We’re now a year removed from the initial COVID-19 lockdown. On a positive note, more Americans are fully vaccinated now than those who were diagnosed with the coronavirus. But if there’s anything the last year has taught us, it’s that we still have a long way to go to make this country a more inclusive and equitable place to live.
Centuries of discriminatory policy have come home to roost. And there is a price to be paid. As a country, we must face these hard truths.
Today, we’re partnering with Axios on its “Hard Truths” series, focused on political power and influence. We hope you can join us.
This week we’re also pleased to introduce this updated newsletter format. To better showcase our priorities and programming for the organization moving forward, we’ve built more content features on people, organizations and news related to our work. Expect to see a rotating menu of content including previews of episodes from the Divided By Design podcast, Q&As with members of our team, highlights of our inaugural UNUM Fellows cohort, featured video content sourced from southern communities as part of our Southern Voices narrative project, and more. Have other ideas? Send us a reply.
Founder & President, E Pluribus Unum
E Pluribus Unum is looking for a Communications Director, Legislative Policy Manager and Policy Research Manager. This is an important moment for us to confront the reality that we are divided by design and for us double down on the hard work of racial equity and uniting our communities – not just as a question of morality but as an imperative to our ongoing stability and success. If you think you’d be a good fit, apply today.
MARCH 10, 2021 – Axios: Hard Truths
We know that people of color are often underrepresented in elected offices that are supposed to represent them. Today, our Founder & President Mitch Landrieu will join several public and private sector officials and Axios reporters in an Axios Hard Truths event about systemic racism in politics.
Axios Justice & Race Reporter Russ Contreras and Political Reporter Alexi McCammond will host one-on-one conversations with:
The Honorable Ritchie Torres
Representative, New York’s 15th Congressional District
Member, Congressional Black Caucus & Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Vice Chair, House Homeland Security Committee
CEO, NALEO Educational Fund
Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond will host a View from the Top Segment with:
Founder & President, E Pluribus Unum
Former Mayor, City of New Orleans
The goal of our podcast is to explore what systemic racism looks like in America today and how it’s shaped the systems we interact with every day.
Our Founder and President, Mitch Landrieu joins a slew of advocates, historians, and experts to help us better understand systemic racism.
The series features thematic discussions about how race intersects with health, wealth, criminal justice, housing, and voting rights, along with discussions about leadership and how to approach discourse on race and reconciliation.
By better understanding how we got to this moment, we can better chart a path forward towards a more just, inclusive, and equitable America for us all.
Roxanne Franklin Lorio, DSW
Managing Director, Programs
Roxanne Franklin Lorio is the Managing Director of Programs for E Pluribus Unum, including overseeing the organization’s signature leadership program UNUM Fellows.
What most excites you about the UNUM Fellows program?
Building a peer community of local Southern elected officials that are passionate about making equitable change within their communities.
Book recommendation for anyone interested in racial equity?
Last weekend I read “The Sum of Us” by Heather McGhee from cover to cover. The book artfully lays out the devastating cost of racism on all of us and engages the reader on the opportunities we have as a multiracial movement for equality.
What is one thing that has most influenced your work in racial equity?
It would have to be my family. My parents always encouraged me to ask questions, challenge the status quo and not be afraid to name and act on something when it is wrong. The way I see it, racial inequity is the biggest impediment to our collective strength as a nation.
NPR – How Is The COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Going In Your State?
VOX – “No healing without the truth”: How a federal commission could help America understand systemic racism
AXIOS – “Vaccine tourism” stretches states’ supplies
NPR – Drug Overdose Deaths Surge Among Black Americans During Pandemic
AL.COM – Broadband access big problem in Alabama; funding solutions a bigger problem
FACING SOUTH – What the walkout by George’s poultry workers accomplished
WLRN – The Florida Legislature Is Tackling Climate Change During Its Current Session
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION – Georgia Senate votes to eliminate no-excuse absentee voting
NPR – Bipartisan Bill In Kentucky Might Keep Voter Access Expansions After COVID-19
ADVOCATE – After Texas and Mississippi end mask mandates, 34 legislators want Louisiana to do the same
WABE – Like ‘Peanut Brittle’: Mississippi Water Crisis Highlights Infrastructure Problems
THE ROBESONIAN – Cooper, N.C. prison officials agree to release 3,500 inmates
WWAY – South Carolina lifts rule for mandatory masks in restaurants
CNN – A newly proposed Tennessee bill would give immunity to drivers who unintentionally hit protesters blocking streets
KUT 90.5 – City Council Apologizes For Austin’s Systemic Racism, Vows To Invest In A Black Embassy
RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH – Even with help, finding new homes is harder than ever for families experiencing homelessness
MOUNTAIN STATE SPOTLIGHT – Despite a growing need, helping West Virginia’s hungry not a priority as Legislature session continues