Continuing The Path to Equity: Recognizing Black History Month 2023
In a 1993 LA Times op-ed, Coretta Scott King penned: “Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.”
Those words should inspire us each day to take actions that will create the fair, free, and equitable society we all strive to live in.
This February is Black History Month, and this year’s theme – Resistance – recognizes how Black Americans have combated oppression. The theme is timely, as the fight against bigotry and injustice is ongoing and a fight we must all take part in.
Common Cause continues to be a part of several efforts to support the Black community. This ranges from advocating for the freedom to vote, to supporting initiatives aimed at fighting systemic racism, and protecting Black Americans’ rights to justice.
Investing in Our Next Generation of Change-Makers
Democracy is something that is improved upon every generation. That means equipping our young people with the tools needed to continue that improvement. Common Cause’s Alliance for Emerging Power works with students — particularly young people of color — across the country to provide leadership development and voter education, as well as work on voter mobilization and advocacy through GOTV events, text banking and skill development opportunities. These tools will allow future leaders to make informed political decisions, engage in the political process, and hold power accountable.
Empowering Those Who Have Been Left Behind in Democracy
It is no secret that Black people have long been over-incarcerated at alarming rates. From private prisons lobbying politicians to keep outdated policies in place to prison gerrymandering and felony disenfranchisement, the impact of mass incarceration runs through our democracy. Let’s be clear: equal access to democracy must coincide with equal access to justice. Common Cause’s Mass Incarceration program seeks to make sure everyone is represented, regardless of their criminal record.
Preventing Bad Faith Actors from Taking Away the People’s Voice
In late 2022, Common Cause challenged the North Carolina state legislature over the creation of an illegally gerrymandered congressional map that disenfranchises Black voices. The case, known as Moore v. Harper, has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court, who will likely issue a decision this summer. If they win, the NC Legislature — using “independent legislative theory” as their argument — has the potential to upend free elections and undercut voting rights across the country. We are determined to defeat this dangerous attack on our democracy and make sure that underserved communities are reflected in every election. Learn more here.
These are only some of the efforts that Common Cause is involved in to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within our democracy. Our organization hopes to build on the victories secured by Black Americans during the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Aligning with change-makers and advocating for a fair and safe democracy is critical as we aim to create a just society.