Make tangible change this Black History Month by dedicating a little bit of your time to the action item we've assigned for each day of February. All the tools you need to complete each action are here including phone numbers, emails, websites, etc. (everything underlined is a link)! When dedicating your time and resources from supporting Black Businesses to sending emails to change makers for a week, you have the ability to make a real difference.
Facebook has put its own profit margins over the safety and lives of Black people since its inception, and new information is critical to understanding just how thoroughly they disregard the health and safety of our communities. A newly-released study by the Tech Transparency Project shows how egregiously Facebook skirts its responsibilities to its users, profits off hate, and takes no accountability for the harms caused by its platform.2. Clemency for Cannabis Convictions
The failed policies of the War on Drugs – including harsh sentences, overcriminalization, and surveillance of Black and Brown communities – have perpetuated racial disparities in the criminal legal system and contributed to mass incarceration for decades. This unjust reality includes countless people locked behind bars or haunted by convictions for marijuana-related offenses across the country. It must end.3. Demand Educational Freedom in Florida
The Florida Department of Education claims that the Advanced Placement (AP) African-American Studies course for high school students violates Florida law by including topics such as intersectionality, the movement for Black lives, and reparation - effectively whitewashing Black studies. Teaching this country's students about the experiences and contributions of the Black community shouldn't be against the law.4. Justice for Tyre Nichols
Tyre was a 29-year-old a father. He was stopped at a traffic stop and then brutally beat and murdered by the hands of the Memphis, Tennessee police departments Scorpion Unit. He was beat so horrifically that he died 3 days later. Demand that these officers are held accountable and swift changes are made to policing in the US.5. Support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
In June of 2020, House and Senate Democrats introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. On March 3, 2021, House Democrats once again passed this same Act. This is a multi-clause bill created to drastically reduce the death toll wrought by excessive and unjust police brutality. Now we need the senate to make this bill into a law.6. Exonerate India Spellman
India Spellman is an innocent young woman who at the tender age of 17 had her freedom stolen from her through police misconduct, coercion, and fabricated testimony. India had spent over a decade in SCI Cambridge Springs for a crime she did not commit or have any involvement in whatsoever. She was sentenced to a lifetime behind bars.7. Protect Black Women: Demand Insurance Screen for Cervical Insufficiency
Preterm births stemming from cervical insufficiency can often be prevented with screening, but for insurance companies, it's more about their bottom line than about doing what is right. All women deserve to receive a standard of care consistent with modern medical capabilities. However, it is impossible to separate the issue of race from this conversation. Black women in the U.S. are 50% more likely to have a preterm birth than white women.
SCRIPT: Chair Mendelson, [Representative], my name is [Name] and I'm from [County, State]. I'm calling to urge the Council of the District of Columbia (DC Council) to enact the Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act. Algorithms are automated systems that solve puzzles and perform functions. However, these algorithms are far from neutral and can replicate the bias we see in human decision making. For example, algorithms using housing data will repeat discriminatory patterns resulting from redlining policies. We need regulations to prevent algorithms from bringing long outlawed discrimination into the future. The Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act will be a landmark algorithmic accountability law. It is the first state bill to outlaw the use of discriminatory algorithms in important life opportunities by private actors. We call on the DC Council to advance this bill to markup and to pass it into law. The dangers of the tech industry evolve everyday, and DC residents need robust defenses as soon as possible.2. End Police Brutality (via NAACP)
SCRIPT: [Representative], my name is [Name] and I'm from [County, State]. We've waited for far too long for meaningful federal legislation from Congress. In the meantime, many more Black lives have been lost at the hands of police officers. On Jan. 26, 2023, multiple former Memphis police officers have been charged with the murder of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols – but true justice requires more accountability. We demand Congress take swift action by passing legislation on police reform to end the horrors of police brutality and reform a criminal justice system that fails to properly hold law enforcement officials accountable. Failure to pass legislation is a failure to protect the people who elected you.We specifically need to see an end to qualified immunity, which protects government officials from lawsuits seeking monetary damages, and we must collect data on police encounters that will provide transparency and safety for our communities.3. End Racist Sentencing Disparities (via ACLU)
SCRIPT: [Representative], my name is [Name] and I'm from [County, State].. As your constituent, I urge you to pass the EQUAL Act – a critical piece of legislation that will finally eliminate the racist sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine laws that exist in this country. The EQUAL Act has already passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 361 to 66. This legislation will end the unfair sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine – a disparity that is not based on science and has been shown to disproportionately harm communities of color – and ensure that people locked up under the unjust disparity get a second chance.4. End Discriminatory Profiling by the Government (via ACLU)
SCRIPT: My name is [Name] and I'm from [County, State]. The FBI, CBP, TSA, and other federal law enforcement agencies have long engaged in discriminatory and unconstitutional profiling of people of color, immigrants, and other marginalized communities. I'm deeply disturbed that broad loopholes in the government's anti-discrimination policies actually permit this discrimination. I'm asking you to close those loopholes so federal, state, and local law enforcement are banned from profiling us based on our race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, and other constitutionally-protected traits. Your departments have recognized that biased profiling is unjust, ineffective, and a waste of resources, but nevertheless permit it in the broad and vaguely defined categories of national security, intelligence-gathering, and at the border.5. End Forced Labor in Prisons (via ACLU)
SCRIPT: [Representative], my name is [Name] and I'm from [County, State].. As your constituent, I urge you to support passage of the Abolition Amendment – which would end slavery and involuntary servitude in all its forms — including forced labor in prisons. The "exception clause" to the 13th Amendment barred slavery except for people who have been convicted of crimes. This loophole disproportionately encouraged the criminalization and re-enslavement of Black people during the Jim Crow era, gave rise to Black Codes, convict leasing, and chain gangs. It's harm persists today in the form of forced labor, poverty wages, and reliance on mass incarceration that disproportionately impacts people of color. Put simply: The "exception clause" has allowed for millions of incarcerated workers over the years to be exploited, underpaid, and excluded from workplace safety protection laws – and it has enabled human rights abuses and systemic racism to go on for centuries.6. Get Jail Money Out Of Sheriff Elections (via Color of Change)
SCRIPT: [Representative], my name is [Name] and I'm from [County, State]. I am calling you as my state legislator because I believe that our country’s law enforcement shouldn’t be up for sale to the highest bidder. But right now, jail companies spend millions of dollars each year to influence county sheriff’s races in states across the country. That means these public officials are taking money from corporations that profit from keeping people locked up and exploiting those same people. County sheriffs make major decisions about health and safety for millions of incarcerated Americans -- which is why I urge you to take bold, common-sense action immediately to get jail contractor money out of sheriff's elections.7. Reparations for Slavery
SCRIPT: [Representative], my name is [Name] and I'm from [County, State]. I urge you to support H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery and its impact and make recommendations for reparations to Congress.No amount of material resources or monetary compensation can ever be sufficient restitution for the spiritual, mental, cultural and physical damage inflicted on African Americans ripped from their families and nations to labor for the enrichment of the United States. After the "abolition" of slavery, those emancipated suffered violent repression, oppression, exploitation and deprivation under Jim Crow laws and black codes in the South, as well as de facto segregation in every region of this nation. Reparations are not a symbolic act -- they are a real and necessary demand for justice that's gaining support among your fellow members of Congress and even power centers like J.P. Morgan, the Episcopal Church, and the city of Charleston, SC. Reparations are about respect, reconciliation, and propelling us toward a more just future.
Enter your info and a personal sentence to help bypass filters.
Ready to send!
Black history is under attack. On March 22, the Florida legislature passed a bill that censors critical conversations about slavery, systemic racism, and oppression. A month later, the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) rejected almost half of the math textbooks for the upcoming year, some of which featured ethnically diverse names in written prompts or included facts about Black mathematicians, like Dorothy Johnson Vaughan. While some of those math textbooks have since been reinstated, it’s clear that Florida legislators and school board officials are targeting textbook content and attempting to white-wash what our children learn in school. Back in October, Color Of Change warned textbook publishers that this could happen, but none of them wanted to make their commitment to teaching Black history public. Now, more than three million children could be robbed of the educational (and cultural) enrichment they deserve.2. Let AP African American Studies Be Taught in Schools (via Color of Change)
On January 18th, Fl. Governor Ron DeSantis rejected the College Board’s request to approve an AP African American Studies (AAPS) course, baselessly claiming that it “significantly lacks educational value.” A first-of-its-kind pilot program, AP African American Studies would empower students with extensive knowledge about the contributions and lived experiences of Black people in this country. Lessons would range from those uplifting our legacy in literature and the arts to lessons about how our activism has shaped this country’s laws, institutions, and democracy. Not only does AP African American Studies put Black history front and center, but it also creates pathways for Black students to build stronger college applications and even earn university credit.3. Demand A Racial Equity Audit from Twitch (via Color of Change)
A white nationalist who espoused the racist “great replacement theory” drove hours to a grocery store in a Black neighborhood to murder Black people which he livestreamed on Twitch. From his 100+ page statement posted online, it is clear that this was an explicitly racist act to terrorize Black people and Twitch platformed the violence to the world. For months, Color Of Change members have warned Twitch that they have not taken their obligations to Black people seriously enough. Black creators created #TwitchDoBetter in response to hate raids from white supremacists on the platform.