We’re in this fight together.
As our coalition prepared for 2020, we never could have imagined COVID-19 and the turmoil we are confronting today.
The choices we make now will determine not just how we weather this pandemic, but also the kind of democracy we will have when it’s over. Despite the challenges we face, The Leadership Conference coalition — with all of you — is working at full tilt to safeguard our communities, public health, and our democracy.
Below you will find a clearinghouse of information about COVID-19’s impact on civil rights and our coalition’s response.
Here is our letter to Congress providing an overview of our priorities for upcoming action in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and our statement on the HEROES Act, the latest relief package passed in the House of Representatives.
Census data are critical for emergency planning and response — which we need now more than ever. Throughout this public health crisis, the Census Counts campaign has matched every shift in 2020 Census operations with innovative outreach strategies and a continued push for people to respond to the census on their own — online, by phone, or by mail. It is critical that the Census Bureau secure a fair and accurate count of the people living in the United States while, at the same time, keeping our communities safe and healthy.
Doing census outreach? Visit our Census Counts COVID-19 page for organizing resources, updates from the Census Bureau, and guidance on how to adjust your census outreach to keep yourself and your community safe.
Letter to Congress on Census Extensions
Advocates Call for Expanded 2020 Census COVID-19 Safety Measures – July 8, 2020
Congress Must Protect Communities’ Rights Before Extending Census Deadlines – May 6, 2020
275+ Civil Rights Watchdogs Pledge to Help Ensure Census Data Protections Are Upheld – March 30, 2020
No one should ever have to choose between public safety and casting a ballot. Amid the pandemic, The Leadership Conference is serving as a hub for voting and elections work. Our approach is three-fold: We are 1) directly engaging congressional leadership to secure funding for election assistance, 2) working with state and local electeds and partners to expand voting options, and 3) fighting misinformation online and mobilizing to ensure voters understand election changes and are prepared and activated to cast a ballot in November.
With All Voting is Local, we also launched a joint campaign, And Still I Vote, to empower communities to fight for a democracy that works for all of us. The campaign promotes solutions that remove barriers to voting, lifts up testimony from those fighting for a full, inclusive democracy, and mobilizes people to take action. Get involved here.
The Leadership Conference HEROES Act Elections Coalition Letter
Mothers of the Movement Call on the Senate to pass the HEROES Act and Make our Elections Safe and Secure
Op-ed in The Guardian: Voting is our most fundamental right – let’s make sure it’s open to everyone
Letter to Election Assistance Commission Urging Issuance of Guidance on COVID-19 Grants
Letter to Congress Urging Additional Funding for Election Assistance in Response to COVID-19
Congress Must Appropriate $2 Billion To Protect Voting Rights
Letter to Congress on Protecting Voting Rights and Public Safety in Response to COVID-19
Turn Up Tuesdays to Confront Barriers to the Ballot Ahead of Primaries in Alabama and Louisiana – July 7, 2020
Turn Up Tuesdays to Highlight Barriers the LGBTQ+ Community Experiences While Voting – June 29, 2020
Arizona Voting Rights Advocates and Officials to Call for Safe and Fair Elections – June 15, 2020
Civil and human rights, laws, and protections must be recognized — especially during a pandemic, as President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continue to stack our courts with extreme nominees. Along with the Fair Courts Task Force, our team is working to ensure that our courts meet this moment and protect rights for all. We are holding officials accountable and leveraging online and digital tools to engage the public in the fight for a fair judiciary.
Op-ed in Univision: The Nation is Crying Out for Justice – the Senate is Prioritizing Anti-Civil Rights Nominees Instead
Letter to the Senate: Focus on the Pandemic and Pause Judicial Nominations
Letter to Court Officials: Civil and Human Rights Are Essential and Our Courts Must Meet This Moment
National Rights Groups Call for Pause in Judicial Confirmations Process – May 4, 2020
Our Courts Must Protect Civil and Human Rights to Meet This Moment – April 22, 2020
As Pandemic Escalates, Trump Taps Nominees to Limit Health Care Access – April 3, 2020
Justice Reform and Policing
As communities of color bear the brunt of COVID-19, patterns of injustice are more evident than ever. Our justice and policing teams partner with coalition members, local communities, and impacted people to dismantle structural inequity and reimagine what it means to be safe in our society. As the pandemic rages on, we are organizing to expand eligible people’s release from jails and prisons at all levels and remove barriers to reentry for people recently released. We are also engaging state and local leaders to ensure that police departments across the country commit to a pandemic response grounded in a public health approach — one that ensures effective and equitable protection of all communities during and beyond COVID-19.
Statement of LaShawn Warren for Senate Judiciary Committee “Examining Best Practices for Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19”
Public Safety During COVID-19 and Beyond: Recommendations for Protecting Public Health and Our Civil Rights
Comments on the Work of the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice
Letter to Federal Bureau of Prisons on Demographic Data
Letter to Attorney General Barr on Use of the PATTERN Risk Assessment
Letter to the White House on Commuting Federal Prison Sentences for Populations Most Vulnerable to Coronavirus
Letter to NSA on Immediate Action Needed to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Jails
Letter to USCM on Immediate Action Needed to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Jails
Letter to NGA on Immediate Action Needed to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Jails
Op-ed: Mr. President, let vulnerable people out of federal prisons now: Coronavirus demands a bold response
Civil Rights, Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Police to Protect Public Health while Safeguarding Rights – May 18, 2020
Congress Must Prioritize Justice Reform in the Next COVID-19 Relief Package – May 12, 2020
Pandemic Is No Excuse for Discriminatory Policing – April 24, 2020
Among our priorities for COVID-19 are securing provisions that protect the most vulnerable working people through access to paid sick and family leave, unemployment insurance, and health and safety protections for people working on the front lines of this crisis. We are also fighting to provide relief for people at risk of housing or financial instability, and people experiencing homelessness. Our team will continue working with our coalition, partners, state leaders, and members of Congress to push for justice and inclusion of all communities amid this pandemic.
Letter to the Senate: Oppose Business Immunity for Coronavirus-Related Claims
Statement for the Record, U.S. Senate Finance Committee Hearing on “Unemployment Insurance during COVID-19: The CARES Act and the Role of Unemployment Insurance During the Pandemic,” June 9, 2020
Suspend Issuance of Final Rule that would Undermine the Health Care Rights Law
Letter to Congress on Providing Robust Funding for the United States Postal Service
Letter to Congress on COVID-19 Response Health and Economic Security Priorities
Comments on Community Reinvestment Act NPRM
92 Groups Urge Senate to Protect Health, Rights, and Democracy in COVID-19 Response – July 20, 2020
Advocates Object to Leader McConnell’s Demand for Blanket Corporate Liability Immunity – July 20, 2020
Trump’s HHS Encourages Health Care Discrimination During Global Pandemic – June 12, 2020
The Leadership Conference and Education Task Force call for comprehensive action to ensure equal educational opportunity during the COVID-19 public health crisis and beyond. Long term closures of early childhood settings, K12 schools, and college campuses, necessary to protect the safety and health of communities, have significantly exacerbated long standing inequities in our educational system. We are working at the national and state levels with elected leaders, educators, and partners to minimize the harm of COVID-19 to marginalized students and seek to build a more just education system for the future.
Comments in Response to Interim Final Rule on Eligibility of Students at Institutions of Higher Education for Funds Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Letter to Congress on Civil Rights Priorities for Education Equity in COVID-19 Response
Joint Statement of Education and Civil Rights Organizations Concerning Equitable Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic School Closures and Beyond
House Votes to Lift and Protect All Communities, Senate Must Now Pass HEROES Act – May 15, 2020
Congress Must Protect Equal Educational Opportunity During COVID-19 and Beyond – May 7, 2020
Fighting Hate and Bias
During this public health crisis, Asian Americans, immigrants, African Americans, and other communities of color are now confronting a terrifying rise in hate crimes. The Leadership Conference’s Fighting Hate and Bias Project centers communities targeted for hate, fostering solidarity among our diverse membership, and focusing on meeting the needs that communities identify. Working through the Immigration Task Force and the Hate Crimes Task Force, we fight for legislative priorities that will ensure communities have the resources they need to combat hate and that immigrants and other particularly vulnerable communities are included in critical relief packages.
Facebook Live: The Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on Immigrants Town Hall
NBA Virtual Roundtable Ft. Vanita Gupta, Andrew Yang, Jeremy Lin, and Caron Butler
Solidarity Statement Supporting Communities Targeted for Hate
Trump’s Latest Xenophobic Ruse is More of the Same – June 22, 2020
CHC, CAPAC Chairs and Civil Rights Leaders Highlight Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on Immigrants and Families of Color – May 15, 2020
The American Public Won’t Be Fooled by Trump’s Latest Xenophobic Ploy – April 21, 2020
Media and Tech
Amid the pandemic, The Leadership Conference coalition is working to ensure that new technologies further civil rights protections, and to expand access to broadband. We’re also seeing in rleal time how some politicians and others are leveraging this crisis to sow fear and uncertainty around elections. We can only presume the situation will get more intense from now until November. That’s why we’re calling on Twitter, Facebook, and big tech companies to honor their election integrity policies and stop the spread of misinformation online.
Op-ed: Broadband Access Is A Civil Right We Can’t Afford To Lose — But Many Can’t Afford To Have
Letter to the Senate: COVID-19 Privacy + Civil Rights Principles
Letter to the House of Representatives: COVID-19 Privacy + Civil Rights Principles
Letter to Congress on Affordable Broadband for Public Health, Economic Security
Civil Rights Groups Call for Protection of Democracy and Privacy as Tech Responds to Pandemic – June 11, 2020
Post-Pandemic America Must Have Stronger Civil and Human Rights Protections – April 27, 2020
Take Action — and Spread the Message
Now is the time to unite across our differences and make policy choices that help everyday people. The Leadership Conference is doubling down on our work to ensure all communities receive the protections and resources they deserve. But we need your help.
Follow The Leadership Conference on social media for the latest ways you can get involved.