We are in a pivotal moment in our country’s continued struggle for justice and civil rights. As movements for immigrant, gender and racial justice continue to call on our institutions to contend with unfulfilled promises and unequitable treatment, we have the opportunity to position ourselves as a nation committed to living out a vision of true equality and justice for all.
We believe that our most important fights go beyond the framework of civil rights. In addition to legal equality, communities also deserve economic and social equity. While systemic change will require social and cultural change of which our political system is but one part, there is work still to be done. We can rewrite the rules to correct injustices that continue to affect low-income communities, and black and brown people.
Disproportionate levels of incarceration and police brutality, identity-based discrimination in health care and the workplace, and other inequitable policy outcomes continue to undercut too many. As the energy in the streets translates into the potential to change the rules, Roosevelters believe there is an opening for America to evolve into a beacon of fairness, justice, and opportunity.
As we become an increasingly diverse country, it’s critical that we recognize that America’s future prosperity and strength is inextricably linked to realization of a just system – and ultimately, to the end of criminalization and the rise of safe communities with access to housing, rehabilitation, and mental health services. This movement provides policymakers and decisionmakers with an opportunity to lead.
We believe in:
- A country that holds itself accountable for the racial injustice and prejudice that fostered its economic prosperity throughout its history and seeks to build an equitable future
- A country that values rehabilitation and opportunity over incarceration
- A country that celebrates its identity as an immigrant nation and invests in new immigrants as a source of civic, cultural, and economic strength
- A country where every individual is treated equitably in our civil and legal systems
Some organizations engaged in the fight for human rights are the Movement for Black Lives, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Black Youth Project 100, Asian American Advancing Justice, APALA, AFL-CIO, ICIRR, ACLU and National Women’s Law Center. Catch up with the latest on the issue through the Ford Foundation’s Equal Change blog. To get started, here are some resources to advance police accountability reforms by Campaign Zero and Justice in Policing. To learn more about bail reform, start with Bail Reform from Harvard Law’s Criminal Justice Policy Program. To learn more about human trafficking, start with Human Trafficking by the Polaris Project.
Below, we outline Roosevelt’s core human rights issues and policy projects. A special thank you to the members of our Human Rights Working group: Olivia Pinney, Andrew Millin, Brigid Kennedy, Hakeem Dykes, Mohini Tangri, Shruti Sudarsan, Gjelina Gjini, Mary Marston, Jessica Morris, Jarrell Cook, May Mgbolu, Marissa Charlemagne, and Deepak Borhara.