Ahmaud Arbery’s mother settles with foundation raising funds in son’s name

“Ahmaud is the last thing I think about every night and the first thing I think about each morning,” Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery recently told CNN. 

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Ahmaud Arbery’s mother has reached an agreement out of court with the 2:23 Foundation after an ongoing dispute. 

As theGrio reported last May, supporters of Ahmaud Arbery, who was ambushed and fatally shot in Georgia by two white men, organized a multi-mile run to raise awareness about his murder and honor him on what would’ve been his 26th birthday. Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, says she never gave the organization permission to fundraise in her son’s name and has spoken publicly against it. 

Wanda Jones-Cooper, Ahmaud Arbery theGrio.com
Wanda Jones-Cooper with her son, Ahmaud Arbery (Personal Family Picture)

Read More: Ahmaud Arbery’s mom accuses group of cashing in on son’s likeness without her permission

On Thursday, the Georgia-based non-profit organization announced the agreement they made with Cooper-Jones via a joint press release. It stated that “As part of the agreement, the 2:23 Foundation has decided to phase out its usage of the 2:23 Foundation mark and donate the monies raised from their virtual run and merchandise sales to Ms. Cooper-Jones’ newly established foundation in honor of her son.”

The organization has raised over $345,000, according to its website. “The law even in death gives one the right to say who can monetize from their likeness. I am so happy the parties came to an amicable resolution,” said attorney Jehan Carter, one of the lawyers who facilitated the agreement.

On February 23, 2020, an unarmed Arbery was pursued by three white men while jogging in the New Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood where he lived. Footage captured by one of those men, 51-year-old William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., shows the tail end of the pursuit and parts of the altercation between the 25-year-old Arbery, 65-year-old Gregory McMichael, and his son, 35-year-old Travis McMichael.

On Wednesday, all three were charged with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping; the men are being held without bond and a trial date has not been announced, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ)

Ahmaud Arbery Suspects theGrio.com
Left to right: Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.(Photo: Glynn County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Read More: US indicts 3 on hate crime charges in death of Ahmaud Arbery

“Ahmaud is the last thing I think about every night and the first thing I think about each morning, “ Cooper-Jones told CNN. “They did the investigation properly and they came out with those indictments. So, my family and I were pleased.” 

Cooper-Jones thanked the 2:23 Foundation for their advocacy and said she’s “glad they will continue their efforts and honor a legacy of social justice in Black and Brown communities without using the 2:23 Foundation trademark.” 

The Ahmaud Arbery Foundation, founded by Cooper-Jones, will activate on what would’ve been Arbery’s 26th birthday on May 8, 2021.

theGrio’s Stephanie Guerilus and Christan Spencer contributed to this report. 

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