Say Their Names: Shifting the Narrative About Victims of Police Brutality

Highlighting the stories of victims of police brutality, as told by their families. A groundbreaking multimedia project by an international human rights attorney and award-winning filmmakers
 

Say Their Names: Shifting the Narrative About Victims of Police Brutality
Highlighting the stories of victims of police brutality, as told by their families. A groundbreaking multimedia project by an international human rights attorney and award-winning filmmakers

 

Washington, DC – Say Their Names is a bold and groundbreaking multimedia project designed to reclaim the stories of black lives lost unjustly to police and vigilante brutality. Say TheirNames will produce a series of short documentary films and a book featuring the stories of the black lives lost and the impact on their families. “This project is about narrative shifting. It’s about talking about victims of police brutality as human beings,” explains author Nicole Lee, “This is a call to action to all of us to be the moral change we need in our society.”

 

On a daily basis, we are inundated with the reality that black lives are being lost at the hands of the state – but it’s most often left to the media to choose which stories to tell, how to tell them and even which ones to ignore. Beyond the news clips – if they make the news at all – the grieving families who are directly impacted and feel that pain in a real way are often left to pick up the pieces on their own. The stories told in the media often rely on stereotyping the victims, which means that their grieving families have to endure a second loss: this time the dignity, humanity and truth about their loved ones. The Say Their Names project aims to give these families a forum and vehicle to raise their voices and be heard – and, in turn, allow them to be our guiding light as we collectively call for change.

 

Say Their Names brings together film and print. We are collecting personal stories for a 100-page coffee table book documenting the lives of 20 grieving families across the country. In addition we will create and distribute 5 short films, including a 20-minute documentary produced by award-winning filmmakers Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster. Stephenson and Brewster produced the film American Promise and are currently working on the New York Times Op-Doc series on race. The Say Their Names book will be authored by Nicole Lee, a renowned International Human Rights attorney and co-founder of Black Movement Law Project.

 
“We must say their names and we must declare that their lives meant something, and this is what this campaign will do,” proclaims Collette Flanagan, mother of Clinton Allen, slain by a Dallas police officer in 2013. Let’s come together to make this project a reality and truly tell the stories of the families and their loved ones. Your contribution will help us get the real and true stories from families. Are you willing to stand with us and join the Say Their Names campaign?

 

Media Contact: Marc Bayard, Co-Founder of Say Their Names, marc@leebayard.com

#SayTheirNames: A Groundbreaking Campaign

Dear Friends and Allies,

 

 
My name is Nicole Lee and I am a human rights attorney. Until last year my job was to travel around the world investigating crimes committed against people by their own governments. And here it is, happening in the United States. We see it in the news with alarming frequency; black children, women and men are killed by police and vigilante violence.
 
What if this was your family? What if it was my family? That’s why I co-founded, Say TheirNames. Say Their Names is a campaign for change. It’s an attempt to reach out to America through a series of bold, short documentary films, plus a compelling book composed of photos and first-hand accounts from families who’ve lost loved ones to anti-black violence.

 

Our black children – all of our children deserve to grow into adults whose lives are full of possibility, whose lives can’t be stolen by police and vigilantes. Telling the stories, and changing it – means telling their stories every way we can.

 

We’ve got to listen with our hearts. So that’s why I’m writing to you. I’m hoping you will stand with us. Stand with the families who’ve lost loved ones. Help us tell the stories. Will you join us and help share this campaign? We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

 

Many Thanks,

 

Nicole Lee, Esq.
Co-Founder of Say Their Names

#SayTheirNames