WASHINGTON — Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the SPLC Action Fund released Vision for a Just Future, an joint action agenda of priorities and recommendations for executive and federal agency action, for congressional action and for funding priorities in the next Presidential term — whether it is the incumbent administration or a new one.
Vision for a Just Future reflects our perspective on how best to address our nation’s legacy of entrenched, systemic racism — especially in the Southern states which are our primary focus.
In the document, we outline a wide range of policy priorities to eliminate white nationalism, structural racism and historic inequalities, to remove unjust barriers to fundamental voting rights, to expand inclusive anti-discrimination protections, and to reinvigorate our values as a diverse, welcoming and compassionate nation.
“As we continue to reel from the devastating impact of COVID-19 and as Americans demand an end to systemic racism — particularly in policing and policies that lead to mass incarceration — we need transformative change to begin the process of healing the nation,” said SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang. “Vision for a Just Future reflects our commitment to working with the next administration and Congress to move forward on addressing these critical issues.”
Vision for a Just Future calls for forward-looking, progressive action in six sections:
- White Nationalism, Extremism and Threats to Democratic Institutions. Confronting hate and building trust in democratic ideals.
- Criminal Justice Reform and Decarceration Efforts. Promoting a fair and equitable criminal justice system while working to end mass incarceration.
- Immigration Reform, Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Promoting a just, humane and welcoming immigration system.
- Voting Rights and Voter Engagement. Expanding ballot access and eliminating discriminatory barriers to voting.
- Food Insecurity, Systemic Barriers Keeping People in Poverty, and Workplace Justice. Promoting health, safety and fairness in the workplace, schools and communities.
- Institutional Racism, Inclusion and Educational Equity. Promoting opportunity and combating discrimination in schools and in the workplace.
Among the immediate action items the document urges of the person sworn in as president on January 21, 2020, are: establishing a national truth, racial healing and transformation commission to examine the history of white supremacy and structural racism in the U.S.; eliminating Department of Justice-imposed barriers to ensuring accountability for police misconduct, repealing discriminatory and racist entry bans on Muslims and Africans and reinstating a fair process for asylum claims; restoring inclusive non-discrimination, labor, and worker safety requirements for federal contractors, and creating a White House task force on regional development in the Black Belt.
Some of our legislative priorities for the 117th Congress include: passing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Equality Act; prohibiting racial, ethnic, and religious profiling in policing and reprogramming funds from mass incarceration to community-based programs and schools; mandating federal collection of hate crime data; eliminating cash bail and other racially-biased pretrial practices in federal and state criminal justice systems and removing barriers for formerly-incarcerated individuals to employment, housing, and voting rights; eliminating discrimination in the public safety net and expanding worker protections and workplace safety laws; and raising the federal minimum wage to a living wage.