AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon must stop amplifying the racist "replacement theory" that inspired the murder of 10 Black people in Buffalo. Nearly half of right-wing voters now believe it thanks to Fox News' Tucker Carlson, who sends racist lies into millions of homes each night, inspiring violence against our communities.
On May 14, a white nationalist murdered 10 Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo--livestreamed on Twitch. The fact that he was able to use Twitch to spread racist ideology and broadcast violence is the latest example of how the company fails to protect Black users. It's time #TwitchDoBetter and address white supremacy on its platform.
Amazon has an opportunity to do right by its workers, but continues to fall short. Under mounting pressure for a full racial equity audit, Amazon is punting. Their audit wouldn't examine whether Black workers are paid less or have limited opportunities for promotion -- or the health harms in Black and Brown neighborhoods where their warehouses are based.
On April 4, Patrick Lyoya was shot in the back of the head by a Grand Rapids MI police officer during a traffic stop. The bodycam footage shows his execution-style murder. Now officials have gone silent, refusing to share the name of the officer, who's been sent on paid leave. We will fight for Patrick.
Hair discrimination attacks the livelihood and economic vitality of Black women. This practice is racist, and it is real. Black women are frequently denied job opportunities and unfairly disciplined for wearing their natural hair. It's time for big corporations to take action.
Tracy McCarter is a Black mother and nurse from New York facing criminal charges for the death of her estranged husband. When he drunkenly attacked her, Tracy fought back. Though she called the police and gave him first aid 'til paramedics arrived, she was arrested and jailed at Rikers for 7 months. Let's get the DA to drop the charges.
In February, Texas's governor announced a directive to investigate parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming services for trans youth. There's a similar law brewing in Florida, but it can't go anywhere if prosecutors don't enforce it. Tell prosecutors to take a stand against criminalizing trans youth.
Already, 3 women have died from COVID-19 at Alderson this year. All 3 had preexisting conditions and had asked for compassionate release. The Bureau of Prisons has the power to let medically vulnerable people finish their sentences on home confinement so they don't have to risk their lives.
Conservatives are passing laws to erase Black history from our classrooms. Our teachers are under attack for telling the truth about our country's past. No one can remain silent. Join us in calling on publishers to commit to making sure their textbooks and curricula are accurate!
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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Incarcerated People Fighting Wildfires Finally Eligible for Jobs When They Get Out
For decades, our country has unfairly relied on prison labor — and nowhere is this more obvious than in California, where thousands of people behind bars help fight fires each fall, risking their lives for $1 an hour. In response to a Color Of Change campaign, California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed an order expunging felonies off firefighters' records. This means that people who fight fires while incarcerated can now join the firefighting ranks and build a real career based on their training and experience once they're out. It's high time we end discrimination against formerly incarcerated people, and stop erecting barriers to jobs, housing, and full participation in society. And we will continue our fight to make sure incarcerated firefighters are fully compensated and valued for their work.
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Rochester’s Police Chief Resigns as Quest for #JusticeforDaniel Continues
Our campaign seeking justice for Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old Black man in need of mental health help who was killed by cops in March is gathering steam. Rochester's police chief and deputy police chief both resigned after body camera footage was released showing what we all knew: Daniel should be alive today. For a week straight, organizers held protests and 77,000 COC members spoke out demanding the officers be fired, charged, and the city changes how it responds to mental health crises. Daniel's brother had called police for help, explaining he was a threat to no one but himself. Instead, they brutalized Daniel and knelt on his back 'til he couldn't breathe. We will not relent. Our quest for justice continues as we press Rochester’s mayor and city council to pass legislation that requires medical professionals — and not armed cops — to respond to medical calls.
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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.
On Twitch, viewers can participate in a live chat while a creator is streaming, and recently there’s been a lot of “hate raids,” where hundreds of automated bot accounts flood the chat with harassment and slurs. Creators who are Black, identify as LGBTQ, and have disabilities have been outspoken about the raids and Twitch’s failure to take action. Color Of Change will soon meet with leaders at Twitch to go over demands to make the platform a safer space for Black creators. Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, Sr. Director of Media, Culture and Economic Justice says, “The most important thing is that tech organizations have to do is build out civil rights infrastructure at their companies. You have to have a team who’s consistently evaluating and seeing problems before they can even happen. If Twitch had a team like this, they would have seen the possibility of hate raids coming on.”
Slate interviewed 7 powerhouse Black women from Team USA on the racism they’ve endured — and how they are pushing back to move professional sports forward. Gwen Berry set off a firestorm for raising her fist on the podium of the Pan American Games and is sponsored by Color Of Change. She says, “We can start off with the corporations because, you know, they were the ones donating the most money… I feel like we haven’t seen enough. The problem is people care when it’s relevant, but they will move on after 48 hours or after a month or two, they don’t care about the actual results. Now, the reason that I work with Color of Change is that they have literally been doing everything in their power to make sure we see some type of changes we’ve been advocating for.”
As part of its #ChangeMusic initiative, Color of Change is partnering with Diverse Representation to launch the Black Music Executives Pipeline Program to increase the number of Black executives in the industry. While nearly 50% of professionals artists are Black, less than 10% of music executives are. T change this, the Black Music Executives Pipeline Program will select 12 participants for a three-month training program that will provide them with the tools and resources needed to build a successful career later this year. Ryan Butler, DEI Director at the Recording Academy is quoted. “As leaders in the music industry, it is up to us to usher in a new age in vision and set a new tone.”
The Recording Academy announced next year’s Grammy Awards will be produced using an inclusion rider, an important step toward making the awards more diverse. An inclusion rider is a contractual requirement designed to ensure equity and inclusion at all levels of production. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson, who helped created the #ChangeMusic initiative and is promoting the new inclusion rider, is quoted. “There are a lot of unwritten rules in the entertainment industry that create racial exclusion, and at Color Of Change, we know that to change society you have to change the rules. This inclusion rider is a written rule that will change the culture of hiring at the Grammys, and will make inclusion the norm.”
After years of getting next to nowhere with Mark Zuckerberg, rights groups like Color Of Change and the Anti-Defamation League are shifting strategy – turning from corporate engagement toward legislation to stop hate and misinformation on social media. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says years of conversations haven’t led Facebook to make substantive changes, and there is “nothing worse than to go and beg a billionaire to stop hurting us.” So now advocates are increasingly pushing Congress and the Biden administration to force tech companies to take more aggressive steps to moderate their sites for bigotry, misinformation, voter suppression and discrimination, rather than pleading with the companies.
Alarmed by a wave of bills sweeping state legislatures and a Supreme Court decision many say will dismantle voting rights, Black women are taking courageous steps to fight back. Over four days of collective action, leaders held a town hall, rally, and protest on Capitol Hill. After being arrested and released, some of the women sat down with Vice President Kamala Harris about the “moral” and “spiritual” imperative to protect voting. Rep. Jackson Lee underscored that the filibuster was not part of the Constitution – and instead was created specifically to block equal rights and voting rights as far back as the 1800s. Color Of Change continues to lead a campaign to get rid of the filibuster, which has been invoked time and again to stop laws affirming the rights of Black and Brown people.