A week out from the murderous spree that claimed the lives of eight of our own, our country and its communities are aching, especially our Asian American and Pacific Islander neighbors. The racial violence exhibited in Georgia is not isolated. Racism and hatred have shaped our past and continue to shape our present.
Yet, we know neither can have a place in America if we are to have a prosperous future together.
For years, security and defense leaders have been talking about the rise of white nationalism and white supremacy and the danger this puts all of us in. All forms of racism are fruit from the same poisonous tree.
White Americans have got to confront this. Our Asian American and Pacific Islander friends need true allies right now. We need to center their voices, make space for their stories to be heard, and listen. And we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder to demand justice. It need not matter the venues of the crime or the alleged mental state of the murderer; innocent lives were taken, and it appears to be racially motivated.
We have to make the conscious decision to see what’s right in front of us instead of looking away. We have to choose each other. To heal our divisions, we must be able to hear each other, see each other, and understand each other.
Founder & President, E Pluribus Unum
Equity in Brief
At EPU, we believe that evidence-based public policy must stand up to the challenge of answering the hard questions about how we can make the promise of America accessible to everyone. That’s why we have begun our “Equity in Brief” series, to help answer these hard questions using research and data in an easily digestible format. We will publish these “Equity in Brief” posts on a regular basis and will address issues that are timely and responsive to current public policy debates relating to opportunity, justice and democracy.
Read the first brief on vaccine equity and the role of media narratives
Meet the UNUM Fellows
Mayor Keith James
West Palm Beach, FL
This week, we’re highlighting the work of Mayor Keith James, our UNUM Fellow from West Palm Beach, FL. Mayor James founded a Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Equality, a citywide working group formed to address local equity issues in the wake of the protests following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor last year. Its main priority is to examine & reduce disparities and improve outcomes for historically marginalized communities.
Divided By Design Podcast
What is at stake if we don’t act to address the current inequities seen within our democracy? How can we work to make our democracy accessible to all and to address systemic voter suppression?
Please listen, rate and share!
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the production of educational programming including Sesame Street, recently released resources to support families in talking to their children about race and racism with the “ABCs of Racial Literacy”.
Rooted in research and developed in consultation with experts, the videos, articles, and activities are designed to help all families as they start conversations with their children about race and racism by providing age-appropriate language and strategies to answer children’s questions and more. These resources are a part of a Sesame Workshop’s ongoing racial justice initiative, Coming Together.
What We’re Reading
In addition to the racial violence last week, Georgia also captured the nation’s attention regarding voting rights. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) delivered a passionate sermon on the essential right to vote in his maiden address from the United States Senate floor. The attack on basic voting rights and access are something EPU will weigh in on heavily in the months to come.
News Around the South
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Alabama House passes ban on curbside voting
ARKANSAS TIMES – No country for women, LGBT or Democratic voters. But guns? You’re good to go
FLORIDA POLITICS – House’s proposed elections bill maintains drop boxes while improving ‘transparency’
GPB – Local elections officials express concerns with proposed voting bills
HUFFINGTON POST – Kentucky moves to adopt early voting, bucking GOP crusade against voting rights
USA TODAY – Supreme Court to decide whether right to unanimous jury in Louisiana could be retroactive
SLATE – How Racist Infrastructure Caused the Jackson, Mississippi, Water Crisis
WFAE – North Carolina plant to help manufacture COVID-19 vaccines
WBTW – South Carolina short thousands of affordable rental homes; tenants pay the price
TALKING POINTS MEMO – 144 years after his death, Nathan Bedford Forrest still rules Tennessee politics
TPR – Texas Matters: How Gov. Abbott is pushing voter suppression bills
EQUAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE – Virginia governor restores voting rights to over 69,000 formerly incarcerated citizens
BLOOMBERG NEWS – Why Switzerland trails West Virginia in vaccines