Communities know what keeps them safe — and it’s not police. This is what public safety could and should look like. Read our guide on how the federal government can advance community safety with evidence-based policies we developed with Civil Rights Corps and Vera Action.
31-year-old Keenan Anderson, a father and schoolteacher, died after being needlessly tased by LAPD. Keenan flagged down police after a minor traffic accident and was treated like a criminal. He was held face down on the asphalt, and repeatedly tased as he begged for his life. He went into cardiac arrest and died. We're fighting to restrict the use of Tasers and remove LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
For weeks, activists have occupied the site for Cop City in Weelaunee Forest to try to halt construction. On Jan. 18, GA state police shot and killed one of them. As the movement against Cop City's grown, police have become violent with protesters. It's time corporations like Target, Wells Fargo, and Truist Bank pull their financial support of the project through the Atlanta Police Foundation.
The racial wage gap has gotten worse since pandemic. Workers at Applebee’s in New York, Alabama and Illinois are demanding the restaurant chain pay workers at locations in non-white neighborhoods what they pay workers in predominantly white ones. All workers deserve safe working conditions and a livable wage.
A National Institute of Environmental Health study shows chemical hair straighteners increase the risk of uterine cancer. Lye-based relaxers contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that trigger breast cancer too. Black hair care products are killing women. But companies won't change their ingredients without pressure from big retailers!
Within hours of Musk taking over Twitter, use of the n-word rose skyrocketed. Musk has supported restoring Trump's account. We cannot trust him to protect users from hate, harassment and misinformation. GM and L'Oréal have suspended their advertising. Let's push Disney and Coca-Cola to follow suit!
We can create an Internet where Black people thrive. Check out the Black Tech Agenda — a roadmap for racial equity in tech regulation. Big Tech has chased profits no matter the cos: cyber-bullying, misinformation, real world violence to Brown and Black people. But these 6 principles lay the groundwork for accountability.
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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Twitter Adds Protections Based on Race & Ethnicity to Its Content Policy
In another win towards stopping the spread of hate online, Twitter announced it will expand its “dehumanization content policy” to protect people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, and caste. This move reflects the power of Color Of Change members and the Change the Terms coalition, which met with Twitter executives in 2018 and have been pushing the company to take a stronger stance since. It’s a huge step towards protecting Black social media users and getting rid of racist and violence-inciting tweets. Until now, Twitter has been slow to reign in far-right extremists, letting misinformation around the elections to spread. Going forward our focus will be on ensuring that Twitter enforces the new policy. Examples of the kind of content that will now be banned can be found here.
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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.
Many of the same corporations trumpeting support for Black lives are duplicitously bankrolling police violence through little-known but powerful police foundations, a new Color Of Change and LittleSis report revealed. The report highlights financial ties between police foundations and 55 Fortune 500 firms. It notes, “There is a police foundation in nearly every major American city, behind almost every police department, backed by wealthy donors and giant multinational corporations. In 2020, many police foundations’ top corporate sponsors made public statements in support of Black Lives Matter while providing a corporate slush fund for police.” COC President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “Only cutting ties with police foundations will show that corporate leaders are serious about protecting Black lives and bringing our police departments into the 21st century… We cannot let corporations talk about ‘Black lives’ on their Twitter feeds while also funding police violence on our streets.”
Criminal justice reform experts are hopeful that if Texas governor Greg Abbott approves a pardon request for George Floyd’s decades old drug charges, it will send a message about the prejudices of a system that disproportionately incarcerates Black and Latino people. At the murder trial, Derek Chauvin’s defense lawyers tried to portray Floyd’s history of drug use as the cause of his death or a justification for the violence inflicted upon him — a common tactic in police defenses. Color Of Change’s Sr Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns Scott Roberts is quoted. “Like many other Black people who are killed by police, George Floyd’s character was tarnished by rightwing media, who used his past conviction record as a way to indict him for his own murder.” Floyd’s 2004 arrest and conviction have come under scrutiny as the undercover officer involved has himself been charged with murder and drug trafficking in Houston. “It will hopefully bring more attention and scrutiny to the miscarriages of justice that play out daily in our communities, police stations, and court rooms.”
The Senate filibuster is the biggest obstacle to passing legislation on a wide range of issues Biden promised to address from immigration, police reform and voting rights to gun control and raising the minimum wage. Groups that helped mobilize the massive turnout in 2020 warn that failing to overturn the filibuster will have disastrous consequences. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says, “Is it going to be our job to go out and to explain to people, ‘Hey, we know you turned out in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic… You put your health on the line… You overcame all sorts of voter suppression tactics, and now let me tell you why none of those things actually happened that you thought you were promised: it’s this thing called the filibuster’ … Democrats are making a huge miscalculation if they think that folks are going to continue to put rocks on their backs and climb uphill if the Democrats are not willing to do the work to undo Jim Crow rules that time and again have been used to stall progress.”
Last week, the bipartisan talks around the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act ended without a deal as both sides came to an impasse over qualified immunity. Bridgett Floyd said she could barely find the words to describe her disappointment in lawmakers for failing to pass sweeping reforms bearing her brother’s name. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson said he’s unsurprised talks broke down in a “filibuster environment” designed to block civil rights laws. Voters of color turned out in record numbers last year to elect Democrats he says, and they are being let down. “It’s unacceptable that our leaders continue to fail to deliver. Democrats got the majority and they can’t keep telling our community to put aside our safety, our dignity, our humanity in the face of unchecked violent policing.”
The investigation into the death of Long Island native Gabby Petito hits close to home for families of still missing loved ones. National media coverage and tips were a huge help in the investigation; now many are asking why the same kind of attention is rarely if ever given to missing people of color. The disparity in national news coverage of missing persons based on race is dramatic. It’s another example of how Black lives simply are not valued. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson talks about how poor representation on TV shows play into the problem. “We produced a report called ‘Normalizing Injustice’ … and talked to writers and producers, they felt like people would turn off the TV if the victim was a black woman.” It’s a wake-up call, he says, for the media to take a look at their own biases, which have a real effect on safety in communities of color.
#ChangeHollywood just released a writer’s room database of experts and anti-racist trainer directory — resources aimed at helping the industry fulfill all the pledges it made during last year’s racial justice protests. The idea is to connect execs in Hollywood with those who can effect change. The writer’s room database connects producers with experts who can pave the way for more authentic and humanizing portrayals of Black people. They are all people with deep first-hand knowledge of things like law enforcement and issues impacting Black people. The directory is aimed at taking diversity training — an $8 billion-a-year industry — to the next level by offering companies a list of vetted firms that understand how to spur organizational change.