September 6, 2016

This week’s Igniting Change Radio Show will cover two major stories: Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protest and The African American Women and the Law Conference. Our expert guests will include Brian McCoy, Sports Specialist and Advisor to the President of the Transformative Justice Coalition; Caitlyn Cobb, Millennial and Homelessness Advocate; Brenda Ford Harding, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Transformative Justice Coalition; Ria Thompson Washington, Executive Vice-President of the National Lawyers’ Guild and other guests. During the first half of the show, we will examine the ever-growing impact of the Kaepernick protest. The second half of the show will be devoted to a preview of the African American Women and the Law Conference to be held on September 13-14th at the National Education Association, 1201 16th Street, N.W., Washington, DC.

On August 26th, Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, set off a national controversy and movement when he would not stand for the playing of the National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner. Afterwards he explained that he could not stand up “to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” He directly invoked the killings of Black people by the police and the lack of accountability and punishment for these deaths. Immediately, there were calls by sports fans, media pundits and others for Kaepernick to apologize, salute the flag or be fired. The local police union has threatened to boycott the 49ers games as long as Kaepernick is still on the roster.

In response to this criticism, Kaepernick has stood firm refusing to stand for the National Anthem until there is profound change. His actions have inspired other athletes of all races to support him by kneeling and refusing to salute the flag during the playing of the National Anthem. Remarkably, the sales of his team jersey have skyrocketed!

Historians have also exposed the little known fact that the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner are pro-slavery and celebrate the slaying of slaves. Indeed, Francis Scott Key was part of a large slave-holding family who defended the practice.

We will discuss the reactions to Kaepernick’s protest. Has he started a movement? Are too many Black athletes standing on the side-lines? What is the likely long-range impact of his protest?

On September 13-14th, the African American Women and the Law Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. Our show will preview the conference. A major purpose of the conference is to develop an African American Women’s Legal and Public Policy Agenda for 2016-2018.

With 16 workshops on the major issues confronting African American women, this agenda setting conference is designed to provide opportunities for attendees to learn and participate.

We will discuss exciting developments since our show of two weeks ago. Our guests will highlight different events occurring during the Conference. And we will give information on how to register for this historic conference.

Last week it was announced that the School Officer who threw the young Black teenage girl across the room at Springfield High School in South Carolina will not be charged. This conference could not be more timely as we have witnessed brazen social media attacks on Black women and girls including Alicia Keys, Blue Ivy and Leslie Jones. On Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, notice was taken that Black women only earn 64 cents for every dollar earned by White men. Black girls are 6 times more likely to be disciplined in school than white girls! Domestic violence, police violence, entrepreneurial movements, higher educational achievement, tax policy, home ownership, homelessness, criminalization of Black women, images of Black women in the media will all be examined during this conference. These and so many other issues will be explored at this conference. Excitingly, the Conference will create strategies to advance African American women and girls.

Be sure to listen on Tuesday and Spread the Word!!

Ria Washington

Ria Thompson-Washington

Ria Thompson-Washington is a rising 3L attending the University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of Law. On campus she serves as […]

Caitlyn Cobb

Caitlyn Cobb

Caitlyn currently works for the Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC) as its Social Media Director and as a Special Assistant to Barbara Arnwine, president and founder […]

Brenda Ford Harding

Brenda Harding

Brenda Ford Harding is an attorney and consultant in Durham, N.C. ¬†She works extensively in the voting rights area, specifically using different strategies to ensure […]


Brian D. McCoy

Mr. Brian D. McCoy is the Founder and President of BDM Sports & Education Foundation, (BDMS&E) based in Chicago, Illinois