Rapper Talib Kweli has been one of few celebrities to actively support the non-violent movement for justice and fair laws since last fall in Ferguson. In October, along with rapper Tef Poe and activist Autumn Marie, Kweli initiated the Ferguson Defense Fund with a goal of raising $25,000 for the legal aspects the protests. Today it was announced the campaign surpassed its mission with a total amount of $112,052!
Kweli has stood with the peaceful Ferguson protestors since the beginning. He was present on the forefront multiples times and even got into it with CNN’s Don Lemon when he felt the host had misconstrued the purpose of the Ferguson movement (as much of the media had done at that time.)
Through crowdfunding via Indiegogo, the funds raised support legal fees but also the issuing of grants, community and educational programs and grassroots organizations. The huge amount started distribution on February 13 and the first recipients were the Missourians Organizing For Reform and Empowerment (MORE), Artists As Tutors and Freedom Fighters of the Revolutionary Reading Program.
In a previous statement, Kweli spoke about the Fund’s legacy:
“These are young men and women who have put their lives on hold to stand up for all of our freedoms. The overly militarized police force in Ferguson has attempted to criminalize them by harassing and throwing them in jail for exercising their right to peaceful protest. We hope these funds help to empower.”
We are thrilled that a handful of community leaders and groups will be able to more sufficiently service their impassioned projects through the altruism of Kweli’s fund.