Rapper Talib Kweli announced that he is joining with activists to distribute $100,000 in grants to address the issue of many young Black men and women in Ferguson still lingering in jail after being arrested in protests.
It has been an ongoing problem in communities like Ferguson, where many young people were arrested but did not have the funds to put up bail money to be released.
“These are young men and women who have put their lives on hold to stand up for all of our freedoms,” Kweli, who joined protesters in Ferguson, said in a prepared statement. “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.”
Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of BlackLivesMatter movement, told NewsOne that folks on the ground “are doing work, whether they have money or not.”
“It will help people to do more work on the front lines without having to worry about money,” she said.
A crowdfunding campaign was first launched in October to provide legal support to Ferguson protesters, raising $112,052—$104,208 after 7 percent crowdfunding fees. This was far more than the initial goal of $25,000.
The first recipients of the grants received money on Friday, a total of $48,800. The recipients included $35,000 to Missourians Organizing For Reform and Empowerment (MORE), earmarked for bail funds and legal support for Ferguson protesters.
The recipients also include Ferguson’s Action Support Committee’s Revolution School, which is getting $20,000 to train and provide technical assistance to local organizers.