advertisement
advertisement

This activist organization wants to transform the criminal justice system—starting with prosecutors

Color of Change worked with ‘When They See Us’ director Ava DuVernay to get reform-minded prosecutors into office.

This activist organization wants to transform the criminal justice system—starting with prosecutors
[Photo: “It’s hard to defend a system that would wrongfully convict young men,” says Color of Change’s Arisha Hatch [Photo: Wayne Lawrence; makeup: Tiffany Oliver]
THE WORLD’S 50 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES
36 Color of Change

Last year’s Netflix miniseries When They See Us wasn’t simply a dramatization of the Central Park Five trial. It was a rallying cry to transform the criminal justice system by looking more closely at the district attorneys who prosecute people of color for political gain. Civil rights organi­zation Color of Change teamed up with director Ava DuVernay to steer viewers to the nonprofit’s Winning Justice project, which encourages voters to “reimagine what a prosecutor could look like,” says Color of Change VP and chief of campaigns Arisha Hatch. The initiative, which includes an online database with info on more than 2,400 prosecutors across the country, provides voters with tools and resources to pressure DAs to eliminate cash bail for nonviolent offenses, for example, and end prosecution for petty drug crimes—or elect better prosecutors. So far, Hatch says, the nonprofit has helped more than a dozen reform-minded DAs win office: “We’re changing the landscape of what is acceptable behavior among prosecutors.”

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement