George Floyd’s Killing Started a Movement. 9 Months Later, What’s Changed?

George Floyd’s legacy will determine which America the next generation grows up in: one where record numbers of voters elect a Black woman to the White House or one where Breonna Taylor’s killer doesn’t face trial, but the officer who shot her neighbors’ wall does. As jury selection begins for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the House is set to vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It would ban chokeholds, end racial and religious profiling, eliminate qualified immunity for cops and mandate data collection on police encounters. Erika Maye, Color Of Change’s Deputy Dir. of Criminal Justice says, “It was really heartbreaking to see just how little progress was made to the point where a police officer could kneel on someone for almost 9 minutes, with people videotaping—and they could see folks filming them, with the whole world watching and not care.”

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IMG, Joan Smalls, Black In Fashion Council Join Forces with Color Of Change for #ChangeFashion

#ChangeFashion invites companies to take responsibility for their impact on the world and provides concrete steps that will ensure the industry is working toward racial justice. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted: “Fighting racism can’t just be the trend of the season. And there are two fronts to the fight: ending the longstanding discrimination and mistreatment of Black creators and other professionals working across the industry and ending the longstanding pattern of misrepresenting Black bodies and diminishing Black lives, which perpetuates the dehumanization of Black people in society at large. Color Of Change is proud to work in partnership with any organization that is serious about doing what it takes to drive real change.”

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Law Enforcement Diversity May Improve Policing, Study Shows

Goerge Floyd’s murder by MNPD led to widespread protests and calls for reform, including hiring more non-white and female officers. But there was little research to back up the idea, until now. In a study on 3M Chicago PD assignments, researchers found Black and Hispanic officers made far fewer arrests and used force less often—especially against Black people. Erika Maye, Color Of Change’s Deputy Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns, eschews the notion that hiring more BIPOC cops is the answer. “Police violence is not an issue of representation. To really protect Black lives, we feel we really need to upend the current policing system.” And invest in healthcare, education, and job training in Black communities.

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Most Black Voters Support Eliminating Student Loan Debt, New Survey Finds

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.”

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Activists Chart Course for Black America’s Progress After a Year of Turmoil

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.”

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Color of Change’s Essential Black History Month Reading List

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.

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