If you are already familiar with their work, omg how much do you freaking love them?
One of my favorite CoC campaigns is the yearly drive in early May to raise bail money for incarcerated Black mothers so they can be reunited with their children in time for Mothers Day. These are women who would otherwise languish behind bars (and as of this year in COVID hot houses) because they are too poor to post bail. And yes, also because they are oversurveilled, overpoliced and oversentenced relative to whites in the first place; those are other columns supporting our criminal injustice system that must be toppled in addition to abolishing cash bail. I love this campaign because it’s something we can do collectively to help these women, along with their families and communities, in a meaningful and tangible way.
Another reason to love Color of Change? Their spot-on messaging.
I am a devotee of the STFU-&-Listen School of Allyship™; it serves the privileged ear very well to be informed directly by the very people one wishes to serve. (In case this needs to be said, we must NOT do this by demanding the less-privileged do the work to educate and inform the more-privileged. The least one can do is one’s own research on such matters. It’s not like any of this information is hidden. Quite the opposite: the oppressed have been trying desperately to get their message through our thick white skulls since forever.) This approach helps guard against our instinctual inclination to support “solutions” that may have great appeal through a privilege-warped lens, but are not in fact the solutions marginalized people and communities need. Just as you know what you need better than I do, they know what they need better than we do.
And that, my friends, is why I read and absorb every word of Color of Change’s content: I learn. SO. MUCH. Which brings us to one of their newest campaigns: the call for defunding police foundations. Here is what I learned – and it’s goooood.