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Ava DuVernay announces new LEAP initiative to change the narrative around police abuse

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Ava DuVernay attends the Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

WASHINGTON (SBG) - Ava DuVernay's Array media company announced the launch of a new initiative designed to put a spotlight on police brutality and hold police officers accountable.

DuVernay announced the Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP) on the Ellen (DeGeneres) Show, which will fund 25 projects across different mediums including film, theater, photography, poetry, music, and dance. LEAP is being backed by various sponsors, including the Ford Foundation and screenwriter-producer Ryan Murphy, who produced both “Glee”and “American Horror Story.” The initiative will be focused on storytelling around police violence and abuse and encouraging activists to change the narrative on these issues.

"I've been thinking a lot about my own rage. My own emotions," the DuVernay told Ellen. "When I look at George Floyd's tape, I see my uncles. Not just in a general sense, but he looks like people in my family, like literally the facial features. Every time that that video plays on CNN or anything else, I see people that I love on the ground begging for their life."

"It bothers me that I can rattle off the names of 30, 40 victims of police abuse and killing, but I can't say who did it. We have this kind of social contract, where we don't speak the names of these people," DuVernay said. "And we kind of agree that they won't be prosecuted, and we won't say their names. I think it's a big national blind spot. And it is a storytelling issue."

Ava DuVernay continued, "We're asking for narrative change and we're creating narrative change around police abuse, misconduct and murder of black people. We're changing the lens of the story."

Since the success of her documentary "13th," Ava DuVernay has become a pioneer and leader in the African American community as she continues to push for justice reform and opportunities for black people. The LEAP initiative strives to bring change to fruition as more cases, like the death of George Floyd, are brought to light.


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