On Jan. 7, Memphis police pulled over Tyre Nichols for reckless driving. Body cameras show they pinned him on the asphalt and savagely beat him as he begged for his life. He died days later. Help us make the Memphis PD end pretextual stops, give the Community Review Board the power to hold officers accountable, and disband the street crimes unit that killed Tyre.
Communities know what keeps them safe — and it’s not police. This is what public safety could and should look like. Read our guide on how the federal government can advance community safety with evidence-based policies we developed with Civil Rights Corps and Vera Action.
For weeks, activists have occupied the site for Cop City in Weelaunee Forest to try to halt construction. On Jan. 18, GA state police shot and killed one of them. As the movement against Cop City's grown, police have become violent with protesters. It's time corporations like Target, Wells Fargo, and Truist Bank pull their financial support of the project through the Atlanta Police Foundation.
31-year-old Keenan Anderson, a father and schoolteacher, died after being needlessly tased by LAPD. Keenan flagged down police after a minor traffic accident and was treated like a criminal. He was held face down on the asphalt, and repeatedly tased as he begged for his life. He went into cardiac arrest and died. We're fighting to restrict the use of Tasers and remove LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
The racial wage gap has gotten worse since pandemic. Workers at Applebee’s in New York, Alabama and Illinois are demanding the restaurant chain pay workers at locations in non-white neighborhoods what they pay workers in predominantly white ones. All workers deserve safe working conditions and a livable wage.
A National Institute of Environmental Health study shows chemical hair straighteners increase the risk of uterine cancer. Lye-based relaxers contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that trigger breast cancer too. Black hair care products are killing women. But companies won't change their ingredients without pressure from big retailers!
Florida Housing Complex Forced to Stop Illegally Evicting Black Families
Last January we launched a rapid response campaign following a wave of evictions at Holly Court Apartments in Tampa. Victoria Lee, a tenant there, used our OrganizeFor platform to mobilize thousands of members and amplify tenant demands to fix the plumbing, honor leases, and support tenants who’d been illegally pushed out. Many families were given eviction notices on New Year’s Eve for no reason at all and given just 30 days to find a new home. One mother reported having to go to the corner store to use the bathroom as raw sewage backed up in her tub. Management all but ignored calls for help and she had to call out of work for days because she couldn’t shower. After the online petition and a sleep-in protest, Palm Communities agreed to honor residents’ leases, provide temporary housing for displaced residents, and resolve maintenance issues. Housing is a human right, but far too often greed and profit trump the needs of Black and low-income residents who live in buildings owned by private equity firms. Your calls and text messages kept residents in their homes!
social list opener
AT&T Pulls Funding from White Nationalist Network
With your help, we pressured AT&T to stop funding the far-right network One America News. OAN was a major vehicle for Trump, and has continued to provide a “friendly” platform for his allies. We've seen correspondents use racial slurs, call for the execution of election officials, suggest shooting unhoused people – all without consequence. OAN consistently promotes hate-filled content, and disseminates dangerous misinformation about the 2020 elections and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the goal of provoking their audience. Research revealed a major reason for the network's success was support from AT&T. AT&T should know better. So thousands of Color Of Change members wrote to AT&T CEO John Stankey, and we were heard. One America Network has been removed from DirectTV. This is another step towards making sure the media isn’t allowed to amplify racist lies that lead to real-world violence against Black people.
social list opener
Biden Grants Clemency to 70 People on Home Confinement
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve fought to get incarcerated people who pose no risk to their communities but could fall deathly ill with COVID sent home. On April 26, 2022, nearly 150,000 Color Of Change members helped convince President Biden to free 70 people on home confinement. That means they can live independently, pursue their dreams, spend time with friends and family without electronic monitors or other dehumanizing conditions of confinement. It is historic for a president to grant so many clemencies in their first term. But thousands more people deserve to be free – and risk being sent back due to minor technicalities or bureaucratic errors. People on home confinement have had to turn down jobs or miss funerals because they’re outside of the range they’re allowed to travel. Biden promised he'd end mass incarceration and cut the prison population in half. Help us hold him to that.
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.
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.
A recent shooting in New York City’s subways has re-sparked the debate over the effectiveness of more law enforcement when it comes to preventing violence and crime in the city. NYC Mayor Eric Adams — a former police officer who campaigned on a law-and-order platform — has unsurprisingly pledged to double the number of police in subways. But Color Of Change’s Director of Criminal Justice Scott Roberts questions this approach and the dangers it poses to Black and Brown New Yorkers. “Any time we see an act of violence that draws this much attention, we often see a doubling down in security culture. We’re addicted to that as a country. It makes us feel calm for the moment. What’s frightening is we know the ramifications are going to impact the communities that are already over-policed.”