The mother of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot in Georgia while jogging earlier this year, said she hasn’t given her endorsement to the 2:23 Foundation, who are organizing an “I Run With Maud” Labor Day fundraiser run.
Wanda Cooper-Jones told WSBTV that she wasn’t told about the organization, and felt that it was disrespectful to Arbery’s memory.
“This foundation did not have my blessings,” Cooper-Jones said, as well as thanking everyone who has supported her thus far.
Arbery, 25, was shot to death this past February as he was jogging through a neighborhood in Glynn County. Three men—Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan— were charged with nine counts including felony murder and aggravated assault, according to an indictment from June.
The 2:23 Foundation founders told WSBTV that they had approached Cooper-Jones with their intentions, and “she said it was fine.”
In a lengthy public Facebook post, Cooper-Jones criticized people using Arbery’s name for various non-profits and registering trademarks using his name, saying that she felt people were exploiting it. In the post, she addressed social media pages, people filing for trademarks with Arbery’s name, and a GoFundMe set up to help Arbery’s family following his death, which sparked national attention and protests calling for justice.
“The ideas for the foundation likely started after national attention began to spread due to our advocacy efforts,” she wrote. “Within seven days of the foundation’s launch, its organizers had already planned a large fundraiser.
“The I RUN FOR MAUD committee (all five members who I do not know well),” she continued, “have known for months I did not want my child’s death to be exploited or used for monetary gain for anyone. I was disrespected and ignored.”
When asked for comment by Newsweek, the foundation’s head of PR and communications deferred to a Facebook post outlining the 2:23 Foundation’s relationship with Arbery’s mother, and reiterating its goals.
“We have attempted countless times to reach out to [Cooper-Jones] and counsel to discuss this privately,” the post said. “Our intention from the beginning was simple: Pursue justice for Ahmaud. Our team has not benefited financially from any of the work we have done to do just that. In fact, we have spent our own money to help pursue justice. And we have gotten the support from Maud’s family in the process.”
The 2:23 Foundation also noted that it was no longer using Arbery’s name or likeness for the organization, but it said it was still seeking justice for him.
“I learned about the foundation the same day, the same time the world found out about it, and that was on social media,” Cooper-Jones told WSBTV. Although she said that she thinks they likely don’t have ill-intentions, she said that she would like more information about it.
In the Facebook post, Cooper-Jones laid out why she was opposed to the organization. “What is important to me is to gain justice for my son and find peace. I am so disappointed that I must address this issue. The truth is I buried my son and there is nothing about a trademark, a social media page, money, or control that will fix that. I now must protect my son’s name,” she said.
In an Instagram post Sunday, the organization announced that it would be renaming itself to the 2:23 Foundation, detailing other goals for it, including scholarships for young people who want to fight injustice; training and education for high school students to fight injustice; and sports advocacy programming to help athletes who wish to champion social justice in their communities.
In a statement, the organization’s founders spoke about the need for further action.
“When I first uttered the words, ‘I Run With Maud,’ I sincerely wanted to make sure that people didn’t gloss over a gross mishandling of a criminal investigation,” 2:23 co-founder Jason Vaughn said in a statement, received by Newsweek. “What we didn’t know about was the layers of injustice that encompassed more than just our hometown, but extended to the state legislature. What began as a local movement has now become something that can impact the lives of many young men and women of color across our state. And that’s exciting to me.”
Newsweek reached out to Cooper-Jones for further comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
- Menstrual leave: A blessing or a curse?
- Live: 'We need to do better': Independent Monique Ryan says she'll push Labor on climate
- India's H-1B Companies Ask Labor Dept. to Let Foreign Workers Stay amid Crash
- Labor takes election victory as Coalition MPs lose once-safe seats
- Morrison says cabinet not leaking against him, Gillard backs Albanese to 'value' women — as it happened
- 'My wife and mother-in-law have given our baby a different name - I want a divorce'
- Celine Dion's rare pic with sons dedicating Mother's Day to Ukrainians 'who lost children’
- International Family Day: &TV actors talk about the perks of living in a joint family
- ‘Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration’: CMT Memorial’s Producers Tell How the Show Came Together in Seven Days
- A Writer Returns to the Grand Canyon, This Time With His Mother’s Ashes
- Queen thought Queen Mother 'was a bit of a fraud' in front of press: 'All for cameras'
- 7 Meaningful Ways Your Business Can Honor Memorial Day
- Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria pick up art supplies to cheer up son Rafael after he broke his arm while at park with nanny
- Ahead of Memorial Day, best-selling novelist Jack Carr reveals the military inspiration behind his work
- Meghan Markle news: Humiliated Prince Harry & Meg RIDICULED as comic says Netflix series will be ‘human SLEEPING PILL’
- Today's Dylan Dreyer left 'truly blessed' as she celebrates baby news
- Kate Middleton news – Royal fans all saying same thing about Tom Cruise & Duchess’ ‘intimate’ moment
- Victoria Beckham shares 'emotional' insight into son Brooklyn's lavish wedding to Nicola
- Public service spending cuts won't impact support for Australians, Coalition says — as it happened
- Does your boss care for your happiness? Firms try to fight 'The Great Resignation' with employee-satisfaction in focus
Ahmaud Arbery's Mother Says Labor Day Event Using Her Son's Name Does Not Have Her Blessings have 1019 words, post on www.newsweek.com at September 5, 2020. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.