Racial Justice

The Racial Justice Program (RJP) fights to eradicate racial injustice in the U.S. and works to foster a society in which people of color and communities of color have full access to the rights and benefits of American society. Working with affected communities, RJP litigates, advocates, and educates to strike at the roots of racial injustice.

Racial Justice issue image

What you need to know

3X
Black, Latine, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander students are three to six times more likely than white students to attend a high-poverty K-12 school, where students are more likely to be taught by 鈥渙ut-of-field鈥 teachers.
10X
The typical white family is nearly 10 times wealthier at $171,000 per household, compared to the average wealth of a Black household at $17,150.
7 in 10
Over 70 percent of Black Americans say they have experienced incidents of discrimination or police mistreatment in their lifetime, including nearly half who felt their lives were in danger.

What We're Focused On

What's at Stake

Though generations of civil rights activism have led to important gains in legal, political, social, educational, and other spheres, the forced removal of Indigenous peoples and the institution of slavery marked the beginnings of a system of racial injustice from which our country has yet to break free.

Deep-seated systemic racism and inequities that disadvantaged communities of color are still woven into the fabric of our institutions today 鈥 from education and housing to our criminal legal system. Systemic racism permeates the starkly segregated world of housing. In our public schools, students of color are too often confined to racially isolated, underfunded, and inferior programs. Our criminal legal system disproportionately targets and subjects people of color to police brutality, incarcerates them and imposes numerous collateral consequences, and criminalizes poverty. The dream of equal justice remains an elusive one.

The Racial Justice Program strives to create a world where 鈥渨e the people鈥 truly means all us 鈥 this means dismantling systemic racism and working to repair centuries of harm inflicted on communities of color. The Racial Justice Program brings impact lawsuits in state and federal courts throughout the country, taking on cases designed to have a significant and wide-reaching effect on communities of color. In coalition with ACLUaffiliates in each state, other civil rights groups, and local advocates, we lobby in local and state legislatures and support grassroots movements. Through these efforts, we strive to educate and empower the public on a variety of issues, including race as it relates to the criminal legal system, economic justice, and inequality in education; affirmative action; and Indigenous justice.

Though generations of civil rights activism have led to important gains in legal, political, social, educational, and other spheres, the forced removal of Indigenous peoples and the institution of slavery marked the beginnings of a system of racial injustice from which our country has yet to break free.

Deep-seated systemic racism and inequities that disadvantaged communities of color are still woven into the fabric of our institutions today 鈥 from education and housing to our criminal legal system. Systemic racism permeates the starkly segregated world of housing. In our public schools, students of color are too often confined to racially isolated, underfunded, and inferior programs. Our criminal legal system disproportionately targets and subjects people of color to police brutality, incarcerates them and imposes numerous collateral consequences, and criminalizes poverty. The dream of equal justice remains an elusive one.

The Racial Justice Program strives to create a world where 鈥渨e the people鈥 truly means all us 鈥 this means dismantling systemic racism and working to repair centuries of harm inflicted on communities of color. The Racial Justice Program brings impact lawsuits in state and federal courts throughout the country, taking on cases designed to have a significant and wide-reaching effect on communities of color. In coalition with ACLUaffiliates in each state, other civil rights groups, and local advocates, we lobby in local and state legislatures and support grassroots movements. Through these efforts, we strive to educate and empower the public on a variety of issues, including race as it relates to the criminal legal system, economic justice, and inequality in education; affirmative action; and Indigenous justice.

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