As shoppers flock to stores in search of Black Friday deals, a human rights group is urging individuals to refrain from spending their money during the holiday season.
Blackout for Human Rights, a collective of activists, actors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, lawyers, and influencers concerned about injustices in the U.S., is hosting the third annual #BlackOutFriday boycott on November 25, according to the group’s website.
The boycott, which started in 2014, calls for people across the country to avoid making purchases at large retail chains in an effort to show solidarity with protesters in Standing Rock, Flint, Ferguson, and other areas throughout the country that have been impacted by acts of injustice related to both race and class, the statement reads:
“We ask those who stand with us to refrain from supporting Black Friday retail sales. Our lives are joined by the money we spend as consumers. Today, more than ever, the levers of power – civic, corporate, industrial, capital – are tied to one another and to our economy,”
The statement notes that major retailers depend on dollars of people of color “to keep them afloat, especially during the holiday season but the lives of our brothers and sisters are worth more than the dollars we can save on holiday gifts. Let’s demonstrate our unity. Take this single day off of shopping to #ShowYourWorth.”
Boycott leaders say that the movement is about using Black Friday as way for people of color to flex their muscles in the fight for political, social and economic justice.
“For us, it’s less about being against Black Friday and more about using Black Friday as a platform and opportunity to have our voices heard and to spark change,” Blackout for Human Rights marketing director Michael Latt told ATTN. “One of the long-term goals is to gain the attention of major retail corporations, and force them into a position of becoming allies in this fight for social justice.”
The group is scheduled to host three separate events in Los Angeles, New York City, and Baltimore where they will screen Ava DuVernay’s film 13TH and Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro. Notable supporters of Blackout for Human Rights include Jesse Williams, Michael B. Jordan, Ryan Coogler, Donald Glover, Ava DuVernay, and David Oyelowo.