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Racial Justice

The authors of the Declaration of Independence outlined a bold vision for America: a nation in which all people would be free and equal. Yet the forced removal of indigenous peoples and the enslavement of those of African descent marked the beginnings of a system of racial injustice from which our country has yet to break free. Despite important gains made by civil rights activism, the school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, and racial profiling and bias in policing are but a few of the racist injustices that mark the distance between America’s reality and the dream we seek to achieve: liberty and justice for everybody.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011
ACLU-WA Legislative Director Shankar Narayan was one of a group of lobbyists recognized with a Voices for Children award at  the annual awards luncheon the Children’s Alliance on Tuesday.  The lobbyist group, known as the Racial Equity Team, was presented the award in recognition of their work to advance racial equality issues in the 2012 legislative session. 
News Release, Published: 
Monday, June 6, 2011
The ACLU of Washington and National Voting Rights Advocacy Initiative are urging the Washington Redistricting Commission to establish a majority-minority state legislative district in Yakima County.  In a letter submitted to the commission, the groups said the district is needed as a matter of democratic governance and in order to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Friday, June 3, 2011
  Do you remember all of the publicity about the 2010 census? The numbers have now been tallied, and they will have major impacts in Washington state and throughout the nation. One of the most important ways in which data from the census are used is in redistricting our nation’s political jurisdictions. In the last decade, Washington’s population increased by more than 14%. As a result, our federal congressional delegation will be increased from 9 to 10 members, giving Washington state an additional vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.  
Friday, March 11, 2011
Several years ago, comedian Chris Rock created a “public service announcement” called “How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police.”  The message includes obvious directions like “obey the law” and as well as tongue-in-cheek suggestions like “if you have to give a friend a ride, get a white friend” and satire about police reactions. This piece is funny because it is based on a simple truth known throughout communities of color:  If you are a black or brown man, you don’t have to work very hard to attract the attention of the police.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Eva’s son died from gang violence.  Every day she lives with an aching desire to hold him again.  But despite her grief, she opens her home to young people in her community, some of whom are at risk to be involved in gangs. A Yakima Valley resident, she wants to keep them off the streets and safe from the violence.   Eva is angry that her son is no longer with her, yet she wants more opportunities to help young people rather than sending them behind bars.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
A student who endured severe harassment by other students throughout junior high and high school is suing the Aberdeen School District for failing to take steps reasonably calculated to end the harassment. The district's failure to act created a hostile educational environment for the student, says the ACLU-WA, which is representing him.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
For some students, playing on a sports team can make the difference between success and failure in school. It can be the one thing that keeps them coming to school each day, motivates them to keep their grades up, or connects them to a caring adult in the building. So, when a school cuts sports opportunities for any of its students, it’s unfortunate. When a school cuts opportunities for students who are already underrepresented in sports and activities, or otherwise disadvantaged, the consequences can be significant and it can raise potential civil rights issues. Read more
Monday, November 1, 2010
Tomorrow is Election Day. Washington’s Secretary of State predicts a robust 66% voter turnout, the highest for a mid-term election in many years. Thanks to a law passed last year with the support of the ACLU, many of these voters will be re-engaging with their fellow citizens for the first time in years. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is considering a law that will extend voting rights to many more citizens nationwide and you have an opportunity to tell them what you think. Read more
Monday, October 25, 2010
When teens get pregnant, most drop out of school. When they drop out of school, they likely face a life of economic insecurity. And the role that discrimination plays in their decisions to drop out raises serious civil rights concerns. Read more
Monday, July 12, 2010
While summer days have (finally) arrived, and many of us are thinking most about play and vacations, Washington’s primary election is just around the corner, on August 17. And the registration deadline for the primary election online or in-person is only days away, on July 19.