Posted on November 7, 2016
New video: Standing with Color Of Change
This election season there has been unspeakable hatred and racism towards communities of color, the consequences of which we are still trying to understand. We are also living in a time where a week doesn’t go by without the media highlighting stories of police violence against people of color.
The ascendance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the activists who are challenging this status quo provide powerful inspiration for how to push back against systemic racism and oppression. In this context it was an honor to welcome to CREDO the leader of one of the most effective civil rights organizations in the country, Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change.
CREDO is incredibly proud to be a close partner of Color Of Change. Our members have directed over $310,000 to the organization, including a $57,639 grant from the August 2016 donations election. What matters even more is how we’ve locked arms to campaign together. We stood together against racist programming on Fox News during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, and against the American Legislative Exchange Council’s support of voter suppression and stand your ground laws. This year we worked together to pressure giant corporations not to sponsor Donald Trump’s hate by divesting from the Republican National Convention.
Our work together continues as we are jointly advocating for the Obama administration to crack down on police violence, pushing the Department of Homeland Security to end private prisons, and standing in solidarity with CREDO’s hometown quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
During his visit, Robinson laid out the theory of change behind Color Of Change’s work:
“We believe very clearly that people don’t experience issues, people experience life. Racist policing needs racist media to survive; job discrimination needs unchecked corporate power; that political inequality cannot survive without economic inequality. And the ways in which all of those things interact with each other creates a hostile climate. A climate that, unless we are actively working to build power, we won’t actually beat.”
Robinson explained that Color Of Change operates from this framework because presence is often mistaken for power in the activism space. “Presence is awareness. Presence is people paying attention to your issues. But mistaking presence for power is how we get ourselves into trouble. The ability to translate presence, people paying attention, people talking about your issues, people aware, into the ability to force decision makers to be nervous about disappointing you, and as a result to have to make decisions in your favor, is at the heart of what we do.”
Criminal justice reform is at the center of Color Of Change’s work. This election cycle the organization is focusing on district attorney races. In America, 95 percent of DAs are white, and 85 percent of DAs run unopposed. “They have no incentive to actually think about the communities they are serving if they are going to consistently get reelected over and over again by doing the same thing,” Robinson said.
This year, Color Of Change launched their #VotingWhileBack campaign to empower citizens to vote on issues that matter to Black people. With a particular emphasis on DA races, they are using digital tools to educate and engage voters to hold elected officials accountable to Black communities both during and after the 2016 election. To learn more, visit votingwhileblack.com.
Robinson concluded by thanking CREDO members for our long-standing partnership. “We talk a lot about ally-ship at Color Of Change, but today I feel like I’m with people who have been in solidarity with us, which is a much deeper commitment to walking the walk, standing in moments of struggle and moments of opportunity.”
CREDO members who use our products every day are the reason why we are to fund organizations like Color Of Change each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.