Like so many across the country, Melissa Etienne, an entrepreneur from Garden City, NY, was gutted by the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling last month. She doesn't consider herself to be an activist in the traditional sense, but wanted to contribute.
After three days of prayer, she came up with an idea--an identification card like those issued by police unions.
The I Am Black Card is Etienne's way of taking on the biases police hold against Black people and the protections they offer each other. "Usually when someone has a PBA card, they hand over the card with their license to an officer and the officer gives them a slap on the wrist," she said.
Etienne's two boys inspired her to make a difference in the way she can.
"As a mother my job is to protect my children and their surroundings," she said. "I can't send them out into a world that I'm not contributing to."
She emphasizes that we all have a place in the current movement for Black Lives. "Some are marching, some are starting petitions, some are using violence as an answer, all I know is I am not standing still!"
The cards are available for $1 each on her website.
Photo Credit: Instagam/IAmBlackCard