Systemic Equality: Addressing America’s Legacy of Racism and Systemic Discrimination
Since the nation’s founding, the fabric of American society has been woven with deeply racist policies, practices, and attitudes that harm Black and Indigenous people of color. These policies have led to an unequal system where white people have both implicit and explicit advantages because of the color of their skin, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing.
Systemic Equality is a racial justice agenda that seeks to address America’s legacy of racism and systemic discrimination through administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress, advocacy efforts, legal strategies to strike down laws and practices that exclude and harm, and significant investment and dedicated resources in the South.
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Barriers to full participation in the democratic process undermine Black and Brown voters’ true political power, ultimately denying their right to elect candidates with shared values who can enact the policies that create equality.
Protecting and Expanding Voting Rights
The ongoing dilemmas within our democracy clearly stem from the legacy problems of our republic: Systematic efforts by politicians to erect voting barriers and to discriminate against voters of color have tipped the balance of power. We must take urgent action to secure the right to vote, particularly for voters of color who continue to be targeted by suppressive tactics.
For decades, legislatures and officials have manipulated their maps to suppress the votes of minorities, too often minimizing the representation of Black and Brown voters in their communities. Our strategy to combine data analytics and maps with advocacy and litigation will ensure people are electing their representatives — not the other way around.
Building Power in the South
We are significantly investing in building organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South, a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. The collective of our 12 Southern affiliates will create a regional strategy around strengthening voting rights and democracy, ensuring reproductive justice, and fighting for reparations.
Gaps in wealth between Black and white households expose accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception.
In order to level the playing field so that every person can achieve their highest potential, we must ensure access to the tools necessary to thrive.
Eliminating Barriers to Reentry for Returning Citizens
Incarceration and criminal convictions often prevents people from obtaining jobs, housing, and educational opportunities long after their sentence has ended. The vast majority of these barriers disproportionately impact people of color, particularly Black people. Eliminating these restrictions will improve access for future opportunities.