Fighting for our communities, democracy, and public health

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.

2020 Census ›

Voting Rights ›

Courts ›

Justice Reform and Policing ›

Economic Security ›

Education ›

Fighting Hate and Bias ›

Media and Tech ›

2020 Census

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

Read All 2020 Census News ›

Voting Rights

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

Read All Voting Rights News ›



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

Read All Courts News ›

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

Read All Justice Reform and Policing News ›

Economic Security

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

Read All Economic Security News ›


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

Read All Education News ›

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

Read All Fighting Hate and Bias News ›

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

Read All Media and Tech News ›

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.

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