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!
More than 100 dangerous anti-protest bills have circulated this country since the uprisings for racial justice two summers ago. Some of these egregious bills would make it easier to punish and criminalize protestors, cutting them off from public benefits. Others would grant immunity to people who are violent towards protestors, and do things like ram their cars into crowds. With your help, we beat back two anti-democracy bills in Wisconsin, convincing the governor to veto them. But there’s dozen of others making their way around state legislatures. That’s why Color Of Change is pressing the Department of Justice to condemn these laws and assert your right to stand up for what’s right. These bills are meant to scare people out of protesting, and encourage the type of vigilante violence we saw from Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha. We can’t let them pass.
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Kendrick Fulton Is Now Free!
Thanks to more than 35,000 Color Of Change members who spoke up, Kendrick Fulton has been released from jail. But he needs clemency to stay out. Kendrick was on home confinement when he temporarily lost his housing. After two years reconnecting with his children, getting a promotion at work, going to church, and giving back, his progress was suddenly pulled away. We are thrilled Kendrick is free now and will keep fighting for the thousands of people on home confinement and living under the threat of being sent back on minor, cruel technicalities. Everyone on home confinement has already been heavily vetted for a safe release. President Biden has the power to grant them clemency and turn the cycle of incarceration around. And what we’ve witnessed during pandemic is that people always do better at home, surrounded by community.
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Gwen Levi Released on Home Confinement!
Gwen Levi is a 76-year old cancer survivor, grandmother, and Black woman. She is one of thousands who were deemed high risk for COVID-19, and released from prison in 2020 to finish their sentences at home. Recently, she was sent back to prison after missing a phone call from her case manager while attending a computer skills class. In just 4 days, 50k Color of Change members signed a petition calling for her release. Thanks to this public outcry, and the work of her legal team, Ms. Levi was just sent home on compassionate release – which means she is truly free and back with her family, including her 94-year old mother who she helps take care of. Meanwhile we continue to fight for clemency for the 4,000 elders under home confinement who risk being re-incarcerated on a technicality like Ms. Levi, or when the pandemic is declared over.
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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 was one of four groups honored at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards which bring together leaders in fashion and film to celebrate a new wave of sustainability in Hollywood. Rashad Robinson accepted the award on behalf of Color Change’s racial justice work for economic inclusivity in Hollywood and for financial equality for Black people in America. The honorees were all selected for representing different pillars of sustainability: environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically inclusive. In the past two years, Color Of Change launched #ChangeHollywood and #ChangeFashion to advance the struggle for equity for Black creators.
What has the federal government done to address violent and racist policing since George Floyd was killed two years ago? With Biden halting a proposed policing order, which itself was a seriously scaled down plan B after failing to get enough votes to pass the George Floyd Act, Trump’s modest changes are the most significant federal policing moves we’ve seen. Under Trump’s order, police agencies must have specific policies on the use of force to receive certain federal grants. Advocates who were promised sweeping reforms are frustrated. Color Of Change’s Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns Scott Roberts explains, “Trump’s order is not significant in and of itself, but it exposes how little Biden has done to deliver on his promises around this issue, and how quickly his administration has pivoted away from this movement for police reform that helped sweep them into office.” Many believe without the mass protests that galvanized millions of Black voters, Biden would not necessarily have won in 2020.
For decades, hair has affected how Black women are treated at work and in corporate America, as Black women regularly report being discriminated against for afros, braids, Bantu knots, and locs. Color Of Change’s Jade Magnus Ogunnaike started focusing on schools when she learned students were being punished for wearing natural hair. Then she targeted massive corporations . “Companies that ran franchises said that it was up to the franchise owners to decide on hair policies. These companies, like Walmart and McDonald’s, want to advertise to Black consumers but won’t create protections for Black employees.” She added, “Black women have spent millions of dollars and time over centuries trying to conceal our natural hair, giving into anti-Black agencies.”
As Judge Jackson solidifies her bid to become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, Democrats are still debating how to talk about race in America. It’s a subject many would rather avoid—given their response to Jackson’s rough treatment during her confirmation hearings. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “When issues of race come up, Democrats get scared.” He said President Biden and Senate Democrats should have condemned Republicans’ racist attacks against Jackson. “The White House has to engage on these fights. Republicans will weaponize race and racism to achieve their goals, but Democrats don’t elevate racial justice.”
Alarmingly restrictive laws continue to proliferate as the red-state rollback on civil rights enters a new phase, symbolized by Florida’s passage of the “Don’t Say ‘Gay’” bill. The Biden administration is leaning into the fight, but business leaders are retreating. Prominent companies that tout diversity and inclusion–like Disney–have stood aside as laws that restrict voting access, curtail abortion and LGBTQ rights, and limit teachers discussing social issues in schools advance. COC President Rashad Robinson is quoted, saying the willingness of companies to stand up to restrictive voting bills or efforts to ban discussing race in school is “absolutely abysmal. They are not willing to put their hand on the scale to stop the removal of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks from our public schools.” Big companies want to go only so far in fighting these proposals, because they prefer Republicans to control state governments and deliver the low-tax, light-regulation policies.
In President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress, in 2021, he pledged to root out systemic racism and to advance efforts to create a more equitable country. But this time he didn’t say the words “race” or “Black” once. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted, “You can’t say that it’s time for America to come together on race by ignoring race. Racial justice is not charity. It’s not the thing a president should do to be nice to Black and Brown folks. Racial justice is strategy. And the quicker the White House recognize the strategic power of engaging on racial justice to motivate, engage, and deliver to the communities most impacted, the better off they will be. And the better off the country will be.”