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Amidst Vigilantism & Police Violence Dream Defenders Propose Marketing Bulletproof Vests to Minors


As Midterms Approach #VestOrVote Billboard Campaign, Parody Website, and New PSA Dramatize Choice Facing Communities of Color Impacted by Violence

*** View Vest Sales Page HERE: http://dreamdefenders.org/  ***

*** View Billboard HERE: http://tinyurl.com/pvqo3cy ***

In the midst of renewed conflict in Ferguson, Florida-based social justice organization Dream Defenders launched a “Vest or Vote” campaign, aimed at dramatizing the current climate of violence and difficult choices imposed upon communities of color during this year’s elections.

The campaign includes:

  • A 1’ 30” Video PSA wherein a mother straps a bulletproof vest to her child.
  • Billboard with a young boy advertising the “sale” of a “Dream Vest” (bulletproof vest for children), encouraging viewers to dial a 1-800 “Dream Vest Hotline” and voters to challenge Stand Your Ground, Police Brutality, and the criminalization of youth.
  • Advertisements on Facebook and Twitter of a young boy advertises the “sale” of a “Dream Vest” (bulletproof vest for children).
  • A parody website offering the sale of youth-sized armored vests

The campaign is intended to start a conversation about the power young voters have to contest policies that create fear and insecurity in communities of color, from laws that protect the killers of young African Americans to rules that drive students of color into the criminal justice system.

“We can’t afford to sit out in any more elections. We’ve seen decades of extremist and corporate interests running our state and ravaging our communities and families.” said Phillip Agnew, Executive Director of Dream Defenders. “This is life or death for us.”

“In November, Florida’s voters will be faced with the question first posed by Malcom X, ‘the ballot or the bullet.’ That dichotomy is what this election is ultimately about”, said Ciara Taylor, Political Director of Dream Defenders.

After the killing of Trayvon Martin, The Dream Defenders staged a month-long sit-in at the Florida State Capitol, vowing to channel their anger over state policies that discriminate against youth of color to create a viable voting bloc.

The “Vest or Vote” campaign references the high-profile deaths of Trayvon Martin in Florida, Oscar Grant in California, and Mike Brown in Missouri specifically.

Visitors to the Dream Defenders website (http://www.dreamdefenders.org) will encounter a fake retail page for the Dream Vest, then be redirected to information about the campaign and a challenge for visitors to pledge to vote.

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