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.”
In the Media
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.”
A look inside Color Of Change Hollywood’s work going behind the scenes to work with TV writers and producers. One writers’ room at a time, the group is shifting how policing is portrayed on TV and pushing Hollywood to tell the truth about what Black people experience at the hands of law enforcement and our criminal justice system. “We’ve found that Black women, for instance, are rarely victims of violent crimes on cop shows, when we know that Black women are actually at a higher risk for violent crimes,” says Culture & Entertainment Advocacy Director Kristen Marston. Full article is at http://bit.ly/2WWfGbm
BBC Newsday interviews Scott Roberts, Color Of Change’s Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns, on unpaid, forced labor in US prisons. Nearly every US state makes millions of dollars off of prison labor, but a move is finally underway to outlaw the practice. Scott says of the slavery loophole, “Almost immediately after emancipation, this exception was used to basically continue the economy that had been built around slavery… In time, this has grown to be a massive industry.” Hear the full interview at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p090pddv
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Color Of Change’s Rashad Robinson Says Breonna Taylor Decision Is a “Wake-Up Call” to Hollywood
In this Q&A, Rashad Robinson says the grand jury’s decision and lack of justice for Breonna Taylor shows urgent work on narrative change is. He discusses COC’s efforts to take on film and TV for crime dramas that lionize police and fail to show the true experiences of people of color. “I hope that this is a wakeup call to think about the stories — that get shipped out to the country and world — that create less empathy, less respect, that serve as PR arms for law enforcement. You don’t get to these types of legal and policy results without culture helping to fuel it.” Entire article at https://bit.ly/33OjIq5.
In this op-ed, Rashad Robinson explains how In the US, the rules are still rigged against Black success. A big part of the fight to change that is finding the right story—the winning story. Because whether it’s the rules of work in an Amazon warehouse, the rules for police in our neighborhoods, or the rules that determine which hospitals get funding, or which businesses get COVID relief loans, corporations are still allowed to profit off Black people — and it’s still costing us our lives. Op-ed at https://bit.ly/3lQNLE5
Color Of Change’s Vice President Arisha Hatch sits down with Bloomberg Technology to discuss the recent celebrity Instagram freeze and the advertising boycott on Facebook this summer. Celebrities boycotted Instagram for one full day in September as part of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign. Watch the video at https://youtu.be/TYQ1NS_ZoVc
Full Frontal on TBS asked Color Of Change Vice President Arisha Hatch to help tease out Election Night scenarios and explain how activists are preparing for Trump to falsely and prematurely declare himself winner. See what we’re doing to make sure people can vote, votes are counted, and social media companies are on watch for spreading misinformation. Watch the full video at https://youtu.be/C3W3–AED0Y