Reddit bans hate speech
On June 29, 2020, Reddit, a popular social forum platform that had been a haven for virulent misogynists and racists, announced an overhaul of its hate speech policy and closed “The Donald,” a forum for Trump supporters, and 2,000 other subreddit groups engaged in hate speech.
Tens of thousands of UltraViolet members signed the petition demanding change, and UltraViolet, as part of the Change the Terms coalition, met with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman to help guide the policies and enforcement that will make Reddit a safer space for women, especially women of color, and make it harder for bigoted extremists to organize and harass vulnerable populations. This victory is part of UltraViolet’s ongoing work to combat disinformation and hate wherever it flourishes on social media platforms and in tech forums.
Chris Matthews steps down from MSNBC
UltraViolet members sprang into action after Chris Matthews harassed Senator Elizabeth Warren following her powerful questioning of Mike Bloomberg’s repeated, documented sexual remarks toward women and his use of nondisclosure agreements to silence past alleged victims of harassment and discrimination. UltraViolet called for Matthews’ firing and, following this pressure, he stepped down days later.
UltraViolet members sent a powerful message that when public figures use their mass media platforms to doubt survivors and disrespect women, they will be called out and rooted out.
Demanding justice for Breonna Taylor
UltraViolet is organizing alongside Black Lives Matter Louisville and the family of Breonna Taylor to demand justice for the 26-year-old Black woman murdered by police officers as she slept in her bed. Over a million people have taken action–signing petitions, making phone calls, tweeting at Louisville officials, chipping in for billboards, print ads, and TV ads, and joining on-the-ground efforts to ensure we continue to #SayHerName until justice is served and the racist systems that allow police to kill Black people with impunity are transformed.
UltraViolet fights for women during the coronavirus pandemic
Women are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis–we make up the majority of frontline workers and essential employees. We’re facing the greatest economic barriers because of a lack of childcare and are more likely to lose our jobs. UltraViolet is fighting to ensure women, especially women of color, are not forgotten during this catastrophic moment. UltraViolet has joined forces with nurses and unions to demand federal action to get health care workers the personal protective equipment (PPE) they desperately need, and we are pushing Congress for relief that centers the needs of women and their families. Together with allies, we’ve driven more than 120,000 signatures to Congress demanding immediate action for medical professionals on the frontlines of this pandemic and coordinated with allies to drive calls to key decision-makers in Congress to pass funding for more PPE and workplace safety protections.
Preserving abortion rights
UltraViolet fights back against efforts to ban abortion by targeting corporations that donate large sums of money to anti-choice politicians, sounding the alarm and fighting back whenever states pass restrictions that make access to abortion more difficult and raising money to aid local organizations supporting women seeking abortions in states with restrictive anti-choice measures.
Demanding justice for Native survivors
UltraViolet successfully pushed for the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and since then, intimate partner violence has fallen by two-thirds. But Native women–more than 80% of whom experience violence in their lifetimes, mostly at the hand of someone who is not Native–have not benefited from VAWA due to outdated, racist laws that mean tribal courts often cannot prosecute offenders.
UltraViolet members continue to push Congress to pass the Justice for Native Survivors of Sexual Violence Act to allow tribal prosecution of sexual assault, sex trafficking, and stalking of non-Native offenders, no matter where they reside.
Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta resigned
On July 12, 2019, Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced his resignation amid growing pressure from the public and UltraViolet members across the country to step down.
UltraViolet members have been at the forefront of the fight for justice for survivors of sexual assault. And when news broke in late 2018 that Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta had handed serial child rapist Jeffrey Epstein a sweetheart plea deal in 2008, UltraViolet members sprang into action to demand accountability. Acosta’s resignation is great news, and it demonstrates that when we come together as a movement, we can take down sexual predators and their enablers, no matter how powerful. See how it happened.
The DNC will require female moderators at every 2020 presidential debate
Women–especially Black women–are voting, organizing, and running for office in record numbers, and it’s time that we ask the debate questions. After weeks of behind-the-scenes pressure from UltraViolet Action members and allies, the Democratic National Committee announced in May 2019 that it will require female moderators at every 2020 presidential debate.
UltraViolet Action asked 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to sign an #AskForWomen pledge to demand that every DNC debate have at least one woman moderator. Shortly after the pledge secured the support of a number of prominent candidates, the DNC made its groundbreaking announcement. Learn more about UltraViolet Action’s work to address sexism in the 2020 election.
RCA Records drops R. Kelly
On January 18, 2019, RCA Records and its parent company Sony Music finally announced that they were cutting ties with R. Kelly.
The work to hold R. Kelly accountable for sexual abuse of minors has been a long and harrowing battle for justice for all the Black girls who were disbelieved and made vulnerable to Kelly. This victory is for them. Sony’s decision to finally drop Kelly is in part thanks to UltraViolet members who followed the lead of Black women organizers working for years to #MuteRKelly.We were proud to work alongside leaders of the #MuteRKelly movement, Color of Change, Girls for Gender Equity and more. See what UltraViolet members did.
Former CBS CEO Les Moonves loses his $120M golden parachute
After months of pressure, CBS fired former CEO and sexual abuser Les Moonves for cause and revoked his $120 million severance package in December 2018.
In July, UltraViolet called on CBS’ Board of Directors to fire Les Moonves after a New Yorker article revealed that he sexually harassed at least six women. UltraViolet commissioned a mobile billboard to circle CBS’ press tour in Los Angeles reading “We Believe the Women Sexually Harassed and Assaulted by Leslie Moonves – Why Doesn’t CBS?”. Just one week before CBS made the announcement, we partnered with NOW-NYC to hold a protest outside of CBS’s shareholder meeting to demand they take away Moonves’ golden parachute.
This is a huge victory for survivors of sexual assault everywhere. This decision shows that across corporate America, the tides are turning, and the new norm is that if you abuse women, you will lose your job and your golden parachute.