The episode, shot in Miami, Florida, features a diverse perspective of voices having a frank and at times difficult conversation about what is needed to create a more just criminal justice system. The conversation covered the past year of activism following the murder of George Floyd, the need for permanent activism to bring about change, the importance of allyship in fights for racial justice, and the urgent need for passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the fate of which is still unclear in the U.S. Congress. Participants who joined The SpringHill Company CEO Maverick Carter for this conversation include:
Art Acevedo, Chief of Police for the Miami Police Department
Natasha Cloud, Activist and WNBA Champion
Ben Crump, National Civil RIghts Attorney
Philonise Floyd, Activist and Brother of George Floyd
Jemele Hill, Journalist
Meek Mill, Rapper and Activist
The episode will be available on More Than A Vote, Uninterrupted, and HBO digital channels including HBO.com. It marks the beginning of More Than A Vote expanding its mission to combat the racist nature of America’s criminal justice system with a new campaign titled Protect Our People. The organization will replicate the successful model of harnessing athlete activism in electoral politics and apply it to the ongoing fight to move public opinion and change criminal justice policies that regularly victimize Black communities.
More Than A Vote soft launched these efforts in May on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder with a digital spot reminding viewers that for every name that the public knows, there are hundreds more that die without public scrutiny or concern. The spot concluded with a call to action encouraging viewers to call their Senators to push for passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Beginning with this week’s episode of The Shop and continuing with advocacy efforts at the federal, state and local level in the coming months and years, More Than A Vote will focus on the many ways in which Black communities encounter the criminal justice system: from the moment of arrest, to bail and trial proceedings to the restoration of rights and expungement of records. Because of the platform and the personal experiences that the athletes and artists of More Than A Vote have, they are uniquely capable of putting a human face on the racist nature of America’s criminal justice system while serving as advocates for change.
“More Than A Vote is stepping up its criminal justice reform work because 2020 proved that when athletes speak out about the issues that matter to them, people listen,” said More Than A Vote Chief Communications and Content Officer Michael Tyler. “As we said at the beginning of this year, this effort was never about one election and has always been about More Than A Vote. The Protect Our People campaign will replicate the successful model of harnessing athlete activism in electoral politics and apply it to the ongoing fight to move public opinion and change criminal justice policies that regularly victimize Black communities.”
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