Person

Marvin Bing

Marvin Bing is an artist and activist. He is the national director of art at Amnesty International USA. He is also the co-founder of Justice League NYC, a project of the center-left Gathering for Justice.

Bing is the founder and head of the gaming social impact firm Corner Store Studios. Bing has created Black Gamer Month in February 2020 which celebrated black gaming developers, creative directors, and executives. Bing and his firm also cosponsored Twitch the Vote with the New Georgia Project, which is run by former Georgia House Minority Leader and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Twitch the Vote held a 12 hour livestream of election-related content on Election Day 2020. [1]

Previously, Bing worked with the AFL-CIO and the NAACP. [2]

Early Life

Marvin Bing was born in Philadelphia and is the son of the late activist Malik Aziz. [3] While Aziz was incarcerated for drug smuggling in the mid-1990s Bing grew up in the foster care system. He was shuffled around from house to house and was frequently changing schools. He eventually was arrested and was incarcerated for most of his teenage years. [4]

Bing says that the experience of his childhood made him stronger both mentally and emotionally. He also says that his experiences in the foster care and juvenile justice systems shaped his commitment to left-wing social policy. [5]

While in juvenile detention, the facility offered art and drama classes and Bing was an eager participant. He tried to read skits and reenact scenes in Shakespeare’s plays. He also tried to paint but he says he was not a good artist. [6]

In his early twenties, Bing was hustling on the streets when he wound up at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Alex Haley Farm in Tennessee attending a Freedom School. Bing met Democratic political consultant Bill Lynch and Lynch told him to come to New York City and look him up. Lynch mentored Bing and taught him how to be an activist. [7]

Activism

After arriving in New York City in 2005, he worked on political campaigns. He also worked as an organizer for Harlem Children’s Zone. He worked on campaigns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He eventually worked on the campaign of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance (D). [8]

Bing also worked for the AFL-CIO and the NAACP. [9]

In March 2011, he became the director of One Nation Working Together. The organization was established to oppose conservative activists and a supposed “hate message.” [10]

In December 2013, Bing co-founded the Justice League NYC with Carmen Perez. Justice League NYC is an initiative of the left-progressive Gathering of Justice established to push for criminal justice reform. It led the protests of the New York City Police Department after the police-custody death of Eric Garner. [11] As of 2021, Bing sits on the advisory board of Gathering for Justice. [12]

Bing eventually became the national art director for Amnesty International USA. In December 2015, he helped coordinate an event called Art for Rights in New Orleans, Louisiana. The one-day event featured artists creating murals representing cases selected by Amnesty International. The event was co-sponsored by Sankofa. [13]

Corner Store Studios

Bing founded Corner Store Studios as a social impact firm. In February 2020, he organized Black Gamer Month, which highlighted black game developers, creative directors, and executives. He also organized the largest black gamer-cast ever. [14]

On Election Day 2020, Corner Store Studios teamed with Stacey Abrams’s New Georgia Project to have Twitch the Vote, a 12 hour election-related livecast. Twitch the Vote had 1 million viewers. [15]

In 2021, Corner Store Studios created Ready Player Vote, which is an initiative to increase voter turnout among gamers, especially black and Hispanic gamers. Ready Player Vote creates space for black and Hispanic gamers to take action on issues such as policing and immigration. [16]

References

  1.             “Corner Store Studios Ramps Up New Gamer-Focused Civic Engagement Project”. 2021. HYPEBEAST. https://hypebeast.com/2021/1/corner-store-studios-ready-player-vote-launch. ^
  2.      Drakeford, Rashad. 2016. “REVOLT C-Suite: Marvin Bing, From Orphan To Art Activist”. REVOLT. https://www.revolt.tv/2016/6/16/20816371/revolt-c-suite-marvin-bing-from-orphan-to-art-activist. ^
  3. Murphy, Darryl. 2020. “Malik Aziz, ‘Grandfather Of Returning Citizens’ Who Fought Injustice, Dies At 65”. WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/malik-aziz-grandfather-of-returning-citizens-who-fought-injustice-dies-at-66/. ^
  4. Drakeford, Rashad. 2016. “REVOLT C-Suite: Marvin Bing, From Orphan To Art Activist”. REVOLT. https://www.revolt.tv/2016/6/16/20816371/revolt-c-suite-marvin-bing-from-orphan-to-art-activist. ^
  5.             Drakeford, Rashad. 2016. “REVOLT C-Suite: Marvin Bing, From Orphan To Art Activist”. REVOLT. https://www.revolt.tv/2016/6/16/20816371/revolt-c-suite-marvin-bing-from-orphan-to-art-activist. ^
  6. Drakeford, Rashad. 2016. “REVOLT C-Suite: Marvin Bing, From Orphan To Art Activist”. REVOLT. https://www.revolt.tv/2016/6/16/20816371/revolt-c-suite-marvin-bing-from-orphan-to-art-activist. ^
  7. Drakeford, Rashad. 2016. “REVOLT C-Suite: Marvin Bing, From Orphan To Art Activist”. REVOLT. https://www.revolt.tv/2016/6/16/20816371/revolt-c-suite-marvin-bing-from-orphan-to-art-activist. ^
  8. Barker, Cyril Josh. 2011. “Choosing The Right Path: Marvin Bing”. New York Amsterdam News. http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2011/apr/12/choosing-the-right-path-marvin-bing/. ^
  9. Drakeford, Rashad. 2016. “REVOLT C-Suite: Marvin Bing, From Orphan To Art Activist”. REVOLT. https://www.revolt.tv/2016/6/16/20816371/revolt-c-suite-marvin-bing-from-orphan-to-art-activist. ^
  10.         Barker, Cyril Josh. 2011. “Choosing The Right Path: Marvin Bing”. New York Amsterdam News. http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2011/apr/12/choosing-the-right-path-marvin-bing/. ^
  11. “Partners”. 2021. Sankofa. Accessed May 31. https://www.sankofa.org/partners/. ^
  12. “Advisory Board”. 2021. The Gathering For Justice. Accessed May 31. https://www.gatheringforjustice.org/advisory-board. ^
  13. “Usher And Artists Join Inaugural Art For Rights Event To Fight Human Rights Abuses”. 2015. Amnesty International USA. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/usher-and-artists-join-inaugural-art-for-rights-event-to-fight-human-rights-abuses/.    ^
  14. “Corner Store Studios Ramps Up New Gamer-Focused Civic Engagement Project”. 2021. HYPEBEAST. https://hypebeast.com/2021/1/corner-store-studios-ready-player-vote-launch. ^
  15. “Corner Store Studios Ramps Up New Gamer-Focused Civic Engagement Project”. 2021. HYPEBEAST. https://hypebeast.com/2021/1/corner-store-studios-ready-player-vote-launch. ^
  16. “Corner Store Studios Ramps Up New Gamer-Focused Civic Engagement Project”. 2021. HYPEBEAST. https://hypebeast.com/2021/1/corner-store-studios-ready-player-vote-launch. ^
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