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Figgers Foundation to Distribute Food & Hope in Quincy, Jacksonville and Bradenton, Florida; Aims to Serves Close to 3,000 Families for Thanksgiving 

 

For Immediate Release

Nov. 20, 2020

Figgers Foundation to Distribute Food & Hope in Quincy, Jacksonville and Bradenton, Florida; Aims to Serves Close to 3,000 Families for Thanksgiving 

Quincy, Fla. – Freddie Figgers is an inventor, engineer and business owner. But he is also a philanthropist with a heart for persons in need. An inspiring hero who rose from humble beginnings, Figgers, through his Figgers Foundation, is doing his part to serve the Florida community by providing funds, food, food assistance and other services to families in need. Figgers and his foundation are also working to ensure people experiencing homelessness in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have a safe holiday dinner.

“When our neighbors are in need of love and a helping hand, we willingly rise to the occasion,” said Figgers. “We want to show people who may have lost hope that they are important and deserve a dignified life. With care and understanding, we do our part during the Thanksgiving holiday to maybe help someone forget, for just a moment, life’s trials and tribulations.”

Figgers is one of the youngest African Americans to own and operate an independent, U.S.-based telecommunications company, Figgers Communications. Abandoned at birth and raised by his adoptive parents in Quincy, Florida, Figgers has long lived by the mantra, “we rise by lifting others.”

His foundation issued several grants this holiday season to the following organizations and communities:

Camillus House. On Nov. 19, the Figgers Foundation provided a grant to serve up to 800 homeless individuals and families. Camillus House had 100 volunteers on hand and hosted a feast for 800 individuals. To ensure the safety of clients throughout the pandemic, mealtimes were staggered, allowing no more than 48 clients in the dining hall at any given time. In keeping with tradition, and to serve as many people as possible, both the Figgers Foundation and Camillus have planned to make use of Camillus’ large outdoor courtyard space. On Thanksgiving, the Camillus courtyard will be transformed into an outdoor dining area – replete with tables, chairs, tablecloths, and centerpieces to create the warm feeling of home.

Broward Partnership for the Homeless. The Figgers Foundation provided a grant so the Broward Partnership for the Homeless’ Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing Programs so it can offer wholesome Thanksgiving meals and care packages (consisting of hygiene essentials, personal protective equipment and goodies for the kids). The grant will enable the organization to provide services to approximately 265 men, women and children daily living in 117 households. Of the 265 individuals, 66 are children living with a parent. 

The Faith and Figgers Foundation Initiative. On Nov. 20, the Figgers Foundation distributed 1,000 turkeys as part of its Faith and Figgers Foundation Initiative. The effort served individuals and families in Gadsden and Leon Counties. “Our mission was to ensure men, women and children of Gadsden and Leon Counties had a turkey for their Thanksgiving table,” said Carolyn Newman, executive director of the Figgers Foundation.

Bradenton Turkey Distribution. On Nov. 21, the Figgers Foundation will distribute 300 turkeys to individuals and families in need in Bradenton, Florida. Using space from MCR Health, the foundation will distribute turkeys at Southeast Health Center located at 919 53rd Ave. E, Bradenton, FL 34209 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This will be a drive-through event, where individuals will be served in their vehicles to ameliorate COVID-19 concerns.

Jacksonville. The Figgers Foundation will partner with Pastor Arthur Jackson to distribute turkeys and supplies at the Sunlife Stadium in Miami. Details are forthcoming.

CONTACT:

For more information, contact Jennifer R. Farmer at jenniferr@spotlightpr.org.

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Black Church PAC Endorses Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris for President and Vice President

For Immediate Release

Black Church PAC Endorses Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris for President and Vice President

Announces Local Endorsements in Georgia and South Carolina as Well 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Black Church PAC today announced its first round of endorsements for the 2020 election cycle. The PAC endorsed:

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris for President/Vice President.
  • Raphael Warnock for U.S. Senate (GA)
  • Jaime Harrison for U.S. Senate (SC)
  • Lucy McBath for U.S. Congress (GA-06)
  • Cori Bush for U.S. Congress (MO-01)

The Black Church PAC was founded in 2017 by Pastor Mike McBride, Bishop Leah Daughtry, the Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant, Pastor Traci Blackmon, Bishop Frank Reid, Erica and Warryn Campbell, Dr. Iva Carruthers and other leading clergy from across the country. The Black Church PAC is a strategic initiative which engages in selected federal, state and local races deemed consequential to addressing urban gun violence, mass incarceration, voter suppression and economic justice. It aims to elect leaders committed to changing these conditions and championing the equitable treatment of Black communities.

The group will engage and activate one million Black church voters in support of the Biden/Harris ticket, and other endorsed candidates. Through virtual Souls to the Polls events, text-a-thons and phone banks, voter registration drives, and digital organizing workshops, the Black Church PAC will leave no stones unturned to ensure Black voters vote in historic numbers. Details for these activities is outlined here:

Weekly Virtual Text-a-thons and Phone Banking

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET

Black Church PAC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BlackChurchPAC

 

Voter Readiness Virtual Trainings with Pastor Traci Blackmon

Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. ET

Black Church PAC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BlackChurchPAC

 

Digital Organizing Trainings with Rahiel Tesfamariam

Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. ET

Black Church PAC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BlackChurchPAC

 

Souls to the Polls with Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET

All events will be streamed from the Black Church PAC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BlackChurchPAC and the PAC’s YouTube Page: bit.ly/bcpyoutube

Visit BlackChurchPAC.org for more information.

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

 

Noted Human Rights Attorney and Black Power Scholar Nkechi Taifa Releases Debut Book

For Immediate Release

Aug. 25, 2020

WASHINGTON – Human rights advocate Nkechi Taifa today announced the publication of her debut book, “Black Power, Black Lawyer: My Audacious Quest for Justice.” The work is a nod to the Black Power movement she grew up in, and chronicles how the leaders of that era influenced her thinking, advocacy and life’s work. The tome teaches, preaches, rhapsodizes and tantalizes. In documenting her story, Taifa pauses to highlight the figures that inspired her and that laid the groundwork for today’s Black Lives Matter movement.

“The period that influenced me most was the Black Power era,” said Nkechi Taifa, a human rights advocate, convener of the Justice Roundtable and reparations expert. “But this period of our history has been swept under the rug, and in most cases, outright erased. You do not hear about Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Chokwe Lumumba and others. You don’t hear about the Black Liberation Movement of yesterday or the COINTELPRO that led to a number of political prisoners, some of them are still incarcerated today. But the groundwork these freedom-seekers laid impacts us today. The progress we witness today had its roots in the Black Power movement. We would not be where we are today were it not for those early freedom fighters.”

Black Power, Black Lawyer threads critical periods, connecting the dots of the continuum for justice from yesteryear’s freedom fighters to today’s liberationists. The book is a watershed intellectual autobiography and should be required reading for students of history, African American history, law and feminism.

Of “Black Power, Black Lawyer,” noted historian Greg Carr, Phd, said: “One of the many gifts of Black Power/Black Lawyer is that Nkechi sets a roadmap for searching out the lives and memories of the ancestors who trained her. Queen Mother Audley Moore transitioned before she could leave a memoir. She is in these pages, as are Baba Imari Abubakari Obadele, Baba Chokwe Lumumba and Mama Frances Cress Welsing, among so many others. In gifting us with this text, Nkechi brings them and many others along with her, and sparks our memories of each person, demanding that we join her in an exercise of requiem, remembrance and recommitment to principled struggle.”

Taifa’s powerful, passionate and personal memoir adds to the repertoire of civil rights books, but focuses extensively on Black liberation, a critical theme for today’s challenging times. Kirkus Reviews had this to say about the book, “… this is … a powerful, important book.  An engaging memoir of not just a fascinating woman, but a history of a movement.”

 

 

 

Grassroots Law Project Joins Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in Urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to Ban Use of Ketamine in Colorado

For Immediate Release

Grassroots Law Project Joins Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in Urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to Ban Use of Ketamine in Colorado

SAN FRANCISCO – Following the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, the Grassroots Law Project (GLP) today joined Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in urging Democratic Gov. Jared Polis to bar law enforcement from using Ketamine to subdue and restrain citizens. This comes after Lakewood City Councilwoman Anita Springsteen sent a letter to Gov. Polis on July 29, urging him to block usage of the analgesic. Similarly, Black Lives Matter activists have also questioned use of the substance.

“Although I am a Councilwoman, I have been unsuccessful in garnering clear support of this issue from other city leadership,” said Lakewood City Councilwoman Anita Springsteen in her letter to the governor. “In fact, there are continuing efforts to silence and intimidate me, but I am committed to saving lives and doing my part to prevent the grief that Elijah McClain’s mother experiences each day.”

In 2.5 years, medics in Colorado administered ketamine to 902 people, according to KUNC. Relatedly, they found that 17% of Ketamine injections result in complication and that 1 in 5 victims must be intubated. The substance is so harmful that the American Society of Anesthesiologists and its vice president, Dr. Randall Clark, warned on July 15, 2020 that they “firmly opposes the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.” More than 2 million people signed a petition urging law enforcement to cease using the fatal substance.

On July 21, KUNC reported that “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued waivers allowing doctors to oversee 101 agencies that are approved to use ketamine for excited delirium.”

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Councilwoman Springsteen Letter to Gov. Jared Polis re Use of Ketamine by Law Enforcement

Anita Springsteen, Esq.

P.O. Box 19700

Denver, CO 80219

 

Governor Jared Polis

Office of the Governor

State of Colorado

136 State Capitol Building

Denver, CO 80203

 

July 29, 2020

RE: REQUEST FOR BAN ON THE USE OF KETAMINE/CHEMICAL RESTRAINT ON CIVILIANS

Dear Governor Polis:

I am writing to ask you stop another death like Elijah McClain’s by issuing an executive order to stop the use of Ketamine/chemical restraint, which is improperly being used for law enforcement purposes.  Not another day can go by with a state policy that allows this abuse of power and denial of civil liberties.  Protestors will boil over if Colorado leaders turn a blind eye after being put on notice if this tragedy happens again.

It is clear Ketamine injection caused the death of Elijah McClain, and also caused the need for Advanced Life Support for Elijah McKnight and Jeremiah Axtell.  KUNC reported that Ketamine has been used in Colorado at least 902 times in the past two years.  They found that 17% of Ketamine injections result in complication and that 1 in 5 victims must be intubated.  Fox 31 has reported on the serious consequences of this policy for nearly a year, which prompted a national petition signed by millions.  How many deaths or serious injuries have there been?  How many must there be to investigate?

West Metro Fire District records show that since 2016, its first responders have used Ketamine on average every 4 days.  Alarmingly, the use is rapidly increasing in frequency.  West Metro has used Ketamine every 1.4 days since the George Floyd protests began.  This begs the question, is Ketamine the new “knee in the neck”?  And what is the relationship with law enforcement?

The American Society of Anesthesiologists and its vice president, Dr. Randall Clark, issued a statement on July 15, 2020 warning: “The American Society of Anesthesiologists firmly opposes the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.”  The ASA does not endorse the use of Ketamine outside of a hospital setting and careful monitoring, as it is a potent analgesic.

Potential Vice-Presidential candidate, Congresswoman Karen Bass, questioned U.S. Attorney General Barr about the McClain case and the use of Ketamine to subdue civilians, and especially people of color, during Barr’s testimony before the House Judicial Committee yesterday.  The Attorney General was unaware of this practice.  But the nation is finally waking up to this dirty little secret and shocking civil rights abuse.

Dr. Kimberly Portzline, PharmD, MBA, (who endorses this letter) has done extensive research on Ketamine policy and medicine.  She discovered that the originating 2009 study that is used as justification has been disavowed by its original publishers, the American College of Emergency Physicians.  “Excited delirium”, used to justify sedation, is not a medically accepted term and not part of the DSM V.  Please find attached the 2009 White Paper and the 2016 ACEP disavowal.

Even so, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, who issues the waivers, is not acting to stop this.  This power to suspend a citizen’s right to informed medical consent should not rest with the CDPHE.

I video recorded and witnessed the use of Ketamine on a civilian who was compliant, calm, and cooperative in January 2020 – so I have first-hand experience with the problem.  Most people who are victims of this policy are not fortunate enough to have video proof of misuse, so this must serve as a wake-up call.  We have a duty to protect those people who have no way to protect themselves.

Although I am a City Councilwoman in Lakewood, I have been unsuccessful in garnering clear support of this issue from other city leadership.  In fact, there are continuing efforts to silence and intimidate me.  However, I will not remain silent with this knowledge that can save lives and prevent the grief that Elijah McClain’s mother experiences each day.

Please help me to prevent the next Elijah and issue an executive order stopping this alarming policy.  Please also launch an investigation into the cases in which civilians have been injected with Ketamine thus far.  We must get to the bottom of this.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,

 

 

Anita Springsteen, Esq.

 

Endorsement: Dr. Kimberly Portzline, PharmD, MBA

 

Cc: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

       American Civil Liberties Union

       Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser

 

 

Racial Justice Activist and Social Media Influencer Shaun King to Kickoff Multi-City Virtual Book Tour For ‘Make Change’

For Immediate Release

Aug. 3, 2020

Racial Justice Activist and Social Media Influencer Shaun King to Kickoff Multi-City Virtual Book Tour For ‘Make Change’

WASHINGTON – Noted racial justice activist and social media influencer Shaun King today announced a book tour for his sophomore project “Make Change.” A former pastor, unrelenting fighter for police accountability, and advocate for families whose loved ones have been killed by police, King brings his decades’ long experience working for change onto the pages of this book. He details how the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police, and subsequent police killings of John Crawford, Ezell Ford and others, ignited in him an unquenchable drive to hold police accountable and to challenge injustice. The book is a clarion call inviting others to continue fighting for justice and to believe in the possibility of change.

Beginning August 4, the multi-city virtual tour will make stops in Atlanta, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Tampa, Washington, D.C. and more than 50 other cities. The first event is on Tuesday, August 4 at 2:00 p.m. ET and is a live online book signing. For a complete list of tour events, see: https://www.makechangebook.com/.

“From Emmett Till to Amadou Diallo to Sandra Bland to Trayvon Martin, there is a history in this country of unarmed, nonviolent Black men and women meeting brazen killers who refuse to value Black lives,” said Shaun King, activist, podcaster, social media influencer and an co-founder of the social justice enterprises, Grassroots Law Project and Real Justice PAC. “I will spend the rest of my life fighting to end this cycle of violence and to bring purveyors of race-based harm to justice.”

The widely anticipated publication enjoys the support of progressive leaders, celebrities and national and local change agents. The book’s foreword was written by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and was endorsed by professor and National Book Award Winner Ibram X. Kendi, rapper Cardi B, music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, professional soccer player and activist Megan Rapinoe, San Francisco reform District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and progressive champion Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The audiobook’s chapters have introductory remarks by famed leaders including Ilyasah Shabazz, S. Lee Merritt, Ady Barkan, Tamika Mallory, Busta Rhymes, Tan France, the family of Breonna Taylor, Carmen Perez, Cedric the Entertainer, Charlamagne tha God, Lecrae, and Rev. Polk. The 272-page non-fiction work is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Publishers Weekly said King’s “…fervent exhortation succeeds in making the case that the time for progressives to act is now.” Book critic Grace Jackson-Brown characterized King as a magnet for many seeking a way forward to a more equitable America,” in a review she wrote for Booklist.

In promoting the book, King made an intentional decision to engage Black-owned bookstores by hosting his talks collaboratively with these staples of the community.

To schedule an interview with King, or learn more about the book and tour, contact Jennifer Farmer at jenniferr@spotlightpr.org.

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EBONY Media Holdings Categorically Denies Allegations Concerning Board Members John Robinson and Jacob Walthour

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2020

EBONY Media Holdings Categorically Denies Allegations Concerning Board Members John Robinson and Jacob Walthour

HOUSTON, TX – Over the past two weeks, persons claiming to act on behalf of Ebony Media Holdings and Ebony Media Operations have made a series of false and baseless allegations in press releases against stakeholders in Ebony and their representatives. Yet, despite their alleged affiliation with Ebony, those persons have done nothing to benefit Ebony’s iconic assets or to preserve its business.

“As a result, Parkview Credit Capital, Ebony’s largest creditor, participated in the filing of involuntary bankruptcy cases against Ebony so that a court-appointed trustee could maximize the value of Ebony’s assets. Parkview understand that as a result of the actions of these persons, the Board of Directors of EBONY Magazine has had to make a series of painful but necessary decisions. While made in the company’s long-term interest, such change is a prerequisite for preserving a legacy media institution with as storied a history as EBONY Magazine.

“These persons have sought to create confusion and deflect attention from their own irresponsible and inappropriate actions that have damaged Ebony. In fact, these releases quote Mr. Willard Jackson who has denied the statements published on PR Newswire, asserting that the message was published without his input, knowledge, or consent.

“Ebony Media Holdings is a private company and has no publicly traded securities. Therefore, there is no factual, legal or regulatory basis for claims of inappropriate trading.  In addition, no lawsuits have been filed against the Company or any of its directors in relation to the spurious claims.

“Parkview hopes that EBONY’s Board of Directors will continue to make decisions in the company’s long-term best interest.”

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Arsonist Sets Fire to Church of Prominent Bay Area Pastor 

For Immediate Release

Arsonist Sets Fire to Church of Prominent Bay Area Pastor 

Pastor to Hold Press Conference on July 30 at 10:30 a.m. local time

BERKELEY, CA — More than a year after a string of arsons obliterated Black churches in Louisiana, the congregation of a prominent Bay area pastor and racial justice advocate has been targeted by an arsonist. Pastor Michael McBride, who leads the LIVE FREE gun violence prevention campaign and who co-founded the Black Church PAC, received a call from one of his ministers the morning of July 29. The minister found burned trash bins and property damage to the church building. McBride, who has traveled the country challenging white supremacy, had just hung a Black Lives Matter banner from his church, The Way Church. Hours later the church was set afire. Photos show the aftermath of the blaze; trash cans set afire, the side of the church and the concrete in the surrounding area charred by fire. Pastor McBride will host a press conference outside the church on Thursday, July 30 at 10:30 a.m. PST. Persons outside of Berkeley, can join the press conference via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IiDgQZnCQB2L0eXr9NSWnw.

A neighbor reported seeing a suspicious person setting fire in the rear of the building. He and his roommate called the local fire department. Firefighters and police officers arrived and extinguished the blaze, yet failed to notify the pastor or other church officials.

McBride is now considering whether his decades long work challenging police brutality, registering people of faith to vote, or speaking out against white supremacy irritated the suspected arsonist, or whether they were angered by the Black Lives Matter sign hanging from the church. He is also questioning why the police department did not contact anyone regarding the fire at his church, opting instead to slide a card under the front door.

“For decades church fires were used as a means of terrorizing Black clergy and the Black community. I guess in Berkeley, it’s not something worthy of special attention by law enforcement officials” said Pastor Michael McBride, campaign director of the LIVE FREE gun violence prevention campaign and co-founder of the Black Church PAC. “Regardless of the intentions of the suspect, we will not be silenced or intimidated. Were it not for an alert and courageous neighbor, my entire church could have been burned to the ground.”

WHO:            Pastor Michael McBride, The Way Christian Church

WHAT:          Press Conference re Attempted Church Burning

WHEN:          Thursday, July 30 at 10:30 a.m. PT

WHERE:       1305 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA (Zoom for persons outside of Berkeley)

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IiDgQZnCQB2L0eXr9NSWnw

 

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

Until Freedom to Host Direct Action Urging Louisville Police to Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor

For Immediate Release

Until Freedom Will Host Direct Action Urging Louisville Police to Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor

The Grassroots Law Project to Provide Legal Observers and Bail for Demonstrators

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Grassroots Law Project and Until Freedom today announced a direct action in Louisville, KY designed to spur criminal charges of the six officers responsible for the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, an essential worker killed on March 13 as she slept in her home. The action is sponsored by Until Freedom, an intersectional social justice organization rooted in the leadership of diverse people of color to address systemic and racial injustice.

“The Grassroots Law Project is here to provide legal observers who will record the demonstration, monitor for civil rights violations and help protect protesters from the deadliest police culture in the world,” said Attorney Lee Merritt, legal director of the Grassroots Law Project.

WHO:             Until Freedom, Grassroots Law Project

WHAT:          Direct Action Urging Criminal Charges for the Officers Who Killed Breonna Taylor

WHEN:          Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

WHY:             The purpose of the action is to urge Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the Louisville Police Department to arrest and charge the six officers responsible for Breonna Taylor’s killing.

Background:

In the middle of the night on March 13, Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police during the execution of a drug raid. An aspiring nurse, she had dedicated her whole life to serving others. She had worked as an EMT in Louisville when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and reportedly worked at two hospitals to save lives in her community. She survived repeated exposure to COVID-19 only to have her life cut short by police violence. None of the police involved in the killing have been arrested or charged.

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Contact: Jennifer Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

 

New Jersey Division of Investment Official Accused of Contacting Blueprint Business Relationships After Racial Discrimination, Retaliation and Fraud Lawsuit Filed

For Immediate Release

NEWARK, NJ – Less than three weeks after the State of New Jersey was named in a federal racial discrimination, retaliation and fraud lawsuit, information has once again been received regarding retaliation by the State of New Jersey against Blueprint Capital Advisors. On June 23, Blueprint Capital Advisors, a Black-owned asset management firm, sued the state of New Jersey, BlackRock Alternative Advisors and Cliffwater LLC alleging racial discrimination, retaliation and fraud. Now, Blueprint received information from a credible source regarding what appears to be attempts to tortiously interfere with Blueprint’s business dealings, allegedly calling the firm’s clients with the intent of getting them to terminate or reduce their relationship with Blueprint. The firm’s legal counsel, Wigdor LLP, sent a cease and desist letter on Friday, July 3 to New Jersey’s counsel.

Attorney Lawrence M. Pearson of Wigdor LLP, wrote in the Cease and Desist letter: “It has come to our attention that senior officials with New Jersey’s Division of Investment (the “DOI”), including DOI Director Corey Amon, have been contacting Blueprint’s other investors for the purpose of tortiously interfering with the Company’s business relationships. From conversations with relevant parties, we are aware that DOI employees have contacted several clients in a transparent and retaliatory attempt to have Chicago Police pull out of its investment with Blueprint. The conduct of the DOI and its representatives is unlawful and inexcusable, and they must cease and desist from these and similar actions immediately. If DOI and its officials (including, but not limited to, Mr. Amon) are somehow still ignorant (which is no excuse or defense) of the fact that Blueprint’s assertion of legal claims and the filing of its lawsuit are legally protected against retaliation by the Defendants, then this letter is their written notice that they must stop such conduct right now. 

To read the full letter, click here.

At its founding, Blueprint developed an innovative investment tool to save public pension funds millions on fees paid to money managers. Blueprint brought FAIR, its highly researched investment tool, to the State of New Jersey. According to the legal complaint filed on June 23, New Jersey initially promised to invest $500 million with Blueprint for its FAIR program. After months of due diligence, Blueprint learned that BlackRock had received Blueprint’s materials and would co-opt its FAIR program. When Blueprint protested, New Jersey officials allegedly told the company that the State wasn’t a fan of doing business with Black-owned or women-owned companies. Blueprint was then met with extreme retaliation by New Jersey state officials who allegedly threatened to redeem their other business with Blueprint, if Blueprint continued to question the decision to co-opt Blueprint’s FAIR program. A link to the full lawsuit is here, and media coverage on the case can be found here.

Contact: Jennifer Farmer, jennifer@spotlightpr.org

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