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.
More than 100 dangerous anti-protest bills have circulated this country since the uprisings for racial justice two summers ago. Some of these egregious bills would make it easier to punish and criminalize protestors, cutting them off from public benefits. Others would grant immunity to people who are violent towards protestors, and do things like ram their cars into crowds. With your help, we beat back two anti-democracy bills in Wisconsin, convincing the governor to veto them. But there’s dozen of others making their way around state legislatures. That’s why Color Of Change is pressing the Department of Justice to condemn these laws and assert your right to stand up for what’s right. These bills are meant to scare people out of protesting, and encourage the type of vigilante violence we saw from Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha. We can’t let them pass.
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Kendrick Fulton Is Now Free!
Thanks to more than 35,000 Color Of Change members who spoke up, Kendrick Fulton has been released from jail. But he needs clemency to stay out. Kendrick was on home confinement when he temporarily lost his housing. After two years reconnecting with his children, getting a promotion at work, going to church, and giving back, his progress was suddenly pulled away. We are thrilled Kendrick is free now and will keep fighting for the thousands of people on home confinement and living under the threat of being sent back on minor, cruel technicalities. Everyone on home confinement has already been heavily vetted for a safe release. President Biden has the power to grant them clemency and turn the cycle of incarceration around. And what we’ve witnessed during pandemic is that people always do better at home, surrounded by community.
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Gwen Levi Released on Home Confinement!
Gwen Levi is a 76-year old cancer survivor, grandmother, and Black woman. She is one of thousands who were deemed high risk for COVID-19, and released from prison in 2020 to finish their sentences at home. Recently, she was sent back to prison after missing a phone call from her case manager while attending a computer skills class. In just 4 days, 50k Color of Change members signed a petition calling for her release. Thanks to this public outcry, and the work of her legal team, Ms. Levi was just sent home on compassionate release – which means she is truly free and back with her family, including her 94-year old mother who she helps take care of. Meanwhile we continue to fight for clemency for the 4,000 elders under home confinement who risk being re-incarcerated on a technicality like Ms. Levi, or when the pandemic is declared over.
social list opener
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.
After Tyre Nichols was brutally beaten by police, people are asking whether diversity in policing helps. Five of the officers charged in Trye’s death are Black. A sixth is white. Many say the problem isn’t a handful of racist individuals but systemic racism in policing. Communities of color are over-policed, people of color more likely to be killed, and police training encourages violence. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “If we don’t change the structures — the incentive structure, the accountability structure, the consequence structure, the role [of policing] in communities — it doesn’t matter how much diversity we have. How do we make investments in mental health, community-based violence prevention programs, de-escalation? The communities we know are safe communities are not the communities with a lot of police.”
People across the country are reeling at the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe — and what it will mean for women’s rights, privacy, and access to healthcare, especially in conservative states. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “The court has no right to coerce Black people into parenting, especially given America’s long history of criminalizing Black bodies and communities. Black people, already profoundly impacted by abortion bans and disproportionately criminalized by the legal system, are sure to face the harshest levels of prosecution following today’s decision.” He continued, “Black people’s lives are at stake. Nothing will stop us from fighting for our freedom and continuing to build power for ourselves and our families.”
This week marked the second anniversary of Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, which sparked global protests and a racial justice reckoning. Floyd’s murder has taken a heavy toll on the emotional and mental health of Black communities. Just 1 in 3 Black Americans who need mental health help receives it and Black adults living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to report serious psychological distress. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted. “In Buffalo, we see people that look like our family and we’re forced to grapple with that… Having to take care of yourself, dealing with the trauma, and then thinking about how to engage in the path forward is work that we’ve had to do for generations,” he said. “And it is work that is stressful and tiring.”
Civil rights groups including Color Of Change, Black Voters Matter, and Human Rights Watch are pressing President Biden to use his executive authority to form a federal commission to study and develop reparations proposals for African Americans. Legislation calling for similar action has been stalled in Congress for a year. Republicans’ stranglehold on the Senate and looming midterms make it almost impossible Democrats will pass legislation this session. The coalition wrote to Biden, “Juneteenth is an important opportunity to commemorate the end of enslavement while recognizing much more needs to be done to create equity. The racial wealth gap remains vast, with white households having a median of $188,200 and Black households $24,100, a vestige of the legacy of enslavement—and the failure to address the exploitation, segregation, and violence unleashed on Black people that followed.”
As the racial justice uprisings of 2020 becomes part of our culture, there’s a growing business in Hollywood — consultants who help studios make sure their movies don’t raise racist red flags. In recent years, entertainment execs have given promised diversity, but are still routinely fall short. Nonprofits including Color Of Change have experts hired to review everything from casting decisions and what characters get real depth and screen time to exposing racist or sexist tropes. COC President Rashad Robinson says bringing in outside consultants is great, but it’s not a substitute for true structural change in Hollywood. “This doesn’t change the rules with who gets to produce content and who gets to make the final decisions of what gets on the air. Across the entertainment industry there is still a problem in terms of not enough Black and brown people with power in the executive ranks.”
Video shows Patrick Lyoya disobeyed an officer during an April 4 traffic stop, tried to run, then wrestled with the officer over his Taser before the officer fatally shot him in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For a number of Black men and women, actions perceived as resisting arrest during minor traffic stops lead to their deaths. Color Of Change’s Sr. Director of Criminal Justice Scott Roberts is quoted. “Looking at police culture, there is pushback on the notion that policing is rooted in white supremacy and has been a tool of white supremacy. And so there is a kind of denial of why Black people would have that fear. You’ve already criminalized the person when you’re making a pre-textual stop. Your assumption is going to be that this is only a confirmation of their guilt, that fear.” Roberts added that these dynamics have increasingly led cities, prosecutors, and police to enact policies to end stops for minor infractions.