In the wake of former officer Darren Wilson’s shooting of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown that left Brown dead and Wilson a free man, dozens of protestors and organizers took to the Missouri streets. Some were pepper sprayed and even arrested, and in the midst of the unrest, Talib Kweli helped establish a The Action Support Committee. The Committee aimed to raise $25,000 and disperse the money in the form of grants to those in need. Kweli addressed the Committee’s goals via the following written statement:
‘These are young men and women who have put their lives on hold to stand up for all of our freedoms. The overly militarized police force in Ferguson has attempted to criminalize them by harassing and throwing them in jail for exercising their right to peaceful protest. We hope these funds help to empower.’
Led by Kweli, Donna Dragotta, and Autumn Marie, the Committee’s GoFundMe campaign surpassed the $25,000 goal and raised $112,052 before the fundraising campaign ended in January. The first $48,800 funding phase will be distributed as follows:
Jail & Bail Fund ($35,000), Artists as Tutors ($2,000), Revolutionary Reading Program ($2,000), Tech Impact Initiative ($2,000), Latino youth leadership program Juventud Raza Unida ($2,000), The Transitional Housing Program ($2,000) and Bereavement Fund ($3,800).
Additional funds are scheduled to be distributed to the Action Support Committee’s Revolution School and programs ‘committed to sustaining the recent momentum of social justice organizing.’