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Roundup: Seeking Racial Justice in the Age of COVID-19

Laura Williamson
Stuart Naifeh
Kathryn C. Sadasivan
K. Sabeel Rahman
Adrien Salazar

Solutions for the pandemic and for the structural problems that existed long before it.

This week we’re reflecting on what this pandemic means for racial justice, voting rights reforms, and climate equity. We also share an update on our continued work to stop unnecessary voter purges, this time in North Carolina.

 Democratic Reform 

  1. How we build a racially inclusive democracy during COVID-19 and beyond.

    Policymakers and election officials must take the following steps to ensure that Black and brown Americans—and all Americans—can exercise their fundamental right to vote now:

    Read our latest policy brief detailing how and why to implement these steps in response to the pandemic

  2. Florida still hasn’t taken appropriate action for an election to be held during the COVID-19 crisis.

    We’ve joined partners in renewed legal action against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee, demanding emergency accommodations to the state’s election procedures to ensure that Black and brown voters, who have borne the brunt of the economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19, are not also denied their vote as a result of the pandemic.

    Read the press release on what DeSantis can do for voters in Florida

  3. We’re moving to stop an unjustified purge of thousands of registered voters in North Carolina in the run-up to this November’s presidential election.

    Judicial Watch, a far-right activist group, sued North Carolina state election officials and two of the state’s most populous counties, which also have a disproportionately high number of voters of color. We see their case for what it is: yet another attempt to use bad data, routinely rejected by courts, to try to undermine political participation.

    Read the press release on our move to intervene in their case and stop the purge


 Economic Justice 

  1. Let’s talk about racial justice and democracy in the time of coronavirus.

    Racial capitalism and structural racism have made it so that Black and brown workers are more likely to be on the front lines of this crisis; more likely to have been exposed to the pollution that led to preexisting health issues; but less likely to have access to testing, economic relief, and health care.

    For a conversation on this and more, listen to Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman on the Race and Democracy podcast with Dr. Peniel Joseph

  2. Fifty years after Earth Day, coronavirus, climate injustice, and inequality collide.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing the same structural inequalities we see unfold time and again in climate disaster. Now new evidence reveals that the same communities who live with pollution are most vulnerable to the disease. The Coronavirus is an environmental justice crisis.

    Read what must be done to address the dual crises


Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman addresses the policy changes called for by the coronavirus pandemic.