COC President Rashad Robinson writes about Hollywood’s failure to make good on its promises on inclusion. “This week we are reminded that Hollywood, despite its calls for change, continues to reinforce systems that overlook Black people’s creative luminosity in favor of the status quo. After the Golden Globe nominations and egregious snubs of Black creators and actors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group responsible for choosing honorees, confirmed that it has zero Black members…. Despite the momentum and a year of particularly brilliant work by Black creatives, little has shifted. Removing barriers for Black people to produce and share content must be accompanied by Black people being rewarded for success — in terms of pay equity and credit, and yes, awards.”
In the Media
The Black In Fashion Council was launched in July to propel the advancement of Black people in fashion and beauty. Now they’ve set out a plan of action. #ChangeFashion includes a roadmap and resources for racial equity in the fashion industry. Their statement says, “The goal of #ChangeFashion is to chart a course for industry change, and partner with executives, influencers and talent to make change a reality. It is a collaboration between those working for change on the inside of the industry, such as the Black in Fashion Council, and a powerful force for racial justice advocacy on the outside: Color Of Change. We can and must transform the fashion world as we know it, and make fashion a positive force for good—for everyone.”
The New York Times works to track progress in an industry where Black representation has been rare. They asked 64 brands, 15 department stores, and fashion magazines questions about the number of Black people on their executive team, boards, and staff—as well as in their ad campaigns and on their runways, shelves and magazine covers. The stats, and responses from Black creatives in fashion, show that the industry has a long way to go to increase representation, value Black talent, and avoid tokenizing Black models. That’s why Color Of Chang joined with the Black in Fashion Council, IMG joined, and supermodel Joan Smalls to launch #ChangeFashion, a racial justice initiative to transform the industry.
Last spring, our nation began a long overdue conversation over the hundreds of Confederate statues and monuments across the country. Now we’re tackling a new question: who deserves to be remembered? The Pedestal Project is using augmented reality to honor 3 civil rights leaders: John Lewis, Alicia Garza, and Chelsea Miller. On Instagram, users can choose from a gallery of statues to project the image in the real world and hear a message from the activists. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted: “In their time, white nationalist officials erected statues of Confederate leaders for a reason – to send a message about who should dominate this country, and to put Black people in our place. It’s not enough to remove them, we must replace them with symbols of a just vision of America.”
One year later, justice for Ahmaud Arbery remains elusive–even with leadership changes in Georgia. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says the justice system is unequal and has historically allowed white people to get away with killing Black people. He says the nation needs more policies that ensure accountability for every case involving racist violence and more investment in Black communities. “When the killer is white and the victim is Black in communities around the country, justice isn’t served,” Robinson said. “There is nothing new about what happened to Ahmaud Arbery.”
This articles talks about why the Black in Fashion Council was created and the launch of #ChangeFashion with supermodel Joan Smalls and talent agency IMG. Its aim is to make the fashion industry more equitable by wielding its economic and cultural power. A hallmark of #ChangeFashion is to make it easy for companies to make measurable progress with a roadmap for taking action. The first recommendation is to hire independent security for photo shoots and events rather than police. The others all focus on investment, into Black representation, portrayals, talent, careers, and communities.
Rashad Robinson writes about Hollywood’s failure to deliver on diversity. “This week we are reminded that Hollywood, despite its calls for change, continues to reinforce systems that overlook Black people’s creative luminosity in favor of the status quo. After the Golden Globe nominations and egregious snubs of Black creators and actors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group responsible for choosing honorees, confirmed that it has zero Black members…. Removing barriers for Black people to produce and share content must be accompanied by Black people being rewarded for success — in terms of pay equity and credit, and yes, awards.” Article at http://bit.ly/3cJTkBr
THE LOUDEST VOICE: Corporate America Needs to Get on the Right Side of History. Civil Rights Nonprofit Color Of Change Gets It There—Ready or Not.
Fast Company profiles Color Of Change’s 15 years of groundbreaking to build a new racial justice movement and hold corporate America responsible for their role in holding back change. Our work to harness the uprisings after George Floyd’s death and turn that into real victories, from the cancelation of Cops to a corporate reckoning on race and equity is described here. Full article at https://apple.news/AeP2IHWzvQaOff0ch-vWZFA
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