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.
A few days before a pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol, Stripe processed $100,000 in donations to the Proud Boys, the white nationalist group Trump gave a shout-out to on live TV during the debates. Stripe put profit over public safety – funneling money to the group that funded interstate travel, tactical gear, and legal expenses. But after tens of thousands of Color Of Change members took action, Stripe decided to permanently suspend donations to the Proud Boys and indefinitely ban all accounts affiliated with the hate group. Our No Blood Money campaign to stop financial companies from profiting off of hate continues as we make sure Stripe keeps its promise to working with violent hate groups and GiveSendGo, the fundraising site used by white nationalists like Kyle Rittenhouse and Officer Derek Chauvin.
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Social Media Sites Ban Trump
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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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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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 Senate made history today when it confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. After 233 years, she is the first Black woman to ever serve on the nation’s highest court. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “We have to remember that Black activism and Black voters did brought us this long-awaited moment. We demanded representation and not just in gender and race but in perspective, values and experience.” He says Jackson raises the bar for what voters should expect from the court, and her confirmation process is an indication of how he thinks Republicans will speak about Black and Brown people in the midterm elections.
Color of Change was one of four groups honored at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards which bring together leaders in fashion and film to celebrate a new wave of sustainability in Hollywood. Rashad Robinson accepted the award on behalf of Color Change’s racial justice work for economic inclusivity in Hollywood and for financial equality for Black people in America. The honorees were all selected for representing different pillars of sustainability: environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically inclusive. In the past two years, Color Of Change launched #ChangeHollywood and #ChangeFashion to advance the struggle for equity for Black creators.
What has the federal government done to address violent and racist policing since George Floyd was killed two years ago? With Biden halting a proposed policing order, which itself was a seriously scaled down plan B after failing to get enough votes to pass the George Floyd Act, Trump’s modest changes are the most significant federal policing moves we’ve seen. Under Trump’s order, police agencies must have specific policies on the use of force to receive certain federal grants. Advocates who were promised sweeping reforms are frustrated. Color Of Change’s Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns Scott Roberts explains, “Trump’s order is not significant in and of itself, but it exposes how little Biden has done to deliver on his promises around this issue, and how quickly his administration has pivoted away from this movement for police reform that helped sweep them into office.” Many believe without the mass protests that galvanized millions of Black voters, Biden would not necessarily have won in 2020.
For decades, hair has affected how Black women are treated at work and in corporate America, as Black women regularly report being discriminated against for afros, braids, Bantu knots, and locs. Color Of Change’s Jade Magnus Ogunnaike started focusing on schools when she learned students were being punished for wearing natural hair. Then she targeted massive corporations . “Companies that ran franchises said that it was up to the franchise owners to decide on hair policies. These companies, like Walmart and McDonald’s, want to advertise to Black consumers but won’t create protections for Black employees.” She added, “Black women have spent millions of dollars and time over centuries trying to conceal our natural hair, giving into anti-Black agencies.”
As Judge Jackson solidifies her bid to become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, Democrats are still debating how to talk about race in America. It’s a subject many would rather avoid—given their response to Jackson’s rough treatment during her confirmation hearings. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “When issues of race come up, Democrats get scared.” He said President Biden and Senate Democrats should have condemned Republicans’ racist attacks against Jackson. “The White House has to engage on these fights. Republicans will weaponize race and racism to achieve their goals, but Democrats don’t elevate racial justice.”
Alarmingly restrictive laws continue to proliferate as the red-state rollback on civil rights enters a new phase, symbolized by Florida’s passage of the “Don’t Say ‘Gay’” bill. The Biden administration is leaning into the fight, but business leaders are retreating. Prominent companies that tout diversity and inclusion–like Disney–have stood aside as laws that restrict voting access, curtail abortion and LGBTQ rights, and limit teachers discussing social issues in schools advance. COC President Rashad Robinson is quoted, saying the willingness of companies to stand up to restrictive voting bills or efforts to ban discussing race in school is “absolutely abysmal. They are not willing to put their hand on the scale to stop the removal of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks from our public schools.” Big companies want to go only so far in fighting these proposals, because they prefer Republicans to control state governments and deliver the low-tax, light-regulation policies.