Finish the Run Update
The #FinishTheRun Global Virtual Run (our team started the first global run on Maud’s birthday in May 2020) was a huge success.
Down to the penny, here are the final numbers on the funds raised through our virtual run:
$345,306.73 TOTAL SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS RAISED
As we always promised, every dime we raised through this effort was set aside for a specific purpose--scholarships for Black and Brown children. So we felt it was important to let you all know the final number on what we ultimately raised in this effort.
We know things have been quiet on our end. So we wanted to give you an update. For the past two months, we’ve been in private conversations with Maud’s mom, Mrs. Wanda Cooper-Jones. We felt it was best to have private conversations, rather than public dialogue about issues that had arisen.
Today, we’re happy to announce that we have come to an amicable, mutual agreement with her regarding any of those perceived differences. Over a year ago, we started a grassroots advocacy effort, with her blessing, to seek answers for her son’s death. As noted in today’s joint press release she expresses her gratitude for that. For the past year, we’ve continued those efforts, while expanding our efforts to include youth advocacy in general. But she has asked that we stop using the 2:23 Foundation mark.
For our team, fighting injustice is bigger than a mark. Youth advocacy is bigger than a mark. It’s also bigger than one name. Our team includes coaches, mentors, and youth advocates who work with kids every day who need the hope we provide for a better future. So, as we have done throughout this process, we have respectfully decided to discontinue the use of the 2:23 Foundation mark. But we do so now with a mutual agreement and understanding that our team will be able to change lives here locally in Brunswick without future challenges to our call to the youth.
Our mutual release and agreement with Mrs. Cooper-Jones outline just that. We share this personal note because wanted our tribe to celebrate the fact that people with perceived differences can come together and come to an agreement about a clear path forward.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM THE 2:23 FOUNDATION AND WANDA COOPER-JONES
We wanted to announce that, effective May 15th, 2021, the 2:23 Foundation will no longer exist as an entity. There was substantive disagreement regarding whether our new name (2:23 Foundation) and work were supported by members of the Arbery family. We reiterate again that over the tenure of our existence, our work was supported by Mrs. Cooper-Jones (early on), his father, Marcus Arbery, Sr., his aunts, and other family members. There was also disagreement with Mrs. Cooper-Jones whether the new name infringed upon any publicity rights and uses image, likeness, and name for intellectual property purposes. While we felt Georgia law supported that it did not, we did not feel that our energies were best spent in a legal battle over it. Rather, they were best spent doing the on-the-ground work we’ve always done. Showing up every day to fight injustices in the local community we know and love.
So we are going to discontinue using the 2:23 Foundation mark, but we won’t stop fighting for justice.
There are too many local organizations doing work to that end. And we feel we can best lend our time and energy to that work. As of today, our team is joining A Better Glynn, another local organization committed to equitable solutions in our hometown of Brunswick, Georgia. You may already be familiar with A Better Glynn. Our team has partnered with the organization on several occasions in the past to affect local change. That includes Get Out The Vote efforts last fall, turkey and food giveaways, and town halls discussing local issues important to our residents. Our team looks forward to joining their efforts and working hard to have a real impact on our community. You can find more information about A Better Glynn at abetterglynn.com or over on the Facebook Page, A Better Glynn.
What about the fundraising dollars? Down to the penny, here are the final numbers on the funds raised through our virtual run:
$279,235.32 Virtual Run Scholarship Funds (check from vendor)$1,896.09 Virtual Run Scholarship Funds Merchandise Sales$64,175.38 Direct Scholarship Fund Donations———————————$345,306.73 TOTAL SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS RAISED
Mrs. Cooper-Jones had expressed difficulty with raising funds for her newly established Ahmaud Arbery Foundation. After lengthy discussions, Mrs. Cooper-Jones has agreed to receiving and using the funds we raised to help cover scholarship opportunities through the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation. Our team set out to raise this money for scholarship opportunities and we are happy that this will still happen through the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation. We do not believe that this frustrates our original purpose and felt that it was the best solution while giving Mrs. Cooper-Jones (and the family through the estate) the opportunity to honor Maud through scholarship opportunities for Black and Brown children.
With that said, If you have any questions about the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation and the scholarship funds we are donating to support those efforts, please reach out to Tammie Holmes on the foundation's team. Her email is .moc.liamg%40eimmatsemloh
Part of our agreement with Mrs. Cooper-Jones includes a mutual release and non-disparagement clause (among other important requests that support the integrity of our work). We think this will help the focus return to fighting injustice in our community. And we wish her nothing but the best with her new foundation.
As you all already know, we are laser-focused on making our community better. That means we’ll continue to show up at local county commission meetings to discuss a police force that needs to be held accountable. We’ll continue to work on establishing a citizens review board and a robust community policing model that protects its citizens. We’ll continue to galvanize our youth to get out to vote and lead in our community. We will continue to serve, love, and unite our city through our actions. That’s what we’re going to do.
It just won’t be under the name 2:23 Foundation.
One thing is for sure. We’re going to keep running. We’re going to keep fighting. An organizational name doesn’t change that. We still have the same values. Endurance is one of them. And we meant that.
Thanks for running with us, family. Remember, find other local organizations to follow in Glynn County. We’ll be joining A Better Glynn as part of its Youth Advocacy efforts. We would love for you to follow our efforts over there. We’re sure you’ll see us involved and active to help create a better Glynn County for all our community.
What's next for the team?
Our team is joining, A Better Glynn, another local organization as its Youth Engagement team. We will continue to help our local youth engage civically and provide them with opportunities to pursue justice.
What is going to happen to the website?
We will keep this page up for 90 days or so to ensure everyone gets these important updates from us. After that, there will be a simple static page with basic forwarding information.
Will you still provide updates on the case?
We will not. While we want to be able to do so, we will leave those updates up to the Arbery Foundation and focus on preventing anything like this from happening again in the future. You will hear about the work A Better Glynn is doing to change the systems that failed Ahmaud Arbery. So we encourage you to follow to hear about the great work we're doing.
What if I have questions about the new Ahmaud Arbery Foundation Scholarship?
The Ahmaud Arbery Foundation has provided a primary point of contact for questions about the scholarship funds. Her name is Tammie Holmes. You can reach out to her at .moc.liamg%40eimmatsemloh
How can I support your team's future work?
Now that we have settled issues, we are confident that we can continue our work through A Better Glynn. We have already partnered with this wonderful organization in the past, so we look forward to taking on the youth engagement role with them. You can support by following A Better Glynn on social media or donating.
What about your social media pages?
We know. We know. 90,000+ people have joined our community. And you have been like family to us. We'll provide a few updates about our next steps on social media. At that point, though, we'll discontinue the use of those platforms. But we do encourage you to follow A Better Glynn on social media, as we'll provide updates on our work over there.