/  08.24.2020

Until Freedom is defending accusations there was any mal intent behind the planning of BreonnaCon.

The social justice organization hosted a jam-packed weekend in Louisville to honor the life of Breonna Taylor. During the ongoing event, social media users questioned the non-profit’s use of the 26-year-old’s name and image in planned activities like the “Bre-B-Q” as well as the flyer of the event, which featured a faded photo of Taylor behind the celebrity speakers who made appearances. Many alleged the organization was attempting to profit off another family’s pain, but they argued these claims were false.

According to Until Freedom co-founder Tamika Mallory, despite non participation from BLM Louisville, the development of BreonnaCon and all accompanying activities were approved by Taylor’s family. 

“There were no internal issues within Until Freedom about using the name,” said Mallory in an interview with The Root. “Especially not when Tamika Palmer and her family members and her family attorneys were here working with us when the concepts were developed,” adding Palmer’s eyes welled up with tears when an organizer suggested “Bre-B-Q” as the name of one of the festivities.

Mallory explained that Taylor’s name has been trending as a result of her organization’s work which is important as it keeps her name in the news and ensures her story isn’t forgotten.

“The more that there is attention on a case, at least the officials can’t sweep it under the rug, which is what was happening before we got here—because Breonna Taylor was killed in March,” Mallory said.

The activist admitted she understood the backlash regarding the promotional ads, but said the use of influencers is a ploy to get people to focus on the real issues. 

Among the criticism Until Freedom faced on Saturday, people inquired about the request for date of birth and passport information in the submissions of those who desired to join the protests. Mallory responded, stating it’s just a safety measure for the members of her organization whose lives “are in danger” while on the frontlines.

“We receive a lot of trolling. We also receive a lot of death threats,” she said. “So when we do actions, we ask for as much information as possible so that we can really verify that the individuals who are signing up are real people we have vetted to some extent.”

Mallory clarified all of the events at BreonnaCon were free and funded by the organization, which made clear is not only about protesting, but serving the community as well.

“We are an organization that believes when we go into a community, we have to cover the intersections of the communities’ issues,” said the activist. “We were very happy to include Breonna Taylor’s life in these activities, because her family needed it and asked for us to continue to uplift her name.”


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