of time. “Change was never going to happen overnight. So many of the corporations that spoke up have deep systemic challenges that can’t be solved with a tweet, a statement, a diversity committee.” Floyd’s murder changed Black Lives Matter from a controversial movement to a corporate mantra virtually overnight. Fortune 1000 companies poured billions of dollars into programs designed to address racism and hit new benchmarks on diversity. But it’ll take more than a year of funding to rectify racial wealth disparities in the US.
A new analysis of best picture nominees over the last seven years shows racial and gender representation on-screen and behind-the-camera hasn’t changed that much since a national conversation on diversity in Hollywood exploded. The numbers reveal that the Oscars are still so white — and predominantly male. The data exposes patterns of inequality and exclusion where, even today, many films nominated for Best Picture have no Black actors or actors of color in major roles. Black and Brown actors tend to only appear in significant numbers in films about people of color. Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, which started the #ChangeHollywood initiative, says this has to change. “When people are shut out from power and the ability to actually have power in terms of being able to tell their own stories, it has a major impact.”
The Chauvin trial was Minnesota’s first criminal case to be televised and livestreamed. Racial justice activists believe this is a key step towards accountability from our legal system – letting people see how a criminal trial works and the arguments used to undermine justice and blame Black victims. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson, who tweeted his analysis of each day’s proceedings, agrees. “We oftentimes just see the trial and we don’t have any video of the killing.” This time, “we saw the crime, and now we’re seeing the trial.” It’s especially important, he says, for the public to see arguments “being made on behalf of police officers… laws that incentivize police to kill us without accountability.”
Hollywood creatives took to Twitter weighing in on NBC’s refusal to air the 2022 Golden Globes because of the awards’ preference to bestow honors on white-led projects. Many praised the network’s decision as a step in the right direction. Ava DuVernay, who fearlessly explores racial inequality in films like “Selma” and “13th” and has been a champion of industry reform, thanked all of the creatives “who took a stand to make this so.” Color Of Change called the decision “a testament to the power” of their coalition. “We, along with the #TimesUp coalition, made our demands for the HFPA and Golden Globes clear. We also made it clear if they were not met, we expected NBC to keep their word about pushing the industry forward on race and diversity. The work to #ChangeHollywood continues: stay tuned for more.”
Color Of Change Vice President Arisha Hatch writes about how Biden’s backslide on student debt forgiveness is a major step backwards in fulfilling the pledges he made to Black voters during his campaign. “Student loan debt is not just a national economic issue—it is also a racial justice issue at its core.” Between the racial wealth gap, predatory lending practices, and Black families’ limited access to bank loans, Black students just don’t have the same access to high quality education. Color Of Change just released a survey that shows 84% of Black voters support eliminating student debt. 40% want Biden to make sure any student admitted to public college can finish without taking on loans.
The guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd is just the beginning of a long journey for officials to step up and enact real solutions that change the conditions Black people face at the hands of police, and move us towards true justice and reinvestment in our communities. Color Of Change is running campaigns to support the Department of Justice’s investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department’s practices, to fund non-policing public safety programs, and end qualified immunity once and for all.