Rashad Robinson

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Rashad Robinson
EducationMarymount University (BA)
OccupationPresident of Color of Change
MovementCivil rights

Rashad Robinson is an American civil rights leader. He is the president of Color of Change, an advocacy group.[1] He has served as a board member of RaceForward,[2] Demos,[3] State Voices,[4] and currently sits on the board of the Hazen Foundation.[5]


After graduating from Marymount College in the early 1990s,[6] Robinson held leadership roles at GLAAD,[7] as Senior Director of Media Programs leading the organization's advocacy and major media campaigns, the Right to Vote Campaign,[8][9] and FairVote.[10]

In 2011, Rashad Robinson became the president of Color of Change,[11] an advocacy organization founded after Hurricane Katrina to strengthening political and cultural power for Black communities in America and making political and corporate leaders more responsive to the concerns of Black people. Under Robinson's leadership, Color Of Change has grown by one million members and expanded to four offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; and Oakland, California. It has increase the size and scope of digital campaigns pursuing racial justice.[6]

Robinson organized many of the organization's initiatives, including a campaign to pull funding from the American Legislative Exchange Council.[12] ALEC is responsible for the "Stand Your Ground" laws implicated in the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin. Under Robinson's leadership, Color Of Change helped protect the principle of net neutrality by pushing the FCC to reclassify broadband as a common carrier service.[citation needed] The organization's Winning Justice campaign pushes prosecutors to reduce incarceration, end the use of money bail, and change sentencing schemes under which hundreds of thousands of Black people are imprisoned in the US. The group has also persuaded businesses, including Mastercard and PayPal, to stop accepting payments from white nationalist groups, and business leaders to refrain from sitting on President Trump's Business Council. Color Of Change is credited with working with Silicon Valley companies including Airbnb, Google and Facebook to improve diversity inside their companies and address policies that harm Black users. Their media and Hollywood teams also work to get content they deem racist and inaccurate taken off air; they have gotten several reality TV shows (All My Babies' Mamas, COPS) and conservative hosts (Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck) canceled.

In 2016, the Stanford Social Innovation Review wrote about Color Of Change's integrated online/offline strategies for “pursuing the fight for racial justice at Internet speed.” In 2015, Fast Company named Color Of Change the 6th Most Innovative Company in the World,[13] and named Color Of Change the 2nd Most Innovative Company in the nonprofit sector in 2018. From 2010 to 2014, Robinson was selected as one of "The Root 100," a list of emerging and influential African Americans under 45.[14][15][16]

Robinson regularly appears in the media, including NPR,[17] MSNBC,[18] CNN, NPR, PBS, and BET. He has a monthly column in the US edition of The Guardian.[19] His editorials have been published by the New York Times,[20] Huffington Post,[21] the Washington Post, and USA Today.

In March 2015, Ebony Magazine called Robinson one of several "breakthrough leaders who have stepped up and are moving forward in the perpetual fight for justice."[22] In May 2015, Huffington Post included Robinson in a series highlighting "some of the people and issues that will shape the world in the next decade."[23] The same month, Robinson received an honorary doctoral degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland.[24]

On September 25, 2020, Robinson was named as one of the 25 members of the "Real Facebook Oversight Board", an independent monitoring group over Facebook.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Robinson grew up in Riverhead, Long Island, and graduated from Riverhead High School in 1997.[26][27] He began practicing activism as a high school student when he led a protest against a local convenience store that barred students from entering the store during their lunch break.[28][29] He also became involved with the NAACP while in high school.[27]

Robinson attended Marymount University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in political science.[30][26]

Robinson lives in New York City.[29]


  1. ^ "ColorOfChange.org announces Rashad Robinson as new Executive Director". Color of Change. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Rashad Robinson: Board Member". RaceForward. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Board of Trustees".
  4. ^ "Leadership".
  5. ^ "BOARD OF TRUSTEES | THE EDWARD W. HAZEN FOUNDATION". Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  6. ^ a b Lewis-Kraus, Gideon. "Rashad Robinson Built a Civil Rights Movement for the Digital Age". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  7. ^ Goode, Morgan. "GLAAD'S Senior Director of Media Programs Appearing Tonight on the Derek and Romaine Show". GLAAD. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  8. ^ Right to Vote Campaign
  9. ^ Robinson, Rashad. "Nebraska Ends its Permanent Voting Ban for People with Felony Convictions; Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto to Change the States' Felony Disfranchisement Law". Common Dreams. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Rashad Robinson". Fair Vote. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  11. ^ Center, Foundation. "Rashad Robinson, President, Color Of Change". Philanthropy News Digest (PND). Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  12. ^ Amazon Drops ALEC Under Pressure From Advocacy Group
  13. ^ Corvey, JJ (9 February 2015). ".6 Color of Change".
  14. ^ Piazza, Sean (14 September 2011). "GLAAD's Senior Director of Media Programs, Rashad Robinson, has been named one of the top 100 emerging and established African American leaders by The Root". GLAAD. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  15. ^ "2013 The Root 100: Rashad Robinson". The Root. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  16. ^ "2014 The Root 100: Rashad Robinson". The Root. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Companies Fight Back Against Protesters With Financial Pressure". NPR.org. NPR. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  18. ^ "More questions than answers in Sandra Bland case". MSNBC. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  19. ^ "Robinson becomes monthly featured columnist at The Guardian". Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Equal Internet Access for All". New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Rashad Robinson". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  22. ^ "Leaders of the New School". Ebony. 22 July 2016.
  23. ^ "Rashad Robinson Is Leading The Social Justice Movement Into The 21st Century". Huffington Post. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  24. ^ "St. Mary's College Graduates 430 Seniors during 45th Commencement Ceremony". St. Mary's College of Maryland. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  25. ^ "While Facebook works to create an oversight board, industry experts formed their own". NBC News.
  26. ^ a b Lewis-Kraus, Gideon. "Rashad Robinson Built a Civil Rights Movement for the Digital Age". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  27. ^ a b "Riverhead grad speaks at Long Island NAACP luncheon | Riverhead News Review". riverheadnewsreview.timesreview.com. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  28. ^ "Rashad Robinson - Meet Crain's New York Business Class of 2018 40 Under 40". www.crainsnewyork.com. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  29. ^ a b "Riverhead native and civil rights leader Rashad Robinson to NAACP luncheon: 'Build power to change the rules' | RiverheadLOCAL". RiverheadLOCAL. 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  30. ^ ""Power Is The Ability To Change The Rules": How Rashad Robinson Holds Companies Accountable". Fast Company. 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2018-08-14.