Today marks six months since I began my journey as Executive Director of MediaJustice. While I understood that the path would not be easy, I could not have anticipated the forces that would come to shape this moment we are living in. The COVID-19 pandemic persists while the disease of institutionalized racism continues to manifest as state violence against Black people.
From a lack of internet access to surveillance tools that criminalize our people, media and technology are contributing to the conditions that are shaping this moment. To meet this moment, people-powered uprisings, led by Black folks, are offering an opportunity to collectively accelerate toward a new world. We have won government and corporate actions that are helping close the digital divide. We are winning the battle to ban facial recognition nationally. We are exposing the police surveillance of Black freedom fighters demanding a world without police violence. We are rejecting the use of electronic monitoring as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are demanding tech companies follow rhetoric with action to eliminate white supremacy from their platforms. In short, we are winning a future where we are all connected, represented and free.
Throughout this new chapter of my leadership, I’ve held on to one guiding principle, and that’s been to take care of our people. We have provided resources to our MediaJustice Network members. We have given out over $60,000 in direct support to help our members sustain their collective organizing efforts by seeding money for mutual aid networks, hotspots to get our communities connected online, and mobile radio kits. We’re helping our members get access to the digital tools they need to continue their critical work of shifting material conditions in their communities . We’ve hosted several digital safety workshops to help our members be resilient online in the face of increasing state surveillance.
Our staff at MediaJustice have worked tirelessly over the past few months to meet new and emerging needs while balancing shelter-in-place orders, organizing in our own local communities, and taking care of our families. To recognize our staff’s efforts, the MediaJustice office is closed between June 26 – July 3 to provide us with the space to rejuvenate and take care of ourselves.
Looking back at my first six months, I’m incredibly proud of what MediaJustice has been able to accomplish. Each of you being touched by this message has contributed to that success and I’ll be counting on your support as MediaJustice builds toward a new world over the next 6 months and beyond. The action I’m asking you take today is to donate to MediaJustice.