Tulsa Initiative: “Being Black Is Not a Crime.”

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[Tulsa Initiative: “Being Black Is Not a Crime”]
In light of the news of the rally, Courageous Conversation Global Foundation (CCGF) has taken out a full-page newspaper ad in the Oklahoma Eagle…The ad simply reads, “Being black is not a crime.”
Photo: Gabriel Gima

Tulsa Initiative: Being Black Is Not A Crime. Silence Is.

On Saturday, June 20, 2020, President Donald J. Trump will be holding a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma—a city where black people are twice as likely to be arrested as white people and that is the exact location of the most horrific racial massacre in US history, the Tulsa riots of 1921.

Ninety-nine years later, recent events have reminded us that we have a long way to go when it comes to racial tension in this country.

In light of the news of the rally, Courageous Conversation Global Foundation (CCGF) has taken out a full-page newspaper ad in the Oklahoma Eagle, one of the oldest Black-owned publications in the country, on Friday, June 19 (Juneteenth), 2020. The ad simply reads, “Being black is not a crime,” to remind all who gather in Tulsa on this historic Juneteenth weekend of the ongoing issue of systemic racism in the US. The ad is designed to be used as a poster for those who are peacefully protesting on June 20th.

“In America, black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people. The goal of the ad is twofold: to inform and to equip people in Tulsa with a poster that can be used to make their voices heard on Saturday, June 20,” said Glenn Singleton, president of CCGF, an award-winning protocol for effectively engaging in, sustaining and deepening interracial dialogue.

“With the date, location and timing of the rally, it felt necessary for us to make a statement on the ground in Tulsa. We should all hold ourselves accountable. If you can use your voice, you should do it. This is just our way of using ours,” said Rony Castor, associate creative director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), the advertising agency that created the ad.

In addition to print, CCGF will have a digital billboard on Friday and Saturday near downtown Tulsa southbound on the 244 freeway, for rally attendees leaving the city. The billboard reads, “Being Black is not a crime. Silence is.”

The ad follows CCGF’s recent release of the “Not a Gun” campaign, also created by GS&P, which addresses police brutality head-on. To follow that up, CCGF and GS&P partnered to create “Not a Crime”—a film made in response to the Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor murders. The film was released just two weeks prior to George Floyd’s death.

We encourage all to distribute the creative for everyone to use if they wish. To demand specific de-escalation and implicit bias training for police officers, people can sign CCGF’s petition via their site www.notagun.org, and through change.org (http://chng.it/VsK7jPSkPw). The training was created by CCGF and recently piloted by the Austin Police Department.

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