As a black-owned business, the current state of the world has changed ROSE’s daily motions as a company. We view ROSE as a vehicle for improving the world, both in how we support each other internally, and the impact of the products we bring to life. We also acknowledge that as a Black-owned tech firm, we have an innate privilege with our platform. We have the ability to create change through technology, and with that privilege comes a deeply-rooted responsibility. Bail Out Network was our way of assisting in the fight for Black equality, without distracting from the injustices currently happening.
After the death of George Floyd sparked protests across the world, we found ourselves in conversations with the entire staff about how we could make a positive impact. We quickly saw the systematic arrest of protesters around the country, and the flood of donations to community bail funds that have been integral to fighting police overreach for decades.
We wanted to make locating these funds, and their donation portals, as easy as possible as the police violence became clearly visible on a daily basis. So we scoured the internet looking for every bail fund we could find, and any lawyers or law firms that vocalized their willingness to represent those arrested for protesting free of charge. The website was launched in under 24 hours, on June 2, as a rapid response to the grossly visible police violence that was being seen across the country.
This project started as a way for us to collect bail funds in one place, for people looking to lend a hand in their communities as police began systematically targeting protesters. As more time passed, we wanted to expand how Bail Out Network could be utilized as a resource in the fight against police brutality and equity for Black and brown bodies.
The site now has a collection of resources that are dedicated to helping the most marginalized communities — focusing on the Black Trans community, Black LGBTQ+ community, Black youth, Black incarcerated people and other groups that lack protection from this country’s institutions. The site remains open for submissions, and if people come to the site and want to submit new resources they can add them at any time.
We firmly believe, as should all people, that Black Lives Matter and the people protesting should not face punishment for doing what is right. As people continue to protest and fight for the destruction of systemic racism and demanding a complete overhaul of the United States policing system, they’re going to need more money, more resources, and more bodies to achieve these goals. We will continue to promote organizations that are protecting those who have been disenfranchised by the current political, economic, and social structures that exist within the fabric of the United States. This database will be updated as more resources become available.
Launched in June 2020, the idea for this project built upon Rose Digital’s history of using technology for good in times of public crisis (see also, Help or Get Help). Ashley Nelson, copywriter, originated the idea and identified the need within the current environment to connect those protesting with legal aid and easy access to resources. Nicole Riemer, art director, created the visual direction and UX of the site with Ashley writing the copy.
Bail Out Network will continue to consolidate resources that anyone can use to access resources helping the Black Lives Matter movement. For more information on ROSE, please visit builtbyrose.co.
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