Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she has not endorsed an organization called the 2:23 Foundation. The foundation started an, “I Run With Maud” Labor Day campaign.
Cooper-Jones said she feels disrespected because her late son’s name is being used without her approval.
“This foundation did not have my blessings,” Cooper-Jones said, according to Newsweek .
However, the 2:23 Foundation founders told WSB-TV, an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, that “[Cooper-Jones] said it was fine.”
In response to the founders, Cooper-Jones publicly criticized people using her son’s name for non-profits and trademarks, saying she felt people were exploiting her situation.
“The ideas for the foundation likely started after national attention began to spread due to our advocacy efforts,” Cooper-Jones wrote, according to Newsweek. “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.”
Newsweek reached out to the foundation’s head of PR and communications. They pointed the publication to a Facebook post made by the foundation.
“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.”
As theGrio previously reported, supporters of Ahmaud Arbery, who was ambushed and fatally shot in Georgia by two white men, are organizing a multi-mile run to raise awareness about his murder and honor him on what would’ve been his 26th birthday.
Many activists are still promoting the call for justice in Arbery’s case, and the cases of the many other unarmed Black men and women who were killed.
Yesterday, tennis star Naomi Osaka wore an Ahmaud Arbery mask. Osaka also wore masks with the names of Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain on them, CNN reported.
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