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COVID-19 Racial Justice Initiative

The COVID-19 global pandemic is having a stark impact on communities across the country. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is focused on ensuring the well-being and security of communities most vulnerable, including African Americans, people of color and low-income communities. We are also focused on bringing a racial justice lens to the issues these communities are facing and are committed to ensuring that core civil and constitutional rights are respected.
The Lawyers’ Committee is using legal advocacy and litigation to help ensure that relief efforts, emergency measures and other actions comply with civil rights laws and constitutional requirements. Our goal is also ensuring that policy responses and actions undertaken by officials do not perpetuate and exacerbate existing bias, racial inequity, and injustice.
We know that all Americans are feeling the impact of this crisis. But people who are already marginalized and who are subject to discrimination will feel the impact more than others. For these communities, COVID-19 exacerbates existing racial injustice and perpetuates economic inequality.
African Americans and other people of color are disproportionately represented among some of the most vulnerable to the pandemic, including people who are incarcerated in our jails and prisons, those who are homeless or who face eviction, low-wage workers, and more.
From Hurricane Katrina to the present day, we know that crises such as pandemics, stand to amplify racial biases that are deeply rooted in our nation’s history. Given this reality, it is critical that we work to ensure responses that will provide equal justice and equal opportunity for all.
Voting Rights Amid COVID-19

  • State Election Law OverviewThe Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights developed this resource that allows users to locate information on each state’s election laws. The ongoing public health emergency has the potential to exacerbate confusion around election procedures, and to increase the burden of restrictive voting requirements. These tables provide a summary of election laws in each state relating to the 2020 election schedule, voter registration, absentee/mail-in balloting, and in-person early voting.


Letters and Statements
  • May 6, 2020: Sign-on Letter to Congress to provide robust funding for United States Postal Service
  • April 22, 2020: Sign-on Letter to Court Officials regarding safeguarding civil and human rights
  • April 16, 2020: Letter to Congress on priorities for the fourth COVID-19 stimulus bill
  • April 16, 2020: Joint Statement on COVID-19 Small Business Loans to the Administration requesting removal of restrictions prohibiting people with criminal records from accessing these loans
  • April 13, 2020: Sign-on Letter to Congress Urging Additional Funding for Voter Assistance in Response to COVID-19
  • April 7, 2020: Sign-on Letter to the Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance
  • April 7, 2020: Sign-on Letter to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission
  • April 6, 2020: Sign-on Letter to the Department of Health and Human Services on Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color
  • April 6, 2020: Letter to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act requesting public records on COVID-19 racial  data
  • March 20, 2020: Letter to Congress on Help for Student Loan Borrowers Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • March 16, 2020: Sign-on Letter to Elected Officials to Act Now to Protect Democracy and Public Health
Press Releases & Briefings

Press Releases

Press Briefings

  • May 11, 2020: Press Briefing on election-related litigation amid COVID-19
  • April 6, 2020: Press Briefing calling for release of racial data
In the News

In the News




  • Lawyers’ Committee – May 11, 2020: Press Briefing on election-related litigation amid COVID-19
  • Lawyers’ Committee – April 20, 2020: Press Briefing calling for release of more comprehensive racial and ethnic data of those impacted by COVID-19
  • Lawyers’ Committee – April 6, 2020: Press Briefing calling for release of racial data of those impacted by COVID-19