Leading social justice organization say Executive Order runs counter to Americans’ goals
NEW YORK – October 26, 2020 – Race Forward, the national racial justice nonprofit organization, continues its commitment to advancing anti-racism training – despite the Trump Administration’s attempt to eliminate anti-racist work by banning dialogue, education, and trainings that address systemic racism. The Executive Order (EO) issued on September 22, 2020, targets federal departments, contractors, and grantees in an effort to silence meaningful conversations about race that a majority of the American public believes are needed for greater understanding and national unity.
Race Forward continues to advance its work through its Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) program, a network of more than 250 jurisdictions who are working to advance racial equity and lift up outcomes for all groups. GARE members are committed to conducting anti-racism trainings to help public sector employees and the American people talk about and take action to address systemic racism. These jurisdictions fall outside the EO so long as they are not federal contractors and are conducting trainings independent of federal funding. Communities seek the guidance of the GARE network to enable their employees within public institutions to discuss race in honest and truthful ways that can lead to changed policies and practices, justice and reconciliation.
“These actions by the administration are an attack on racial justice,” said Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward. “The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that systemic racism and racial discrimination are a major problem in this country. Even so, the Trump Administration is actively working to shut down America’s growing commitment toward ending racial injustice and is simply denying that systemic racism is behind America’s racial inequities.”
Collectively, supporters of racial equity training voice support for all levels of government to address systemic racism and are calling on philanthropy, the business community, nonprofit and professional organizations across the country to explicitly address systemic racism, and commit to the advancement of racial justice in America.
“The extreme hardships of 2020 — the COVID-19 pandemic, state violence against the Black community, an environmental crisis and an economic recession — are exposing the horrifying impact of racial inequities between white people and people of color, said Julie Nelson, Senior Vice President of Programs. “We recognize the devastating intergenerational harms of systemic racism and know that we as a nation cannot have a strong multiracial democracy without racial justice, and we cannot have racial justice without a strong multiracial democracy.”
Race Forward declares that the current administration’s push for education that erases our history is dangerously hostile toward people of color, an abuse of power, and an attempt to silence and censor discussion of and reverse progress on race equity in America. This comes on the heels of Trump calling on Americans to proclaim Columbus Day as an official national holiday, despite Native American’s seeking to change the observation to Indigenous Peoples Day.
Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Race Forward is home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of local governments working to achieve racial equity and improve outcomes for all. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.