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After it was revealed that the North Miami Beach Police Department had been using mugshots of African American men for target practice, many people were up in arms deeming that the practices were racially insensitive. Outraged by the situation, clergy members have launched a new social media campaign using the hashtag #UseMeInstead. The concept was created by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Facebook page, where clergy members expressed their disapproval with the North Miami Beach Police Department’s practices. “We initially started thinking if a whole lot of us, in our clergy collar and worship attire, sent our photos to them, it would make a really powerful statement,” said Texas pastor Rev. Kris Totzke. “Then, it really snowballed, and we got people all over the country and of all different faiths.” The group of pastors wants to use this social movement as a way to combat racism. The group plans on sending a bunch of 8-by-10 #UseMeInstead photos of pastors to the police department. “It’s such a desensitization thing, that if you start aiming at young Black men, and [are] told to put a bullet in them, you become desensitized,” said Rev. Joy M. Gonnerman. “Maybe, to change the picture, it’s you know what, dare ya, shoot a clergy person.” Read more.

Kendrick Johnson’s Parents To Possibly Face Jail Time?

As the parents of Kendrick Johnson are still mourning their loss of their son, the will soon be faced with another hurdle to overcome. According to reports, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson appeared in court Monday to face misdemeanor charges for an April 2013 protest, where they blocked the entrance to the Lowndes County Courthouse in Valdosta, Georgia, and prevented access to the security checkpoint which was located inside of the courthouse. They were arrested on April 25, 2013, and released on bond. After being released, Johnson’s mother stated, “I’m going to be right back out at the courthouse in the morning, ready to do it all over again, until we get justice. We know who killed him. We just have to prove it.” If Johnson’s parents are charged, they can end up spending a year in prison, receive a $1,000 fine, or both. Read more.

Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo To Create Film About Hurricane Katrina

After seeing the success of “Selma,” director Ava DuVernay wants to keep the ball rolling. She is using her platform to address issues that have impacted the African-American community. It is reported that for her next project, DuVernay will team up with David Oyelowo to produce a drama about Hurricane Katrina. The film will be created under Participant Media. “Hurricane Katrina is one of the most-important social and environmental stories of our time,” said Jonathan King, EVP, Narrative Film. “Ava DuVernay has shown herself to be highly skilled at bringing intimacy and contemporary urgency to epic events. We have been looking for the right way to get back in business with Ava, and with David Oyelowo, and are proud to re-team with them on her original idea, which we believe will be a powerful film.” Read more.

Clergy Members Launch #UseMeInstead Campaign In Response To Police’s Black Target Practice  was originally published on