ICYMI, here are a few of the things that our amazing community has been doing to change the U.S. in the last week.
1. Brenda and Darius delivered 157,000 signatures to the NCAA
For the last two months, mother and son duo, Darius Adams and Brenda Tracy, have been calling for the NCAA to adopt a policy that bans student-athletes who commit violent crimes, like rape and sexual assault.
This past Wednesday, Darius and Brenda delivered their petition -- now with over 157,000 signatures -- to the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, and had a meeting with the NCAA officials.
Read about how their meeting went with the NCAA.
2. There were five clemency victories in one day
On Wednesday, President Obama granted clemency to 214 people serving long or life sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. Five of those recipients have petitions on Change.org: Josephine Ledesma, Dicky Joe Jackson, Minnie Pearl Thomas, Charceil Kellam, and Antonio Lopez.
One person to highlight is Minnie Pearl Thomas, whose grandson Demaryius Thomas plays football for the NFL’s Denver Broncos. The petition for her release was started by her daughter -- Demaryius’ mother -- who just two years ago was granted clemency by President Obama.
Clemency has become one of the most popular issues on our platform. There are over 100 petitions and millions of supporters who are doing more than just signing petitions -- they raised over $25,000 for Sharanda Jones who was granted clemency in December using our new fundraising feature and over $7,000 for Weldon Angelos.
Check out other clemency stories on the movement page.
3. The youth from the Standing Rock Reservation finished a 1,800-mile relay in Washington, D.C.
Over 30 Native American youth from the Standing Rock Reservation held actions in Washington, D.C., and New York City this past weekend as part of their campaign to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Their arrival in D.C. was the culmination of a 1,800-mile long relay run from North Dakota to deliver over 160,000 petition signatures demanding that the Army Corps of Engineers reverse the construction permit they granted for the project.
The pipeline, which will stretch across four states, will cross the Missouri River just a mile from the Standing Rock Reservation, threatening the community’s drinking water and health. The starters say that it’s not a matter of if it leaks, but when.
4. Citizens asked for the NFL to move games that conflict with the Presidential debates
With the presidential election heating up, lifelong Green Bay Packers fan Zach Wahls is calling on the National Football League to reschedule two games that conflict with the Presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump this fall. The two games -- the New Orleans Saints vs the Atlanta Falcons on Monday, September 26, and the Carolina Panthers vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, October 9 -- feature three teams from battleground states, making it even more important that viewers not have to choose between the two events.
“This presidential election is like no other, and its importance is paramount," wrote Zach. "I hope you'll join me in calling on the NFL to make sure that as many people as possible are able to watch the Presidential Debates and do not feel split between cheering for their favorite team and participating in our democracy.”
5. Maria delivered over a million signatures calling for Judge Aaron Persky’s removal from the bench
Last week, petition starter Maria Cruz and dozens of supporters rallied in front of the Santa Clara Courthouse to demand the impeachment of Judge Aaron Persky, who made national headlines when he gave a lenient sentence to Brock Turner.
It was a decision, says Cruz, that “failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender, or other factors,” especially given that Turner is a white male athlete attending a prestigious university.
In addition to Maria speaking at the event, survivors of sexual assault shared their personal experiences, while others talked about how they signed the petition -- and came to the rally -- in honor of survivors in their own lives. One mother brought her two sons and partner, three high school girls came during their summer break, and others came from out of town to make sure their voices were clearly heard.
Afterwards, participants marched around the square chanting, “Only yes means yes!,” and delivered the petition’s 1.2 million signatures to a Public Information Officer.