For years, we’ve wondered why Google, Facebook, and Twitter won’t stop promoting the kinds of conspiracy theories that led to the attack on the Capitol. The reason? Their platforms are built to foster engagement and growth--at ALL costs. It's time for legislation.
It's clear: the police charged with securing the U.S. Capitol Complex allowed white supremacists to run wild through the halls of Congress, leading to 5 deaths and putting democracy at risk. Tell Congress to investigate, stat.
John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Police Union, has gone on record defending the Capitol rioters. There's no room in law enforcement for siding with violent acts of white supremacy. #FireCatanzara now!
Imagine being labeled a criminal because you survived abuse or got a “D” in school. Several Florida schools are doing just that, creating a secret list of children that might “fall into a life of crime” based on highly sensitive information and sharing it with police. It has to stop.
Black businesses need our support, this year especially as they struggle to survive COVID-19. That's why Color Of Change is releasing a greenbook of businesses we love. Submit a Black business in your town today.
Two years ago we partnered with Ron Brown High on our voter initiative. Since then students have registered voters, done service learning, and spent hours talking to Black voters. Now you have the chance to keep the young men there learning and smiling.
Tell Speaker Pelosi we need more. Folks are hurting. The pandemic has exposed glaring inequalities as millions of Black, disabled, and low-income workers have been furloughed, laid off, and given just $1,200 to weather this crisis.
After 5 years trying to get Mark Zuckerberg to stop hate online, Facebook is still allowing white nationalist groups to recruit new members and incite violence. Finally they've suspended Trump, but only until the end of his term.
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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Voting & Democracy
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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Voting & Democracy
US Olympic Committee Will End Sanctions Against Athletes Who Protest
Color Of Change members have long supported trailblazing Olympians in their fight to dismantle racist, oppressive policies that silence Black athletes. So we applaud the decision by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to no longer punish American athletes who raise their fists or kneel on the metals stand in protest. We previously met with the committee’s staff, sent them letters, launched a campaign, and sponsored Gwen Berry who lost corporate sponsors because of her activism. The Olympic Committee’s move to support and empower athlete activists marks an important marker towards justice and equality within sports.
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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 President Rashad Robinson is quoted in this article about why big tech still remains so white and so reluctant to deal with the human rights repercussions of its work. Time and again, we see an industry whose products and working conditions contradict the industry rhetoric about changing the world for the better. Too often, experts say, workers from underrepresented groups, regardless of their numbers, aren’t in positions to effect real change at tech companies and face enormous structural barriers in trying to rise to the upper ranks. It’s not enough to just “have the right people in the room,” he says. “If we end up with diversity for diversity’s sake, that doesn’t actually change the nuances, the structures, the contours, and in particular, the rules.”
This year’s elections show that that the deep, foundational biases of our democracy have come back to haunt us—again. In this conversation about representation, the electoral college, and how our votes get counted, Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson how barriers to casting and counting the votes of Black Americans have been “baked in” to our political system. “The majority of Americans and went to the polls and did not want Donald Trump to be president. And they elected someone that they do not necessarily love to get rid of Trump.” He says the electoral college was specifically designed to prioritize slaveowners in the South. “What Black people have had to do is win races with our hands tied behind our backs.”
This summer, the Recording Academy gave Color Of Change $1M, asking for their help in addressing racism and inequity in the music industry. Their solution is #ChangeMusic, a roadmap records labels, studios, production and promotion agencies can use to address a history of exploitation and devaluing Black people’s contributions. COC President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “In a year of uprising, sickness, and distance, music has been both a healing force and a call to action. It’s helped us process our pain and drive social change. This moment offers an unparalleled opportunity to take action… the music industry must tear down the barriers that have been up for far too long. #ChangeMusic is our first step.”
Forbes features Rashad Robinson as an innovative leader working to dismantle racism by tackling it from all directions. Going into the elections, Color Of Change stepped up efforts to stop voter suppression and reaffirm the right to vote. But in a year when economic and social inequalities between white and Black people gained global attention, the organization has been seizing the moment and building power for Black people in nearly every area from corporate accountability and economic relief during COVID-19 to how police are portrayed and racism is often rendered invisible on TV.
In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, nearly every major corporation pledged their commitment to solving racial inequity. But what can they really do? Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says it’s important to fix the systems that exclude Black people rather than trying to blame or change people. The most productive areas to focus on are: hiring, promotions, and performance reviews that influence career mobility; equity in who gets to represent the company externally; and investing resources in accountability.
Congress says it wanted the US Small Business Administration to ensure that PPP loans prioritized small businesses in “underserved” markets, meaning low-income communities, rural areas and businesses owned by people of color, women and veterans. But by time it told lenders that, nearly all the loans had been issued. A survey by Color Of Change and UnidosUS found Black and Hispanic business owners were often denied help, and many feared their firms would not last the year. COC’s Vice President Arisha Hatch is quoted, “Instead of providing desperately needed relief to qualifying small businesses, the PPP propped up so many barriers and reinforced so many racial inequities.”