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.
Twitter Clamps Down on Theory that “Black People Can’t Get COVID-19”
Color of Change persuaded leaders at Twitter to adopt new policies to ensure the accuracy of COVID-19 information on the site after Blue-check users were posting dangerous (and scientifically debunked rumors) that Black people were immune to the virus or would recover quickly if they caught it. This misinformation was getting thousands of retweets. COC Campaign Director Brandi Collins-Dexter explains, ”tech companies must assume responsibility for the content on their platforms. Not only does our democracy depend on it, but now our safety does too.” After we called them out, Twitter pulled the tweets and agreed to review the accounts of those spreading these lies to better protect people of color.
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Preserving Access to Healthy Food for Black in the Pandemic
Black people disproportionately live in “food deserts” where healthy produce and meat are hard to come by. And during the pandemic, getting access to safe high-quality food is even harder though it’s one of the best ways to stay healthy. After a Color Of Change member in Los Angeles launched a campaign on OrganizeFor, Capri Retail Services agreed to reopen its Crenshaw Farmers Market, serving a Black neighborhood without many other good options.
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Amazon and Barnes and Noble to Vet COVID-19 Info
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that tech companies and content producers hold themselves to high standards around the accuracy of the information they’re spreading. Companies initially let rumors proliferate about the virus, from the idea that Black people can’t catch COVID-19 to the lie that drinking bleach will cure you. These were endangering Black people’s lives, so Color Of Change members took a stand and successfully pressed booksellers Amazon and Barnes and Noble to take down misleading materials from their sites and vet all COVID-19 information going forward.
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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.
Color Of Change’s newest survey shows Black voters consider student loan debt forgiveness crucial to addressing racism and inequality. 9 in 10 Black women support some form of debt forgiveness; 5 in 10 support total loan forgiveness. 40% of Black people say they wouldn’t vote for someone who opposes it. Color Of Change Vice President Arisha Hatch is quoted, “The elimination of student loan debt is incredibly related to the eradication of racial wealth disparities. It is impossible to talk about an economic justice agenda that doesn’t include… how Black people in this country are indebted in ways that require them to not realize their dreams, or to stay in discriminatory workplace situations.”
Despite a slew of promises from politicians following massive racial justice uprisings, activists say leaders need to prove they are accountable and make changes that benefit Black and Brown communities. Years of Black grassroots organizing led to record-breaking Black voter turnout in 2020 that propelled Biden and Harris to victory and overturned Georgia’s seats to flip the U.S. Senate. Color Of Change’s Vice President Arisha Hatch is quoted. “The win unlocks the full possibility of the restorative and transformational agenda that Black voters and organizers worked for in November. This improbable and hard-won victory will allow President-elect Biden to pursue the agenda he laid forth in his victory speech, one that centers the needs of Black communities.”
Color Of Change’s President and Vice President Rashad Robinson and Arisha Hatch, two of the moment’s most powerful civil rights leaders, tell us what they’re reading. In recent years, the two have pressed Hollywood studios to diversify their writers rooms, pushed for banks to stop processing payments from hate groups, and helped launch a prominent ad boycott of Facebook last summer for not doing enough to limit hate speech. With an eye toward creating lasting, structural change in America, they hold businesses accountable for the consequences of their products and where they put their money. Here are their book recommendations for understanding how to create change today.
Color Of Change’s reporting on Hollywood — where 91% of showrunners are white and 80% are male — is cited in this article on how the film, TV, and music are still held back by largely white (and often close-minded) gatekeepers. Emily in Paris writer Deborah Copaken says the fact that her show was nominated for a Golden Globe for best comedy while I May Destroy You was passed over completely for nominations reveals “what is wrong with everything.” After a year of uprisings for racial justice, it turns out, when it comes to our cultural industries, America still has a long way to go. She asks: when we will start giving awards to shows that deserve them, no matter the color of the skin of their creators?
While Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008 with explicit advice from his inner circle to downplay anything “that might be labeled racial grievance” or would emphasize him as a “the Black candidate,” things are different now. A dozen years later, Kamala Harris is able to lean harder into her public identity as a Black woman taking her place as second-in-command in an administration that has made closing the racial wealth gap one of its policy pillars. Color Of Change Chief of Campaigns Arisha Hatch is quoted. “Both of them are candidates that act as translators on race. We’re just in a different place as a country.” Democrats have realized they would not have won the presidency or control of Congress without the high turnout among Black voters and Black women in particular.
Truthout republished this investigation by the Center for Public Integrity citing Color Of Change’s survey on the Paycheck Protection Program. The program, intended as pandemic relief for small businesses, never reached most minority-owned businesses. Entrepreneurs say the process felt Byzantine and inequitable. Most loans went to businesses in communities that already had access to resources according to the Center for Public Integrity. Meanwhile Black-, Brown-, women-owned businesses and those in lower income communities have gone under or hover on the verge of bankruptcy. COC Vice President Arisha Hatch is quoted. “We believe that instead of providing desperately needed relief to qualifying small businesses, the PPP propped up so many barriers and reinforced so many racial inequities.”