Trend Bending Policies for Advancing Racial Justice
photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
Trend Bending Policies for Advancing Racial Justice is a three-part series developed by Well-being and Equity in the World (WE in the World), and brought to you in partnership with the Well Being In the Nation Network (WIN Network). The series lifts up policies that Black, Brown and Indigenous-led organizations are fighting for in pursuit of racial justice.
The summer of 2020 was a ground-shaking moment in American history. In the middle of the COVID pandemic, the resulting economic devastation, and the police murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and multiple other Black folks, hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets in protest. Under the leadership of Black organizers demanding an end to policing and the system of white supremacy, this uprising became the newest chapter in the history of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. As a result, policies like police and prison abolition, reparations, and other solutions were brought to the forefront.
Instead of speaking on behalf of the movement and its policies, the goal of this series is to amplify the policies that Black- and Brown-led organizations have been fighting for in their own communities. The series provides readers with a sample of the policy statements, demands, and platforms within the broader movement. In doing so, the author acknowledges that the movement for racial justice is not a single entity. Instead, as the policy briefs reflect, various organizations advocate for a variety of visions and solutions for racial justice. The Anne E. Casey Foundation has an excellent resource on racial justice definitions.
The series is organized around three policy pillars which encompass top pressing calls to advance racial justice.
- Ending Police Violence whereas police are the de-facto respondents for mental health crisis, homelessness, drug use, school discipline, and a variety of other social and health issues that more often require nuanced responses instead of force.
- Addressing COVID Inequities in which a range of factors—including an economy where people of color are more likely to have low wage, high exposure jobs as well as low access to testing—have contributed to these inequities.
- Dismantling Structural Racism as a Whole because there can be no end to police violence, and no racial justice, without a complete upheaval of the system of racism that lies at the foundation of the United States.
Noah Kline is a senior at Wesleyan University and a former Social Transformation Intern with WE in the World. In 2022, he will begin a career as a secondary English Language Arts teacher in Washington, DC.